Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., Puccini’s Il Trittico will kick off this season’s Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee radio series. The Opera is more than just the music of course: it’s an experience, the sum of the music, the drama, the spectacle, the gilded lobby, the $15 drinks at intermission. But, hey, hearing the music is the next best thing, and there sure are a lot of ways to listen this season. Old-fashioned fans like myself can turn to 105.9 on the FM dial (WQXR, shed of its Times ownership, got shoved up the dial to el cinco cento punto nueve!), but technobrats like you, dear readers, can listen on the Met’s website, on Rhapsody, or on the Met’s SiriusXM channel; you can also see the performances in movie theaters via HD broadcast (which we don’t really recommend).
Recommendations and highlights after the jump.
The broadcasts run into May 2010. The Tales of Hoffman, which I loved, plays next week on Dec. 19, and the production of From the House of the Dead, which left me lukewarm but thrilled every other NY critic, will play March 20. (It won’t be live, but a recording from this fall.) Other highlights include an archival broadcast, from February 1958, of Barber’s Vanessa on January 23, to celebrate the composer’s 100th birthday, as well as the opera I’m most looking forward to next year, The Nose, which you can hear on March 13.
Seriously, gang: Opera and weekend afternoons combine in a mysteriously beautiful way. If you’re sitting around reading the paper and eating oatmeal (as I would be if I didn’t have to work on Saturdays), turn on your radios. (Your alarm clock probably has one.)
For complete schedule and information on how to tune in, check out the official radio broadcast website.