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PROGRAM GUIDE

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ON DEMAND

Summer Season of Operetta

Each week during the Summer Season, 4MBS ON Demand will be featuring an hour-long presentation of some of the finest music from a selected operetta.

WEEK 1: STRAUSS Der ZigeunerbaronJohann Strauss II’s Der Zigeunerbaron based on the novel Saffi by the Hungarian novelist and nobleman Mór Jókai.  The work saw its premiere at the Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885 and ran for some 87 consecutive performances.  Set in Hungary, the operetta tells of the return of Sandor Barinkay to his ancestral home.  He moves back into the family castle, discovers hidden treasure and the girl of his dreams.  She however proves to be a Princess and so out of his reach.  But when Barinkay becomes a war hero, he’s elevated to the nobility, so Barinkay can have his girl in the end.

WEEK 1: STRAUSS Der Zigeunerbaron
Johann Strauss II’s Der Zigeunerbaron based on the novel Saffi by the Hungarian novelist and nobleman Mór Jókai.  The work saw its premiere at the Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885 and ran for some 87 consecutive performances.  Set in Hungary, the operetta tells of the return of Sandor Barinkay to his ancestral home.  He moves back into the family castle, discovers hidden treasure and the girl of his dreams.  She however proves to be a Princess and so out of his reach.  But when Barinkay becomes a war hero, he’s elevated to the nobility, so Barinkay can have his girl in the end.

WEEK 2: FRANZ LEHAR: Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles)By the 1920s, Operetta was moving away from its former sugar-coated self and closer to real-life situations.  Franz Lehár became a major exponent of the new order and with his 1928 re-write of an earlier work, he explored very new and unique territory – love between a European woman and a Chinese Prince.  With Richard Tauber as its star, the re-written operetta was an instant success and remains irresistible to leading operatic tenors, nearly a century later.


WEEK 2: FRANZ LEHAR: Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles)
By the 1920s, Operetta was moving away from its former sugar-coated self and closer to real-life situations.  Franz Lehár became a major exponent of the new order and with his 1928 re-write of an earlier work, he explored very new and unique territory – love between a European woman and a Chinese Prince.  With Richard Tauber as its star, the re-written operetta was an instant success and remains irresistible to leading operatic tenors, nearly a century later.

WEEK 3: JOHANN STRAUSS: Die Fledermaus By 1950, Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus was one of the most popular operettas everywhere, except at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where every attempt to stage the work had failed. But 1950, the beginning of the Bing era saw the new General Manager commission a new English language version of the classic at the Met, with a free translation libretto by Mel Mandel and Norman Sachs. The result was a triumph, which saw the operetta become a standard tradition for New Year’s Eve. Die Fledermaus had arrived at the Met to stay!

WEEK 3: JOHANN STRAUSS: Die Fledermaus
By 1950, Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus was one of the most popular operettas everywhere, except at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where every attempt to stage the work had failed. But 1950, the beginning of the Bing era saw the new General Manager commission a new English language version of the classic at the Met, with a free translation libretto by Mel Mandel and Norman Sachs. The result was a triumph, which saw the operetta become a standard tradition for New Year’s Eve. Die Fledermaus had arrived at the Met to stay!

WEEK 4: LEO FALL: Der Fidele Bauer (The Merry Farmer) The Olmütz-born Leo Fall lived from 1873 to 1925.  He may not be as well-known as many more familiar figures in the world of operetta, but several of his works continue to hold the stage in such notable houses as the Vienna Volksoper and at Festivals such as the Franz Lehár Festival in Bad Ischl.  Der Fidele Bauer (or The Merry Peasant) premiered in Mannheim in 1907, being it’s creator’s second operetta success.  It tells the rather heart-warming story of a peasant, who sends his gifted son off to be educated in Vienna.  The son becomes an eminent doctor and is ashamed of his origins.  Thanks to his charming young wife and her brother, he is reconciled with his own family and becomes proud of his heritage.

WEEK 4: LEO FALL: Der Fidele Bauer (The Merry Farmer)
The Olmütz-born Leo Fall lived from 1873 to 1925.  He may not be as well-known as many more familiar figures in the world of operetta, but several of his works continue to hold the stage in such notable houses as the Vienna Volksoper and at Festivals such as the Franz Lehár Festival in Bad Ischl.  Der Fidele Bauer (or The Merry Peasant) premiered in Mannheim in 1907, being it’s creator’s second operetta success.  It tells the rather heart-warming story of a peasant, who sends his gifted son off to be educated in Vienna.  The son becomes an eminent doctor and is ashamed of his origins.  Thanks to his charming young wife and her brother, he is reconciled with his own family and becomes proud of his heritage.

WEEK 5: CARL MILLOCKER: GasparoneCarl Millöcker, who was born in 1842 and died on New Year’s Eve 1899, was one of the 19th century giants of operetta.  Hid first major success came with Der Bettelstudent or The Beggar Student in 1882 and this was followed two years later by his second masterpiece Gasparone.  This is one of those works like Cilea’s  L’arlesiana , where the villain of the title, never sets foot on stage.  The operetta takes place in 19th century Trapani in Sicily, where the locals use the legend of this notorious bandit Gasparone to divert attention from their smuggling operation.  Too bad that a stranger and his offsider appear in town.  The stranger not only sniffs out the smuggling operation, he also saves the local countess from a gang of bandits, then a disastrous marriage and marries her himself.  Who is he? – he’s the Governor in disguise and his friend is the boss of the Carabinieri. As for the real Gasparone – they locked him up ages ago.

WEEK 5: CARL MILLOCKER: Gasparone
Carl Millöcker, who was born in 1842 and died on New Year’s Eve 1899, was one of the 19th century giants of operetta.  Hid first major success came with Der Bettelstudent or The Beggar Student in 1882 and this was followed two years later by his second masterpiece Gasparone.  This is one of those works like Cilea’s  L’arlesiana , where the villain of the title, never sets foot on stage.  The operetta takes place in 19th century Trapani in Sicily, where the locals use the legend of this notorious bandit Gasparone to divert attention from their smuggling operation.  Too bad that a stranger and his offsider appear in town.  The stranger not only sniffs out the smuggling operation, he also saves the local countess from a gang of bandits, then a disastrous marriage and marries her himself.  Who is he? – he’s the Governor in disguise and his friend is the boss of the Carabinieri. As for the real Gasparone – they locked him up ages ago.

WEEK 6: JACQUES OFFENBACH: La Belle HeleneOver the years, Helen of Troy has proved as irresistible to opera composers as she did to men during her lifetime. And Jacques Offenbach who enjoyed sending up legends in his operettas was no exception.  His La belle Hélène opened at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris, on 17 December 1864 and in the intervening 158 years has never looked back. Married to the boring Menelaus, Helen is swept off her feet by the Shepherd, to whom she has been promised as a reward.  Of course, he manages to carry Helen off in the only way that remains for him – cunning – masquerading as a yodelling high priest of Venus.

WEEK 6: JACQUES OFFENBACH: La Belle Helene
Over the years, Helen of Troy has proved as irresistible to opera composers as she did to men during her lifetime. And Jacques Offenbach who enjoyed sending up legends in his operettas was no exception.  His La belle Hélène opened at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris, on 17 December 1864 and in the intervening 158 years has never looked back. Married to the boring Menelaus, Helen is swept off her feet by the Shepherd, to whom she has been promised as a reward.  Of course, he manages to carry Helen off in the only way that remains for him – cunning – masquerading as a yodelling high priest of Venus.

Making Friends with the Classics

Presented by Ross Sadler

Get to know the great works of classical music in this enlightening and entertaining series with 4MBS Classic FM’s own Ross Sadler

Listed alphabetically

DE FALLA & MASSINE Der CorregidorPedro de Alarcón’s novel El sombrero de tres picos or The Hat with three Corners, agev the inspiration to Manuel de Falla and Léonide Massine’s 1919 ballet The Three-Cornered Hat.  But 23 years before Falla, Alarkón’s novel had been turned into an opera Der Corregidor by Hugo Wolf (whom we know best as a writer of lieder0.  This work was a setting of a German translation libretto by Rosa Mayreder, based of course on Alarcón’s novel.  As with the ballet, the story concerns the miller and the Corregidor, who is lusting after the miller’s beautiful wife.  In the end, the Corregidor gets his come-uppance well and truly.  Long-neglected, the opera shows its composer in a new light with many commentators now seeing it as a latter-day Marriage of Figaro.

DE FALLA & MASSINE Der Corregidor
Pedro de Alarcón’s novel El sombrero de tres picos or The Hat with three Corners, agev the inspiration to Manuel de Falla and Léonide Massine’s 1919 ballet The Three-Cornered Hat.  But 23 years before Falla, Alarkón’s novel had been turned into an opera Der Corregidor by Hugo Wolf (whom we know best as a writer of lieder0.  This work was a setting of a German translation libretto by Rosa Mayreder, based of course on Alarcón’s novel.  As with the ballet, the story concerns the miller and the Corregidor, who is lusting after the miller’s beautiful wife.  In the end, the Corregidor gets his come-uppance well and truly.  Long-neglected, the opera shows its composer in a new light with many commentators now seeing it as a latter-day Marriage of Figaro.

SAINT-SAENS The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 2 Symphony No.3 in C minor (“Organ”) – One of the most popular works in the symphonic repertoire.

SAINT-SAENS The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 2
Symphony No.3 in C minor (“Organ”) – One of the most popular works in the symphonic repertoire.

SAINT-SAENS: The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 2The program deals with Camille Saint-Saëns during the 1870s and 1880s.  This was a particularly significant period in he composer’s life.  For one thing he became very active in the promotion of French music.  These years also saw Saint-Saëns begin to have success as a writer of operas and achieve recognition internationally as his country’s leading composer.  In addition to his operas, seminal works such as The Carnival of the Animals and the Organ Symphony flowed from his pen.

SAINT-SAENS: The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 2
The program deals with Camille Saint-Saëns during the 1870s and 1880s.  This was a particularly significant period in he composer’s life.  For one thing he became very active in the promotion of French music.  These years also saw Saint-Saëns begin to have success as a writer of operas and achieve recognition internationally as his country’s leading composer.  In addition to his operas, seminal works such as The Carnival of the Animals and the Organ Symphony flowed from his pen.

SAINT-SAENS: The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 3 The death of his mother in 1888 had a profound effect upon Camille Saint-Saëns.   In the remaining three decades of his life, he basically wrote less, performed less and adopted more linear and less heavy style, with a growing preference for the thin sonorities of the harp.   His compositions of the period include a considerable amount of incidental music for plays and a cantata in celebration of electricity.  Once considered a progressive, he became hostile towards the newer generation of French composers and certainly the Second Viennese School.

SAINT-SAENS: The Life and times of Camille Saint-Saëns Program 3

The death of his mother in 1888 had a profound effect upon Camille Saint-Saëns.   In the remaining three decades of his life, he basically wrote less, performed less and adopted more linear and less heavy style, with a growing preference for the thin sonorities of the harp.   His compositions of the period include a considerable amount of incidental music for plays and a cantata in celebration of electricity.  Once considered a progressive, he became hostile towards the newer generation of French composers and certainly the Second Viennese School.

STRAUSS Invalid’s Workshop (Part 1 of 2)Richard Strauss’s chamber music output tends to be a product of either his early or very late years.  In no instance is this more true than his writing for wind ensemble.  In mid-1943, the 79-year old Strauss had a severe attack of influenza.  His convalescence was slow and during this period, he composed a Sonatina in F major for 16 Wind Instruments.  Strauss sub-titled the work Aus der Werkstatt eines Invaliden or From an Invalid’s Workshop.  This three-movement work is score for 16 wind instruments.  The piece is a clear illustration of Strauss’s own comment that although he tended to write short themes, he was not found wanting when it came to adapting and developing them.

STRAUSS Invalid’s Workshop (Part 1 of 2)
Richard Strauss’s chamber music output tends to be a product of either his early or very late years.  In no instance is this more true than his writing for wind ensemble.  In mid-1943, the 79-year old Strauss had a severe attack of influenza.  His convalescence was slow and during this period, he composed a Sonatina in F major for 16 Wind Instruments.  Strauss sub-titled the work Aus der Werkstatt eines Invaliden or From an Invalid’s Workshop.  This three-movement work is score for 16 wind instruments.  The piece is a clear illustration of Strauss’s own comment that although he tended to write short themes, he was not found wanting when it came to adapting and developing them.

STRAUSS The Happy WorkshopThe previous program outlined Richard Strauss’s creative foray into large wind ensemble, during 1941.  In 1944-45, Strauss wrote a second work for the same forces, the Sonatina in E flat.   This bore the sun-title Happy Workshop.  The four-movement work was in the composer’s estimation, better than the first, but for all that, Strauss remained coy about his creations.  He wrote to his friend the conductor Clemens Krauss, “It’s very flattering that you hold such a high opinion of my little workshop diversions, but believe me, it would greatly offend the Spirit of Music History to regard them as anything more than senile toys for my posthumous estate!”  Whatever, Strauss’s ‘toys’ remain seminal works for wind ensemble to this day.

STRAUSS The Happy Workshop
The previous program outlined Richard Strauss’s creative foray into large wind ensemble, during 1941.  In 1944-45, Strauss wrote a second work for the same forces, the Sonatina in E flat.   This bore the sun-title Happy Workshop.  The four-movement work was in the composer’s estimation, better than the first, but for all that, Strauss remained coy about his creations.  He wrote to his friend the conductor Clemens Krauss, “It’s very flattering that you hold such a high opinion of my little workshop diversions, but believe me, it would greatly offend the Spirit of Music History to regard them as anything more than senile toys for my posthumous estate!”  Whatever, Strauss’s ‘toys’ remain seminal works for wind ensemble to this day.

My Musical Journey

Sallyanne Atkinson, Former Lord Mayor – Brisbane

SallyAnne Atkinson, Former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Interviewed by Peter McCahon

SallyAnne Atkinson, Former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Interviewed by Peter McCahon

John Bell, Artistic Director, Bell Shakespeare Company

John Bell, Artistic Director, Bell Shakespeare Festival

John Bell, Artistic Director, Bell Shakespeare Festival

Mark Hooper, Pianist, speaking with Peter McCahon

Mark Hooper, Pianist: My Musical Journey.

Mark Hooper, Pianist: My Musical Journey.

Piers Lane: a two part interview with 4MBS General Manager, Gary Thorpe

Piers Lane, My Musical Journey, Part 1

Piers Lane, My Musical Journey, Part 1

Piers Lane, My Musical Journey, Part 2

Piers Lane, My Musical Journey, Part 2

Damien Thompson, Emerging Philanthropist of the Year, Chimera Foundation

Damien Thompson, Emerging Philanthropist of the Year, Interviewed by Gary Thorpe

Damien Thompson, Emerging Philanthropist of the Year, Interviewed by Gary Thorpe

Click here to learn more about: Tony Sharp, Philanthropy Innovation Award Winner, Interviewed by Gary Thorpe

Click here to learn more about: Tony Sharp, Philanthropy Innovation Award Winner, Interviewed by Gary Thorpe

Classically Connected

An enjoyable mix of familiar and not so familiar classics, to help get you through the pandemic, whatever your present circumstances may be.

Concert No. 1

Concert No. 1

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Historic Program Guides

Click here to donnload the November 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the October 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the September 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the August 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the July 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the June 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the May 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the April 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the March 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the February 2021 Program Guide

Click here to download the Dec 20/Jan 21 Program Guide