By WQXR & The Metropolitan Opera
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Aria Code is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time, including Plácido Domingo, Diana Damrau, Sondra Radvanovsky, and many others. Hosted by Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens, Aria Code is produced in partnership with The Metropolitan Opera. Each episode dives into one aria — a feature for a single singer — and explores how and why these brief musical moments have imprinted themselves in our collective consciousness and what it takes to stand on the Met stage and sing them. A wealth of guests—from artists like Rufus Wainwright and Ruben Santiago-Hudson to non-musicians like biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher and Dr. Brooke Magnanti, author of The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl—join Rhiannon and the Met Opera’s singers to understand why these arias touch us at such a human level, well over a century after they were written. Each episode ends with the aria, uninterrupted and in full, recorded from the Met Opera stage. Aria Code is produced in partnership with WQXR, The Metropolitan Opera and WNYC Studios.
||CleanFlower Power: Don José and Dangerous Love in Bizet's Carmen||You hear the message over and over in pop culture: love overcomes everything. But when Don José sings “The Flower Song” in Bizet's Carmen, you're reminded that love has a dark side, too. In the Season 1 finale, host Rhiannon Giddens welcomes tenor||2/6/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMassenet's Werther: You've Got Mail!||A picture may paint a thousand words, but nothing compares to the intimacy and immediacy of a handwritten letter. Hearing the "Letter Aria" from Jules Massenet's Werther will prove it. From an opera based on the Goethe novel, The Sorrows of Young Werth||1/30/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMozart's Queen of the Night: Outrage Out of This World||When the Voyager spacecraft set off to explore the galaxy in 1977, it carried a recording to represent the best of humanity. The “Golden Record” featured everyone from Bach to Chuck Berry, but there was only one opera aria: the rage-fest from Mozar||1/23/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVerdi's Rigoletto: First Love, Wrong Love||You’ve probably been there: in love for the first time and enchanted by the very sound of your sweetheart’s name. The problem for Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto is that her new love isn’t who he says he is. The worst will come (it’s opera), but f||1/16/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDonizetti's La Fille du Régiment: Sailing the High Cs||Singing even one high C can be an event for the tenor and his audience. Everyone in the room knows how easily it could go wrong. Multiply that pressure by nine? You get “Ah, mes amis.” Gaetano Donizetti wrote this high-stakes aria for his opera La||1/9/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSaint-Saëns’s Dalila: She's a Femme Fatale||She seduces, she traps, she destroys. She's a femme fatale and her signature aria is the dangerously alluring “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” from Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns. "My heart opens to your voice,” sings Dalila, "like the f||1/2/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPuccini's Tosca: I Offered Songs to the Stars||When things go from bad to worse for Tosca, Puccini’s tragic heroine, she turns inward and prays. “I lived for art,” she tells God, “I lived for love.” What did I do to deserve all this? Tosca's despair and the moving way Puccini captures it||12/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVerdi's Otello: We All Have Demons, But Sometimes The Demons Have Us||The legendary Plácido Domingo says he's not a jealous guy, but he must know something about it because he's played the part of Othello more than 200 times. Shakespeare called jealousy the "green-eyed monster" and no opera captures what happens when th||12/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPuccini's La Boheme: Is Love at First Sight Really a Thing?||Love at first sight is not just a cliché of romantic comedies: more than half of all Americans say they’ve experienced it. Can this explain the timeless appeal of Puccini’s La Bohème? In this episode, host Rhiannon Giddens and her guests consider||12/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVerdi's La Traviata: Opera's Original 'Pretty Woman'||Verdi’s La Traviata revolves around the high-class courtesan Violetta, the quintessential "tart with a heart" who falls for Mr. Right but can’t decide whether she really wants to settle down. (Spoiler alert: it’s an opera, so she never gets the c||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWelcome to Aria Code with Rhiannon Giddens||Aria Code is a new podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time, including Plácido Domingo, Diana Damrau, Sondra Radvanovsky, and many others. Hosted by Grammy||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Such a great podcast, and I'm so sorry that there are only 10 episodes. I hope the excxellent reviews encourage the team to make more of these. I love opera, but know next to nothing about it, and so these podcasts have just been so great for me! And the podcast is so well put together, it's such a pleasure to listen.
So much fun!
I am in the process of binge-listening to season one of this podcast. The perspectives and insights are interesting and fun. Please have a season two, as soon as possible!
A major round of applause for Aria Code & Rhiannon Giddens!
I listened to every one of the Aria Code podcasts and was enthralled by the whole concept of this production. The way every aria is dissected and demystified was amazing. Each was thoroughly researched and the comments from the guests brought so much more insight into these marvelous pieces. Thanks Ms. Rhiannon Giddens for bringing forth this aural delight to the operaphiles of the world. I'm looking forward to the future episodes of Aria Code!