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Thread: OTF – Opera Podcasts

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Cool OTF – Opera Podcasts

    I consider it the mission of Once or Twice a Fortnight to not only provide musings and musical illustrations on a given topic, but also to promote music that is openly, freely and legally available for streaming and/or download on the web. I have, in past articles, pointed out Public Domain performances of opera and other musical genres, and there is a substantive ongoing thread on operas found on YouTube.

    For this instalment of OTF on OperaLively, I wanted to start a discussion on opera podcasts – who does them and where to find them.

    I am a frequent flyer, and once or twice a month I have to travel between Ottawa and Calgary – typically a four-ish hour flight gate to gate. If you’re like me, you always travel with your digital companion (in my case, a 120 GB iPod Classic which holds all of my music), and I find it nice to load a podcast or two on my iPod, especially for those long flights. Opera podcasts are well-suited for this duration.

    Who does Opera Podcasts?

    The short answer, well, is everybody. Most major (and mid-major) opera companies publish a podcast, and so do opera enthusiasts as well as formal opera programs on the radio and the internet.

    Where do I find them?

    Several places, actually. Here’s a simple Google search to get you started:

    If you have access to an online music provider, such as iTunes, most of the popular opera podcasts can be found there. On the iTunes store, for example, I found about 15 of them without really trying hard. The content of these podcasts goes from “behind the scenes” or “interview” style podcasts to selections of operas.

    The service Digital Podcast (of which my ITYWLTMT Friday Podcast is a proud member) offers a few of them as well. Here is a link to a quick search I did:

    The NPR Podcast directory provides a few promising podcast titles, but one I did not find is this one – which I happen to have found through other means.

    Sacramento’s NPR outlet “Capital Public Radio” has a weekly programme, which only recently moved from Friday’s to Saturdays entitled “At the Opera with Sean Bianco”. The program provides in its 4-hour window a complete cover-to-cover performance of a recorded opera, followed by “Opera Potpourri” – an opera highlights filler segment.

    I am pleased to point out that the show is available in streaming audio format at the show’s website:

    I also found a number of archived podcast on the website:

    As a specific example of an archived podcast, please consider this 2009 FNAO podcast of Il Trovatore:

    The archived podcasts are in MP3 format and – if you were so tempted – can be manipulated using an audio editor so you can, either, load the podcast “as is” on your digital companion of choice, or edited into “just the opera”, skipping the commentary.

    This link allows you to either stream the podcast through your browser (using an embedded media player) or download the MP3 audio file.

    If you do not have an audio editor in your personal computer arsenal, might I suggest the free-ware AUDACITY (, which is not only supported by many platforms and easy to use, but can act as a babel fish for most common file formats (once you load the right libraries and properly configure it).


    I tease you not – The final instalment of the ITYWLTMT Pianothon features piano music by Mozart and Bartók, and soloist Géza Anda in two concerti by these composers. Read our bilingual commentary on January 27th @

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  3. #2
    Member Recent member Dster's Avatar
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    Have you try the following?

    I have been listening to Charlie Handelman's podcast for years. Its great fun


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