The moment we have all collectively dreamed of has finally arrived: come October 8th, the WKCR Classical Verdi Bicentennial will begin, and it will be everything the Wagner Bicentennial was and more. A 48-hour broadcast will celebrate Verdi’s life and work, and general musical delight will abound. While the full schedule has yet to be released, here are some highlights:


About 15 of Verdi’s operas will be played, with a mix of live and studio recordings ranging about 70 years. They’ll include:

  • Don Carlos (5-act French version) — Alagna; Hampson; Mattila; Meier; van Dam; Pappano; Theatre de Chatelet Orchestre
  • Giovanna d’Arco — Tebaldi; Bergonzi; Panerai; Simonetto; La Scala
  • Otello — Rysanek; Vickers; Gobbi; Serafin; Rome Opera Orchestra
  • Simon Boccanegra — Varnay; Tucker; Warren; Szekely; Stiedry, Met Opera Orchestra
  • Verdi Requiem — Milanov; Castagna; Björling; Moscona; Toscanini; NBC Symphony Orchestra


  • George M. Martin — Author of the recent book “Verdi In America,” Martin discusses the US performance history of Verdi and how he became the most popular opera composer of the United States only over the past sixty years.
  • Maria Guleghina — The great Ukrainian diva speaks about the challenges and thrills of Verdi’s most grueling soprano parts, such as Lady Macbeth, Abigaille in Nabucco, and even Violetta in La Traviata!
  • Dolora Zajick — For over 25 years, Dolora Zajick has been hailed as the world’s great mezzo-soprano in the Verdi rep. She speaks about the difficulties of nurturing the Verdi voice and raising the next generation of Verdi performers.
  • Sondra Radvanovsky — A Verdi heroine specialist, singing roles from the title of Aida to Leonora from Il Trovatore.

In addition, WKCR will be doing special features on the composer’s history, his orchestrations, and his choral parts.