Programming Notes: February 2018

Feb 9, 2018

Join us Monday, February 19th as we celebrate President’s Day and Black History Month with special programming:

9AM-Presidential Essentials 2018

The highs and lows of presidential history told through a variety of music, comedy, sounds, and voices from FDR to Obama and Trump, plus eventful remembrances of Washington and Jefferson.

Witness the antics of The Capitol Steps, Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, George Carlin, Chevy Chase, and John Toomey. Hear Stan Freberg lampoon George Washington, James Whitmore play Harry Truman, Charlie Warren impersonate Jimmy Carter, and Rich Little play Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan.  Hear Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the movies, the real voices of FDR, Truman, Eisenhhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Obama, and Trump, plus The Capitol Steps' version of Bush 2, Obama, and Trump.  Epochal music by Dave Brubeck, Fleetwood Mac, Duke Ellington, Kenny G, Burt Bacharach, and more.                       

10AM-Say it Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

"Say It Loud" traces the last 50 years of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, "Say It Loud" includes landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Louis Gates, and many others”

11AM-The Freed People

Written and Produced by David Freudberg, in association with WGBH. This one-hour Humankind documentary examines how America responded to a massive refugee crisis, when four million newly emancipated slaves needed shelter, employment, education and the basic rights at the close of the Civil War. Hear historians, brief readings from letters of people who were there, performances of "Negro Spirituals" and more.

2PM-Getting to Know the Presidents

At the end of President Trump’s first year in office, Bill Antholis and Barbara Perry take a look at how it compares to other presidential first years. And: Writer Colin Rafferty read a biography of every single president—and then wrote his own essays in response to their lives. Plus: The first presidents lived long lives for that era, with most of them living into their 80’s or even 90’s. Rebecca Brannon says that they may have been mistaken in the expectation that they would be given respect after office, based on their longevity and lifetime experiences.

Later in the show: Sue Purdue and Kathleen Williams describe the scope of the remarkable project of the National Archives called Founders Online. Plus: Some of the proofreaders who spent three years immersed in the handwriting of the founding fathers came away with a very intimate understanding of those who shaped our country.

Coming up this month on the Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcasts:

Saturday, February 10th @1PM-L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti)

Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met with her first Adina opposite Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing “Una furtiva lagrima.” Bartlett Sher’s production is charming, with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.

Saturday, February 17th @12PM—Parsifal (Wagner)

Met Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Wagner’s transcendental score, in François Girard’s remarkable production, a mystical theatrical journey. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt, renowned across Europe, returns to the Met following his appearances in the 2016–17 season as Florestan in Fidelio. Evelyn Herlitzius is Kundry, and Peter Mattei and René Pape bring back their highly praised interpretations of Amfortas and Gurnemanz, respectively.

Saturday, February 24th @1PM-- La Bohème (Puccini)

The world’s most popular opera returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with a series of exciting casts. Angel Blue, Anita Hartig, and Sonya Yoncheva (left) share the role of the fragile Mimì, with Dmytro Popov, Russell Thomas, and Michael Fabiano alternating as the poet Rodolfo. Alexander Soddy and Marco Armiliato share conducting duties.