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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

WGUC Repeats 'Margaret Garner,' Other Cincinnati Operas In November

Philip Groshong
Cincinnati Opera
Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves starred in the 2005 world premiere of "Margaret Garner."

With the Cincinnati Opera on an "extended intermission" due to COVID-19, WGUC-FM will rebroadcast "specially chosen" past productions on Sunday nights this month.

"We've handpicked these five operas to showcase some of the most thrilling highlights from our last two decades," says Evans Mirageas, Cincinnati Opera artistic director, in the media release. "Each production features artists who have gone on to become some of the most celebrated in the world." 

On Nov. 15, WGUC will repeat the 2005 world premiere of Margaret Garner, starring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as the enslaved woman who attempted to escape with her family from Northern Kentucky to freedom across the Ohio River. Grammy-winner Richard Danielpour composed the music for the libretto by award-winning novelist Toni Morrison. It was commissioned by the Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia.

All operas will air at 8 p.m. Sundays on WGUC-FM (90.9) and stream at wguc.org.  The schedule:

Nov. 8:  Don Giovanni (1999) was performed at Music Hall by Peter Mattei (making his U.S. debut), Lauren Flanigan, Christine Goerke, Elisabeth Comeaux, Scott Piper, Dean Ely, David L. Michael and Michele Bianchini.

Nov. 15: Margaret Garner (2005) was performed at Music Hall by Graves, Angela Brown, Gregg Baker, Rod Gilfry, Nancy Allen Lundy, Chad Shelton, Roger Honeywell and Marco Panuccio.

Nov. 22: Romeo And Juliet (2019) was performed at Music Hall by Nicole Cabell (Juliet), Matthew White (Romeo), Hadleigh Adams, Piotr Buszewski, Reilly Nelson, Catherine Keen, Kenneth Shaw and Thomas Dreeze.

Nov. 29: Fidelio (2016) was performed at the Aronoff Center by Christine Goerke, Russell Thomas, Nmon Ford, Nathan Stark, Daniel Sutin, Thomas Blondelle, Laura Tatulescu and John Tibbetts.

The five-week classic opera season started Nov. 1 with Il Trovatore from 2015. (I didn't get the media release until 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 1.) 

"We're so grateful to WGUC for making this possible while we take our 'extended intermission,' " says Katie Syroney, opera interim communications director.

"Cincinnati Public Radio is proud of WGUC's long partnership with Cincinnati Opera. We are happy to keep the tradition of Cincinnati Opera broadcasts going uninterrupted with these superb productions, specially chosen from the archives for WGUC listeners and opera fans," said Chris Phelps, Cincinnati Public Radio vice president for content.

John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. It is only edited by Cincinnati Public Radio for style and grammar. 

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.