CTVA US Music - "NBC Opera" (NBC)(1949-64)

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - US  Music Variety

NBC Opera
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:
Rina Fox (all episodes)
references:
TV Guide
Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

Televised Opera and Musical Comedy Database  - Indiana University Digital Library Program
Herbert Seltz, Project Director <HSELTZ@indiana.edu>
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NBC OPERA
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US Musical Specials 1949-64

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##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1949-50 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF
16Mar49
directed by Roger Muir
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Maire Powers as Miss Todd, the old maid
Virginia MacWatters as Laetitia, the maid
Norman Young as Bob, the thief
Ellen Faull as Miss Pinkerton, the village gossip
Liam Sullivan as the Cop
Synopsis:
This comic opera tells the story of the old maid, Miss Todd, and her
personal maid, Laetitia, who befriend a happy-go-lucky beggar, Bob.
Thinking that he is a thief, they hide him and then continue to fall in love
with him. They become thieves themselves to steal for him. In the end,
he runs off with the maid and considering that all think him a thief,
he says he might as well be one and steals the family silver and the
car.

[--] NBC Opera: DOWN IN THE VALLEY
14Jan50
Based on the book by John L. Long and the drama by David Belasco
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Kurt Weill
cast:
Marion Bell as Jennie Parsons
William McGraw as Brack Weaver
Ray Jacquemot as Bouche, the villain
Kenneth Smith as the Leader and the Preacher
Francis Monachino as the Guard
Synopsis:
The folk song, Down in the valley, and six other American folk songs
are used as germ ideas in the fabric of the music. The story, told in
flashback form, is concerned with Brack Weaver, who is about to be hanged,
and his love for Jennie Parsons.

[--] NBC Opera: SCENES FROM PUCCINI'S MADAM BUTTERFLY
06Feb50
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Tomiko Kanazawa as Cio Cio San, Madame Butterfly
Davis Cunningham as Lt. Pinkerton
Conchita Gaston as Suzuki
Holger Sorensen as Sharpless, the American Consul
Johnny Silver as Goro
Synopsis:
Cio Cio San, a young Japanese woman, forsakes her family and friends to
marry the American Navy Lieutenant Pinkerton. After his ship leaves
Japan, she firmly believes that he will return to her. When she sights his
ship coming into the harbor, she learns that he has forsaken her and
their son to marry an American woman. Cio Cio San, unable to live with
honor, chooses to die with honor and falls on her dagger.

[--] NBC Opera: DIE FLEDERMAUS
06Mar50
adapted by Ruth & Thomas Martin
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Johann Strauss
cast:
Ethel Barrymore Colt as Rosalinda
Edward Kane as Eisenstein
Joseph Mordino as Alfredo
Adelaide Bishop as Adele
Johnny Silver as Blindman

[--] NBC Opera: TALES OF HOFFMANN
01May50
adapted by Ruth & Thomas Martin
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Jacques Offenbach
cast:
David Cunningham as Hoffmann
George Britton as Lindorf, Coppelius and Miracle
Dorothy Etheridge as Olympia
Dorothy Warenskjold as Antonia and Stella
Johnny Silver as Luther, Spelanzani and Frantz
Synopsis:
In a wine cellar, Hoffmann tells of his love for the opera star,
Stella, who has up to now rejected his love. He then relates his first tale.
He falls in love with Olympia, a dancing doll. The doll's creator gives
him a pair of magic glasses and when he wears them, the doll comes to
life. Hoffmann meets his nemesis, in the form of the doll's creator, who
destroys the doll. In the second story, Antonia, Hoffmann's second
love, is dying of tuberculosis. She is unaware of her illness but has been
told not to sing to save her strength. They make plans to elope, but
his nemesis appears in the form of the doctor, who urges her to sing. A
statue of her mother comes to life and pleads with her not to sing.
Antonia dies as Hoffmann rushes in. Hoffmann drinks himself into a stupor.
Stella appears to accept his love, but finding him drunk, leaves with
his nemesis. Hoffmann pursues but realizes she will become just another
tale.

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##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1950-51 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: SCENES FROM BIZET'S CARMEN
17Dec50
adapted by Lillian Foerster & Townsend Brewster
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Georges Bizet
cast:
Vera Bryner as Carmen
David Poleri as Don Jose
Andrew Gainey as Escemillio
Elizabeth Carron as Frasquita
Beatrice Bush-Kane as Mercedes
Synopsis:
Carmen is a gypsy woman who works in a cigarette factory. She breaks up
the happy romance between Don Jose and the woman he loves. When Carmen
gros tired of Jose's devotion, she srops him for the bullfighter
Escamillio. Don Jose appears at the areana in a frenzy of jealousy and kills
Carmen.

[--] NBC Opera: HANSEL AND GRETEL
25Dec50
adapted by Townsend Brewster
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Engelbert Humperdinck
cast:
Virginia Haskins as Gretel
David Lloyd as Hansel
Claramae Turner as the Witch
Frances Lehnerts as the Mother
Paul Ukena as the Father
Synopsis:
Hansel and Gretel are sent to the woods by their wicked stepmother.
They become lost there and find the gingerbread house and a witch, who
eats little boys.

[--] NBC Opera: GIANNI SCHICCI
11Feb51
adapted by Townsend Brewster
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Ralph Herbert as Gianni Schicchi
Virginia Haskins as Lauretta
Robert Marshall as Rinuccio
Jean Handzlick as Zita
Kenneth Smith as Simone
Synopsis:
A comic opera telling the story of a wily lawyer, Gianni Schicchi, who
impersonates a dead man so that he can rewrite the will and deprive the
conniving relatives of their birthright. Howard Taubman, music critic
of The New York times, gives an incontrovertible apologia for presenting
opera in the language of the country in which it is being performed. A
trio from the cast sings an illustration in Italian and English.

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##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1951-52 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: PAGLIACCI
04Oct51
adapted by Townsend Brewster
directed by Charles Polacheck
music by Leoncavallo
cast:
Joseph Mordino as Canio
Elaine Morbin as Nedda
Paul Ukena as Tonio
Jack Russell as Silvio
Paul Franke as Peppe
Synopsis:
A travelling troup of players comes to the tiny Calabrian town where
Nedda, Canio's wife, is reunited with her lover, Silvio. Tonio, the
repulsive man of duties of the troupe, is also in love with Nedda. When he
discovers her in the arms of her lover, he runs and gets Canio, the
jealous husband. Silvio escapes before his identity is disclosed. Canio
accuses his wife of infidelity, but it is now play time and the show must
go on. The theme of the play is the same one that has taken place in
real life. When Canio comes on the stage acting his part of the enraged
husband, his true emotion overcomes him and, in reality, he again pleads
with Nedda to disclose the name of her lover. When she will not, Canio
in a fit of jealousy grabs a knife and kills her. As she is dying, she
calls out to Silvio, who leaps onto the stage and Tonio kills him.
Canio collapses on the stage and the curtain falls. At the conclusion of
the opera, Howard Taubman, music critic of The New York times, is
interviewed by cast members about his trip to Europe in the summer of 1951,
during which he covered musical events.

[--] NBC Opera: RSVP
01Nov51
adapted and staged by Dino Yannopoulos
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Jacques Offenbach
cast:
Lawrence Weber as Stuart Offenbach
Virginia Haskins as Ernestine
Paul Franck as Babylas
George Irving as Monsieur Cauliflower
Paul Ukena as Peterman
Synopsis:
Stuart Offenbach, a descendent of Jacques Offenbach, is seated at home
one night while his wife is at the opera. Speaking directly to viewers,
he states that he too could compose an opera. He introduces the
characters that he would place in this opera and the opera begins. Stuart
appears during the opera and comments on the action. The opera itself is a
comedy about Monsieur Choufleuri, who is a social climber and his
daughter, who loves a poor musician. When M. Choufleuri sends out
invitations for a musicale, his guests accept, but the talent refuses. The
daughter and her lover save the day for her father by portraying the roles of
the various vocal artists invited.

[--] NBC Opera: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
24Dec51
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Chet Allen as Amahl
Rosemary Kuhlmann as His Mother
Andrew McKinley as King Caspar
David Aiken as King Melchior
Leon Lishner as King Balthazar
Francis Monachino as Servant
Synopsis:
Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother live in poverty among shepherds.
One night the three kings, King Caspar, King Melchior, and King
Balthazar, on their way to Bethlehem to pay homage to the Newborn Child, stop
for shelter at the crude hut where Amahl and his mother live. They are
given hospitality and are entertained by the neighboring shepherds. The
mother envies the gold and gifts being brought to this Child whom the
kings do not even know. She tries to steal some for her own child. Then
the kings explain that their Child is about to bring new light into the
world. The mother repents, and, in a gesture of innocent generosity,
Amahl offers his homemade crutch as a gift to the Child. He is
miraculously cured of his lameness and follows the kings to Bethlehem to give
thanks for the miracle.

[--] NBC Opera: THE QUEEN OF SPADES
03Jan52
scenes from Tschaikowsky's opera
director, Charles Polacheck
adaptation prepared by and conductor, Peter Herman Adler
English translation, Jean Karsavina
music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
cast:
Winifred Heidt as Countess Anna
David Poleri as Gherman
Margarita Zambrana as Lisa
Ralph Herbert as Tomsky
Guy Tano as the Doctor-Narrator
Synopsis:
Around 1830 in St. Petersburg, Gherman is an army captain, obsessed
with gambling but too poor to risk losing money. He hears that old
Countess Anna, called the Queen of Spades, possesses a secret to three winning
cards. He makes love to her niece, Lisa, gets into the house and
demands the secret at gun point. The countess dies of fright and Lisa drowns
herself. Gherman goes into seclusion and the ghost of the countess
appears with the secret, the three, the seven and the ace. He tries it and
wins the first two, but what he thinks is the ace turns up as the queen
of spades and Gherman goes mad.

[--] NBC Opera: THE CLOAK
14Feb52
adapted by Henry Reese
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
music by Giacomo Puccini
Cast:
Robert Weede as Michel
Elaine Malbin as Georgette
Davis Cunningham as Lucien
Margery Mayer as Babila
Kenneth Smith as Todo
Synopsis:
This one-act melodrama is about Michel, a barge captain, and Georgette,
his wife. Since her child died, she has turned from her husband and
fallen in love with Lucien, a sailor. Michel tries to discover the trouble
and guesses the truth when he finds Lucien sneaking on board at night
and kills him. Georgette emerges from her cabin and says she is
frightened and wishes to sit with him wrapped in his cloak as she used to. At
the end of the opera, José Limon and his company dance to the slow
movement of the Concerto grosso in D minor by Antonio Vivaldi. The
choreography is by José Limon.

[--] NBC Opera: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
06Mar52
adapted by Peter Herman
scenes from Rossini's comic opera
directed by, Kirk Browning
cast:
Virginia Haskins as Rosina
Ralph Herbert as Figaro
Davis Cunningham as Almaviva
Emile Renan as Doctor Bartolo
Carlton Gauld as Don Basilio
Synopsis:
The comedy concerns the machinations of Figaro, the barber who manages
to get Rosina married off to Count Almaviva despite her wicked old
guardian, Bartolo, who wants her fortune for himself.

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##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1952-53 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: BILLY BUDD
19Oct52
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Benjamin Nritten
cast:
Theodor Uppman as Billy Budd
Andrew McKinley as Captain Vere
Leon Lishner as Claggart, master-at-arms
Warren Galjour as the First Lieutenant
Paul Ukena as the Sailing Master
Synopsis:
Billy Budd is a young English seaman who has a lusty love of life and a
deep devotion to his captain, the master of the ship on which he sails.
When Claggert, master-at-arms on the vessel, accuses Billy of treason,
he is bewildered and speechless. The only way Billy knows how to answer
him is by striking him, which kills him. Because of the unjust code of
the 19th-century British Navy, he is tried by the ship's officers,
found guilty and the penalty is death. The captain who has always cherished
the lad feels helpless and does not speak up in his defense due to the
code of the sea. Billy goes to his death still singing the praises of
the captain.

[--] NBC Opera: GIANNI SCHICCHI
01May52
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Ralph Herbert as Gianni Schicchi
Virginia Haskins as Lauretta
Robert Marshall as Rinuccio
Jean Handzlick as Zita
Kenneth Smith as Simone
Synopsis:
A comic opera telling the story of a wily lawyer, Gianni Schicchi, who
impersonates a dead man so that he can rewrite the will and deprive the
conniving relatives of their birthright. At the end of the opera, Mia
Slovenska and Frederic Franklin dance to the Adagio from the Nutcracker.

[--] NBC Opera: TROUBLE IN TAHITI
16Nov52
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Leonard Bernstein
cast:
Beverly Wolff as Dinah
David Atkinson as Sam
Performers: jazz trio, Constance Brigham, Robert Kole, William Harder
Synopsis:
This one-act opera deals with one day in the lives of a suburban
couple, who have been married for ten years and have now reached a point
where boredom has set in. They want to get back together, but something
holds them apart. They have breakfast and then Sam goes to work and later
to his atheletic club. Dinah goes to her psychiatrist, to an afternoon
movie, entitled Trouble in Tahiti, and then back home in time to make
dinner for Sam. After trying to make conversation at home in the
evening, Sam suggests a movie and they leave for the movie where they will not
have to communicate with one another. A jazz trio plays the role of a
Greek chorus, giving the plot of the story from time to time.

[--] NBC Opera: THE MARRIAGE, A QUITE UNBELIEVABLE STORY
07Feb53
directed by John Bloch
music by Bohuslav Martinu
cast:
Donald Gramm as the Bachelor
Leon Lishner as the Servant
Winifred Heidt as Marriage Broker
Michael Pollock as the Bachelor's Friend
Sonia Stollin as the Girl

[--] NBC Opera: SISTER ANGELICA
07Mar53
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Sister Angelica
Winifred Heidt as the Princess
Joan Moynagh as Sister Genevieve
Virgina Viney as the Abbess
Sandra Warfield as the Monitor of Novices
Synopsis:
Sister Angelica, a nun in a convent for seven years, has been waiting
for word of her family during this period. She is at last visited by her
aunt, the princess, and told that her parents as well as her
illegitimate child are dead. Hearing that her child is dead, Angelica commits
suicide but she is forgiven by the Virgin and ascends to heaven. At the
conclusion of the opera, Fra Angelico at San Marco, a short film, is
shown, which presents various paintings of the Italian priest noted for his
religious art works.

[--] NBC Opera: ROSENKAVALIER Part I
25Apr53
adapted by John Gutman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Richard Strauss
cast:
Frances Bible as Octavian
Wilma Spence as the Marschallin
Ralph Herbert as Baron Ochs
Virginia Haskins as Sophie
Manfred Hecht as Faninal

[--] NBC Opera: ROSENKAVALIER Part II
02May53
adapted by John Gutman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Richard Strauss
cast:
Frances Bible as Octavian
Wilma Spence as the Marschallin
Ralph Herbert as Baron Ochs
Virginia Haskins as Sophie
Manfred Hecht as Faninal

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##### 1953-54 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: SCENES FROM CARMEN
31Oct53
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Georges Bizet
cast:
Vera Bryner as Carmen
Robert Rounseville as Don Jose
Warren Galjour as Escemillo, the toreador
Nadja Witkowska as Fresquita
Emalina de Vita as Mercedes

[--] NBC Opera: MACBETH
28Nov53
adapted by Giovanni Cardelli
story by Shakespeare
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Guiseppe Verdi
cast:
Warren Galjour as Macbeth
Patricia Neway as Lady Macbeth
Lee Case as Banquo
William Boehm as Macduff
David Williams as Malcom

[--] NBC Opera: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Part I
06Feb54
adapted by Edward Eager
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
Virginia Haskins as Susanna
Ralph Herbert as Figaro
Ann Crowley as Cherubino
William Shriner as Count Almaviva
Laurel Hurley as Countess Almaviva

[--] NBC Opera: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Part II
13Feb54
adapted by Edward Eager
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
Virginia Haskins as Susanna
Ralph Herbert as Figaro
Ann Crowley as Cherubino
William Shriner as Count Almaviva
Laurel Hurley as Countess Almaviva

[--] NBC Opera: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
13Mar54
written by William Shakespeare
directed by John Bloch
music by Vittorio Giannini
cast:
John Raitt as Petruchio
Susan Yager as Kate
Sonia Stollin as Bianca
John Alexander as Lucentio
Donald Gramm as Hortensio

[--] NBC Opera: PELLEAS AND MELISANDE
10Apr54
directed by John Bloch & Kirk Browning
music by Claude Debussy
cast:
Virginia Haskins as Mélisande
Davis Cunningham as Pelléas
Carlton Gauld as Golaud
Lee Case as Arkel
Mary Davenport as Geneviève, the Queen
Synopsis:
A mystical drama of passion and fate, set in the half-mythical kingdom
of Allemonde during a time of remote antiquity. While hunting, Golaud,
grandson of the aged king of Allemonde, discovers a maiden lost in the
forest. She refuses to say anything about herself, but Golaud, a
widower, persuades her to marry him and return to Allemonde. In the castle,
the young woman, Mélisande, meets Golaud's younger half-brother,
Pelléas, and they fall in love. They try to avoid each other, but
circumstances bring them together. Golaud is jealous and forces his young son,
Yniold, to spy on them. Pelléas plans to go away, but, as the lovers are
bidding each other farewell in the garden, Golaud comes upon them and
kills Pelléas. As Mélisande lays dying in her chamber after giving birth,
Golaud begs her forgiveness, which she gives him at the final moment.

[--] NBC Opera: SALOME
08May54
adapted by Charles Polacheck
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Richard Strauss
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Salome
Lorna Sidney as Herodias
Andrew Mckinley as Herod
John Cassavetes as Jokanaan
Davis Cunningham as Narraboth
Synopsis:
Salome, daughter of Herodias, the wife of King Herod, is in her
father's court at dinner one day when she hears the voice of the prophet,
Jokanaan, who is being held prisoner by her stepfather. She bribes
Narraboth, the young Syrian Captain of the Guard, who is enamored of her, to
bring Jokanaan to her. Upon seeing her, Jokanaan proceeds to denounce the
entire court as one of lechery and debauchery. Salome at once falls
passionately in love with him. Herod, who is love with Salome, asks her to
dance for him, and she complies providing he will grant her any
request. After she completes the erotic dance of the seven veils, she demands
that Jokanaan's head be presented to her on a silver platter. When it
is brought to her, she kisses and fondles it, exulting that he who
scorned her love and passion is now helpless in her power. Herod, horrified,
has his guards crush her to death beneath their shields.

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##### 1954-55 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO
31Oct54
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
Davis Cunningham as Belmonte
Virginia Haskins as Blonda
Nadja Witkowska as Costanza
David Lloyd as Pedrillo
Leon Lishner as Osmin
Synopsis:
This is a light-hearted farce about the capture of the beautiful
Costanza and her maid, Blonda, and the attempt of their boyfriends, Belmonte
and Pedrillo, to rescue them from the Selim Pasha, who is holding them
as prisoners in his harem (seraglio). They are guarded by the comically
sinister Osmin, who unsuccessfully seeks to win favor with Blonda,
while his royal master is equally unsuccessful with Costanza.

[--] NBC Opera: SISTER ANGELICA
05Dec54
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Sister Angelica
Shannon Bolin as Princess
Joan Moynagh as Sister Genevieve
Mary Kreste as Abbess
Ruth Kobart as Mistress of Novices
Synopsis:
Sister Angelica, a nun in a convent for seven years, has been waiting
for word of her family during this period. She is at last visited by her
aunt, the princess, and told that her parents as well as her
illegitimate child are dead. Hearing that her child is dead and rationalizing
that the only way she can be happy now is to be with her child, Angelica
commits suicide but she is forgiven by the Virgin and ascends to heaven.

[--] NBC Opera: TOSCA
23Jan55
adapted by John Gutman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Leontyne Price as Floria Tosca
David Poleri as Mario Cavaradossi
Josh Wheeler as Baron Scarpia
Thomas Stewart as Cesare Angelotti
Emile Renan as Sacristan
Synopsis:
Mario Cavaradossi, a painter, agrees to hide an escaped political
prisoner, Cesare Angelotti, but after he hides him in his villa, Baron
Scarpia, the police chief, reasons that Mario must be aiding the prisoner.
When Floria Tosca, an actress and Mario's lover, returns to the villa,
Scarpia makes her jealous by showing her a woman's fan and implying that
the painter is having an affair. Scarpia is in love with Tosca. He
captures the painter and tries to force him to reveal the hiding place. He
orders Mario to be torutured in Tosca's presence to make her talk,
which she does. When Mario is led away for execution, she asks Scarpia's
price to save the painter, which is her and she agrees. She gets Scarpia
to give her a safe conduct and to arrange a mock execution. She tells
Mario that it will be a fake execution, but when he does not move after
the shooting, she realizes that he is dead and Scarpia has tricked her.
As the police enter, she shouts defiance and jumps off the parapet.

[--] NBC Opera: THE WOULD-BE GENTLEMAN
27Feb55
adaptation by George & Phyllis Mead
directed by John Schwartz
music by Richard Strauss
cast:
Wally Cox as M. Jourdain, the Would-Be Gentleman
Jacques Aubuchon as the Music Master
George Gaynes as the Dancing Master
Roy Dean as the Fencing Master
Frederic Tozere as the Philosopher
Wilma Spence as Ariadne
Robert Marshall as Bacchus
Loren Driscoll as Brighella
Carole O'Hara as Dryad
Joan Marie Moynagh as Echo
Synopsis:
M. Jourdain has an opera performed in his house. This opera is Ariadne
auf Naxos, under which title this opera is usually known. The plan of
the gentleman is to give a tragedy and a comedy. However, he discovers
the two works to be too long and therefore he decides to put both on at
the same time with startling results.

[--] NBC Opera: THE SAINT OF BLEECKER STREET
15May55
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Virginia Copeland as Annina, the Saint of Bleecker Street
Richard Cassilly as Michele, her brother
Maria di Gerlando as Carmela, Annina's friend
Leon Lishner as Don Marco, the priest
Rosemary Kuhlmann as Desideria
Synopsis:
Annina is a pious, sick girl who wants to be a nun. She is regarded as
a saint by the religious Italian-Americans of downtown New York since
she has visions which at times result in her experiencing stigmata. It
is Good Friday afternoon and she again suffers the Passion of Christ on
the cross, at the end of which blood appears on her palms. People crowd
around her to touch her and so to be blessed. Michele enters and
denouncing their superstition, he drives them from the house. He loves his
sister intensely and feels that people take advantage of her and will be
lost without her. During the celebration of San Gennaro, Michele tries
to prevent people from taking Annina to lead the procession. They beat
him up and lead her away. Desideria, Michele's lover, releases him. At
a wedding reception, she accuses him of being in love with Annina. He
kills Desideria and flees. As she dies Annina takes the veil. When
Michele rushes in, she falls lifeless to the floor.

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##### 1955-56 #######
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[--] NBC Opera: GRIFFELKIN
06Nov55
adapted by Lukas Foss
directed by Kirk Browning
produced by Samuel Chatzinoff
music director Peter Herman Adler
sets & costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian
choreography by Robert Joffrey
makeup by Dick Smith
cast:
Adelaide Bishop as Griffelkin
Mary Kreste as the Devil's Grandmother
Alice Richmond as Mother
Rose Geringer as Girl
Oliver Andes as Boy
Lee Cass as Policeman
Robert Holland as Shopkeeper
Paul Ukena as Uncle Skelter
Margery Gray as the Statue
Gerald Arpino as the Letter Box
Voices: Mignon Dunn as the statue
Andrew McKinley as the letter box
Synopsis 1:
Griffelkin is a ten-year old devil, who has been sent to earth with a
vial of magic liquid, which can bring anything to life. He has
instructions from his grandmother to use it to bad ends. But he discovers the
world, learns about humans and is lead away from deviltry. On his
birthday, he gets a day in the world. He performs a good deed inadvertently
and is banished to the world forever. Without his tail, horns and big
ears, he becomes another little boy. During his bedeviling day on earth,
he encounters a statue, letter box, a couple of lions, and a crowd of
boys, all of which he brings to life with his magic. He also meets a girl
and boy whose mother died and with his last drop of magic liquid, he
restores her to life, thereby ruining his standing as a devil.
Synopsis 2:
Once upon a tim there was a little devil named Griffelkin who lived in
Hell. At the age of 10 he came of age as a devil, and was given a great
party and two gifts - a bottle of magic liquid which brings things to
life, and a day in the world to practice his devilish arts.
Once in the world he went happily about, animating letterboxes and
lion-statues, until he met a little girl whose mother was ill. The mother
was afraid of Griffelkin, so Griffelkin, fearing to lose the little
girl, took her away and tried to amuse her with a shopful of toys. But the
girl missed her mother, policemen interfered with the animated toys and
in general Griffelkin was in a bad state.
*Note: The story of Griffelkin came originally from Foss's mother, who
told it to him when he was a child. Now, fitted out with a libretto by
Alastair Reid, it is a "fairytale opera" for both adults and children,
according to the 33 year old composer.

[--] NBC Opera: MADAME BUTTERFLY
04Dec55
adapted by Ruth & Thomas Martin
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Madame Butterfly
Davis Cunningham as Pinkerton
Conchita Gaston as Suzuki
Warren Galjour as Sharpless
Johnny Silver as Goro
Synopsis:
The tragic love story of a U.S. naval officer, Pinkerton, who comes to
Japan, falls in love with a Japanese woman, Madame Butterfly, and
marries her. They have a little son. The officer leaves to return to his
ship and his homeland and forgets his wife and son in Japan although she
waits for his return. In the meantime, he marries an American woman and
returns to Japan. On learning of this, Madame Butterfly commits
suicide.

[--] NBC Opera: THE MAGIC FLUTE
15Jan56
adapted by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
Leontyne Price as Pamina
William Lewis as Tamino
John Reardon as Papageno
Adelaide Bishop as Papagena
Laurel Hurley as Queen of the Night
Synopsis:
Tamino, a handsome prince pursued by a serpent, collapses and three
ladies, attendants on the Queen of the Night, kill the serpent. Tamino
wakes up and sees Papageno, a bird-catcher who claims to have slain the
serpent. The ladies show Tamino a picture of Pamina, the Queen's
daughter, and he falls in love with her. The Queen appears and tells him that
if he rescues her from the wicked Sarastro, he shall marry her. Tamino,
trying to enter Sarastro's temple, is told of his noble character. He
is captured and willingly submits to ordeals, the first of which is a
test of silence. The Queen appears and gives a knife to Pamina to kill
Sarastro. Pamina and Tamino come together through the trials of fire and
water. Sarastro unites them.

[--] NBC Opera: THE TRIAL AT ROUEN
08Apr56
adapted by Norman Dello Joio
directed by Kirk Browning
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Joan of Arc
Hugh Thompson as Bishop Pierre Cauchon
Chester Watson as Friar Julien
Paul Ukena as the Jailor
R.W. Barry as Inquisitor
Synopsis:
Before the inquisition headed by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, Joan of
Arc refuses to admit heresy. She momentarily falters and then renews her
courage to face death. She is sentenced to be burned at the stake.

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1956-57 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: LA BOHEME
18Nov56
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
produced by Samuel Chotzinoff
music by Giacomo Puccini
cast:
Dorothy Coulter as Mimi
John Alexander as Rodolfo
Jan McArt as Musetta
Richard Torigi as Mardello
Thomas Tipton as Schaunard
Synopsis:
The tragic love story of the poet Rodolfo and the seamstress Mimi,
which ends with the death of Mimi due to consumption.

[--] NBC Opera: WAR AND PEACE
13Jan57
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Sergei Prokofiev
cast:
Norman Rose as Narrator
Helena Scott as Natasha
Morely Meredith as Andrey
Linda McNaughton as Sonia
Chester Watson as Rostov

[--] NBC Opera: LA GRANDE BRETECHE
10Feb57
directed by John Schwartz
music by Stanley Hollingsworth
cast:
Gloria Lane as Countess Marie
Hugh Thompson as Count Robert, her husband
Adelaide Bishop as Rosalie, Countess Marie's maid
Davis Cunningham as Bagos, the Spanish prisoner and lover
Jimi Beni as Gorenflot, the handyman who blocks the door
Synopsis:
The country estate of Count Robert and Countess Marie, his wife, is
called La Grande Brèteche. While he is away, Bagos, who loves the countess
and is a Spanish prisoner in France, comes to say his final farewell,
for the two realize that their affair cannot go on. While Bagos is in
her room, the count returns and he overhears them. She hides Bagos in her
closet. The count questions her, but she denies everything and is
forced by her husband to swear to this on a cross given her by Bagos. He
then orders the closet door walled up by a mason. When he departs she
tries to remove the bricks only to have her husband return and find her in
the act.

[--] NBC Opera: LA TRAVIATA
21Apr57
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giuseppe Verdi
cast:
Elaine Malbin as Violetta
John Alexander as Alfredo
Igor Gorin as Germont
Emile Renan as Marquis
Bonnie Murray as Flora
Synopsis:
Alfredo and Violetta are having a love affair. Germont, Alfredo's
father, begs Violetta to end the affair due to the scandal. She agrees and,
heartbroken, feigns disgust with Alfredo to make him leave her, which
he does. When he hears that Violetta is dying of consumption, he rushes
to her and the lovers recapture a brief moment of happiness before she
dies in his arms.

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1957-58 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: DIALOGUE OF THE CARMELITES
08Dec57
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Francis Poulenc
cast:
Rosemary Kuhlman
Elaine Malbin as Blanche de La Force
Robert Rounseville as Chevalier de La Force
Patricia Neway as Madame de Croissy, first prioress
Leontyne Price as Madame Lidoine, new prioress
Arthur Newman as Marquis de La Force
Synopsis:
The story is set in France during the period just before and during the
French Revolution of 1789 and deals with a group of gentle, devoted
Carmelite nuns. Historical records indicate that a group of Carmelite nuns
met their deaths on the gallows and this opera tells how this may have
happened. Also interwoven into the story is the tale of Blanche de La
Force, the daughter of an aristocrat. She is afraid of life but finally
finds the strength for martyrdom with the other nuns.

[--] NBC Opera: RIGOLETTO
16Feb58
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Giuseppe Verdi
conducted by Jean Morel
cast:
Igor Gorin as Rigoletto
Kirk Oreste as Duke of Mantua
Dorothy Coulter as Gilda
Joshua Hecht as Sparafucile
Gloria Lane as Maddalena
Mark Elyn as Monterone
Synopsis:
The story tells of the vain efforts of Rigoletto, court jester, to
protect his daughter Gilda from a vengeful curse.

[--] NBC Opera: MARIA GOLOVIN
08Mar58
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Franca Duval as Maria Golovin
Richard Cross as Donato
Ruth Kobart as Agata, maid
Patricia Neway as the Mother
Herbert Handt as Dr. Zuckertanz, the tutor
Chester Ludgin as the Prisoner
Craig Sechler as Trottolo, the boy
Synopsis:
Maria Golovin, a married woman whose husband is a prisoner of war,
comes with her young son to spend the summer in a villa in which she has
rented apartments. She soon falls in love with Donato, who is blind and
whose mother owns the house. Donato's jealousy develops into a madness
and brings near tragedy to them all.

[--] NBC Opera: WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT = COSI FAN TUTTI
06Apr58
adapted by Ruth & Thomas Martin
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
James Pease as Don Alfonso
Mac Morgan as Guglielmo
John Alexander as Ferrando
Phyllis Curtin as Fiordiligi
Frances Bible as Dorabella
Helen George as Despina

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1958-59 #######
#####################

no details

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1959-60 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: FIDELIO
08Nov59
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Ludwig von Beethoven
cast:
Irene Jordan as Leonora
John Alexander as Florestan
Chester Watson as Rocco
Lee Case as Don Pizarro
Judith Raskin as Marcellina
Synopsis:
This opera is a parable of freedom and justice set against a background
of political repression in 18th century Spain.

[--] NBC Opera: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA
31Jan60
adapted by Joseph Machlis
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Pietro Mascagni
cast:
Virginia Copeland Gordon as Santuzza
David Poleri as Turiddu
Jan McArt as Lola
Chester Ludgin as Alfio
Anna Carnevale as Mamma Lucia
Synopsis:
A tempestuous story of the love affair of Santuzza and Turiddu set in a
Sicilian village on Easter Sunday.

[--] NBC Opera: DON GIOVANNI
10Apr60
adapted by W.H. Auden & Chester Kallman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
cast:
Cesare Siepi as Don Giovanni
James Pease as Leporello
Leontyne Price as Donna Anna
Helen George as Donna Elvira
Judith Raskin as Zerlina

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1960-61 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: DESERET
01Jan61
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Leonard Kastle
cast:
Judith Raskin as Ann Louisa Brice
Kenneth Smith as Brigham Young
John Alexander as Captain James Dee
Mac Morgan as Mr. Brice
Marjorie McClung as Mrs. Brice
Synopsis:
This is a fictional story about Brigham Young set in 1862 in Deseret,
now Utah. Ann Louisa Brice is brought to Lion House, the home of Brigham
Young, by her parents to become his twenty-fifth wife. She is impressed
with the Mormon leader and agrees to the marriage. However, she then
meets Captain James Dee, a Union Army officer on a mission from President
Lincoln. They fall in love and plan to elope. But she changes her mind
when she sees how good Brigham Young is to her. Captain Dee breaks in
on the wedding and Young is astounded to find that she loves another
man. He renounces his claim on her and sends her away to be happy with
Captain Dee.

[--] NBC Opera: BORIS GODUNOV
26Mar61
adapted by John Gutman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Modeste Moussorgsky
cast:
Giorgio Tozzi as Boris Godunov
Andrew McKinley as Prince Shuisky
Frank Porretta as Grigori-Dimitri
Richard Cross as Pimen
Gloria Lane as Marina
Synopsis:
The scene is set in Russia and Poland at the end of the sixteenth
century. Boris Godunov is chosen Tsar after the murder of the Tsareivitch
Dimitri. Some years later, during his reign, a monk Grigori leaves his
monastery and pretends to be Dimitri. In Poland, he enlists the aid of
Rangoni and Marina and raises troops to invade Russia. Boris is
conscience-stricken over the death of the young prince and is haunted by visions
of the dead boy. He finally dies after advising his son Fyodor to rule
wisely. The people in the forest hail the invading Dimitri, and a
simpleton sings a prayer for Mother Russia.

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1961-62 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
24Dec61 NBC Sun
by Gian Carlo Menotti
cast:
Kirk Jordan as Amahl
David Aiken as King Melchior
Leon Lishner as King Balthasar
Andrew McKinley as King Gaspar
Rosemary Kuhlmann as Mother
Synopsis:
Amahl, a poor cripple boy, is visited by the Three Kings on their way
to pay homage to the Christ child.

THE LOVE OF THREE KINGS
25Feb62 (rebroadcast 27Jan63)
adapted by Joseph Machlis
based on Sem Benelli's Italian libretto.
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Italo Montemezzi
Alfred Wallenstein conducts
cast:
Phyllis Curtin as Fiora
Giorgio Tozzi as Archibaldo
Richard Torigi as Manfredo
Frank Porretta as Avito
Nicholas Di Virgilio as Flaminio
Summary:
Forty years after having conquered Italy with his Teutonic hordes,
Archibaldo, now blind, lives in a crumbling castle with his son, Manfredo,
and his daughter-in-law, Fiora, who is a native. Parts of the country
revolt and Manfredo must suppress them. While he is away, Archibaldo
roams around the castle suspiciously. Manfredo once again must return to
battle and he asks Fiora to wave from the castle walls as long as she
can see him. Avito, who was once betrothed to her and whom she still
loves, makes love to her and she stops waving. Archibaldo detects them, but
Avito escapes. Fiora refuses to reveal her lover and Archibaldo
strangles her. His father tells Manfredo the truth. Fiora is mourned by her
people. Avito comes in and kisses her as she lay on her bier, but he dies
as Manfredo has put poison on her lips. Manfredo kisses her and dies
too. Archibaldo is left alone to mourn.
Synopsis:
Blind King Archibaldo, conqueror of Altura, senses that all is not well
with his son's marriage - a match Archibaldo insisted upon as part of
the Alturan peace treaty. Actually, Manfredo and the beautiful Fiora are
wed in name only - before her country was conquered, Fiora was
betrothed to the Alturan Prince Avito and she still loves him.


#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1962-63 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: LABYRINTH
03Mar63
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Judith Raskin as the Bride
John Reardon as the Bridegroom
Nikiforos Naneris as the Bellboy
Elaine Bonazzi as the Spy
Robert White as the Old Man
Synopsis:
Relates the story of a bride and groom who arrive at their hotel after
their wedding but are unable to locate the key to their room. In his
search for the key, the groom becomes separated from his wife and
undergoes some surreal experiences until he finally finds the key.

#####################
##### NBC Opera #####
##### 1963-64 #######
#####################

[--] NBC Opera: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
25Dec63
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gian-Carlo Menotti
cast:
Kurt Yaghjian as Amahl
Martha King as the Mother
Richard Cross as King Melchior
Willis Patterson as King Balthazar
John McCollum as King Caspar
Synopsis:
Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother live in poverty among shepherds.
One night the three kings, King Caspar, King Melchior, and King
Balthazar, on their way to Bethlehem to pay homage to the Newborn Child, stop
for shelter at the crude hut where Amahl and his mother live. They are
given hospitality and are entertained by the neighboring shepherds. The
mother envies the gold and gifts being brought to this Child whom the
kings do not even know. She tries to steal some for her own child. Then
the kings explain that their Child is about to bring new light into the
world. The mother repents, and, in a gesture of innocent generosity,
Amahl offers his homemade crutch as a gift to the Child. He is
miraculously cured of his lameness and follows the kings to Bethlehem to give
thanks for the miracle.

[--] NBC Opera: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
19Jan64
adapted by Anne Grossman
directed by Kirk Browning
music by Gaetano Donizetti
cast:
Linda Newman as Lucia di Lammermoor
Michael Trimbel as Edgardo of Ravenswood
Richard Torigi as Enrico, Lord Ashton, Lucia's brother
Chester Watson as Raimondo, a priest
Jerold Siena as Arturo, Lord Bucklaw
Joan Caplan as Alicia, Lucia's companion
Nico Castel as Normanno, Ashton's retainer
Synopsis:
Lucia is the daughter of the Ashton family, whose fortunes are at a low
ebb. She is in love with Edgardo of Ravenswood, son of a rival family.
They have secretly vowed their love and exchanged rings. While Edgardo
is away, Lucia's brother Lord Ashton, using a forged letter, convinces
her that Edgardo has been unfaithful. She is forced by her brother to
wed Lord Arthur Bucklaw so that their wealth and position will be made
secure. At the moment of the signing of the wedding contract, Edgardo
reappears. Lucia goes mad and appears before the wedding guests and
Edgardo, dagger in hand. Ashton realizes his cruelty and is remorseful.
Alone in the family cemetery, Edgardo commits suicide after he learns of
Lucia's innocence.


################# NBC Opera ##################
################# the end ##################
##############################################

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