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    Rhiannon Giddens to Host New Podcast, "Aria Code," from Met Opera, WQXR

    Rhiannon Giddens will host a new ten-episode podcast series, Aria Code, presented by The Metropolitan Opera and WQXR, New York's all classical music station. The podcast, which will debut on Tuesday, December 4, will take a closer look at some of opera's legendary arias.

    Built around performances from the Metropolitan Opera's extensive archive of recordings, Aria Code explores timeless arias like "Che gelida manina" (Puccini's La Bohème), "Dio! Mi potevi scagliar" (Verdi's Otello), and "Der Hölle Rache" (The Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute). The series will examine how these key moments in opera draw in the listener by touching on emotions from love and seduction to jealousy and despair.

    Rhiannon Giddens, as host and guide, will offer an introduction to each episode. Listeners will also hear from opera stars including Plácido Domingo, Nadine Sierra, Vittorio Grigolo, Elīna Garanča, and Sondra Radvanovsky, who offer personal reflections on their respective arias and what it takes to stand on the Met stage and perform them. In addition, there will be insights from experts from a variety of fields on the music's historical, philosophical, and cultural significance, including singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; actor, playwright, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson; biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher; Shakespearean scholar Virginia Mason Vaughan; and more. The podcast ends with the complete and uninterrupted aria.

    "I studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory and fell hard for the music," says Giddens. "Even though I've branched out in very different directions, opera stayed with me and I wanted to figure out why. In Aria Code, we really get inside these arias—decoding them with singers and other experts to understand the magic. I'm so excited to take listeners on this journey."

    "Opera is one of the most passionate and dramatic musical forms, but it can present certain barriers for the uninitiated," said Matt Abramovitz, Vice President, Programming, WQXR. "We strive every day at WQXR to make classical music and opera more accessible to a broader audience, on-air, online and via podcasts. We couldn't think of a better partner to take the most essential element of an opera—the aria—out of the opera house and into the ears and imaginations of our listeners than the storied and luminous Metropolitan Opera."

    "We are very pleased to be collaborating with WQXR on this new podcast series," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. "It marks yet another way we are reaching out to new audiences, and Rhiannon's combination of musical authority, true opera knowledge, and widespread appeal make her an ideal spokesperson for our art form."

    Aria Code will be available at AriaCode.org, Apple Podcasts, and all other platforms where podcasts are available. New episodes will be released weekly through February 6.

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Rhiannon Giddens to Host New Podcast, "Aria Code," from Met Opera, WQXR

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on November 19, 2018 - 8:00am
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Monday, November 19, 2018 - 08:00
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Rhiannon Giddens will host a new ten-episode podcast series, Aria Code, presented by The Metropolitan Opera and WQXR. The podcast, which will debut on Tuesday, December 4, will take a closer look at some of opera's legendary arias."I studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory and fell hard for the music," says Giddens. "Even though I've branched out in very different directions, opera stayed with me and I wanted to figure out why. In Aria Code, we really get inside these arias—decoding them with singers and other experts to understand the magic. I'm so excited to take listeners on this journey."

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Rhiannon Giddens will host a new ten-episode podcast series, Aria Code, presented by The Metropolitan Opera and WQXR, New York's all classical music station. The podcast, which will debut on Tuesday, December 4, will take a closer look at some of opera's legendary arias.

Built around performances from the Metropolitan Opera's extensive archive of recordings, Aria Code explores timeless arias like "Che gelida manina" (Puccini's La Bohème), "Dio! Mi potevi scagliar" (Verdi's Otello), and "Der Hölle Rache" (The Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute). The series will examine how these key moments in opera draw in the listener by touching on emotions from love and seduction to jealousy and despair.

Rhiannon Giddens, as host and guide, will offer an introduction to each episode. Listeners will also hear from opera stars including Plácido Domingo, Nadine Sierra, Vittorio Grigolo, Elīna Garanča, and Sondra Radvanovsky, who offer personal reflections on their respective arias and what it takes to stand on the Met stage and perform them. In addition, there will be insights from experts from a variety of fields on the music's historical, philosophical, and cultural significance, including singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; actor, playwright, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson; biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher; Shakespearean scholar Virginia Mason Vaughan; and more. The podcast ends with the complete and uninterrupted aria.

"I studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory and fell hard for the music," says Giddens. "Even though I've branched out in very different directions, opera stayed with me and I wanted to figure out why. In Aria Code, we really get inside these arias—decoding them with singers and other experts to understand the magic. I'm so excited to take listeners on this journey."

"Opera is one of the most passionate and dramatic musical forms, but it can present certain barriers for the uninitiated," said Matt Abramovitz, Vice President, Programming, WQXR. "We strive every day at WQXR to make classical music and opera more accessible to a broader audience, on-air, online and via podcasts. We couldn't think of a better partner to take the most essential element of an opera—the aria—out of the opera house and into the ears and imaginations of our listeners than the storied and luminous Metropolitan Opera."

"We are very pleased to be collaborating with WQXR on this new podcast series," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. "It marks yet another way we are reaching out to new audiences, and Rhiannon's combination of musical authority, true opera knowledge, and widespread appeal make her an ideal spokesperson for our art form."

Aria Code will be available at AriaCode.org, Apple Podcasts, and all other platforms where podcasts are available. New episodes will be released weekly through February 6.

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Rhiannon Giddens: "Aria Code" podcast

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