A scene from the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera

A scene from the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your February broadcast opera-tunities:

Porgy and Bess (Gershwin) – James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. Starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue as the title couple with Golda Schultz as Clara, Denyce Graves as Maria, Latonia Moore as Serena, Frederick Ballentine as Sportin’ Life, and Alfred Walker as Crown. David Robertson conducts.
Sat Feb 1 at 9:55am (live) Wed Feb 5 at 1pm and 6:30pm; Sat Feb 8 at 12:55pm (encores)

Agrippina (Handel) – David McVicar’s production ingeniously reframes the action of this black comedy about the abuse of power to the present, where it should loudly resonate. The all-star cast stars Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) in the title role with Kate Lindsey as Nerone, Brenda Rae as Poppea, Iestyn Davies as Ottone, and Matthew Rose as Claudius. Harry Bickett conducts.  Sat Feb 29 at 9:55 am (live) and Wed Mar 4 at 1pm and 6:30pm (encores)

Porgy and Bess (Gershwin) – Radio broadcast of the Live in HD cinema transmission described above. Sat Feb 1 at 10am

La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz) – Michael Spyres sings the doomed and besotted Faust, opposite Elina Garanca as the forsaken Marguerite and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as the malevolent Méphistophélès. Edward Gardner conducts. Sat Feb 8 at 10am

Manon (Massenet) – Lisette Oropesa sings the irresistible title character, the tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life with Michael Fabiano as the Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate love for her proves their undoing. Conducted by Maurizio Benini. Sat Feb 15 at 10am

Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) – A star-studded cast comes together for this scintillating class comedy: Mariusz Kwiecien sings Count Almaviva, with Adam Plachetka as Figaro, Anita Hartig as the Countess, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller as Susanna, and Marianne Crebassa as Cherubino. Cornelius Meister conducts. Sat Feb 22 at 10am

Agrippina (Handel) – Radio broadcast of the Live in HD cinema transmission described above. Sat Feb 29 at 10am

Madama Butterfly (Puccini) – Anthony Minghella’s vivid production features Hui He in the devastating title role with Bruce Sledge as Pinkerton, Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki, and Paulo Szot as Sharpless.  Conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi. Sun Feb 2 at 12noon – KQED+

This monthly one-hour program highlights upcoming Bay Area opera performances and gems from the SF Opera archives.  Sun Feb 2 at 8pm

The Magic Flute (Mozart) – Wth its whimsical humor and breathtaking puppetry, Julie Taymor‘s hit production is presented in a shortened English-language version. Starring Nathan Gunn as Papageno, Ying Huang as Pamina, Matthew Polenzani as Tamino, Erika Miklósa as the Queen of the Night, and René Pape as Sarastro; conducted by James Levine.
Sat Feb 8 Potluck at 12noon followed by DVD presentation at 1pm
10350 Cabrillo Hwy, 3 miles south of Pescadero Rd. (look for the American flag)

In Search of Mozart – This fascinating documentary traces the composers life through his music and extensive correspondence and dispels the many common myths about Mozarts genius, health, relationships, death and character to present a new image very different from other popular depictions. From K1a to K626 (Requiem), over 80 works are featured in chronological order, revealing striking parallels between the music and Mozarts own experiences.
Sat Feb 8 at 4pm and 7pm Jarvis Conservatory 1711 Main St., Napa

Rigoletto on the Lake – Verdi’s masterwork – compelling, blood-curdling and beautiful – is being performed for the first time on the breathtaking water stage of Lake Constance in Bregenz, Austria. Starring Vladimir Stoyanov in the title role with Melissa Petit as his daughter, Gilda, and Stephen Costello as the Duke of Mantua. Directed by Philipp Stölzl and conducted by Enrique Mazzola.
Mon Feb 10 at 7pm Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema 601 Van Ness Ave., SF
Sun Feb 16 at 12noon Smith Rafael Film Center 1001 Lootens Pl., San Rafael

Marian Anderson: Once in a Hundred Years – Considered one of the most important opera performers of the 20th century, celebrated contralto Marian Anderson played a vital role in the acceptance of African Americans in classical music and other segregated performing arts genres. This documentary traces the arc of her life and struggles against racism and poverty culminating with her battle against the Daughters of the American Revolution, which led to her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
Sun Feb 16 at 10am – KQED 9; Sun Feb 23 at 6pm, Mon Feb 24 at 12am, Fri Feb 28 at 7pm, Sat Feb 29 at 1am and Sat Feb 29 at 10:30pm – KQED+