MPR brings back 50s family time with radio opera Arabella

Classical music is unappreciated, and has a tendency to sweep by completely unnoticed by the average music lover in today’s culture. But if find yourself overtaken by the occasional awe-inducing operatic performance, such as the featured song performed by Ivna Mula as Diva Plavalaguna in Luc Besson’s 1997 film Fifth Element, then you may just have your heart ripped out by Richard Strauss’s opera, Arabella.

Classical Minnesota Public Radio is bringing back the age-old tradition of focusing intently on the sounds pouring out of your beloved radio. While you enjoy a mind-bending experience that fills you with the rapture of knowing that radio was once a staple in the family, why not relive the metaphorical monument Wednesday night with your loved ones?

Music Through the Night’s host summarizes Arabella as an amazing tale of romance, missed connections, and antipathy, with cross-dressing and other intriguing themes.

I’m interested in hearing a certain tone of self confidence in Jacquelyn Wagner’s voice as she describes her destiny and refusal to settle for any one of her suitors until she finds more information about a mysterious man she’s seen lingering in the streets.

So, pay homage to this forgotten pastime and gather ’round a radio to listen to Arabella on April 22, 8 p.m., central time.

My suggestion would be to find a fancy lad to share two hours of uninterrupted operatic triumph and make it a date. If he has one of those trendy record players with a built-in AM/FM tuner, all the better. In all probability, you may find yourself listening in your car on the way to a bar Wednesday night, and if that is the case, tune into your local station.

You can read the full the story of Arabella in the 2014 guide to the Minnesota Opera.

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