Metropolitan Opera Partners With WQXR For New Podcast

By David Salazar

WQXR and the Metropolitan Opera have announced “Aria Code,” a new 10-episode podcast series that explores the opera world’s most legendary arias.

The podcast is set to debut on Dec. 4, 2018, to coincide with the new production premiere of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” That episode will be dedicated to the famed Italian opera and will discuss the famed “E strano… Sempre libera.” The episode will feature thoughts from dramaturg Cori Ellison as well as author and scientist Dr. Brooke Magnati.”

After that installment, subsequent releases will take place every Wednesday, ending on Feb. 6, 2019.

Each episode will feature an introduction by Rhiannon Gidden, who is MacArthur Genius and Grammy Award-winning folk singer and musician. Arias from such operas as “La Bohème,” “Otello,” and “Die Zauberflöte” will be explored. Among the singers featured will be Plácido Domingo, Nadine Sierra, Vittorio Grigolo, Elīna Garanča, and Sondra Radvanovsky, all of whom will offer up unique perspectives on performing said passages.

“I studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory and fell hard for the music,” said Giddens in a press release. “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.”

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with WQXR on this new podcast series,” added 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.”

The podcast series will be available on as well as Apple Podcasts and other platforms.