|New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Aria Code, the new Rhiannon Giddens-hosted podcast series presented by The Metropolitan Opera and WQXR, New York's classical music station, launches today. The ten-episode series takes a closer look at some of opera's legendary arias. Today's debut episode examines Verdi's La Traviata and Violetta's Act I finale, with Giddens hosting soprano Diana Damrau, dramaturg Cori Ellison, and writer Brooke Magnanti. You can listen to the episode below and subscribe to the upcoming series at ariacode.org.
"It's a stunner on all levels, elegantly produced, with a heavenly blend of music and insight," exclaims The New Yorker's podcast guru Sarah
Larson in recommending Aria Code; "I can't wait to hear the rest."
"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."
Rhiannon Giddens was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women Musicians of the 21st Century by NPR last month. Her latest solo album, Freedom Highway, includes nine original songs she wrote or co-wrote, a traditional tune, and two civil rights-era songs. It's a "rich collection," says NPR; "hope comes back to life in Giddens' music." To pick up a copy, head to iTunes, Amazon, and the Top40-Charts.com Store, and listen on Spotify and Apple Music.