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US opera broadcasts 1930-50

This page lists surviving early US opera broadcasts. In addition to the Met and the San Francisco Opera, local and national radio broadcast performances from several provincial opera companies during the 1930s and 1940s. Only a small number of these still exist and the sound quality is often poor.

If you have any questions about any of these recordings please email me

Chicago Civic Opera

November 1, 1930 Tannhauser (Act 2 opening 4 mins including Dich Teure Halle - broadcast on WJZ New York 10-11pm) - Lehmann, Nissen, Althouse, /Pollack (issued on EJS GAO444)

December 5, 1936 Lohengrin Melchior, Rethberg, List (one hr of intermission features and commentary with 4 mins of music from act 3 in Library of Congress)

November 21, 1938 Lohengrin, Flagstad, Maison, List / MacArthur (Act 1 only broadcast over WENR Chicago 8-9pm CST & WJZ New York 9-10pm EST in Flagstad Archive at Stanford University)

November 27, 1939 Tannhauser (Act 3 only broadcast on WMAQ Chicago 10.25-11.15pm and on WJZ New York, 11.25pm-12.15am) Althouse, Czaplicki /MacArthur (extract issued on EJS GAO169)

November 11, 1940, Pagliacci (broadcast complete by WGN Chicago 9.30-11pm) Jepson, Thomas, Martinelli /Abravanel (Act 2 final 8 mins issued on EJS GAO270)

December 9, 1940, Aida (part broadcast by WGN Chicago 9.30-11pm) Martinelli, Bampton, Zebranska,/ Breisach (Act 3 and 4 extracts 22 mins issued on EJS GAO281)

November 24, 1941, Falstaff (part broadcast by WGN Chicago 10-10.45pm CST and WOR New York 11.15-11.45pm EST - Act 4 extract 30 mins exists), Thomas, Gianini, Haskins /Halasz

December 1, 1941 Tosca (part broadcast by WGN Chicago 10-10.45pm CST and WOR New York 11.15-11.45pm EST) Moore, Jagel /Peroni (Act 3 issued on EJS GAO220)

December 8, 1941 Il Barbiere di Siviglia (part broadcast by WGN Chicago 10-10.45pm CST and WOR New York 11.15-11.45pm EST) Antoine, Martini, Bonelli, /Cooper (Act 2 extract - 32 mins issued on EJS GAO477)


March 31 / April 1, 1933 Academy of Music, Philadelphia Wagner: Parsifal (scenes) Steel Eddy Bampton Tcherkassy,/Stokowski conductor

March 21, 1937 Carnegie Hall Concert Performance - Strauss - Elektra - Pauly, Boerner, Szantho /Robovsky issued on CD by Eklipse EKRCD17

March 28, 1937 Carnegie Hall Concert - Wagner - Parsifal Act 3 extract List, Althouse /Rodzinsky

May 5 1937 Cleveland Beethoven Missa Solemnis Flagstad

May 7, 1937 Dett, The Ordering of Moses Jagel, Wysor, Lewis /Goosens

April 17, 1938 NY Phil, Carnegie Hall Parsifal Act 1 grail scene, Cordon, Bonelli /Barbirolli

July 23, 1938 Cincinnati Summer Opera - Bizet – Carmen Acts 3 & 4 extracts Glade, Tokatyan, Royer /Cleva

April 16 1939 Carnegie Hall Concert Wagner Tristan und Isolde Act 2 Flagstad, Laholm / Barbirolli

April 25, 1940 St Louis Opera, Bizet - Carmen, 12 min extract Act 3 Lawrence, Kiepura / Halasz

February 22, 1941 Wagner concert, Carnegie Hall, Melchior, Traubel /Toscanini

April 16, 1941 St. Louis Opera, Mozart: Don Giovanni, Act II (incomplete) Roselle, Schipa, Pinza /Halasz

January 25, 1949, Carnegie Hall, Elektra, Varnay, Jessner, Nikolaidi, /Mitropolous