50 episodes

Aria Code is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time, including Roberto Alagna, Diana Damrau, Sondra Radvanovsky, and many others. Hosted by Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens, Aria Code is produced in partnership with The Metropolitan Opera.

Each episode dives into one aria — a feature for a single singer — and explores how and why these brief musical moments have imprinted themselves in our collective consciousness and what it takes to stand on the Met stage and sing them.

A wealth of guests—from artists like Rufus Wainwright and Ruben Santiago-Hudson to non-musicians like Dame Judi Dench and Dr. Brooke Magnanti, author of The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl—join Rhiannon and the Met Opera’s singers to understand why these arias touch us at such a human level, well over a century after they were written. Each episode ends with the aria, uninterrupted and in full, recorded from the Met Opera stage.

Aria Code is produced in partnership with WQXR, The Metropolitan Opera and WNYC Studios.

Aria Code WQXR & The Metropolitan Opera

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 2.5K Ratings

Aria Code is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time, including Roberto Alagna, Diana Damrau, Sondra Radvanovsky, and many others. Hosted by Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens, Aria Code is produced in partnership with The Metropolitan Opera.

Each episode dives into one aria — a feature for a single singer — and explores how and why these brief musical moments have imprinted themselves in our collective consciousness and what it takes to stand on the Met stage and sing them.

A wealth of guests—from artists like Rufus Wainwright and Ruben Santiago-Hudson to non-musicians like Dame Judi Dench and Dr. Brooke Magnanti, author of The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl—join Rhiannon and the Met Opera’s singers to understand why these arias touch us at such a human level, well over a century after they were written. Each episode ends with the aria, uninterrupted and in full, recorded from the Met Opera stage.

Aria Code is produced in partnership with WQXR, The Metropolitan Opera and WNYC Studios.

    Love and Other Drugs: Gounod's Roméo et Juliette

    Love and Other Drugs: Gounod's Roméo et Juliette

    Gounod’s “poison aria” is so difficult, it’s often cut from productions. But it’s a pivotal moment in the opera — and a testament to Juliette’s courage.

    • 54 min
    You Don't Own Me: The Myth and Magic of Bizet's Carmen

    You Don't Own Me: The Myth and Magic of Bizet's Carmen

    Carmen is perhaps the most famous heroine in all of opera: an icon of sensuality and self-determination — and a full-blown stereotype of Romani culture.

    • 53 min
    Revisiting Mozart’s Queen of the Night: Outrage Out of This World

    Revisiting Mozart’s Queen of the Night: Outrage Out of This World

    When the Voyager spacecraft set off to explore the galaxy, it carried recordings to represent the best of humanity. There was only one aria: the rage-fest from Mozart's The Magic Flute.

    • 27 min
    Love Takes Flight: Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas

    Love Takes Flight: Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas

    • 52 min
    Davis’s X: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

    Davis’s X: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

    Malcolm X means many things to many people. In Anthony Davis’s opera, his humanity comes first.

    • 45 min
    Revisiting Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice: Don’t Look Back in Ardor

    Revisiting Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice: Don’t Look Back in Ardor

    When someone you love dies, how far would you be willing to go to bring them back? The mythical Orpheus goes to hell and back, but even that isn’t enough to save his love Eurydice.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2.5K Ratings

2.5K Ratings

La Manifesta ,

Rhiannon Giddens opera = delight!

UPDATE: I think it's also worth pointing out that Rhiannon Giddens is a wonderful human being. Aside from making podcasts, singing opera, performing live, recording with Beyoncé, acting on Nashville, collaborating with everyone from Ben Harper to Renee Fleming to Yo Yo Ma, being the music director of the Ojai Music Festival and writing children's books (whew!), she uses her fame to shine light on other Black country and traditional musicians. she walks the talk.
I'm a longtime fan of Rhiannon Giddens, but I never knew that she had trained as a classical singer. If she was hosting any podcast, I was going to listen to it, but I am especially delighted with Aria Code because I love opera. I'm familiar with many of the arias dissected in this series, but some are new to me. Either way, each episode is a delight. I love hearing about the history of these operas, and I love hearing the singers discuss how they approach a particular role. When Rhiannon plays the complete aria at the end of the episode, it really does make a difference in how I understand it, no matter how often I have heard it before. I hope Aria Code will be around for many more seasons.

JanieYaya ,

A new world

I stumbled upon this podcast last fall and have been working my way through the seasons. Each episode offers me something new to think about, teaches me about the music, and fills me with such joy - or sorrow because … opera as Rihannon says.
The episodes are so beautifully edited to make a seamless story. I am awed by the diversity of the voices and the expertise and stories they contribute. How do you find your ‘decoders’? Amazing. This is by far my favorite podcast!

Thank you for the opportunity to learn and appreciate opera even more.

Will there be a season 5????

Fran recommends ,

So glad I've found this!

I'm so glad I've found this podcast! I learn somuch every time I listen. Thank you Aria Code!

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