Saturday Afternoon at the Opera

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Saturday Afternoon at the Opera is a Canadian radio program, which airs Saturday afternoons on CBC Radio 2. Currently hosted by Ben Heppner, the program airs live and pre-recorded opera concert performances, as well as interviews with opera artists and reviews of opera CDs.

CBC Radio One's pop culture newsmagazine Definitely Not the Opera, which aired 1994-2016, took its name from the fact that it airs at the same time as SATO.

SATO includes the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts during its season, from late November or early December to late April or early May each year. As contractually required, these broadcasts are aired in their entirety, including sponsorships, representing one of only two forms of advertising currently permitted on CBC Radio.[1] This is despite the fact that the current sponsor of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, Toll Brothers, does not have any Canadian operations.

From 1985 until 2007, whenever SATO was not retransmitting a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast, most programs (intermissions permitting) included an opera quiz hosted by Stuart Hamilton, in much the same format as the quiz that is part of the Met broadcasts.


  1. ^ Per Decision CRTC 2000-1: "The licensee shall not broadcast any commercial message of category 5 except: (a) during programs that are available to the network only on a sponsored basis, or (b) as required to fulfill the requirements of the legislation of the Parliament of Canada pertaining to elections" (i.e. political party advertising during a general election).

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