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If you want to get a sense of what one part of France looks like outside of Paris, check out “Rick Steves’ Europe” on Saturday (May 21) on WTTW-TV at 5:30 p.m.
Rick visits France’s Loire River Valley. The 2014 episode explores four castles — Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny and Villandry — among other stops.

If you are a fan of Lyric Opera of Chicago like I am or just want some opera to go along with your Saturdays this summer, WFMT-FM is airing again all of its opening night broadcasts of all the Lyric operas this past season. The broadcasts will begin at noon unless otherwise noted at WFMT.com which also carries the broadcasts.

May 21 — Bel Canto
May 28 — Cinderella
June 4 — Wozzeck
June 11 — The Merry Widow: Renee Fleming starred in the title role this past season. It was the second time I had seen it at Lyric and it was as beautiful and vibrant as ever.
June 18 — Nabucco: This masterpiece by Verdi had the most amazing chorus work of anything I had ever seen at Lyric.
June 25 — Der Rosenkavalier
July 2 — Romeo and Juliet
July 9 — Rusalka