What a week of opera!

Updated: Apr 22

Livestreaming from the Metropolitan Opera in New York this week offers an amazing array of works, and an impossible choice. So this post lists the lot - covering the spectrum from deep tragedy to pretty comedy. The mix is formidable and some of the performances live-streaming are classic.

Here's the program, with Melbourne dates. The operas go up at 9.30 am on the day listed, and are available through to 8.30am the next day. This is the link you need to see details and go to the playbills for cast information etc.

It starts with Strauss - Richard Strauss, that is. Could the first two operas this week be by the same composer - written just two years apart? Check out Andrew Ford's article in The Monthly.

Monday, 20 April, the Met screens Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier with Renee Fleming and Elina Garanca. You can hear them in a splendidly candid current live Zoom discussion about that performance here. This production (2017) was Fleming's farewell performance of her signature role - see "Remembering Renee" in the previous blog post. Conductor was 'our' Sir Andrew Davis. (2015).

Tuesday, April 21 is an extraordinary performance of Strauss’s Elektra.

For scholars of Greek drama, lovers of Strauss's strange music and admirers of the amazing Nina Stemme, this 2016 production is unmissable.

The one-act opera tells Sophocles' tragedy via Elektra's obsession with the murder of her father, and Stemme does obsession brilliantly. Back in 2017, our opera course took a term on operas from Greek drama, and this opera was a highlight.

Stemme is brilliant in the role NYTimes review here

Wednesday, April 22 we're back to Puccini (see previous post). It's the Met's latest version of Puccini’s Tosca Starring Sonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Grigolo. And importantly, Željko Lučić - the ultimate Scarpia. Read about the opera here in our past pages. This is a a recent (2018) Met production.

Thursday, April 23 - it's Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann More of Anna Netrebko, here sharing the roles of Hoffman's improbable dream women with Kathleen Kim and Ekaterina Gubanova. (For those assessing the changing voice and acting of Anna N. across these livestream operas, this production is early Netrebko - 2009.)

Then on Friday, April 24, for lighter relief, we have Lehar’s The Merry Widow. This is the Met's classic performance starring Renée Fleming as Hanna. There's a gorgeous video about the making of the production here.  (Note the section on choreography of blokes who don't usually dance!)

Saturday, April 25 a radical version of Verdi’s La Traviata. It's a crazy, bare-stage modern setting (2012) for the classic story of the courtesan in Paris. But it's starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, so the singing has to be good.

Sunday, April 26 At-Home Gala Yes they are doing a virtual gala! Thus we see the rewards of social isolation. Check out the amazing list of more than 40 Met artists lined up to live stream from their homes around the world. NOTE the gala screens in NY on Saturday, April 25, at 1PM, so that means it will be on our screens Sunday 26th - from predawn hours, available all day.

And after all this, we start the next week with a well earned good giggle - Monday, April 27 they livestream Rossini’s La Cenerentola. This is the ultimate Rossini hoot, with the ultimate two voices - Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez.


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