Angel Blue, Isabel Leonard, Davone Tines, Iréne Theorin, Danielle De Niese Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This WeekBy David Salazar
This week’s recommendations feature a operatic mini-series, a notable gala, a recital dedicated to songs of protest, another recital about the historic migration of African Americans from the South to the North, a concert of opera singers turning to jazz, and another concert focused on music of medieval times. And then there’s some Mozart, Rossini, and Wagner for good measure.
Without further ado, here are our top 10 operas to stream this week.
desert in – Boston Lyric Opera (NOW)
The Boston Lyric Opera has now released the first episode of its new operatic mini-series “desert in.” The series features Isabel Leonard, Talise Trevigne, Davone Tines, Edward Nelson, and Alan Pingarron, and is a nice change of pace and potential new direction for the opera world.
2021 Kaufman Music Center Gala – Kaufman Music Center (June 7)
The Kaufman Music Center will present its annual gala with a goal of raising funds for KMC’s music education programs which serves 3,000 children and teens. The concert will feature Grammy-winning singer-songwriter/actor Sara Bareilles, Grammy-winning operatic soprano Angel Blue, Grammy-winning violinist Gil Shaham, acclaimed violinist Adele Anthony, Broadway stars Nikki Renée Daniels and Michael Winther, and “What Makes It Great?” host Rob Kapilow.
Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Patti LuPone, Alexa Ray Joel, and Nile Rodgers will make special appearances.
Mixed Jazz Motives – North / South Consonance (June 7)
The National Opera Center in New York City will present a virtual recital featuring selections that have been infused with elements of jazz. The showcase will be headlined by mezzo-soprano Margaret O’Connell, flutist Lisa Hansen, and pianist Max Lifchitz.
The program will include works such as Lifchitz’s “Forget Me Not,” which explores themes of nature, loss, and joy through the poetry of 19th century American writer Lillian E. Curtis; Katrina Krimsky’s “Elise’s Dream,” and “Sarah Wallin-Huff’s “DodecaFunky.” Lifchitz will also perform the NY premiere of Harry Bulow’s “Mixed Motives,” written for solo piano.
Toxic Psalms – Beth Morrison Projects (June 10)
Beth Morrison Projects continues its streaming of past productions paired with virtual conversations by the creators. This month, audiences can check out “Toxic Psalms” and engage with director Karmina šilec. Per the opera’s official website, “‘Toxic Psalms’ are a reflection of the spiritual anguish of today. The word ‘toxic’ derives from the Greek Toxon (meaning weapon, bow), while the word ‘psalm’ derives from Psallein, meaning ‘playing’ (an instrument) as well as ‘to snatch,’ ‘steal,’ or ‘remove.’ ‘Toxic Psalms’ metaphorically mean to draw a poisonous bow which is being played on in gloria to ‘move something away’ – tense psalms that are about to be released.”
Songs of Protest – Los Angeles Opera (June 11)
In its latest recital showcase, Los Angeles Opera will honor artists who have used music to affect social justice and features music by Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Duke Ellington, Donny Hathaway, Fats Waller, and Julia Perry, among others. The performers include soprano Brandie Sutton, baritone Justin Austin, pianist Damien Sneed, drummer Jonathan Barber, and bass player Michael Olatuja.
“Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration” – Spoleto Festival USA (June 11)
This unique concert by the Spoleto Festival USA will be presented at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard and will feature a range of artistic guests including the Grammy-nominated chamber music ensemble Imani Winds, writer and director Julie Dash, and rising star vocalist Sharón Clark alongside pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran and famed mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran. The concert will focus on the historic journey of African Americans from the South to the North between 1910 through 1970.
TENET Vocal Artists
TENET Vocal Artists closes out its Spring 2021 season with a unique showcase entitled “Songs of the Trouvères.” The special gala focuses on medieval melodies and features Jolle Greenleaf, Virginia Warnken Kelsey, and Jason McStoots along with instrumentalists Grant Herreid, Priscilla Herreid, Robert Mealy, and Charles Weaver.
Wagner Magic I. – MUPA Budapest (June 13)
Sopranos Iréne Theorin and Annette Dasch team up with Tomasz Konieczny and tenor Magnus Vigilius for a concert dedicated to the music of Wagner. The showcase, which will be conducted by Adam Fischer, will include excerpts from “Tristan und Isolde,” “Lohengrin,” and “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.”
Il barbiere di Siviglia – Glyndebourne (June 13)
Glyndebourne continues its streaming showcase with a production of Rossini’s seminal “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” conducted by Enrique Mazzolla and starring Danielle de Niese, Alessandro Corbelli and Björn Bürger. The production hails from 2016.
Così fan tutte – Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (June 13)
Capping off the weekend will be a pre-recorded performance of the Mozart classic, conducted by the legendary Zubin Mehta and featuring Valentina Naforniţa as Fiordiligi, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya as Dorabella, Matthew Swensen as Ferrando, Mattia Olivieri as Guglielmo, Benedetta Torre as Despina, and Thomas Hampson as Don Alfonso.