Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Pretty Yende, Sasha Cooke, Piotr Beczała Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

Those yearning for a lot of big name opera gems will certainly be satisfied with this week’s offerings which include a bit of a deviation from our usual format – we included three productions from the same company.

But there are still several other unique offerings from around the world. We hope you have a fulfilling week of operatic experiences.

(***Some of these performances may be region-blocked (only accessible to people connected to a network in a specific country). But you can gain access by using a VPN. For find out more, click here. )

Le Nozze di Figaro – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (NOW)

Let’s kick things off with this performance of this perennial operatic masterpiece, here presented in a unique production from the famed Festival Aix-en-Provence. The main draw is Julie Fuchs as Susanna and Andrè Schuen as Figaro. Other cast members include Gyula Orendt as Il Conte di Almaviva, Jacquelyn Wagner as La Contessa Almaviva, and Lea Desandre as Cherubino. Lotte de Beer directs.

Watch it here. 

Innocence – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (NOW)

We’re going to stick with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence because they are also streaming a unique new work by Kaija Saariaho. The opera, which is sung in nine languages (English, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, French, Swedish, German, Spanish, and Greek) stars Magdalena Kožená as the Waitress; Sandrine Piau as the Mother-in-Law; Tuomas Pursio as the Father-in-Law; Lilian Farahani as the Bride, and Markus Nykänen as the Groom.

Watch it here.

Tristan und Isolde – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (NOW)

And one last time, with feeling. ARTE is also streaming this production of Wagner’s greatest masterpiece in a production starring Stuart Skelton and Nina Stemme; this duo last sang the roles together in 2016 as part of the Met Opera’s opening night production. Simon Rattle, who also conducted that Met Opera run, conducts.

Watch it here.

La Traviata – Teatro Regio di Parma (NOW)

Pretty Yende headlines this Verdi masterpiece in a semi-staged production. Yende is quickly becoming a major exponent of this role, making this performance among the most intriguing to explore. She is joined by David Astorga and Simone Piazzola who make solid foils for her virtuosic vocal display.

Watch it here. 

Bastille Day Concert (July 14)

As is customary every year, audiences in France are up for a unique treat as they experience the celebration of the 14th of July. That concert, which takes place at the heart of Paris always features some of the greatest artists around. And this year is no different with the likes of Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Clémentine Margaine, Pretty Yende, and tenor Piotr Beczała headlining the showcase. Get ready for some showpieces by “Carmen,” “La Fille du Regiment,” “Rigoletto,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and “Don Giovanni” as well as music by Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Beethoven, Berlioz, Bach, Piazzola, Baker, and Ravel.

Watch it here (you will need a VPN, so make sure to check out our offer with NordVPN).

Marchita el Alma – Barcelona Song Festival (July 14)

Heading over to Barcelona, the Song Festival will present a unique recital-conference dedicated to the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce. Mexican mezzo-soprano Daniela Cortés and the pianist Manuel Ruíz will perform. The showcase will also feature speaker Dr. Enid Negrete, the president of the Fundación Arte Contra la Violencia, an organization that supports low-income artists.

Watch it here. 

Everest – The Dallas Opera / Opera Parallèle (July 16)

Here’s a very unique entry into this week’s recommendations. What do you say to a Graphic Novel Opera? The Dallas Opera and Opera Parallèle will give you a chance to process what that actually means in a production of Talbot and Scheer’s unique opera. The opera stars Sasha Cooke, Hadleigh Adams, Shawnette Sulker, Whitney Steele, Kevin Burdette, and Matt Boehler, among others.

Watch it here. 

Organ Stops – Opera Philadelphia (July 16)

We don’t give choral performances that much love on this weekly series. But we’re going to do that with this entry from Opera Philadelphia. The showcase, which will feature new and traditional music performed at three churches in the city (Manayunk’s St. John the Baptist Church, Wharton-Wesley United Methodist Church in Cobbs Creek, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Germantown), includes choral passages from Verdi’s “Macbeth” and Wagner’s “Tannhauser” as well as new works for the chorus and organ by composers Hannah Kendall, Melissa Dunphy, Marcus DeLoach, and David Hurd.

The showcase will be conducted by OP Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden, with Meghan Meloy Ness and Marvin Mills accompanying the Opera Philadelphia Chorus on the organs.

Watch it here. 

La Rondine – Metropolitan Opera (July 17)

The Met is presenting a host of Puccini performances. And while all of them are equally star-studded, I think the choice this week has to be the rarely performed gem starring Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu in one of their final (and finest collaborations). Lisette Oropesa also appears in the performance in one of her earlier turns, adding to the staying power of this particular showcase.

Watch it here. 

Les Troyens – San Francisco Opera (July 17-18)

Berlioz’s operatic miracle will be streamed in an equally powerful production by Sir David McVicar. Topping it all off is a phenomenal cast headlined by Bryan Hymel and Susan Graham (both at the peak of their interpretations of these roles) as well as Anna Caterina Antonacci, Brian Mulligan, Sasha Cooke, René Barbera, and Christian Van Horn. Sir Donald Runnicles conducts.

Watch it here.