Diana Damrau, Denyce Graves, Isabel Leonard, Terrence Blanchard, Morris Robinson Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

This week climaxes in World Opera Day on Oct. 25. So in leading up to that momentous celebration (which will feature half of the entries on this list), our recommendations will spotlight diversity in the opera world, offering up audiences a chance to check out works by and featuring BIPOC composers and performers as well as unique performance experiences that explore the possibilities of opera.

As always, enjoy and Happy World Opera Day!

Homenaje a Guastavino y sus Flores – Una Voz Un Mundo (Oct. 19)

To close out Hispanic / Latinx Heritage Month, Una Voz Un Mundo put together a recital performance featuring the music of Argentine composer Guastavino. The performance features mezzo-soprano Eugenia Forteza, baritone Hector Cisneros, tenor Mario Arevalo, and soprano Clara Iranzo, as well as pianists Eduviges Picone, Jose David Eli Garcia Rojas, Daniela Santos, and Markus Kaitla. It provides an ample opportunity for audiences to familiarize themselves with the fascinating songs of a Latin American legend.

Watch the performance here.

Champion – Opera Parallèle / SFJAZZ (Oct 21-24)

Opera Parallèle and SFJAZZ will partner to stream an online broadcast of the 2016 staging of the Terrence Blanchard Opera with a cast featuring baritone Arthur Woodley as Old Emile Griffith, mezzo-soprano Karen Slack as Emelda Griffith, Emile’s mother; baritone Robert Orth as Howie Albert, Emile’s trainer; and bass-baritone Ken Kellogg as the young Emile Griffith.

Watch it here.

Vinkensport, of The Finch Opera – Houston Grand Opera (Oct. 23)

For those in the mood for some modern opera, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s work about professional finch-calling will feature Elena Villalón, Nicole Heaston, Ryan McKinny, and Kelly Markgraf, among many others.

Watch it here.

Is this America? – Santa Fe Opera (Oct. 23)

The Santa Fe Opera and Center for Contemporary Arts will present a special online screening of “Is This America?,” a workshop of the new, one-act opera “This Little Light of Mine” that portrays key events in the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with stage director Beth Greenberg, composer Chandler Carter and librettist Diana Solomon-Glover.

Watch it here.

dwb (Driving While Black) – Baruch Performing Arts Center / Opera Omaha (Oct. 23-29)

“dwb (Driving While Black)” will get its New York virtual premiere this weekend. The work explores racism, erasure, and the fear and love that Black parents feel sending their children out into a world that perceives them as a threat, rather than as kids. The opera depicts the anxiety of an African American parent whose child will soon have a driver’s license and face the danger of “driving while back.”

Watch it here.

Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja Live in Concert – Metropolitan Opera (Oct. 24)

The Met Opera will continue its live in concert series with a performance starring Joseph Calleja and Diana Damrau. The duo will perform music from “Tosca,” “L’Elisir d’Amore, “Semiramide,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Carmen,” and “Gräfin Mariza,” among others. They will be joined by Vicenzo Scalera.

Watch the performance here.

Opera XXI de Espãna (Oct. 25)

This award ceremony will not only highlight the best in opera in Spain and Latin America but will also feature performances from superstar soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as well as by soprano Leonor Bonilla.

Watch the awards here.

The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse – On Site Opera (Oct. 25)

For those seeking out a family experience, On Site Opera will air an encore presentation of its 2012 production of the brief Shostakovich opera that was presented at the Bronx Zoo. The opera, which lasts roughly 15 minutes, packs an enjoyable punch in its brief package.

Watch it here.

A Concert for Equity in the Arts – Sparrow Live (Oct. 25)

Bass Morris Robinson hosts an evening of some of the world’s greatest opera stars and classical musicians that showcases diversity in the industry. Among those performing will be Allen Michael Jones, Chasiti Walker, Brittany Logan, Sarah Joyce Cooper, and Marsha Thompson.

Watch it here.

World Opera Day Celebration Concert – Opera America, Opera Europa, Ópera Latinoamericana, Opera for Peace (Oct 25)

In celebration of world opera day, four organizations will be teaming up to present a four-part concert featuring artists from all around the world. In Act one (which starts at 3 p.m. Tokyo time), audiences can hear a wide range of artists including Isabel Leonard, Sondra Radvanovsky, Siobhan Stagg, Ai Weiwei, and Elsa Dreisig; in Act two (starting at 3 p.m. Moscow time), Hyesang Park, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Vuvu Mpofu, and René Barbera will perform.

Act three will start at 3 p.m. London time and will star Golda Schultz, Etienne Dupuis, Luca Pisaroni, and Alan Pingarrón, among others. The night comes to a close with performances by Brian Jagde, Denyce Graves, and Nicole Car, among many others. These artists, and many more, will be coming from stages all around the world.

Watch the performance here.