Diana Damrau, José Carreras, Renata Scotto, Annalisa Stroppa, Gabriella Reyes Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

The holidays are in full swing and companies around the world are adapting their particular showcases to suit the festive mood. So for those wondering, yes, there will be a Messiah showcase, some Christmas concerts, a “Christmas” opera, and other performances that are sure to make the Yuletide all the more memorable.

So without further ado, here are our top 10 operas to stream this week!

Handel Messiah – Oratorio Society of New York (Dec. 21)

The Oratory Society of New York will present Handel’s Messiah directed by Kent Tritle beginning on Dec. 21, 2020, which can be viewed free digitally at the company’s official website.

In accordance with its annual tradition, Tritle will have 24 members of the chorus and 12 instrumentalists under his baton. The soloists for the performance will include soprano soloist Susanna Phillips, alto Heather Petrie, tenor Joshua Blue, and baritone Sidney Outlaw.

Watch it here.

A Winter’s Evening – Boston Lyric Opera (Dec. 21)

This season concert stars soprano Gabriella Reyes, who will perform a selection of seasonal favorites, classical arias, and Spanish folk songs. She will be accompanied by pianist and BLO Chorus Master Brett Hodgdon, as well as guitarist Zaira Meneses. The concert was recorded live at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The performance is hosted by actor Sabrina Victor.

Watch it here.

Carmen – Teatro Grande di Brescia (Dec. 22)

The Teatro Grande di Brescia will perform a “Carmen” recital featuring Francesco Meli as Don José, Annalisa Stroppa as Carmen, and Serena Gamberoni as Michaëla. Alessandro Trebeschi will accompany on piano.

Watch it here.

A Baroque Christmas – Haydn + Handel Society (Dec. 22)

The Handel and Haydn Society will celebrate the holiday season with a special performance featuring Principal Keyboard and Associate Conductor Ian Watson as well as members of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra. The program will include works by Dall’Abaco, Charpentier, Biber, Torelli, and Telemann, and will be recorded inside Boston’s beautiful St. Cecilia Parish.

Watch it here.

African Christmas  (Dec. 23)

South African soprano Marieke de Koker will be hosting a live-streamed event on Facebook and YouTube, titled “African Christmas Fundraising concert” with the intent of raising money to support African artists struggling due the pandemic. The holiday showcase will feature classic African Christmas songs, world premieres of new works and arrangements, as well as interview clips with artists.

Watch it here.

La Bohème – Metropolitan Opera (Dec. 24)

Get into the holiday spirit with the most popular opera of all time. The Met is presenting a hallowed recording featuring such legendary artists as Starring Teresa Stratas, Renata Scotto, José Carreras, Richard Stilwell, and James Morris in Franco Zeffirreli’s iconic production.

Watch it here.

Curtain Call with Diana Damrau & the International Opera Studio – Opernhaus Zürich (Dec. 25)

The Opernhaus Zürich will broadcast its unique workshop series which features famed opera artists working with artists from the International Opera Studio. In this edition, soprano Diana Damrau works alongside tenor Andrei Skliarenko, baritone Yuriy Hadzetskyy, and bass Brent Michael Smith in music by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, R. Strauss, Wolf and Reger.

Watch it here.

In Our Silence – Chautauqua Opera (Dec. 25)

“In Our Silence” is an intimate, 75-minute cycle in which the members of the 2020 Chautauqua Young Artists use their own words — versified by Dye — to express their experiences through song. The soloists self-recorded the pieces in their home, singing Pollock’s music acapella. Interstitial solo piano works performed by Hilda Huang fill an important gap, as art song is traditionally a two-artist performance made up of the singer and their accompanist.

Watch it here.

Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer – Glyndebourne (Dec. 27)

While not an opera per se, this documentary focuses on the famed festival’s battle to ensure that the “show could go on.” The film places an emphasis on the company becoming the first UK opera house to perform a full-length opera to a live audience during the pandemic.

Audiences will get a chance to see interviews with conductor Robin Ticciati as well as singers Danielle de Niese and Kate Lindsay, among other members of the creative team.

Watch it here. 

Les Contes d’Hoffmann – Komische Oper Berlin / OperaVision (Dec. 27)

Barrie Kosky throws a curveball into Offenbach’s famed opera by playing on the famed trope of dividing up the three heroines into three different singers. Instead, of three singers for the heroines, we get three singers for Hoffmann. Leading the way in the title role are Uwe Schönbeck, Dominik Königer, and Edgaras Montvidas. Nicole Chevalier appears as Stella / Olympia / Antonia / Giulietta with Dimitry Ivaschenko as the four villains. Karolina Gumos appears as the Muse / Niklause. Stefan Blunier conducts.

Watch it here.