Elina Garanča, Renée Fleming, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Marina Rebeka, Angela Gheorghiu Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

An operetta, a VR opera, a couple of star-studded galas, recitals led by some of opera’s greatest and rising stars, and some classic productions from opera’s greatest theaters.

Our digital recommendations this week span a wide range of operatic experiences that we think will reach a similarly diverse audience.

La Rondine – Metropolitan Opera (Sept. 21)

The Met will dedicated its streaming lineup this week to operas by Giacomo Puccini. And while all of the offerings feature some phenomenal performances, we think you should check out the first one of the week for a few reasons. First off, “La Rondine” is a fantastic Puccini rarity that doesn’t get as much exposure as it deserves. Secondly, this performance features Angela Gheorghiu at the height of her vocal and dramatic powers. She is joined by an equally riveting Roberto Alagna as well as Lisette Oropesa and Samuel Ramey in the supporting cast.

The Debutante – Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live! (Sept 22-27)

The Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live! will continue its streaming project dedicated to the famed composer. This week, the organization will provide audiences with an opportunity to get to know his 1914 musical comedy “The Debutante.” The production stars Claire Leyden as Elaine Vane and Drew Bolander as Philip Frazer. Other cast members include Stephanie Bacastow, Keith Broughton, Shane Brown, Charlotte Detrick, Alexa Devlin,  JoAnna Geffert, Jonathan Hare, Hannah Holmes, Nathan Hull, Anthony Maida, John Nelson, Christopher Robin Sapp, David Seatter, Vira Slywotzky, and Scott Ballantyne as Testlavitz, a famous cellist.

For those who prefer operetta and other lighter opera in general, Herbert’s works offer up a perfect musical experience.

Watch the performance here.

#StayAtHome Online Concert – Online Music Guild & 360° of Opera (Sept. 23 & 26)

Online Music Guild and 360° of Opera will present the latest in their series of online performances with soprano Taylor Marie Gonzaga and Alyssa Liu taking the stage in recital on Sept. 23 and 26, respectively. These concerts provide artists around the world with a ready platform to continue to showcase their talents during these challenging times during which performance opportunities have dwindled.

Check out the concerts here.

Elizabeth Llewellyn in Recital – Wigmore Hall (Sept. 23)

Wigmore Hall continues its recital series with several concerts this week. Star soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn leads the way with the first recital of week. She will perform a wide-ranging recital that features works by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Simon Lepper will perform at the piano.

Watch the performance here.

‘Miranda: A Steampunk VR Experience’ – LUMA Projection Arts Festival, Tri-Cities Opera, with support from Opera Omaha (Sept. 24-26)

Those seeking out a unique operatic experience can check out “Miranda,” a collaboration between three major organizations. The work will utilize VR devices such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and features, live motion capture, face tracking, and real-time mixed audio to bring its characters to life in an immersive environment. The opera is directed by Alison Moritz, who has adapted and reimagined Kamala Sankaram’s score for this new project; David Bloom will conduct, and Tony-nominated sound designer Cricket Myers will live mix the singers and orchestra.

Watch the performance here.

Marina Rebeka in Recital – OperaVision (Sept. 25)

Back in late July, Rebeka took the stage alongside pianist Laila Holberga to present a recital of unique repertory. Renowned for her work in the bel canto repertory, this recital offers a unique look at the soprano in repertory we don’t usually associate with her. In addition to Puccini and Catalani arias, this recital features solos from some of Verdi’s more dramatic roles in “La Forza del Destino,” “Il Trovatore,” and “I Vespri Siciliani.” Rebeka never disappoints and getting a chance to hear her in this repertoire is too good a chance to pass up.

Check out the performance here.

A Time to Sing: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams – Kennedy Center  (Sept 26)

The Kennedy Center opens its 2020-21 season in a concert featuring Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams. The concert will feature music direction by Rob Mathes and a new song was written especially for this concert by Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa. Audiences can check it out directly on the Kennedy Center’s website.

Watch the performance here.

Gala Concert – Gran Teatre del Liceu (Sept. 27)

Barcelona’s premiere artistic experience will team up with the Monasterio de Montserrat to present a special concert featuring mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča, soprano Nadine Sierra, tenor Xabier Anduaga, and bass Tareq Nazmi. Josep Pons will conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Conxita Garcia will lead Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Televisió de Catalunya will broadcast on TV3.

I Left My Aria in San Francisco – Merola Opera Program (Sept. 27)

Baritone Lucas Meachem and pianist Irina Meachem will team up to kick off the Merola Opera Program’s Virtual Recital Series. Meachem, who is a 2003 alumnus of the program, will showcase arias he has sung in previous performances in San Francisco.

Watch the performance here.

Maria Stuarda – Opernhaus Zürich (Sept. 27)

Audiences will get a chance to see star soprano Diana Damrau take on the title role in Donizetti’s famed opera. She will be joined by Salome Jicia and Paolo Fanale in what is bound to be a treat for bel canto aficionados.

Watch the performance here.