J’Nai Bridges, Lawrence Brownlee, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Annette Dasch, Catalina Cuervo Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

One thing you’ll notice in this week’s streaming recommendations is that classical repertory staples are not at a premium. However, there are a ton of unique projects and works to experience for the first time, some really pushing the boundaries of the audiovisual medium and opera.

Here are our top 10 operas to stream this week.

Sāvitri – Against the Grain Theatre (NOW)

Against the Grain Theatre is now streaming a unique video production of Holst’s chamber opera. The work, about a princess who confronts Death in order to save the life of her beloved husband, stars Meher Pavri, Vartan Gabrielian, and Andrew Haji. Miriam Khalil directed the film.

Watch it here. 

For a Look or a Touch – Music of Remembrance (NOW)

Don’t miss out on this concert performance of Heggie and Scheer’s work that explores the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. The work was directed by Erich Parce and features performances by Jarrett Ott and Curt Branom.

Watch it here. 


Carmen: Up Close and Personal – Vancouver Opera (NOW)

There are several notable cinematic adaptations of Bizet’s famed classic, but this is a unique adaptation that hones in on the work’s four characters, providing it with a cinematic twist unlike any other. Directed by Brenna Corner, the opera stars Amanda Weatherall, Ian Cleary, Jonelle Sills, and Luka Kawabata.

Watch it here. 

Mozart Reimagined – Saskatoon Opera (NOW)

This concert experience provides a new window into the famed composer’s work, with local composers reimagining some of his notable arias. There is also a collaboration with the Free Flow Dance Theatre and performances by Olivia Guselle, Emma Johnson, and Kelsey Ronn as they bring to life the important women in Mozart’s life.

Watch it here. 

Circle of Resilience – Intermountain Opera Bozeman (NOW)

You can check out this unique recital celebrating traditional Native American music and contemporary compositions by living Indigenous creators, including works by Emmy Award-winning composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Chickasaw) and Canadian playwright and librettist Marie Clements (Métis) The recital was filmed May 14 and 15, 2021, in front of a live audience. Check out Chris Ruel’s interview with some of the opera’s major collaborators.

Watch it here. 

Die ersten Menschen – Dutch National Opera (Now)

Those seeking out rarely performed works can’t go wrong with this production from Holland. Directed by Calixto Bieito, this unique opera based on the Genesis story of Adam, Eve, and their children, stars a cast of internationally renowned singers such as Kyle Ketelsen, Annette Dasch, Leigh Melrose, and John Osborn.

Watch it here. 

Frida – Portland Opera (June 28)

While we are on the theme of modern operas, here’s a chance to experience a work that has traveled all around the U.S. and is becoming a major staple of the modern repertory. And moreover, this production stars Catalina Cuervo, who has become a major proponent of the title role (if not its most renowned interpreter). Portland Opera was forced to cancel some performances in the run, so this stream is somewhat of a minor miracle.

Watch it here. 

Andrea Chénier – Hungarian State Opera / OperaVision (July 2)

Those seeking out a more classical work presented in a traditional manner can feast their eyes on the Hungarian State Opera’s production of this verismo staple. The performance, which is directed by Fabio Ceresa, stars Boldizsár László in the title role, Eszter Sümegi as Maddalena, and Michele Kalmandy as Carlo Gerard.

Watch it here. 

Beethoven Ninth Symphony – Aspen Music Festival (July 3)

Beethoven’s perennial classic will be streamed in a performance headlined by Jeanine De Bique, Lauren Decker, Lawrence Brownlee, and Will Liverman. Robert Spano conducts.

Watch it here. 

Akhnaten – Metropolitan Opera (July 4)

Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, this production is arguably one of the finest the Met has concocted in the last 10-15 years.

How good is that? Here’s a segment of my review: “‘Akhnaten’ is a reminder of the greatness of opera and its ability to appeal to so many different kinds of audiences at once. Those looking for spectacle will find it in spades with the luxurious costumes and the juggling. Those who want a musical experience will no doubt find much to appreciate from the orchestra, chorus, and overall ensemble’s cohesion. Those looking for great theater in a more traditional sense only need marvel at Zachary James’ immersive performances. Those seeking a dialogue will undeniably find themselves probing and conversing internally with what McDermott has placed very intricately with his collaborators.

Watch it here.