Jonas Kaufmann, Frederick Ballentine, Sonya Yoncheva, Metropolitan Opera At-Home Gala Among Top 10 Operas To Stream This Week

By David Salazar
(Credit: Dario Acosta / Vienna State Opera)

Let’s kick this off with arguably the most essential streaming from around the opera world that you can engage with this week. Several of opera’s prominent black artists have been very outspoken in recent weeks about the issue of racial injustice that has taken hold of the international conversation, and many others have been hosting live weekly programs in which they provide a platform to discuss these issues with other artists as well.

We highly recommend this as essential viewing to get a grasp on the circumstances and engage in the dialogue.

Such programs include Karen Slack’s “KikiKonversations,” Kenneth Overton’s “Black Opera Live,” Angel Blue’s “Faithful Fridays” and The Sitdown with LB,” hosted by Lawrence Brownlee.

Moreover, several black artists will be featured in performance throughout the week. One such showcase we recommend is tenor Frederick Ballentine’s recital on June 10 as part of the LA Opera at Home programming.

We also recommend you watch this conversation presented by the LA Opera.


Here are some other opera offerings from around the globe as the opera world starts its reopening process and transition into a new phase of living.

The Skating Rink – Garsington Opera / OperaVision (Starting June 9)

For those seeking out a unique operatic experience that is a far cry from the standard repertory, check out Garsington Opera’s production of David Sawer and Rory Mullarkey’s “The Skating Rink” featuring Grant Doyle, Ben Edquist, Sam Furness, Susan Bickley, Alan Oke, and Lauren Zolezzi, among others. Garry Walker conducts the opera.

La Fanciulla del West – Vienna State Opera (June 10)

While you won’t want to sleep on the live recitals that the company is hosting as part of its reopening program, especially when they feature such superstars as Günther Groissböck and Tomasz Konieczny, don’t overlook the company’s stream of “La Fanciulla del West” either, which features Jonas Kaufmann at his vocal peak in a role that few have sung as he does. Throw Nina Stemme in the title role and this is a fine performance to behold.

Lucrezia BorgiaPalau de les Arts (June 10-12)

For those seeking out Bel Canto pleasures this week, the Donizetti opera is headlined by star soprano Mariella Devia in one of her iconic roles. She supported by a solid cast that features Marko Mimica, William Davenport, Silvia Tro Santafé, Fabián Lara, Alejandro López, and Simone Alberti.

Der Fliegende Holländer – Opernhaus Zürich (June 12-14)

Bryn Terfel is one of the great Holländers of the last few decades and Anja Kampe is one of the supreme Senta’s of the same period. That makes this 2012-13 production a no-brainer for your weekend enjoyment. Paired with the casting of Matti Salminen and the romanticism of conductor Alain Altinoglu, you have arguably the finest video recording of this Wagner opera in over 20 years, possibly more.

Metropolitan Opera At-Home Gala (June 12, 13)

You could go with several of the unique operatic choices this week, but the At-Home Gala was a truly special event that is unlikely to ever be repeated. The gala features such artists as Jonas Kaufmann, Lawrence Brownlee, Roberto Alagna, Angel Blue, Nadine Sierra, Ailyn Pérez, Elina Garanca, Soloman Howard, Renée Fleming, Michael Fabiano, Michael Volle, Matthew Polenzani, Joyce DiDonato, and pre-recorded performances by the Met Opera Orchestra, Chorus, Anna Netrebko, and Yusif Eyvazov. Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin host the gala.



Madama Butterfly – New National Theatre Tokyo (June 12-19)

Puccini’s famed opera is presented here with an all-Japanese cast and a Japanese director, which undeniably offers a unique opportunity to view the opera in a new light. The cast includes Atsuko Kobayashi, Keiroh Ohara, Takashi Aoyama, Makiko Yamashita, Shingo Uchiyama, Takeo Shumamura, and Jun Hoshino.

Don Giovanni – Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (June 13)

This production of “Don Giovanni” will star Peter Mattei, as well as sopranos Malin Byström, Johanna Wallroth, and Mari Eriksmoen, and tenor Andrew Staples. Staples will be directing the production as well, which suggests an interesting and artist-driven interpretation of the classic storyline.

Live from Covent Garden – Royal Opera House (June 13)

The Royal Opera House is ready to reopen and in celebration of that milestone, the company will be streaming a live concert celebrating opera and ballet. Audience members will get a chance to listen to such artists as Toby Spence, Gerald Finley, and Louise Alder in music by Handel, Butterworth, Britten, and Mark-Anthony Turnage. There will also be a new ballet choreographed by Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor.

La Bohème – Opéra National de Paris (June 8-14)

How does Puccini’s masterpiece work in space? That’s a fine question for director Claus Guth that will be answered for audiences who have yet to experience this production live. Starring Sonya Yoncheva, it might be the strangest opera experience you will have this week.