Jonas Kaufmann, Mirella Freni, Angela Gheorghiu, Aleksandra Kurzak, Anita Rachvelishvili Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

Those who want a major dose of operatic classics will not be disappointed by this week’s list. And what’s more, the slate is full of opera’s major superstars in these prominent works.

But there is also a special performance this week, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera. So without further ado, here are the top 10 operas to stream this week.

Rigoletto – Opernhaus Zürich (Feb. 15 & 17)

Star wattage is on offer in this Opernhaus Zürich production of “Rigoletto.” Aleksandra Kurzak’s Gilda is undoubtedly the big draw, but she is flanked by Saimir Pirgu as the Duca di Mantua, Andrea Mastroni as Sparafucile, Judith Schmid as Maddalena, and George Petean in the title role. Opernhaus Zürich’s General Music Director Fabio Luisi conducts the production by Tatjana Gürbaca. The opera was filmed on June 21, 2014.

The stream can be viewed here.

Falstaff – Metropolitan Opera (Feb. 16)

The Met Opera will be celebrating the productions of Franco Zeffirelli for one week starting on Feb. 15. And while there are a ton of treasures to check out throughout the week, we recommend the production of “Falstaff” featuring Mirella Freni, Barbara Bonney, Marilyn Horne, Bruno Pola, and Paul Plishka in the title role. For those looking for an extraordinary traditional production, this 1992 showcase packs the goods.

Watch it here. 

Das Wunder der Heliane – Deutsche Oper Berlin (Feb. 18)

For those seeking out a rarer gem, the Deutsche Oper Berlin will stream a production of this Korngold opera, which stars Brian Jagde, Josef Wagner, Okka von Damerau, Derek Welton, Gideon Poppe, Burkhard Ulrich, Andrew Dickinson, Dean Murphy, Thomas Florio, Clemens Bieber, Philipp Jekal, Stephen Bronk, Sandra Hamaoui, Meechot Marrero, and American soprano Sara Jakubiak in the title role.

Watch it here.

Aida – Opéra National de Paris (Feb. 18)

Perhaps there is no greater star power on display this week than the Paris Opera’s “Aida.” Directed by Lotte de Beer, the seminal Verdi work will feature tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Radamès, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, baritone Ludovic Tézier as Amonasro, mezzo-soprano Ksenia Dudnikova as Amneris, Dmitri Belosselskiy as Ramfis, and bass Soloman Howard as the King.

Watch it here.

Songs for Murdered Sisters – Houston Grand Opera (Feb. 19)

For those seeking out new opera, Houston Grand Opera will present the digital world premiere of “Songs for Murdered Sisters.” The opera, which includes music by Jake Heggie set to poems by Margaret Atwood will be directed by James Niebuhr and stars Canadian baritone and HGO Studio alumnus Joshua Hopkins.

Watch it here.

Pelléas et Mélisande – OperaVision / Grand Théâtre de Genève (Feb. 19)

Jacques Imbrailo and Mari Eriksmoen lead the cast of this production of Debussy’s famed opera, which will be conducted by Jonathan Nott and directed by Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Watch it here. 

La Clemenza di Tito – Grand Théâtre de Genève (Feb. 19)

Le Grand Théâtre de Genève will live stream a new production of Mozart’s opera “La Clemenza di Tito” starring Serena Farnocchia in the role of Vitellia, Anna Goryachova as Sesto, Marie Lys in the role of Servilia, Cecilia Molinari as Annio, Justin Hopkins as Publio, and Bernard Richter in the title role.

Watch it here.

Salome – Teatro alla Scala (Feb. 20)

The Teatro alla Scala will present a production of Strauss’ opera starring Elena Stikhina in the title role, Wolfgang Koch, Gerhard Siegel, and Linda Watson. Rai Cultura will broadcast the opera on Rai5 and will represent the first new production for the company since the March 2020 lockdown.

Watch it here.

La Rondine – San Francisco Opera (Feb. 20-21)

Angela Gheorghiu will headline a role she dominated for years in a 2007 production from San Francisco that also stars tenor Misha Didyk. Anna Christy and Gerard Powers round out the cast, which was conducted by Ion Marin.

Watch it here.

Carmen – Vienna State Opera (Feb. 21)

Closing out the week of streams is a live performance (with no audience) of Bizet’s iconic work. The opera will feature mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili in a role she has dominated for the better part of the last decade. She will be joined by Piotr Beczala who recently stepped into the role. Erwin Schrott and Vera-Lotte Boecker round out the cast, which will be conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Watch it here.