Joyce DiDonato, Clay Hilley, Will Liverman, Topi Lehtipuu Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

We are reaching an interesting point in the summer for the opera world. Europe has essentially returned to “normalcy” as far as performances go. That also means an increasing lack of online content for operagoers from Europe’s biggest houses.

Meanwhile, the rest of the opera world is in a transitional phase. With most companies preparing for digital starts to their 2020-21 seasons, the online offerings are slowly but surely diminishing. But we will continue this weekly series, even if our recommendations are at a reduced number. That is fortunately not the case this week.

As always, don’t forget to check out important discussions taking place regarding issues of race and equality in opera with such programs as Karen Slack’s “KikiKonversations,” Kenneth Overton’s “Black Opera Live,” “The Sitdown with LB,” hosted by Lawrence Brownlee, and Mark S. Doss’ “Heart and Soul” series on Sunday afternoons.

Obsessed Episode 2 with Ian Bostridge – OSSIA (NOW)

In its unique new series, OSSIA delves into the career of renowned tenor Ian Bostridge. For those that want very unique opera-related content, this is definitely a place to start.

A Florentine Tragedy / Gianni Schicchi – Livermore Valley Opera (NOW)

Another unique operatic experience is brought to you by Livermore Opera. The two works by Zemlinsky and Puccini could not feel more different from one another, but these contrasts provide audiences with a rather fascinating emotional experience. Check it out here.

I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams – White Snake Projects (NOW)

Written by Cerise Jacobs and featuring music by Jorge Sosa, this work was written in response to the concerns over the revocation of DACA. Many of those concerns loom particularly large in the U.S. with the upcoming election, making this work as essential as ever. The work features Kirsten Chambers, Amy Li, Isis Contreras Perez, Helen Zhibing Huang, and Carla López-Speziale.

Coscktails, Concerts & Conversations – Chautauqua Opera (August 3)

Chautauqua Opera is offering up an evening of conversation and music featuring Steven Osgood and tenor Chauncey Parker. The showcase will also feature video highlights from the company’s weekly master class, Opera Invasion events, and Behind-the-Scenes conversations. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. EDT.

The Rake’s Progress – Glyndebourne (August 3-9)

Topi Lehtipuu, Matthew Rose, Miah Persson, Elena Manistina, Clive Bayley, Susan Gorton, Graham Clark, and Duncan Rock headline Stravinsky’s famed opera in a production conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

#OperaHarmony – OperaVision (August 4)

OperaVision will launch the first episode of this series, which will feature five unique short operas created during this period of lockdown. The five works, which include “A Man Drags the Carcass of a Deer,” “Auschwitz Lovers,” “Divas Furloughed,” “How does a building sing?,” and “The Den” are perfect viewing experiences for those craving new opera.

La Cifra – Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (August 5)

The company will kick off its watch parties with a presentation of Salieri’s “La Cifra” from a 2018 production directed by Bea Goodwin. Of the production, OperaWire’s review noted, “It’s remarkable that a work so old can be re-discovered and made into something that is also new and serves as proof for the number of unknown operatic treasures that have fallen into obscurity over the years. Lovers of opera will not want to miss the remaining performances of ‘La Cifra.’

Dmitrij – Fisher Center at Bard (August 5)

The 2017 production of “Dimitrijj” is a rare opportuntiy to see this unique opera by Dvorak. Directed by Anne Bogart and conducted by Leon Botstein, the opera stars Clay Hilley, Melissa Citro, Olga Tolkmit, Nora Sourouzian, Peixin Chen, and Joseph Barron, among others.

Of the performance, OperaWire’s review noted, “Bard Summerscape put together a solid cast and production that makes a good case for this opera to be brought to larger houses.”

Songs of Summer with Will Liverman – Seattle Opera (August 6)

The latest in a series of recitals by Seattle Opera features Will Liverman alongside pianist Jonathan King. The event can be watched on the company’s official website, Faccebook, or YouTube channel.

Agrippina – Metropolitan Opera (August 8)

This was not an easy selection given the quality of other Met Opera broadcasts throughout the week. But we don’t often spotlight many baroque operas and this one was a particular fascinating production with a vibrant cast headlined by Joyce DiDonato. In our review earlier in 2020 we noted “There is tremendous passion and attention to detail onstage (of which I didn’t even describe a sizable percentage) that is equally compelling for anyone witnessing it unfold.”