Lawrence Brownlee, Ryan Speedo Green, Olga Borodina, Nicole Heaston, Johnathan McCullough Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

It turns out that despite some progress, we are in for a sustained lockdown period to start 2021. But what we are also seeing from opera companies is greater flexibility and creativity on the streaming front. That is on full display in this week’s edition of our top 10 operas to stream with a bevy of new short opera films, some celebratory recitals and concerts, and four operas from the standard repertory featuring some of the world’s most renowned artists.

Without further ado, here are our top 10 operas to stream this week.

The West is a Land of Infinite Beginnings – Los Angeles Opera (NOW)

The LA Opera is streaming this unique short opera by Missy Mazzoli based on the short story by Karen Russell about a 19th-century farming family struggling to fulfill the requirement of the Homestead Act. The surreal opera’s libretto was written by Mazzoli’s frequent collaborator Royce Vavrek and features Andrew Harris, Cree Carrico, Abigail Nims, and Michael Slattery. Christopher Rountree conducts.

Watch it here. 

The Opera Guild Home Concert with Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou– New Orleans Opera (NOW)

For those looking for a more laidback recital experience, New Orleans Opera will showcase a virtual concert featuring opera stars Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou in a program of arias and duets from works such as “Tosca,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Samson and Delilah,” and more. The operatic duo will be joined by Maestro Robert Lyall, pianist Michael Borowitz, and a string quartet from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Watch it here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert – Cleveland Orchestra (NOW)

The Cleveland Orchestra will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with a stream of its 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert. The showcase featured Music Director Franz Welser-Möst leading The Cleveland Orchestra, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Chorus, soloist Ryan Speedo Green, and narrator James Pickens, Jr.

Watch it here. 

Titon et l’Aurore – Opéra Comique (Jan. 19)

The Opéra Comique is set to stream this this rare opera by Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville with a cast including Reinoud Van Mechelen, Gwendoline Blondeel, Julie Roset, Emmanuelle de Negri, Marc Mauillon, Renato Dolcini, Virginie Thomas, Maud Gnidzaz, and Juliette Perret. William Christie will conduct the production by Basil Twist. The performance will feature the Chœur et Orchestre Les Arts Florissants.

Watch it here.

Samson et Dalila – San Francisco Opera (Jan. 23, 24)

The San Francisco Opera will continue its streaming series with Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila.” The production by Nicolas Joël stars Clifton Forbis and Olga Borodina.

The cast also includes Juha Uusitalo, Eric Jordan, and Oren Gradus. Patrick Summers conducts the production which represented the first free simulcast by the Company to the home of the Giants, with approximately 15,000 people in attendance.

Watch it here.

Così fan tutte – Teatro alla Scala (Jan. 23)

The Teatro alla Scala concludes the month of January with a stream of the Mozart-Da Ponte classic. Giovanni Antonini conducts a cast that includes Eleonora Buratto (Fiordiligi), Emily d’Angelo (Dorabella), Federica Guida (Despina), Alessio Arduini (Guglielmo), Bogdan Volkov (Ferrando) and Pietro Spagnoli (Don Alfonso).

Watch it here. 

Giving Voice: Lawrence Brownlee and Friends Sing Opera, Gospel, and Standards – Houston Grand Opera (Jan. 22)

This free digital stream will feature Lawrence Brownlee and Nicole Heaston as hosts alongside such other artists as baritone Donnie Ray Albert, tenor Frederick Ballentine, mezzo-soprano and HGO Studio alumna Zoie Reams, soprano Karen Slack, as well as four current HGO Studio artists: baritone Blake Denson, bass Cory McGee, soprano Raven McMillon, and bass-baritone Nicholas Newton. Kevin J. Miller, assistant conductor with HGO, will accompany all the soloists on piano.

Watch it here. 

The Serenade – Victor Herbert Renaissance (NOW)

For those seeking out something a bit lighter for their weekly opera menu, let us recommend this Victor Herbert operetta from 1897. It will serve as a unique introduction to a composer who bridged the worlds of opera and musical theater at the turn of the century.

Watch it here.

Soldier Songs – Opera Philadelphia (Jan. 22)

Baritone Johnathan McCullough stars and directs in this film version of David T. Little’s renowned opera. This is probably one of the most hotly anticipated video productions in recent memory and undeniably a display of how a true merging of opera and film can achieve.

Watch it here. 

I Puritani – Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Jan. 23)

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma continues its digital opera series with a concert version of Bellini’s final work starring Jessica Pratt and Lawrence Brownlee. The performance will be conducted by Roberto Abbado and will also star Franco Vassallo and Roberto Lorenzi. Artists from the “Fabbrica” Young Artist Program del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Rodrigo Ortiz, and Irene Savignano will round out the cast.

Watch it here.