Leontyne Price, Joyce DiDonato, Fiorenza Cossotto Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

Another week in quarantine, but yet another week of exciting opera options. For those who have followed this series, you know that the 10 we usually recommend are a mixed bunch, with the intention of filling all diverse opera appetites with a wide-ranging menu.

This week is no different and perhaps, because of the unique options on offer, it might be the most eclectic of opera recommendations in this series to date. Happy Streaming!

The Veiled Prophet” – Wexford Festival Opera (Now)

We kick things off with a historic performance, the first in 125 years of this work by composer Charles Villiers Stanford. The performance stars soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, tenor Gavan Ring, mezzo-soprano Mairéad Buicke, and bass-baritone John Molloy. Those interested in long-lost works will definitely find something here to discover.

Mourning Star” – On Site Opera (Now)

Always pioneering, On Site Opera’s production are fascinating for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is it how it uses spaces to bring works to life For this opera by Ricky Ian Gordon and William Hoffman, the company headed to a 19th century synagogue for a story about a Russian Jewish family and their lives as immigrants in New York City.

“Rigoletto for Children” – OperaVision / Aslico (Now)

What is most interesting about this work is that on face value, it should not work. “Rigoletto,” one of the darkest operas ever written, is decidedly NOT for children. Which is what makes this exciting in terms of programming. What does the company do to retrofit the opera for an audience it is not intended for? This can be viewed right off OperaVision’s website.

“The Fiery Angel” – Bayerische Staatsoper (Now)

The Bayerische Staatsoper is now presenting Prokofiev’s unique “Fiery Angel” in a production directed by Barrie Kosky. It’s striking visually and features Evgeny Nikitin, Svetlana Sozdateleva, Vladimir Galouzine, Okka von der Damerau, Heike Grötzinger, and Elena Manistine under the musical direction of Vladimir Jurowski. It is also the production that is headed to the Metropolitan Opera next season.

“The Echo Drift” – American Opera Projects (Now)

As part of its AOPTV, the American Opera Projects is showcasing a unique work from the 2018 PROTOTYPE Festival composed by Mikael Karlsson and written by Elle Kunnos de Voss and Kathryn Walat. The productions, which is rather intimate in nature, features some dazzling visual effects that will definitely provide a major contrast from all the other recommendations on this list.

Le Nozze di Figaro” – Teatro alla Scala (April 30, 2020)

Mozart and Da Ponte’s undisputed masterwork is presented with a starry cast that includes Diana Damrau, Golda Schultz, Markus Werba, Carlos Álvarez, and Marianne Crebassa, to name just a few. This is the opera for those looking for a fine performance of a noted classic.

“Les Troyens” – Vienna State Opera (April 30, 2020)

Berlioz’s finest opera features a dazzling cast headlined by Joyce DiDonato, Anna Caterina Antonacci, and Brandon Jovanovich. Paolo Fanale provides luxury casting as Iopas with Alain Altinoglu conducting.

Aida” – Metropolitan Opera (May 1, 2020)

Let’s be honest. The Met Opera’s slate this coming week is quite spectacular, especially when you consider how it is programmed with the Donizetti trilogy kicking it all off; the inclusion of “Marnie,” “Prince Igor,” and “Luisa Miller” makes this, without a doubt, one of the most varied series of programmed operas. There isn’t one major repertory staple to speak of. Which of course means that of all the operas to recommend, I chose the repertory staple “Aida.” But the reason is simple – Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Simon Estes, and James McCracken. It’s one of the great historic performances in the company’s history and watching it with the knowledge that this was the end of Price’s legendary career always provides goosebumps.

Angel’s Bone” – LA Opera (May 1, 2020)

LA Opera was originally set to present this opera by Du Yun and Royce Vavrek live, but without an ability to do so, they did the next best thing – present a previous showcase of the work on the day they were originally going to give it a West Coast premiere. The opera will be available on the company’s website for one week.

Nabucco” – Opernhaus Zürich (May 1-3, 2020)

For those seeking out a repertory staple with a great cast, look no further than this production of Verdi’s early masterpiece headlined by Michael Volle, Georg Zeppenfeld, Veronica Simeoni, Anna Smirnova, and Benjamin Bernheim.