Luciano Pavarotti, J’Nai Bridges, Ana Maria Martinez, Benjamin Bernheim, Hildegard Behrens Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

Even though we are slowly inching back to real-world performances, streaming in the opera world is going as strong as ever. In this week’s edition of the Top 10 you will see your fair share of operatic repertory as well as some unique recital experiences.

Atilla – OperaVision (NOW)

Operavision will stream a 2011 performance of the early Verdi opera starring bass Orlin Anastasov in the title role, Radostina Nikolaeva as Odabella, Ventseslav Anastasov as Ezio, Daniel Damyanov as Foresto, Dimitar Stanchev as Leone, and Plamen Papazikov as Uldino. Alessandro Sangiorgi conducted the performance.

Watch it here. 

The Impresario – Enigma Chamber Opera (NOW)

Enigma Chamber Opera has adapted this rare Mozart work to the times of COVID, focusing the story on director Sir Nick Hall, his investor Judas Angel, and his assistant Bluff as they struggle to mount a production in a locked-down world of Zoom meetings, selfie videos, and moments of intense isolation.

Watch it here. 

Femmes Libres? – Opéra de Lyon (March 22- 26)

Opéra de Lyon will stream two new productions of “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” and “Ariane et Barbe-bleue” as part of its Femme Libres festival. Both operas will be available for streaming on Moreover, the festival will include conferences and dialogues about women in opera.

Watch it here. 

Idomeneo – Metropolitan Opera (March 26)

At the Met, the stream to check out is the star-studded Mozart opera which is headlined by Luciano Pavarotti. But he’s not the only star attraction in this stream. The production also features such legendary talent as Hildegard Behrens, Ileana Cotrubas, and Frederica von Stade.

Watch it here.  

J’Nai Bridges in Recital – Washington Performing Arts (March 26)

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges will appear in recital as part of “In The Arts, Undistanced: Online Artist Conversations Beyond Boundaries.” The mezzo will be accompanied by pianist Lester Green for a specially-crafted program, featuring composers such as Richard Danielpour, Florence Price, Shawn Okpebholo, Carlos Simon, Margaret Bonds, along with classic works from Brahms and Berg.

Watch it here. 

Suite Española: Explorando Iberia – Houston Grand Opera (March 26)

Houston Grand Opera will present a unique concert experience celebrating the music of Spain, including the art form known as zarzuela by featuring a collage of selections from the repertoire’s most beautiful pieces. Soprano Ana Maria Martinez will be joined by pianist, Kevin J. Miller, guitarist Jeremy Garcia, and percussionist, Richard Brown, flamenco dancers Manuel Gutierrez Cabello and Ana María Barceló, and two HGO Studio artists, tenor Ricardo Garcia and baritone Blake Denson. Cuban artist Irma La Paloma will serve as choreographer, and Ecuadorian composer Chia Patiño, stage director for the University of Texas Butler Opera Center, directs.

Watch it here. 

Faust – Paris (March 26)

The Opéra National de Paris will debut a new production of Gounod’s perennial masterwork with a star-laden cast headlined by Benjamin Bernheim as Faust, Ermonela Jaho as Marguerite, Christian Van Horn as Mephistophélès, and Florian Sempey as Valentin.  The opera is directed by Tobias Kratzer.

Watch it here. 

Brown Sounds – LA Opera (March 26)

LA Opera, in collaboration with the African American Art Song Alliance, Aural Compass Projects, Black Opera Alliance, National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Philadelphia Dance Company, will present the online premiere of Jeremy Adonis’ digital short film, “Brown Sounds.”

The work is a celebration of the Black experience which blends poetry, music, and dance. Featuring an all-black creative team, the film was spearheaded by Raehann Bryce-Davis, who serves as executive producer, conceptual creator, and stars as the mezzo-soprano soloist. Accompanied by Jeanne-Minette Cilliers, Davis will perform a setting of poetry by Henry Dumas, a leading voice of the civil rights era, composed for her by Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

Watch it here. 

And Yet She Persisted – Festival Opera (March 27)

Soprano Carrie Hennessey and pianist Jennifer Reason will come together to perform a recital celebrating women composers. The duo will perform works by such composers as Pauline Viardot, Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, and Julia Seeholzer.

Watch it here. 

Götterdämmerung – San Francisco Opera (March 27-28)

The San Francisco Opera will finish off its monthly Ring exploration with the final episode in the tetralogy. The opera stars Iréne Theorin and Daniel Brenna. Check out reviews for previous installments here and here.

Watch the final installment here.