Marina Rebeka, Michael Fabiano, Sonya Yoncheva, Deborah Nansteel, Aleksandra Kurzak Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

There’s no doubt that it hasn’t been an easy week in the opera world. With COVID-19 continuing to spread across the world at alarming rates, companies across Europe have entered a second lockdown, ending what many hoped would be a continuation of performances throughout the 2020-21 season.

But it has not quite worked out that way. As such, online broadcasts and performances continue to be our main source of opera for the foreseeable future.

This week’s offerings range from baroque classics to a historic performance from recent times, to some high-profile recitals featuring opera’s greatest stars, to a prominent opera festival continuing its mission in the midst of the crisis. Here

La Traviata – Opera Vision / Teatro Real de Madrid (NOW)

When the pandemic shut down the opera world, the Teatro Real de Madrid was one of the first companies to take a chance on bringing opera back under new situations. Out of that came this production starring Marina Rebeka, Michael Fabiano, and Artur Rucinski. Besides great music-making from these star singers, audiences also get a chance to see what a socially-distanced opera performance looks like and what that reality might translate into as the opera world continues moving forward. It is, in many ways, a historic performance.

Watch it here.

Live from the Cullen – Houston Grand Opera (NOW)

The Houston Grand Opera continues its “Live from the Cullen” recital series with a concert performance featuring tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz and pianist Kirill Kuzmin as they perform music by Puccini, Massenet, Cesare Andrea Bixio, Louis Armstrong, Leonard Cohen, among many others.

Watch it here.

Aci, Galatea e Polifemo – OperaStreaming / Teatro Municipale di Piacenza (NOW)

Those seeking out some baroque opera can’t go wrong with this production of Handel’s work. It stars a luxury cast of baroque specialists including Raffaele Pè, Giuseppina Bridelli, and Andrea Mastroni in the title roles. Luca Guglielmi conducts and performs at the harpsichord.

Watch it here.

L’Enfant et les Sortilèges – VOPERA (Nov. 16)

VOPERA will present “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges” in a broadcast featuring Emily Edmonds in the title role alongside Karen Cargill as Maman and Michael Sumuel as Un Arbre. Other cast members include Marcus Farnsworth, Alison Rose, Kieran Rayner, Thomas Atkins, Jane Monari, Sarah Hayashi, Chloe Morgan, Elizabeth Lynch Claire Lees, Paul Hopwood, Shuna Scott Sendall, Jerome Knox, Idunnu Münch, Eleanor Penfold, Elizabeth Karani, Gavan Ring, Marta Fontanais-Simmons, and Philippa Boyce.

Watch it here.

America Sings – Saratoga Opera (Nov. 19)

Mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel kicks off Saratoga Opera’s new series with a concert showcase alongside pianist Giovanni Reggioli. The duo will take on music by George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rogers, Erroll Garner, Richard Wagner, William Bolcom, along with a selection of traditional spirituals.

Watch it here.

As One – Orchestre Classique de Montreal (Nov. 20)

The Orchestre Classique de Montréal will present Kaminsky, Reed, and Campbell’s famed chamber opera in a unique virtual performance. While the opera has toured widely around North America, this is a unique opportunity for audiences worldwide to get a chance to check out one of the most-performed operas of the last few years. The work stars Phillip Addis and Sarah Bissonnette.

Watch it here.

Sonya Yoncheva in Germany – Metropolitan Opera (Nov. 21)

The famed soprano will present a recital live from the Baroque library of the Schussenried Cloister, performing alongside pianist Malcolm Martineau. The duo will perform music by Verdi, Puccini, Purcell, Dvorak, Handel, Bellini, and Bizet. Yoncheva is one of the opera world’s most renowned sopranos and this diverse array of repertory should make for an intriguing concert.

Watch it here.

Rigoletto – San Francisco Opera (Nov 21-22)

Zeljko Lucic brings his trademark interpretation of the title role, but you also can’t miss out on Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda, one of her finest roles. The cast from the 2012 transmission also features Francesco Demuro, Kendall Gladen, and Robert Pomakov. The production by Harry Silverstein is conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

Watch it here.

Marino Faliero & Belisario – Donizetti Festival (Nov 21 & 22)

The Donizetti Opera Festival is undeniably one of the great niche events of the year, allowing audiences an opportunity to delve deeper into the works of one of the great Italian composers of all time. And despite Italy canceling all live performances due to COVID-19, this year’s event will take place solely online, allowing audiences a chance to continue the yearly Donizetti exploration via a new means. This weekend features a two-for-one package with these two rare works taking centerstage. We could not pick between the two, so we recommend you check them both out. “Marino Faliero” stars Michele Angelini, Francesca Dotto, and Michele Pertusi while “Belisario” will showcase the talents of  Roberto Frontali, Carmela Remigio, Annalisa Stroppa, and Celso Albelo.

Watch it here.