OperaWire’s Top 7 Operas to Stream This Weekend

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Staatsoper Berlin/Ken Howard-Metropolitan Opera/P.S. Zoeller)

With social distancing in full effect, the opera world has come together to offer up a lot of streaming services. The beauty of it all is that there is seemingly endless choice. But on the other hand, there is so much choice that it could be hard to figure out what to check out. In the past, we have engaged with recommending our top five operas to check out on the weekend for those inclined to travel around the world. And while we know that the weekend isn’t much different from the weekday at the moment, we would like to maintain that tradition, adapted to this social context.

As such, we will endeavor to offer up our recommendations for operas you can stream on your weekend, for however long this may last. We recommend that you try a little bit of everything, so these are but a few choices that we have curated that really stuck out to us.

“Götterdämmerung” – Metropolitan Opera

Another option for your Friday night streaming would be the finale to Wagner’s big tetralogy, which the Met Opera will feature on its nightly streams service. The production of Robert LePage’s “machine” features Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde as well as James Hunter Morris in his breakout series of performances as Siegfried. Hunter Morris had been under the radar to that point before stepping in for Gary Lehman in the final two Ring operas and establishing himself on a larger stage in the opera world.

The cast is led by Fabio Luisi with a solid cast that also features Eric Owens, Hans-Peter König, and Waltraud Meier, among others. Watch here.

Dog Days – Beth Morrison Projects

An opera for our times, Royce Vavrek and David T. Little’s opera focuses on a family dealing with starvation while the young daughter Lisa develops a friendship with a man who acts like a dog. The opera moves into morally complex territory when the family, running out of food sees a solution to their starvation in the destitute man. It’s a challenging work with heavy metal added to its musical tapestry that offers up a unique experience for opera lovers, especially those looking for something new. Watch here.

Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt – On Site Opera

Maybe you want to watch something with the whole family? In that case, we would recommend checking out Musto and Einhorn’s “Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt,” courtesy of On Site Opera. This opera lasts all of 22 minutes and took place at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The performance is headlined by Jennifer Zetlan who is undeniably one of the most exciting sopranos dominating the interdependent opera scene. Watch here.

Lucia di Lammermoor – Bayerische Staatsoper

Diana Damrau was one of the great Lucias of the last 10 years and now the historical Munich theater is making her interpretation available in a modern production by Barbara Wysocka. Kirill Petrenko conducted the performance from 2015 which also starred Pavol Breslik, Dalibor Jenis, and Georg Zeppenfeld. And for Bel Canto purists, this version is complete with no cuts.

The stream will be available until April 8 and you can watch here.

I Capuleti e I Montecchi – Teatro Real

The Teatro Real, through the My Opera Player, is showing the rarely performed Bellini work with an exceptional cast that includes Joyce DiDonato and Patrizia Ciofi. The production from 2016 also stars Antonino Siragusa, Simon Orfila, and Marco Spotti. Bel Canto specialist Riccardo Frizza conducts the performance in Vincent Boussard legendary staging featuring costumes by Christian Lacroix.

The broadcast is geo-targeted  but with a VPN you watch here.

Das Land des Lächelns – Opernhaus Zurich

Lehar’s popular work will be launch Zurich’s streaming service with a cast that includes star tenor Piotr Beczala and Julia Kleiter. The acclaimed production from 2017 was conducted by Fabio Luisi and directed by Andreas Homoki. The cast also included Rebeca Olvera, Spencer Lang Count, Cheyne Davidson, and Martin Zysset.

You can stream the opera until March 29 right here.

Carmen – Staatsoper Berlin

For audiences who missed “Carmen” in Berlin, an unprecedented stream that featured no audience, the Staatsoper is encoring the performance. The historic showcase featured acclaimed mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili in her signature Carmen and Michael Fabiano in the role of Don Jose. The cast is rounded out by Lucio Gallo and Christiane Karg. Daniel Barenboim conducted the production.

OperaWire was at one of the final performances before the Staatsoper shutdown in the midst of the crisis and stated, “Michael Fabiano & Anita Rachvelishvili Deliver Unforgettable Final Performance In Challenging Times.”

You can watch the production here.