Plácido Domingo, Joyce DiDonato, Aleksandra Kurzak, Anthony Roth Costanzo Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This Week

By David Salazar

We’re starting to see the world open up slowly in some countries and rapidly in others. But the performing arts world isn’t quite opening at the same pace with few organizations back in the full swing of things. As a result, streaming options are ever-prevalent. So as we move into the summer months, here is a look at what operas we think you should check out this week.

Brooklyn Babylon – Beth Morrison Projects (NOW – Thursday, May 28)

For those looking for something more experimental, the Beth Morrison Projects has you covered with this multimedia performance composed by Darcy James Argue and featuring a story and visuals by Danijel Zezeelj. “Brooklyn Babylon” tells a story about the tallest tower in the world being constructed in the heart of futuristic Brooklyn.

Cendrillon – Royal Opera House (NOW)

This fantastic production by Laurent Pelly is led by Joyce DiDonato in a role she has dominated in recent history. She is flanked by a cast that includes Alice Coote as Prince Charming, Ewa Podlés as the Stepmother Madame de la Haltière, and Eglise Gutierrez as the Fairy Godmother (La Fée).

Asters –  New National Theatre Tokyo (Now – Friday, May 29)

This might be the most exciting of all the selections on this list. The work by Akira Nishimura and Mikiro Sasaki had its world premiere in Feb. 2019 and was nominated in the World Premiere category of the 2020 International Opera Awards. It’s not often that we get to see opera in Japanese portraying authentic Japanese themes and stories, so this is truly a rare opportunity that cannot be missed.

Golda Schultz in Concert – Bayerische Staatsoper (May 25)

If you really want a live performance, then you can’t go wrong with the Bayerische Staatsoper’s Monday recitals. This time around star soprano Golda Schultz performs with pianist Francesco Sergio Fundarò as well as such musicians and dancers as Paolo Taballione, Fabio Cerroni, Jeanette Kakareka, Dmitrii Vyskubenko, and Osiel Gouneo.

Boris Godunov – Opera de Paris (May 25-31)

Russia’s great opera gets streamed by the Paris National Opera this week. The cast, which is led by Ildar Abdrazakov, also includes Evdokia Malevskaya, Ruzan Mantashyan, Alexandra Durseneva, Maxim Paster, Boris Pinkhasovich, Ain Anger, Dmitry Golovnin, Evgeny Nikitin, and Peter Bronder.

Manon Lescaut – Metropolitan Opera (May 27)

This legendary performance is headlined by Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo. Scotto was one of those sopranos that gave tremendous intensity and passion to every performance she took on and this is definitely present in this Puccini performance. If you want to see what a consummate singing actor looks like, this is a performance to check out.

Tristan und Isolde – Vienna State Opera (May 28)

For the Wagner lovers out there, this showcase features Peter Schneider conducting a tremendous cast in Wagner’s masterwork. Peter Seiffert takes on Tristan with Iréne Theorin as his Isolde. Other cast members include Albert Dohmen as König Marke, Tomasz Konieczny as Kurwenal, Gabriel Bermúdez as Melot, and Petra Lang as Brangäne.

Breaking the Waves – Opera Philadelphia (May 29-31)

Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s masterpiece will be showcased in its world premiere run, which is a treat into and of itself. For those that have yet to catch this now-iconic work or missed out on its formative performances, this is another rare opportunity you simply can’t overlook.

Opera Jukebox (May 30)

Perhaps the most unique offering of the week, this online recital will feature such opera stars as Jamie Barton, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sasha Cooke, Kelly Markgraf, Leah Crocetto, Will Liverman, and Wei Wu as they seek to provide aid to the Artist Relief Tree. It’s an opportunity to not only enjoy opera, but provide support for artists struck financially by the COVID-19 crisis.

Rigoletto – Opernhaus Zürich (May 30 – June 1)

The Opernhaus Zürich presents Verdi’s opera with a stellar cast headlined by Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda, George Petean in the title role, and Saimir Pirgu as the Duca di Mantua. The package is tied together neatly by Fabio Luisi in the pit.