Roberto Alagna, Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato Headline Top 10 Operas to Stream This WeekBy David Salazar
We hope you are all doing well and holding up during these challenging times. Another week passes by but that means more opera streaming online. This week’s selections range from the standard repertory to unique new experiences spread across the world.
Here are the top 10 operas we think you should check out this week.
Madama Butterfly – Royal Swedish Opera (Now)
Asmik Grigorian is one of the rising opera stars of today, combining some fantastic vocalism with electric stage presence. All of this is on display in his stream of “Madama Butterfly, which remains available via OperaVision. She is joined by Daniel Johansson, Karl-Magnus Fredriksson, and Katarina Leoson under the musical direction of Lawrence Renes. Watch here.
Anatomy theater – Beth Morrison Projects (Now)
As per usual, Beth Morrison Projects offers up one of the most unique selections of the week with David Lang and Mark Dion’s “anatomy theater,” a work based on 18th century texts that follows the progression of a murderess from her confession to her execution and eventually dissection. The work stars Peabody Southwell, Marc Kudish, Robert Osborne, and Timur.
Murasaki’s Moon – On Site Opera (Now)
During the 2019 season, On Site Opera presented the world premiere of Michi Wiancko’s first opera, written by Deborah Brevoort at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now the company will provide audiences with an opportunity to relive or experience that performance for the first time via its online platform. For those interested in new opera, this is undeniably one of the top choices of the week.
One of R. Strauss’ greatest operas is currently streaming over at the Bayerische Staatsoper’s website and it boasts a formidable cast. The late Johan Botha stars alongside Adrianne Pieczonka, Deborah Polaski, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Wolfgang Koch, and Elena Pankratova, all under the musical leadership of Kirill Petrenko.
I Due Foscari – Opera Vision / Festival Verdi di Palermo (April 14, 2020)
This selection is a winner for two reasons. On the one hand, it’s a Verdi opera, so those that are inclined to check out something more in line with the classics will undoubtedly find much to enjoy here. But it’s also a rare work, which will likely be an altogether new experience for many. Moreover it features a truly solid cast headlined by pre-eminent Verdian Vladimir Stoyanov and rising star Maria Katzarava alongside Stefan Pop and Giacomo Prestia.
La Traviata – La Scala / RaiPlay (April 16, 2020)
A blast from 1991, this production of the Verdi masterwork is unique for a number of reasons. This was the first time the opera had returned to the famed theater in decades. Muti brought it back with Tiziana Fabbricini who was always viewed as an odd choice for the role. And while she is not the “typical” Violetta, in these performances her artistry has a unique intensity that allows for some fantastic chemistry with the young Roberto Alagna, arguably at his most pleasant vocally, even if his artistry still had some ways to go. But the best aspect of this performance is Muti, who presents a very complete version of the score, opening up cuts that have become more than tradition. Even those familiar with the opera will be surprised to hear music so often left out.
L’Italiana in Algeri – Vienna State Opera (April 17)
Among the rare comedies on the slate is the Rossini opera buffa starring Ildar Abdrazakov in a work that he has long dominated. But he is joined by a solid cast that also stars Aida Garifullina, Rachel Frenkel, Alessio Arduini, Anna Bonitatibus, PaoloRumetz, and Edgardo Rocha, among others.
I Capuleti e I Montecchi – Opernhaus Zürich (April 17-19)
Joyce DiDonato is one of those singers that makes the most out of every role she sings and Bellini’s Romeo is no difference. That alone makes this a top opera to see this week. But she is paired with the ever-impressive Olga Kulchynska under Fabio Luisi, who is one of the top conductors working today.
The Gambler – Staatsoper under den Linden (April 17, 2020)
There are a wide range of unique options on offer from the Staatsoper, but we want to highlight the rarely performed Prokofiev classic that was conducted by Daniel Barenboim in a production by Dmitri Tcherniakov. The cast includes Vladimir Ognovenko, Kristine Opolais, Misha Didyk, Stefania Toczyska, and Stephan Rügamer. For those that want to step away from the standard repertory, this is the work for you.
Adriana Lecouvreur – Metropolitan Opera (April 18, 2020)
As per usual, the Met Opera’s slate is full of major classics with a particular emphasis on the “Comte Ory” with Juan Diego Flórez, Joyce DiDonato, and Diana Damrau or “La Rondine” with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna. But for our money, we go with the Cilea opera and a superstar cast headlined by Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Piotr Beczała, and Ambrogio Maestri. After experiencing a performance of this run, OperaWire’s Francisco Salazar noted in his review, “For what it’s worth, this was, to this point, the best performance I have witnessed at the Met Opera in 2018-19. Nothing else comes close at all.”