Weekend Preview (12/23-25)- USA: Metropolitan Opera Braves Holiday With Three Operas

By David Salazar

Christmas weekend presents a quandary for major opera companies as attendance hits a snag for a few days as people stay home and spend time with families.

Despite that, there is one company that is braving the circumstances and keeping those opera lovers satisfied with performances through the holiday.

The Metropolitan Opera will showcase its production of The Magic Flute on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST with Janai Brugger, Jessica Pratt, Christopher Maltman, Ben Bliss and Morris Robinson performing under the tutelage of Anthony Walker.

As is usual, Saturday includes a double header of “L’Amour de Loin” and “Salome.” The former kicks off at 12 p.m. EST and stars Eric Owens, Susanna Phillips and Tamara Mumford while the second starts at 6 p.m. EST and stars Patricia Racette in the leading role. Regarding the production of Saariaho’s opera OperaWire wrote that ““L’Amour De Loin” is a work to be celebrated…Saariaho’s music profound and enriching, but it creates a desire for a repeat listen from the audience member, if only to plunge deeper and unlock more of its hidden treasures. Coupled with a thought-provoking libretto and a strong cast, this opera is truly enlightening.”

And with regards to Racette’s Salome, OperaWire was effusive, noting “it is highly recommended that anyone in the mood for an intense passionate night of great operatic singing, and especially acting, should make sure to catch one performance before the run is up.” Saturday evening’s performance is the second to last in the run.

There will also be a broadcast on Saturday afternoon of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” at 1 p.m. EST.