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Ludwig Van
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CRITIC'S PICKS | Virtual Concerts You Absolutely Need To See This Week (Streaming Edition)

By Joseph So on May 4, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 4 – 10.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 4 – 10.

Critic’s Picks (May 4 – 10)

“We live in an extraordinary Age” – Carl Sagan. Recent events have demonstrated this in no uncertain terms. A tiny previously unknown microbe, COVID-19, has shut down our musical life, hopefully only temporarily. Several opera companies and music organizations are offering video streaming services during the hiatus, including the MetVienna State Opera, Glyndebourne and Against the Grain Theatre. Now you can enjoy wonderful performances in the privacy of your own home — for free!

Monday 4

Metropolitan Opera | Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Susanne Mentzer, Dwayne Croft, and Sir Bryn Terfel; James Levine, conductor. A real gem from the Met archives, with a phenomenal cast. Not to be missed. Transmitted live on November 11, 1998. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Mozart: Don Quixote (ballet) — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Choreographer: Rudolf Nurejev; Kamil Pavelka (Don Quixote), Maria Yakovleva (Kitri/Dulcinea); Kevin Rhodes, conductor. Performance May 31, 2016. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Tuesday 5

Metropolitan Opera | Thomas: Hamlet — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Simon Keenlyside, and James Morris; Louis Langrée, conductor. Transmitted live on March 27, 2010. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Marina Rebeka (Tatjana), Margarita Gritskova (Olga), Boris Pinkhasovich (Eugen Onegin), Pavol Breslik (Lenski), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Fürst Gremin); Michael Guttler, conductor. Performance November 26, 2019. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Wednesday 6

Metropolitan Opera | Saariaho: L’Amour de Loin — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Susanna Phillips, Tamara Mumford, and Eric Owens. Susanna Malkki, conductor. Transmitted live on December 10, 2016. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Bellini: I puritani — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Olga Peretyatko (Elvira), Carlos Álvarez (Sir Riccardo Forth), John Tessier (Lord Arturo Talbo), Jongmin Park (Sir Giorgio), Sorin Coliban (Lord Gualtiero Valton), Ilseyar Khayrullova (Enrichetta di Francia), Carlos Osuna (Sir Bruno Roberton); Marco Armiliato, conductor. Performance March 10, 2015. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Thursday 7

Metropolitan Opera | Strauss: Capriccio — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Renée Fleming, Sarah Connolly, Joseph Kaiser, Russell Braun, Morten Frank Larsen, and Peter Rose. Sir Andrew Davis, conductor. Transmitted live on April 23, 2011. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Werther — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Ludovic Tézier (Werther), Adrian Eröd (Albert), Alexandru Moisiuc (Le Bailli), Sophie Koch (Charlotte), Maria Nazarova (Sophie), Peter Jelosits (Schmidt), Marcus Pelz (Johann); Frederic Chaslin, conductor. Performance March 1, 2017. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Friday 8

Metropolitan Opera | Puccini: La Bohème – Viewers’ Choice — 7:30 p.m. (ET). This is the show that started it all – I am referring to the televising of operas from the Met in the modern era. It began on television, and eventually evolved into Met Live in HD in the cinemas. Renata Scotto and Luciano Pavarotti. James Levine, conductor. Transmitted live on March 15, 1977. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Grieg: Peer Gynt (ballet) — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Choreography: Edward Clug; Jakob Feyferlik (Peer Gynt), Alice Firenze (Solveig); Simon Hewett, conductor. Performance December 4, 2018. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Saturday 9

Metropolitan Opera | The Opera House — 7:30 p.m. (ET). A 2017 feature-length documentary by Susan Froemke about the creation and 1966 opening of the new Met at Lincoln Center. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Weber: Der Freischütz — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Samuel Hasselhorn (Ottokar), Anna Gabler (Agathe), Chen Reiss (Ännchen),Tomasz Konieczny (Caspar), Christopher Ventris (Max), Hans Peter Kammerer (Samiel); Sebastian Weigle, conductor. Performance September 11, 2018. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Sunday 10

Metropolitan Opera | Mascagni: Cavalleria & Leoncavallo: Rusticana — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcelo Álvarez, and George Gagnidze. Pagliacci Patricia Racette, Marcelo Álvarez, and George Gagnidze. Conducted by Fabio Luisi. From April 25, 2015. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Juan Diego Flórez (Graf Almaviva), Paolo Rumetz (Bartolo), Margarita Gritskova (Rosina), Rafael Fingerlos (Figaro); Evelino Pido, conductor. Performance May 21, 2019. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Additional interesting streams by other companies as well as by individual artists:

1) Glyndebourne’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail directed by David McVicar is well worth watching, with a fine cast: Sally Mathews (Konstanze), Edgaras Montvidas (Belmonte), Tobias Kehrer (Osmin), Brenden Gunnell (Pedrillo), Mari Eriksmoen (Blondchen), and Frank Saurel (Pasha Selim), conducted by Robin Ticciati. Available until May 20, 2020 at 1200 CET. Details here.

2) Here’s Episode #4 of the Screaming Divas (aka Sondra Radvanovsky and Keri Alkema), interviewing the fabulous Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci, who made a sensational debut with the COC this past season. One gets a real sense of the serious impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts from the perspectives of the artists, and how they are coping.

3) Canadian baritone Alex Dobson and his violinist wife Jimin Shin are live-streaming Voice and Violin Across the Ages, under the auspices of the National Arts Centre, on Wednesday May 6 at 5 pm (Eastern Time). The program includes works from the Baroque Era to the 20th Century, by Bach, Telemann, Mozart, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Butterworth and Gershwin. Details here. It is also available on their Facebook page.

4) Against the Grain Theatre, together with CBC Arts and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are hosting a live Watch Party of AtG’s La Boheme on Tuesday, May 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. This is an encore of a performance shown last year. There will be conversations with some of the cast members, including Marcel d’Entremont, Jonelle Sills, Danika Lorèn, Clarence Frazer and others. Access here.

5) This week’s Critic’s Picks ends with something uplifting: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s great musical Carousel, here performed by a virtual choir/orchestra from15 countries and 300 singers and instrumentalists. Warning – this may bring tears to your eyes.

#LUDWIGVAN

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Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).

Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).
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