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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

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

By Joseph So on May 25, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 25 – 31.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 25 – 31.

Critic’s Picks (May 25 – 31)

“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. Many opera companies and music organizations are offering video streaming services during the hiatus. This week, in addition to the two old standby’s — the Met and Vienna, we’re exploring other delectable options such as the Glyndebourne Open House, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company’s “From the Vault” series. Now you can enjoy wonderful performances in the privacy of your own home — for free!

Monday 25

Metropolitan Opera | Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and John Relyea, conducted by James Levine. Performance of November 22, 2008. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Mozart’s Don Giovanni — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Simon Keenlyside (Don Giovanni), Sorin Coliban (Der Komtur), Irina Lungu (Donna Anna), Benjamin Bruns (Don Ottavio), Dorothea Röschmann (Donna Elvira), Erwin Schrott (Leporello), Ileana Tonca (Zerlina), Manuel Walser (Masetto) Conducted by Adam Fischer. Performance of January 29, 2017. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Tuesday 26

Metropolitan Opera | Verdi’s Ernani — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Angela Meade, Marcello Giordani, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Performance of February 25, 2012. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Donizetti’s La fille du regiment — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Julie Fuchs (Marie), John Tessier (Tonio), Donna Ellen (Marquise de Berkenfield), Carlos Álvarez (Sulpice), Marcus Pelz (Hortensius) Conducted by Evelino Pidò. Performance of September 25, 2016. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Wednesday 27

Metropolitan Opera | Puccini’s Manon Lescaut — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Pablo Elvira, conducted by James Levine. Performance of March 29, 1980. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Strauss’ Salome — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Lise Lindstrom (Salome), Herwig Pecoraro (Herodes), Waltraud Meier (Herodias), Michael Volle (Jochannan), Carlos Osuna (Narraboth) Conductor by Michael Boder. Performance of January 24, 2020. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Thursday 28

Metropolitan Opera | Berlioz’s Les Troyens — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Performance of January 5, 2013. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Peter Seiffert (Tristan), Iréne Theorin (Isolde), Albert Dohmen (König Marke), Tomasz Konieczny (Kurwenal), Gabriel Bermúdez (Melot), Petra Lang (Brangäne) Conducted by Peter Schneider. Performance of January 18, 2015. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) Details

Friday 29

Metropolitan Opera | Bellini’s La Sonnambula (Viewers’ Choice) — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, conducted by Evelino Pidò. Performance of March 21, 2009. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Mozart’s Don Giovanni — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Mariusz Kwiecien (Don Giovanni), Sorin Coliban (Der Komtur), Marina Rebeka (Donna Anna), Benjamin Bruns (Don Ottavio), Juliane Banse (Donna Elvira), Erwin Schrott (Leporello), Andrea Carroll (Zerlina), Jongmin Park (Masetto) Conducted by Adam Fischer. Performance of November 1, 2015. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Saturday 30

Metropolitan Opera | Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, conducted by Domingo Hindoyan. Performance of February 10, 2018. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Luca Pisaroni (Conte d’Almaviva), Olga Bezsmertna (Contessa d’Almaviva), Anita Hartig (Susanna), Adam Plachetka (Figaro), Rachel Frenkel (Cherubino) Conducted by Sascha Goetzel. Performance of November 25, 2014. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) | Details

Sunday 31

Metropolitan Opera | Strauss’ Salome — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Karita Mattila, Ildikó Komlósi, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser, and Juha Uusitalo, conducted by Patrick Summers. Performance of October 11, 2008. Available for 23 hours | Details

Vienna State Opera | Strauss’ Arabella — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Wolfgang Bankl (Graf Waldner), Stephanie Houtzeel (Adelaide), Camilla Nylund (Arabella), Chen Reiss (Zdenka), Bo Skovhus (Mandryka), Daniela Fally (Die Fiakermilli). Conducted by Peter Schneider. Performance of March 17, 2017. Available for 72 hours (free registration required) Details

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

1) Beginning May 24, every Sunday 5 p.m. (London time), Glyndebourne Open House will present one opera for streaming, and will remain available for one week. This week (May 24-31) it’s The Marriage of Figaro, starring Vito Priante (Figaro) and Lydia Teuscher (Susanna), conducted by Robin Ticciati.

2) Royal Opera House Covent Garden presents Massenet’s Cendrillon in the brilliant Laurent Pelly production with a top cast — Joyce DiDonato (Cendrillon); Alice Coote (Prince Charming); Eglise Gutiérrez (Fairy Godmother); and Ewa Podleś (Stepmother).

3) Boston Symphony Orchestra presents Heroic Performances: Andris Nelsons’ Inaugural Concert, as its music director, recorded September 27, 2014. An evening of arias and duets by Wagner, Mascagni, Catalani, and Puccini, with soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann.

4) With its new From the Vault initiative, Canadian Opera Company streams complete operas beginning with a 2017 Arabella, starring Erin Wall (Arabella) and Tomasz Konieczny (Mandryka), conducted by Patrick Lange. Available until May 27. Because the COC has not been telecasting performances for many years, the only video source comes from archival documents, with a single, stationary camera at the back of the auditorium and no close-ups. Not ideal visually, but these remain historically important documents.

5) Richard Wagner spent his early career in Riga, Latvia, as chief conductor of the City Theater (1837–1839). The Richard Wagner Theatre of Riga has since fallen into disrepair. GesamtkunstWerke21 organized a fundraising concert on May 22, Wagner’s 207th birthday, to raise funds to restore the theatre. Pianist Reinis Zariņš performed works of Wagner and Liszt.

6) This week’s CP ends with a light-hearted look at tenor Klaus Florian Vogt (Tamino), soprano Camilla Nylund (Pamina), and bass Rene Pape (Sarastro), in a virtual piano rehearsal of the trio from Die Quaranflöte – oops, Die Zauberflöte, courtesy of Semperoper Dresden.

#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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