Critic’s Picks (June 1 – 7)
“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 standbys — the Met and Vienna — we’re exploring other delectable options such as Glyndebourne Open House, the COC’s “From the Vault” series, the Royal Ballet (London), and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Now you can enjoy wonderful performances in the privacy of your own home — for free!
Metropolitan Opera | Bellini’s I Puritani — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo, and John Relyea. Conducted by Patrick Summers. Transmitted live on January 6, 2007. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Stephen Gould, Camilla Nylund, Mihoko Fujimura, Clemens Unterreiner, Maria Nazarova, Tomasz Konieczny, Nina Stemme. Conducted by Christian Thielmann. Performance of Oct. 18, 2019. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Berg’s Lulu — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber. Conducted by Lothar Koenigs. Transmitted live on November 21, 2015. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Adès’ The Tempest — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Adrian Eröd, Audrey Luna, Thomas Ebenstein, Stephanie Houtzeel, Herbert Lippert. Conducted by Thomas Adès. Performance of June 24, 2016. | Details
New Classical 96.3 FM | Interactive Conversation with Members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra — 12 p.m. Kathleen Kajioka is joined by TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow, Principal Double-Bass Jeffrey Beecher, Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey and Principal Harp Heidi Elise Bearcroft for an in-depth, interactive session. Watch videos the musicians have made during lockdown, and listeners will get a chance to ask questions. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Danielle de Niese, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Stephanie Blythe. Conducted by James Levine. Transmitted live on January 24, 2009. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Strauss’ Elektra — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Anna Larsson, Nina Stemme, Gun-Brit Barkmin, Norbert Ernst, Falk Struckmann. Conducted by Mikko Franck. Performance of April 11, 2015. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Facebook Watch Party 4 p.m. (ET). Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear plays a program of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Goodyear himself, this last a RCM commission: “Acabris! Acabras! Acabram!” Performance of Dec. 4, 2016.
Metropolitan Opera | Puccini’s Tosca — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Shirley Verrett, Luciano Pavarotti, Cornell MacNeil. Conducted by James Conlon. Transmitted live on December 19, 1978. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Giordano’s Andrea Chénier — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Roberto Frontali, Ilseyar Khayrullova, Donna Ellen, Zoryana Kushpler, Boaz Daniel, Manuel Walser. Conducted by Marco Armiliato. Performance of May 2, 2018. | Details
Piano Lunaire | Strawberry Moon — 7:30 p.m. (ET). After a two-month absence, the Piano Lunaire is now online, with its first event, Strawberry Moon, featuring pianist/composer Adam Sherkin playing four sonata movements by Haydn, plus works by Lowell Liebermann, Nina Simone and Sherkin himself. Tune in via Instagram. The entire show will also be available on YouTube. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan, Alice Coote, Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, Frédéric Antoun, David Portillo, David Adam Moore, Rod Gilfry, Kevin Burdette, Christian Van Horn, John Tomlinson. Conducted by Thomas Ades. Transmitted live on November 18, 2017. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Beethoven’s Fidelio (original version) — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Jennifer Davis, Katrin Röver, Benjamin Bruns, Falk Struckmann, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Samuel Hasselhorn, Chen Reiss, Jörg Schneider. Conducted by Tomas Netopil. Performance of Feb. 1, 2020. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Verdi’s Otello — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Sonya Yoncheva, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Željko Lučić. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on October 17, 2015. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Lortzing’s Undine — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Carlos Osuna, Annika Gerhards, Lydia Rathkolb, Tae-Joong Yang, Il Hong. Conducted by Johannes Wildner. Performance of April 18, 2015. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Massenet’s Thaïs — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Renée Fleming, Michael Schade, and Thomas Hampson. Conducted by Jesús López-Cobos. Transmitted live on December 20, 2008. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur — 9:00 a.m. (ET). Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Giordano, Roberto Frontali, Jongmin Park, Jinxu Xiahou. Conducted by Evelino Pidò. Performance of Feb. 22, 2014. | Details
Additional interesting streams by other companies as well as by individual artists:
1) Glyndebourne Open House this week is Don Giovanni. It started yesterday (May 31) and continues to be available on demand until June 6. Glyndebourne’s former Music Director Vladimir Jurowski conducts Jonathan Kent’s 2010 production, with a great cast led by Canadian baritone Gerald Finley in the title role. Luca Pisaroni (Leporello), Anna Samuil (Donna Anna), Kate Royal (Donna Elvira), William Burden (Don Ottavio), Anna Virovlansky (Zerlina) and Guido Loconsolo (Masetto). | Details
2) Royal Opera House Covent Garden presents the Royal Ballet in a premiere stream of The Cellist, Cathy Marston’s ballet based on the life of Jacqueline du Pré. If you enjoyed Tapestry Opera’s world premiere of Jacqueline which I reviewed last February, you wouldn’t want to miss this. Available on demand until June 12.
3) Canadian Opera Company’s From the Vault series continues with L’Elisir d’amore starring Andrew Haji (Nemorino), Simone Osborne (Adina), and Gordon Bintner (Belcore). Available until May 27. Yves Abel conducts. An archival video, it uses a single, stationary camera at the back of the auditorium and no close-ups. | Details
4) The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir presents Great Poets In Music. David Fallis shares performances of choral works for the TMC’s live May 30th concert that was cancelled due to COVID-19, including masterpieces by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar and Leonard Cohen. Stratford actors Tom McCamus and Lucy Peacock recite the poetry and present short scenes from works by Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. Live streamed on May 30, it is now available on demand. | Details