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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | Virtual Concerts You Absolutely Need To See This Week

By Joseph So on June 22, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of June 22 – 28.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of June 22 – 28.

Critic’s Picks (June 22 – 28)

“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 during the hiatus. The Wiener Staatsoper continues with archival material as well as live streams of mostly Lieder recitals. Social distancing means a tiny audience of 100 in a house meant for 1709, but it’s a start. All streamed performances free (although donations are welcome!) and available for a limited time. One-time free registration required for Vienna. Don’t miss out on streams from the Met, Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, Canadian Opera Company, Amici Chamber Ensemble, and of course the Screaming Divas.

Monday 22

Metropolitan Opera | Verdi’s La Traviata — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From March 11, 2017. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Mussorgsky & Rimsky-Korsakov’s Chowanschtschina — 10:00 a.m. (ET). Ferruccio Furlanetto, Christopher Ventris, Herbert Lippert, Andrzej Dobber, Ain Anger, Elena Maximova, conducted by Semyon Bychkov. From Nov. 21, 2014. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Live Stream: The Ensemble Presents Slavic Repertory “Kuda, kuda” — 1:30 p.m. (ET). Arias, duets and ensembles from Rusalka, Eugen Onegin, Iolanta, Pique Dame, Der Jahrmarkt von Sorotschinzy, Das Schneeflöckchen, and Aleko. | Details

Tuesday 23

Metropolitan Opera | John Adams’s Doctor Atomic — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Sasha Cooke, Thomas Glenn, Gerald Finley, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by Alan Gilbert. From November 8, 2008. | Details

Wednesday 24

Metropolitan Opera | Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. From October 20, 2018. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Bellini’s La Sonnambula — 10:00 a.m. (ET). Luca Pisaroni, Rosie Aldridge, Daniela Fally, Juan Diego Flórez, Maria Nazarova, Manuel Walser, Hacik Bayvertian, conducted by Guillermo Garcia Calvo. From Jan. 13, 2017. | Details

Thursday 25

Metropolitan Opera | Massenet’s Manon — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Carlo Bosi, Artur Ruciński, Brett Polegato, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From October 26, 2019. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Excerpts from Nurejev Galas “Nurejev Moments” — 8:00 a.m. (ET). Program contents unavailable at press time. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Live Stream Krassimira Stoyanova Recital — 1:30 p.m. (ET). Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano; Ludmil Angelov, piano. Program contents unavailable at press time. | Details

Friday 26

Metropolitan Opera | Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti, Juan Pons, and Enzo Dara, conducted by James Levine. From November 16, 1991. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Gottfried von Einem’s Danton’s Tod — 1:00 p.m. (ET). Benjamin Bruns, Tomasz Konieczny, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Ebenstein, Olga Bezsmertna, conducted by Dan Ettinger. From May 29, 2019. | Details

Saturday 27

Opera Revue | Toronto’s Opera Revue have been presenting opera and art song in casual environments with weekly mini-concerts online. Friday marks their 15th video in their Isolation Series since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. The latest video features a mini-concert of four songs (soprano/piano) each one with a guest instrumentalist recorded from isolation and edited together. | Details

Metropolitan Opera | Massenet’s Cendrillon — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Kathleen Kim, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. From April 28, 2018. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Don Carlo — 10:00 a.m. (ET). Anja Harteros, René Pape, Ramón Vargas, Ludovic Tézier, Alexandru Moisiuc, Jongmin Park, Béatrice Uria-Monzon, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From June 2, 2016. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Live Stream Gala Concert of the Wiener Staatsoper Ensemble — 1:30 p.m. (ET). Valentina Naforniţa, Chen Reiss, Stephanie Houtzeel, Margarita Gritskova, Rachel Frenkel, Tomasz Konieczny, Benjamin Bruns, Alessio Arduini, Samuel Hasselhorn, Jongmin Park, Adam Plachetka, Jörg Schneider. Conducted by Marco Armiliato and Adam Fischer. Program details unavailable at press time. | Details

Sunday 28

Metropolitan Opera | Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte — 7:30 p.m. (ET). Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, Christian Van Horn, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. From October 14, 2017. | Details

Vienna State Opera | Le Corsaire (ballet) — 1:30 p.m. (ET). Robert Gabdullin, Maria Yakovleva, Liudmila Konovalova, Kirill Kourlaev, Davide Dato, Alice Firenze, Mihail Sosnovschi, conducted by Valery Ovsyanikov. From April 2, 2016 | Details

Amici Chamber Ensemble | Celebrating Canada — 3:00 p.m. (ET). I attended this wonderful concert live, and now we can relive it with this virtual streaming. Soprano Mireille Asselin joins Amici Chamber Ensemble in an eclectic celebratory program of works by Beethoven, Joni Mitchell, Ernest Seitz, Leonard Cohen and others. | Details

Other interesting offerings:

1) Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s #OurHouseToYourHouse presents Die Zauberflöte. Julia Jones conducts the David McVicar production starring Siobhan Stagg (Pamina), Mauro Peter (Tamino), Roderick Williams (Papageno), Sabine Devieilhe (Queen of the Night), and Mika Kares (Sarastro). Available to July 3.

2) Royal Ballet Covent Garden’s #OurHouseToYourHouse presents Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée, in a performance from 2005. Anthony Twiner conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, with Marianela Nuñez (Lise), Carlos Acosta (Colas), and Will Tuckett (Widow Simone). Available on demand until June 26. | Details

3) The Screaming Divas (Sondra Radvanovsky and Keri Alkema) are — you guessed it — a scream. They are now up to Episode #14, all fascinating to opera fans. Don’t miss their most recent episodes with Norman Lebrecht and Rufus Wainwright, all available on demand.

4) Glyndebourne Open House presents Handel’s Rinaldo, directed by Canadian Robert Carsen, available on demand until June 27. Ottavio Dantone conducts, with a cast led by contralto Sonia Prina (Rinaldo), soprano Brenda Rae (Armida) and baritone Luca Pisaroni (Argante). | Details

5) Canadian Opera Company is streaming Abduction from the Seraglio, in a performance from 2018. Stage director Wajdi Mouawad’s interesting take on a work that is high problematic for 21st century sensibilities is well worth seeing. Johannes Debus leads an excellent cast starring Canadian soprano Jane Archibald as Konstanze and Swiss tenor Mauro Peter as Belmonte. Available on demand only until June 25, so don’t miss it! | Details

#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

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
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