Critic’s Picks (June 29 – July 5)
“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. For the month of June, the Wiener Staatsoper featured both archival material and real-time live concerts, ending its streaming with a spectacular real-time concert with 30 singers and full orchestra on June 27. All performances free (although donations are welcome!) and available for a limited time. This week features streams from the Met, Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, among others.
Metropolitan Opera | Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Enrique Mazzola; with Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Kathleen Turner, Javier Camarena, and Maurizio Muraro. From March 2, 2019. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Verdi’s Rigoletto 1:00 pm (ET) Conducted by Evelino Pidò; with Juan Diego Flórez, Olga Peretyatko, Carlos Álvarez, Ain Anger, Nadia Krasteva. From Jan. 28, 2016. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Wagner’s Die Walküre (Viewer’s Choice) 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by James Levine; with Hildegard Behrens, Jessye Norman, Christa Ludwig, Gary Lakes, James Morris, and Kurt Moll. From April 8, 1989. A legendary performance and not-to-be-missed. | Details
Vienna State Opera | Verdi’s Falstaff 1:00 pm (ET) Conducted by Zubin Mehta; with Ambrogio Maestri, Ludovic Tézier, Paolo Fanale, Herwig Pecoraro, Riccardo Fassi, Thomas Ebenstein, Carmen Giannattasio, Hila Fahima, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Lilly Jørstad. From December 2, 2016. | Details
CBC Virtual Orchestra | World Premiere of Vivian Fung’s Prayer. CBC Music brings together 36 classical musicians from 28 orchestras and from every province in Canada to create The CBC Virtual Orchestra, in this new work commissioned by CBC Music. Jonathan Crow is concertmaster, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts. Prayer can be heard on July 1 on cbc.ca/music, and Canada-wide on radio and via the CBC Listen app during CBC Music’s Tempo with host Julie Nesrallah, and on CBC Radio One at 7:45 am local time with host Stephen Quinn as part of the Canada Day radio special Extraordinary Times: Canada Day 2020. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Shostakovich’s The Nose 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Pavel Smelkov; with Andrey Popov, Alexander Lewis, and Paulo Szot. From October 26, 2013. | Details
ViVA Trio | Canada Day Celebration Concert 8 pm (ET) This special Canada Day Concert was first streamed on June 25, and will be restreamed on Canada Day. It features a newly recorded O Canada in honour of Canada Day 2020. Artists participating include baritone Russell Braun, composer John Greer, singer Gavin Hope, the ViVA Trio, Rachel Lutrell, Mark Masri, and others. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Bizet’s Carmen 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado; with Anita Hartig, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ildar Abdrazakov. From November 1, 2014. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Mozart’s Don Giovanni 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Fabio Luisi; with Marina Rebeka, Barbara Frittoli, Mojca Erdmann, Ramón Vargas, Mariusz Kwiecień, Luca Pisaroni, and Štefan Kocán. From October 29, 2011. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Donizetti’s Don Pasquale 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Nicola Rescigno; with Beverly Sills, Alfredo Kraus, Håkan Hagegård, and Gabriel Bacquier. From January 11, 1979. | Details
Metropolitan Opera | Rossini’s La Donna del Lago 7:30 pm (ET) Conducted by Michele Mariotti; with Joyce DiDonato, Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Flórez, John Osborn, and Oren Gradus. From March 14, 2015. | Details
More interesting choices (video on demand)
1) Royal Ballet Covent Garden’s #OurHouseToYourHouse presents Woolf Works, a contemporary piece by Wayne McGregor, featuring an evocative score by Max Richter and inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf.
2) Eight opera houses participate in the OperaVision Summer Gala – Dutch National Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Glyndebourne, Teatro Real Madrid, Opera Comique Paris, Teatro dell’Opera Roma, Royal Swedish Opera, Polish National Opera, with lots of big stars. Available on demand until July 21, 1200 hrs CET. Not-to-be-missed. | Details
3) Seattle Opera presents Songs Of Summer, with mezzo Jamie Barton. Pianist is Jonathan Easter. Originally streamed on June 18, it’s available for two weeks. Built around the shared experiences under quarantine, this show is the Pride edition of Seattle Opera’s “Songs of Summer” Recital Series. French and English art songs, plus American standards by Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, and Irving Berlin. | Details
4) Glyndebourne Open House presents Ravel’s double-bill, L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges, available until 5 pm on Sunday 5 July. Kazushi Ono conducts the London Philharmonic. Mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Concepción), soprano Khatouna Gadelia (Child). This Ravel Double Bill was taped live at the Glyndebourne Festival 2012. | Details
5) Brott Music | Originally streamed on May 30, Boris Brott interviews Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, about her career, and she sings while accompanying herself on the guitar.