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

By Joseph So on July 6, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of July 6 – 12.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of July 6 – 12.

Critic’s Picks (July 6 – 12)

“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. Now that June 2020 is history, the Wiener Staatsoper’s feast of both archival and live streaming appear to be over, but there are plenty of other choices. All performances free (although donations are welcome!) and available for a limited time. This week features streams from the Met every evening, plus Glyndebourne’s Der Rosenkavalier, Covent Garden’s La Boheme, and more.

Monday 6

Metropolitan Opera | Puccini’s La Bohème 7:30 pm ET Sonya Yoncheva, Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, Lucas Meachem, Alexey Lavrov, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Performance from February 24, 2018. | Details

Tuesday 7

Ludwig Van | Alexis Ffrench 2:00 pm ET With 100m+ downloads and over 1.5m monthly Spotify listeners, Alexis Ffrench in one of the most streamed classical music artists in the world. Join LV as we chat with Ffrench about his career, how he’s dealing with the COVID-19 lockdown, and talk about the journey to create his follow-up album ‘Dreamland’ with Sony Music. Not-to-be-missed. | Details

Metropolitan Opera | Verdi’s Il Trovatore 7:30 pm ET Éva Marton, Dolora Zajick, Luciano Pavarotti, and Sherrill Milnes, conducted by James Levine. Performance from October 15, 1988. | Details

Wednesday 8

Metropolitan Opera | Mozart’s Così fan tutte 7:30 pm ET Susanna Phillips, Isabel Leonard, Danielle de Niese, Matthew Polenzani, Rodion Pogossov, and Maurizio Muraro, conducted by James Levine. Performance from April 26, 2014. | Details

Thursday 9

Canadian Opera Company | Songs of Hope COC Ensemble 7:30 pm ET The COC Ensemble Studio artists (Joel Allison, bass-baritone; Matthew Cairns, tenor; Vartan Gabrielian, bass-baritone; Simona Genga, mezzo-soprano; Jamie Groote, mezzo-soprano; Rachael Kerr, pianist/intern coach; Lauren Margison, soprano; Anna-Sophie Neher, soprano; Alex Soloway, pianist/intern coach) will each perform a piece close to their hearts, in a program that includes songs by Schubert and Britten, alongside a traditional Irish folk ballad and a stirring Rodgers and Hammerstein ensemble number. | Details

Metropolitan Opera | Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini 7:30 pm ET Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani, and Mark Delavan, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Performance from March 16, 2013. | Details

Friday 10

Metropolitan Opera | Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin 7:30 pm ET Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Alexei Tanovitski, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Performance from October 5, 2013. | Details

San Francisco Opera | Celebrating the Summer Season 4:30 ET A 90-minute evening of arias, interviews, and more with stars from the Summer 2020 Season hosted by General Director Matthew Shilvock. Eun Sun Kim conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, with sopranos Michelle Bradley and Louise Alder, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, tenor Russell Thomas, and composer Mason Bates. Music from Ernani, Semiramide, Il Faraone Sommerso, and The ®evolution of Steve Jobs. | Details

Saturday 11

Metropolitan Opera | Puccini’s Madama Butterfly 7:30 pm ET Hui He, Elizabeth DeShong, Bruce Sledge, and Paulo Szot, conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi. Performance from November 9, 2019. | Details

Sunday 12

Metropolitan Opera | Viewers’ Choice: Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde 7:30 pm ET Jane Eaglen, Katarina Dalayman, Ben Heppner, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. Performance from December 18, 1999. | Details

Other interesting choices (video on demand)

1) Royal Ballet Covent Garden’s #OurHouseToYourHouse presents La Boheme with a great cast led by Australian soprano Nicole Car and American tenor Michael Fabiano. Marcello is Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, Conductor is ROH Music Director Antontio Pappano Available until July 17.

2) Santa Fe Opera, like so many other summer festivals, has been cancelled, and with it, COC General Director Alexander Neef’s plan to bring Tristan und Isolde to SFO, its first Wagner in decades. Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins was to open the season as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. We are offered instead his brief appearance online in Songs from the Santa Fe Opera, Episode 1, hosted by mezzo/New Mexican native Susan Graham. Four more tributes to each of the other cancelled productions – The Magic Flute (July 11); Tristan und Isolde (July 18); Rusalka (July 25); M. Butterfly (Aug. 1).

3) Glyndebourne Opera Open House is streaming a real gem, Der Rosenkavalier, in Richard Jones’s production, conducted by Robin Ticciati, featuring a youthful love triangle of Kate Royal (Marschallin), Tara Erraught (Octavian), Teodora Gheorghiu (Sophie), and Lars Woldt (Ochs). Available until Sunday July 12.

#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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