Critic’s Picks (July 27 – August 2)
“We live in an extraordinary Age” – Carl Sagan. Since early spring of 2020, a tiny previously unknown virus, COVID-19, has shut down our musical life, hopefully only temporarily. We’re now in the half-year mark of the pandemic, and the end is sadly not in sight. Thankfully, there is no shortage of classical music online to soothe the ear and nourish the soul. The Met Stars Live in Concert continues with Renee Fleming from Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC on August 1, available pay-per-view at $20. The Bayreuth Festival online (4.90 Euros per show) continues. Meanwhile, the Met and other companies continue with mostly free streaming. Met streams start at 7:30 p.m. ET and remain available for 23 hours. The Toronto Summer Music Festival (July 16 – August 1) is online for free (donations welcome), as well as the Lanaudiere Festival (free registration required). Plenty of other interesting events this week, including Mostly Mozart Festival, Royal Ballet Covent Garden, Gramophone Orchestra of the Year 2020 Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Brott Music, DG Stage, and more.
Met | Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Patrick Summers. From March 19, 2011. | Details
Gramophone | Orchestra of the Year Award 2020 Festival — 2 p.m. ET. This Festival began on July 24 and continues to August 2. On this day, Paavo Järvi conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninov Symphony No 2. Be sure to check the Gramophone website for the rest of the lineup of concerts, with streams from their YouTube channel.
Met | Puccini’s Tosca. Karita Mattila, Marcelo Álvarez, and George Gagnidze, conducted by Joseph Colaneri. From October 10, 2009. | Details
TSM Online Festival | Ladom Ensemble — 7:45 p.m. ET. (Adam Campbell, percussion; Beth Silver, cello; Michael Bridge, accordion; Pouya Hamidi, piano) performs an eclectic program of works from Prokofiev and Chopin to Piazzolla and Radiohead. | Details
Opera Atelier | Together/Apart Part II — 8 p.m. ET. It features Opera Atelier’s Resident photographer Bruce Zinger and the iconic images he created for OA’s 2016 production of Dido & Aeneas, with never-before-seen photographs, starring Canadian mezzo Wallis Giunta and tenor Christopher Enns. Canadian actor Irene Poole narrates excerpts of Robert Fagle’s translation of “The Aeneid,” with music performed by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Pandemarmonium Baroque. | Details
Met | Verdi’s Rigoletto (Classic Telecast). Ileana Cotrubas, Plácido Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil, conducted by James Levine. From November 7, 1977. | Details
Met | Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From April 30, 2011. | Details
TSM Online Festival | VC2 Cello Duo (Amahl Arulanandam, cello; Bryan Holt, cello). performs works by Glière, Bach/Gounod, Haydn, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, and others. | Details
Brott Music Live | Don Giovanni 7:30 p.m. ET A virtual Don Giovanni, with the artists in different locations, combined through Zoom, by video editor Neil Craighead. Canadian baritone Phillip Addis sings the title role, Stephanie De Ciantis is Donna Elvira. Anna Theodosakis directs. | Details
DG Stage | Tosca 2 p.m. ET For 12.90 Euros, you can watch in real time a live stream of Tosca from the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, staged by the Teatro San Carlo. Anna Netrebko is Tosca, joined by her husband tenor Yusif Eyvazov as Cavaradossi and Ludovic Tézier as Scarpia. | Details
Met | Dvořák’s Rusalka. Kristine Opolais, Katarina Dalayman, Jamie Barton, Brandon Jovanovich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Mark Elder. From February 25, 2017. Note: Available until noon Saturday. | Details
Lanaudiere Festival | Ravel and Debussy with the OSM — 7:30 p.m. ET. In a performance from August 8, 2014, Kent Nagano conducts the OSM in Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune; La mer; and Claire de lune. This is followed by Maurice Ravel’s Rhapsodie espagnole; Gaspard de la nuit; and La valse. Free registration required. | Details
Met Stars Live in Concert | Renée Fleming — 1:30 p.m. ET. Live from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C (Tickets at $20 in advance), the soprano (with pianist Robert Ainsley) sings Handel, Puccini, Gounod, Massenet, Canteloube, Korngold, Strauss, Cilea, and Harold Arlen. | Details
Met | Verdi’s Ernani (Classic Telecast). Leona Mitchell, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, and Ruggero Raimondi, conducted by James Levine. From December 17, 1983. | Details
Lanaudiere Festival | Brahms By Paavo Jarvi — 7:30 p.m. ET. Paavo Jarvi conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73, and Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, with Lars Vogt (piano). From August 2014. | Details
TSM Online Festival | Saturday Showcase: TSM Finale — 7:45 p.m. ET. Cameron Crozman, cello and Philip Chiu, piano play Beethoven’s 7 Variations on Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen Die Zauberflöte. This is followed by Beethoven: Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, with Eric Abramovitz, clarinet; Neil Deland, horn; Darren Hicks, bassoon; Jonathan Crow, violin; Barry Shiffman, viola; Brian Manker, cello; and Jeffrey Beecher, bass. | Details
Met | Wagner’s Die Walküre. Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. From March 30, 2019. | Details
Bayreuth Festival | Lohengrin — 2 p.m. ET. Christian Thielemann conducts the Yuval Sharon production, with Polish tenor Piotr Beczala in the title role, Anja Harteros (Elsa), Waltraud Meier (Ortrud), Georg Zeppenfeld (Heinrich), Tomasz Konieczny (Telramund), and Egils Silins (Heerrufer). | Details
Lanaudiere Festival | From Naples to Venice — 3:30 p.m. ET. The Venice Baroque Orchestra (Anna Fusek, flute; Gianpiero Zanocco, violin; Massimo Raccanelli, cello) plays works by Francesco Geminiani, Tomaso Albinoni, and Antonio Vivaldi, including his concertos for Violin and Strings, Nos. 1-4, Op. 8, The Four Seasons. | Details
More interesting choices (video on demand)
1) Royal Ballet Covent Garden’s #OurHouseToYourHouse | offers the warhorse The Sleeping Beauty. Fumi Kaneko (Princess Aurora); Federico Bonelli (Prince Florimund); Gina Storm-Jensen (Lilac Fairy); Kristen McNally (Carabosse) This has the original choreography by Marius Petipa, plus additional bits by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. A legendary show, available until August 7.
2) Lincoln Center | Fifty Years of Mostly Mozart This is a terrific documentary of the venerable Mostly Mozart Festival, sadly cancelled because of the pandemic. Anchored by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and Music Director Louis Langrée, the program highlights memorable moments from the past 50 years, including a concerto performed by Richard Goode. Not to be missed.
3) Songs from the Santa Fe Opera | Episode 4: Rusalka Soprano Amanda Echalaz —remember her as the hostess in the Met’s Exterminating Angel? — shows off her hosting chops here. Program includes dramaturg Cori Ellison’s analysis of the opera Song to the Moon, sung by Ailyn Pérez with pianist Robert Tweten; a conversation with Music Director Harry Bicket, Ailyn Pérez and Sir David Pountney; and Vodnik’s aria “Celý svět nedá ti nedá” sung by James Creswell. Available on demand until August 1.
4) Glyndebourne Open House | Falstaff Vladimir Jurowski conducts a performance from 2009. Christopher Purves is Falstaff, with Dina Kuznetsova (Alice Ford), Adriana Kučerová (Nannetta), Bülent Bezdüz (Fenton), Tassis Christoyannis (Ford), and Jennifer Holloway (Meg Page). Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux is a very funny Dame Quickly. Available until August 2 noon ET. | Details