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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Music Livestreams You Absolutely Need To See This Week

By Joseph So on September 7, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of September 7 – 13.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of September 7 – 13.

Critic’s Picks (September 7 – 13)

“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. Now that autumn is nearly here, some venues in Europe are reopening, albeit with safety precautions. Sadly, there’s little indication the same is happening on this side of the pond. The Met nightly streaming continues with a week of French operas. Two Canadians are featured – baritone Elliot Madore as Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, and John Relyea as Mephistopheles in La Damnation de Faust. On the video-on-demand front, an unusual event is Mysterious Barricades, a series of concerts from coast to coast in Canada, marking World Suicide Prevention Day. Given the current COVID shutdown, mental wellness and suicide awareness are more important than ever. A more traditional musical offering is an opera concert, albeit with piano, from Teatro Colon a Coruna in Spain, starring Sondra Radvanovsky and others, giving their all in a high energy show. Sondra and her Screaming Diva pal Keri Alkema interview conductor Donald Runnicles, music director of Deutsche Oper Berlin. Be sure to catch Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie Orchester with violinist Lisa Batiashvili, and the Salzburg Festival Beethoven 9th conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Monday 7

Met | Massenet’s Manon Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, Paulo Szot, and David Pittsinger, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From April 7, 2012. | Details

Tuesday 8

Met | Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette Diana Damrau, Vittorio Grigolo, Elliot Madore, and Mikhail Petrenko, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 21, 2017. | Details

Wednesday 9

Met | Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and John Relyea in this rarely staged piece, conducted by James Levine. From November 22, 2008. | Details

Thursday 10

Met | Massenet’s Cendrillon Kathleen Kim, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. From April 28, 2018. | Details

Mysterious Barricades | 2020 Online Concert for Suicide Awareness, Prevention, and Hope 7 p.m. ET From sunrise in St. John’s NL to sunset in Victoria BC, a concert of hope and awareness, marking World Suicide Prevention Day. Available until September 17. | Details

Friday 11

Met | Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Nicolas Testé, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 16, 2016. | Details

Saturday 12

Met Stars Live In Concert | Joyce DiDonato 1 p.m. ET The American mezzo sings in the converted Jahrhunderthalle on the northern Rhine, an imposing former industrial pavilion that has in recent years been used for theatrical events. DiDonato will be accompanied by Canadian pianist Carrie-Ann Matheson and the chamber ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro. Ticket $20 | Details

Met | Berlioz’s Les Troyens Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Karen Cargill, Bryan Hymel, Eric Cutler, Dwayne Croft, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From January 5, 2013. | Details

Sunday 13

Met | Massenet’s Werther Lisette Oropesa, Sophie Koch, Jonas Kaufmann, David Bižić, and Jonathan Summers, conducted by Alain Altinoglu. From March 15, 2014. | Details

Video-on-demand performances:

1) Teatro Colón de A Coruña | Grandes voces para grandes óperas Streamed Sept. 3 and archived for viewing, it stars soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, tenor Alejandro Roy, baritone Carlos Alvarez, and bass Simon Ofila. Alfredo Abbati is the pianist. Lots of high octane vocalism, matched by the vociferous audience.

2) Glimmerglass Opera Festival | Glimpse: The Fairies, a fantasia on Wagner’s Die Feen It sounds improbable, but Glimmerglass actually staged Wagner’s first opera some years ago. Here is an animated version, featuring soprano Alexandria Shiner and tenor Ian Koziara, with animations by S. Katy Tucker. The music is in a style closer to Weber than to the Wagner we have been accustomed to.

3) Elbphilharmonie Hamburg | In this concert marking the resumption of live performances after COVID-19, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester under conductor Alan Gilbert perform a program of Prokofiev, Dvorak, and Brahms, with violinist Lisa Batiashvili. Streamed live on Sept 1 and now available on demand.

4) Screaming Divas with Sondra and Keri | The Screaming Divas chat with Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles, Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin. He has also conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the recent past. He chats with Sondra Radvanovsky and Keri Alkema about music making in the age of COVID-19 and other matters.

5) Black Opera Productions | Black Opera Live: Canada American baritone Kenneth Overton, associate producer of the Black Opera, interviews Measha Brueggergosman, Audrey DuBois Harris, and Othalie Graham. This event explores their careers as Canadian artists of colour, as international performers, and as mothers. Streamed August. 28 and now available on demand.

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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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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Music Livestreams You Absolutely Need To See This Week

By Joseph So on August 31, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of August 31 – September 6.
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