DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical And Opera Streams You Absolutely Need To See This Week: January 18 – 24

By Joseph So on January 18, 2021

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of January 18 – 24.
Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of January 18 – 24.

Critic’s Picks (January 18 – 24)

“We live in an extraordinary Age” – Carl Sagan. Sadly, COVID-19 continues to decimate our musical life, with a depressing list of postponements and cancellations. The Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège cancelled concerts by Juan Diego Flórez (Jan. 8) and Jonas Kaufmann (Jan. 10) due to pandemic measures by the government of Belgium. Last week, it was announced that German opera houses in Darmstadt, Kassel, Wiesbaden, Marburg and Gießen would remain closed until Easter. To that list, you can now add Staatsoper Hannover, Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar, Oper Frankfurt, and Semperoper Dresden, with the last house cancelling its entire 2020-21 season. Interestingly, a new study in Dortmund, by Fraunhofer Heinrich Institute & Konzerthaus Dortmund, has concluded that concert halls and theatres are not COVID superspreader venues when the proper precautions are taken. Let’s hope they are right!

Elsewhere, the Wiener Staatsoper has cancelled all performances until at least Jan. 28, on order from the Austrian federal government; Opernhaus Zürich, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Theater Basel are closed until at least Feb. 28, due to the Swiss federal authorities extending the lockdown. The Italian government has declared a State of Emergency to last until April 30. The Opéra de Monte Carlo has updated performance times for its upcoming Thaïs due to the new curfew imposed in Monaco.

A few events are still going ahead, but these are rare exceptions. The Met Stars Live in Concert event in Germany with Sondra Radvanovsky and Piotr Beczala on Jan. 23 is still on. New Orleans Opera has announced plans to present a virtual concert starring American tenor and New Orleans residents Bryan Hymel and his wife, soprano Irini Kyriakidou. The Met Opera’s nightly free streaming soldiers on. Now in its 45th week, the theme this week is “Leading Ladies: Opera’s Greatest Heroines.” Norma, Tosca, Carmen, Violetta, Lucia, Sieglinde, and Brunnhilde are the usual suspects when it comes to larger-than-life opera heroines, and we have great performances coming from Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky, Diana Damrau, Hildegarde Behrens and others. All Met nightly streams start at 7:30 p.m. ET and are available for 23 hours.

On the Video On Demand front, there is a slowing down of new material, perhaps a reflection of COVID fatigue? Song lovers will want to catch American baritone and Lieder specialist Thomas Hampson interviewing two Schubert scholars Graham Johnson and Susan Youens. Sondra Radvanovsky and Keri Alkema of the Screaming Divas speak with American icon Marilyn Horne about her career as singer and teacher. And the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is presenting several programs on Mozart, on a pay per view basis.

Monday 18

Bayerische Staatsoper | Montagsstucke: Schön ist die Welt (How Fair the World) — 2:15 p.m. ET. Franz Lehár’s operetta, staged by Tobias Ribitzki. Friedrich Haider conducts. Julia Kleiter sings Prinzessin Elisabeth, and Sebastian Kohlhepp is Kronprinz Georg. Available for the next 30 days. | Details

Wiener Staatsoper | Giselle (ballet) — 1 p.m. ET. This performance came from Sept 28, 2017, conducted by Valery Ovsyanikov. The lovers are Nina Poláková (Giselle) and Masayu Kimoto (Albrecht). | Details

Met | Bizet’s Carmen. Starring Anita Hartig, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. From November 1, 2014. | Details

Tuesday 19

The Arts Arena | James Conlon: A Live in Classical Music — 1 p.m. ET. American conductor James Conlon shares his thoughts on his Trans-Atlantic life in classical music, from Paris Opéra to the Los Angeles Opera. The talk was given on January 15, 2016 in Paris and will be available for streaming. | Details

Met | Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From February 7, 2009. | Details

Wednesday 20

Met | Bellini’s Norma. Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. From October 7, 2017. | Details

Thursday 21

Met | Verdi’s La Traviata. Starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From April 14, 2012. | Details

Friday 22

Met | Puccini’s Tosca. Starring Hildegard Behrens, Plácido Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli. From March 27, 1985. | Details

Saturday 23

Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall | Daniele Gatti Conducts Stravinsky and Shostakovich — 1 p.m. ET. On the program is Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète (revised version from 1947), and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47. | Details

Met Stars Live in Concert | Piotr Beczala and Sondra Radvanovsky — 1 p.m. ET. Live from Germany’s historic Stadthalle Wuppertal, Radvanovsky and Brczala sing a program of arias and duets from operas by Verdi, Giordano, Puccini, Cilea, Moniuszko, and Dvorak. Vincenzo Scalera is the pianist. Ticket is $20 USD. | Details

Met | Massenet’s Manon. Starring Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Carlo Bosi, Artur Ruciński, Brett Polegato, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From October 26, 2019. | Details

Sunday 24

Met | Wagner’s Die Walküre. Starring Deborah Voigt, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Stephanie Blythe, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, and Hans-Peter König, conducted by James Levine. From May 14, 2011. | Details

Video-on-demand performances:

1) Royal Swedish Opera | La Passion de Simone. Premiered on Jan. 16 and available for six months, this oratorio by Kaaja Saariaho on the French-Jewish philosopher and mystic Simone Weil features mezzo Anne Sophie von Otter. Christian Karlsen conducts. COC audiences will remember Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, staged a few seasons ago starring the late Erin Wall. Saariaho talks about her work.

Performance link:

2) Screaming Divas with Sondra and Keri | Marilyn Horne. From her home in Santa Barbara, California and one day before her 87th birthday (January 16), the great American mezzo Marilyn Horne joins Sondra and Keri by audio to talk about her distinguished career as an artist and a teacher. It’s a miracle that Horne is still with us, given that she was diagnosed with the deadly pancreatic cancer back in 2005 and recovered. Not-to-be-missed.

3) Idagio Stories | Thomas Hampson’s World of Song No. 21 – Schubert Month. Lieder fans will enjoy this: January is Schubert Month, and the great American baritone/song specialist Thomas Hampson interviews two important Schubert scholars, pianist Graham Johnson and musicologist Susan Youens. | Details

4) Vancouver Symphony Orchestra | A Month of Mozart. Inspired by Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall, which offers online access by subscription, the VSO is presenting this month a series of Mozart events, with a 30-day pass for $15.99, which includes access to all previously released concerts. Mo-Zart! (Jan.17); A Tale of Two Mozarts (Jan. 22); Viennese Reflections (Jan. 29); and VSO Conductor Otto Tausk & Rodney Sharman in conversation (Jan. 21, 2p.m.). | Details

5) Canadian Opera Company | Solo Spotlights Opera audiences understandably focus on the singers and the action onstage, while hardly giving the pit musicians a second thought. It’s refreshing that the COC is presenting Solo Spotlights, in which Music Director Johannes Debus speaks with members of his Orchestra. The first one with Concertmaster Marie Berard came out a week ago. Now two additional episodes are available: Clarinettist Dominic Desautels and Shelley Brown, piccolo.

6) Komische Oper Berlin | Lonely House Critic’s Picks ends with something a little different, an intimate evening of Kurt Weill by Katharine Mehrling, with KOB artistic director Barry Kosky at the piano. Songs from Weill’s Paris and New York periods, nothing grand but always affecting.

#LUDWIGVAN

Get the daily arts news straight to your inbox.

Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE.

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
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical And Opera Streams You Absolutely Need To See This Week: February 8–14

By Joseph So on February 8, 2021

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of February 8 – 14.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Canada Scores Fifth In The Global Influential Music Index

By Anya Wassenberg on March 1, 2021

A new data-driven study puts Canada 5th on the Global Influential Music Index.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Quebéc Recognizes Musical Excellence At Online Opus Prize Gala

By Michael Vincent on February 8, 2021

While sports fans were busy watching the Super Bowl Sunday spectacle, Quebéc's classical music community gathered to celebrate their own at the 24th annual Opus Prize Gala.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.