~By Lynne Gray, PhD. ~
Our current need for social distancing has actually produced a silver lining for opera lovers! The Metropolitan Opera has announced that on Monday, March 16, it will launch a series of free encore transmissions from its Live in HD presentations. All “Nightly Met Opera Streams” will be available at 7:30 pm (Eastern Time) and will stay active via the Met’s homepage – metopera.org – for 20 hours. Clicking on the homepage link will take you to each night’s performance on the Met’s On Demand Streaming Service. The performance will also be viewable on all Met Opera on Demand apps.
To watch on your computer, simply go to https://www.metopera.org/ and click on the “Nightly Opera” link. You can also use your computer to watch on your TV if the TV has an ‘HDMI in’ port and your computer has an ‘HDMI out’ port and your computer supports this. You just need the right HDMI cable easily available at Best Buy or other electronics stores. Set Set your TV ‘Input’ to whichever HDMI port you have plugged your computer into and on your computer in settings – system – multiple displays allow remote display mirroring.
Monday, March 16 – Bizet’s Carmen
Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. Transmitted live on January 16, 2010.
Easily the sexiest Carmen ever, Garanča brings a beautiful voice and a gritty realism to one of the world’s most popular operas. Jam packed with familiar melodies (the Habanera, the Seguidilla, the Toreador song….) you can hum along from beginning to end! It’s the story of a fiery gypsy and a young soldier from the country who becomes so obsessed with her that when she eventualy leaves him for the handsome matador, Escamillo, he feels forced either to win her back or to kill her. It’s opera – so you can guess the ending….. but it’s a perfect start to an amazing week of the best opera on earth.
Tuesday, March 17 – Puccini’s La Bohème
Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas. Transmitted live on April 5, 2008.
Although better known for singing Mimi to her former husband (Roberto Alagna’s) Rodolfo, this is still a moving and well-sung version of the famed Franco Zeffirelli production. Set in Paris’ Latin Quarter of the 1830’s, it is a rocky, and ultimately tragic, love story experienced by six young Bohemian friends in the years immediately before the Industrial Revolution. If you loved the music in Moonstruck – it was largely from this incredibly beautiful opera. You can never see Bohème too many times!
Wednesday, March 18 – Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on October 3, 2015.
Featuring Reno’s very own opera superstar, Dolora Zajick in one of her signature roles, this incredible production also boasts Russian superstars Netrebko and Hvorostovsky – hard to ask for more. Although the story is somewhat convoluted and definitely hard to follow, it includes some of Verdi’s most memorable music – the ‘Anvil Chorus,’ ‘Di quella pira,’ ‘Stride la vampa’ and ‘Il balen del suo sorriso.’ Basically, babies are mistakenly swapped in infancy and two brothers grow up as mortal enemies who then fall in love with the same woman. The story of the mad gypsy who started the whole thing and how they all wind up killing each other at the rather messy end is well worth trying to follow – but don’t worry about it too much….. just sit back and enjoy the music.
Thursday, March 19 – Verdi’s La Traviata
Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Quinn Kelsey. Transmitted live on December 15, 2018.
This gorgeous new staging of Traviata by famed Broadway and film writer/director Michael Mayer has been delighting its viewers – albeit with different casts – for the last two seasons. At once beautifully romantic and arrestingly decadent, La Traviata, which loosely translates to ‘The Fallen Woman’ is the tragic story of a consumptive courtesan who finds true love, generously gives him up for the good of his family and is only reunited with him on her deathbed – when she is already far beyond saving. Find a fresh box of tissues and enjoy this beautiful, and beautifully sung Verdi masterpiece.