A scene from Akhnaten

The Met: In Focus

In Focus, a new podcast series from the Metropolitan Opera, introduces audience members to the operatic masterpieces presented in the company’s award-winning Live in HD cinema transmissions. Hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger, In Focus provides historical context about the works and their creators, as well as insightful commentary about the drama and the music, accompanied by excerpts from past Met performances. View the Live in HD schedule

 

Glass’s Akhnaten

A young pharaoh transforms ancient Egypt with his revolutionary religious ideas—a tale made modern through Philip Glass’s mesmerizing and distinctive musical style. Learn more about Akhnaten with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Anthony Roth Costanzo, J’Nai Bridges, Disella Lárusdóttir, and Richard Bernstein.

 

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

A clash of cultures and the heartless abandonment of a naïve young Japanese geisha lead to one of opera’s most devastating and emotionally direct tragedies. Learn more about Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Patricia Racette, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft.

 

Massenet’s Manon

A beautiful ingénue with a taste for the finer things makes her way to Paris, where she becomes irresistible to the men around her—including the passionate Chevalier des Grieux, whose all-consuming love for her leads to ruin. Learn more about Massenet’s Manon with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Renée Fleming and Massimo Giordano.

 

Puccini’s Turandot

In ancient China, a princess tests the worthiness of her suitors by posing a series of riddles—killing those who answer incorrectly—until a brave warrior proves he’s up to the challenge. Learn more about Puccini’s Turandot with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Marina Poplavskaya, Marcello Giordani, Maria Guleghina, Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Joshua Hopkins, Tony Stevenson, and Eduardo Valdes.

 

Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites

From a convent in northeastern France, amid the chaos of the Revolution, an order of nuns commit the ultimate act of martyrdom, giving opera one of its most devastating and unforgettable final scenes. Learn more about Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Isabel Leonard, Felicity Palmer, Erin Morley, Patricia Racette, and Elizabeth Bishop.

 

Wagner’s Die Walküre

A gallant warrior-goddess bravely defies her father to save a mortal from certain death. Her sisters chime in with one of music’s most famous battle cries. Learn more about Wagner’s Die Walküre with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Deborah Voigt, and Bryn Terfel.

 

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment

She’s a spunky orphan brought up by an army regiment in the Alps. He’s the local country boy who falls in love with her. Together, they deliver unforgettable vocal fireworks, in Donizetti’s bel canto charmer. Learn more about La Fille du Régiment with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Flórez, Felicity Palmer, and Alessandro Corbelli.

 

Bizet’s Carmen

She’s one of opera’s iconic heroines, the irresistible gypsy seductress who leads her jealous lover to tragedy. Learn more about Bizet’s Carmen with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Barbara Frittoli, and Ildar Abdrazakov.

 

Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur

A passionate, larger-than-life stage actress vies with a conniving princess for the love of the same dashing count. Learn more about Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Montserrat Caballé, Fiorenza Cossotto, and José Carreras.

 

Verdi’s La Traviata

Love. Heartbreak. Death. A classic tragedy and a classic opera. Learn more about Verdi’s La Traviata with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Marina Rebeka, Stephen Costello, and Quinn Kelsey.

 

Muhly’s Marnie

Theft, denial, deceit, and a captivating, enigmatic heroine. Learn more about composer Nico Muhly and librettist Nicholas Wright’s new opera Marnie with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

 

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West

A gun-slinging heroine. A romantic tale of the Wild West. The first great opera with an American setting. Learn more about Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Barbara Daniels, Plácido Domingo, and Sherrill Milnes.

 

Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila

An immortal biblical tale. An underrated operatic masterpiece, with some of the repertory’s most luscious and seductive music. Learn more about Samson et Dalila with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Olga Borodina, Plácido Domingo, and Sergei Leiferkus.

 

Verdi’s Aida

An epic Egyptian backdrop. An intimate love story. Some of Verdi's most stirring melodies and ensembles. Learn more about Aida with our In Focus podcast, hosted by author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger.

This episode features Met performances by Krassimira Stoyanova, Leontyne Price, Riccardo Massi, and George Gagnidze.