Nightly Opera Streams, May 18–24
This week’s lineup of Nightly Opera Streams offers a cross-section of the core repertory, with two Mozart classics, operas by Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, and two French masterpieces. Explore the articles and resources below to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the streams. A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
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In this week of Nightly Opera Streams, several of opera’s greatest composers delve into the annals of history, myth, and legend. This guide will introduce you to the lineup of storied works.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
The Lifespan of a Costume
Year in and year out, the 110 artisans in the Met costume shops are responsible for clothing the multitudes that fill the stage night after night—from Chinese ministers to Russian aristocrats to the humble inhabitants of Catfish Row.
Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Great Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who died in 2017 after a battle with brain cancer, was a beloved figure at the Met and one of the world’s most extraordinary operatic artists.
From the Archives: Mozart’s Idomeneo
After languishing in obscurity for some 200 years, Mozart’s early masterpiece finally assumed its rightful place in the repertory in the late 20th century, including at the Met, where it has enjoyed numerous successful runs with outstanding casts.
Too Close to the Sun
Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera was inspired by the historical King Gustav III of Sweden. Director David Alden draws parallels in his film-noir inspired production between Gustav and Icarus.
Friend of the Devil
In the Met’s 2011 production of Gounod’s Faust, which starred Jonas Kaufmann, director Des McAnuff reimagined the classic legend with a dreamlike staging set in the first half of the 20th century.
In this highlight from the Met’s At-Home Gala last month, the Met Orchestra came together through nearly 50 individually recorded videos to perform the Prelude to Act III of Wagner’s Lohengrin, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
From the Archives: Lohengrin at the Met
Wagner’s sweeping, Romantic epic has received more Met performances than any of the composer’s other works, beginning in the company’s very first season and featuring many of opera’s finest Wagnerian singers over the ensuing 135+ years.
The Greatest Showman
Few artists have had a greater impact on Met history than Franco Zeffirelli, the beloved director and designer who died in 2019.
Manon: In Focus
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.
Met resident lighting designer John Froelich and his team play a crucial role in achieving the myriad lighting effects called for by the company’s complex productions.
This Magic Moment
Mozart masterfully and simultaneously reveals the turbulent and conflicting emotions of his leading characters in this Act III quartet from Idomeneo.
From the Archives: Wagner at the Met
Learn about the storied history of Wagner’s operas at the Met, from the house’s opening season in 1883 to the present day.
Light and Dark
With his 2012 production of Un Ballo in Maschera, set in a cinematic Swedish atmosphere, director David Alden aimed to integrate the stylistic paradoxes of Verdi’s endlessly intriguing opera.
Aria Code: Puccini’s Turandot
Dive into the details of Turandot’s fearsome “In questa reggia” with Christine Goerke and host Rhiannon Giddens in this episode of our Aria Code podcast, a collaboration with WQXR.
Resources from the Met’s education department are available for many of the operas featured in this streaming series. Designed for use in the classroom, they are perfect for parents whose kids are now learning from home, or for anyone who’d like to know more about opera.
Director Laurent Pelly discusses his Impressionism-inspired, Belle-Époque setting for Massenet’s Manon, in which the seductive and naive heroine is seen as a threat by the world of men—one who must be sacrificed.
A Man for All Seasons
Beloved bass-baritone James Morris reflects on singing more than 1,000 performances on the Met stage.
Turandot: In Focus
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.
Love and Money
In Laurent Pelly’s 2012 production of Manon, soprano Anna Netrebko explored the extremes of Massenet’s irresistible heroine.
Monday, May 18
Starring Nadine Sierra, Elza van den Heever, Alice Coote, and Matthew Polenzani, conducted by James Levine. From March 25, 2017.
Tuesday, May 19
Starring Eva Marton, Leonie Rysanek, Peter Hofmann, Leif Roar, and John Macurdy, conducted by James Levine. From January 10, 1986.
Wednesday, May 20
Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From December 8, 2012.
Thursday, May 21
Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov, and James Morris, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From October 12, 2019.
Friday, May 22
Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Starring Joan Sutherland, James Morris, and Gabriel Bacquier, conducted by Richard Bonynge. From March 16, 1978.
Saturday, May 23
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 10, 2011.
Sunday, May 24
Starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, and Paulo Szot, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From April 7, 2012.