Nightly Opera Streams, July 6–12
From Wagnerian grandeur to two of Puccini’s touchstone tragedies, this week’s lineup includes several peaks of the operatic repertoire. Explore the articles and resources below to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the free streams. A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
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Operatic legends and some of today’s most exciting artists take the stage in this week’s Nightly Opera Streams. This guide will help you prepare for the packed lineup of star-studded stagings.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
One of opera’s greatest voices, Dolora Zajick has delivered knockout Met performances of many of the repertory’s most dramatic mezzo-soprano roles over the past three decades.
Back in the Director’s Chair
After creating 11 productions for the company, director Franco Zeffirelli returned to the Met in 2008 for a revival of his signature production of La Bohème. He spoke about filming opera, respecting Puccini, and the “irresistible fire” of La Bohème.
Han Feng, who created the costumes for the Met’s production of Madama Butterfly, explains how she went from being a successful fashion designer to working with director Anthony Minghella on his celebrated staging.
Così’s U.S. Debut
While the Met presented Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro during its first decade of operation, the composer’s Così fan tutte didn’t arrive until 1922, when the company presented the opera’s U.S. premiere.
Franco Zeffirelli’s lavish production of Puccini’s La Bohème has dazzled audiences for nearly 40 years. This backstage video offers a look behind the scenes at how the monumental sets are changed.
Eva-Maria Westbroek, who stars in Zandonai’s Dante-inspired Francesca da Rimini, speaks with Live in HD host Eric Owens about the work’s lush music and passion-filled plot.
Puppeteers Kevin Augustine, Tom Lee, and Jonothon Lyons explain how they breathe life into the puppet that acts as Cio-Cio-San’s child in Anthony Minghella’s elegant and heartbreaking production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Truth and Beauty
For Deborah Warner, whose new production opened the 2013–14 season, Eugene Onegin’s principal characters are as flesh-and-blood as anything in Shakespeare or Chekhov.
Return to Rimini
In 2013, Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini returned to the Met stage for the first time in 25 years, in Piero Faggioni’s sumptuous production.
Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips is no stranger to the music of Mozart, having performed five of the composer’s heroines at the Met—including Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.
Madama Butterfly: In Focus
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.
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.
A Tribute to Marcello Giordani
Marcello Giordani, who passed away in October 2019 and is featured in this week’s free stream of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, was one of the Met’s brightest star tenors in recent decades.
Light the Lights
Live in HD host Christine Goerke chats with Met Resident Lighting Designer John Froelich about his job, the challenges of lighting Madama Butterfly, and his favorite productions.
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.
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.
Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, who sang the title heroine of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at the Met in 2013, explains why the role is “one highlight after another.”
From the Archives: Madama Butterfly at the Met
Puccini’s beloved tragedy had its Met premiere in 1907 and has since starred numerous legendary sopranos in the title role. And though the company has performed the work nearly 900 times, it has presented only five different productions.
What Is Bunraku Puppetry?
Anthony Minghella’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly incorporates stunning puppets inspired by traditional Japanese Bunraku puppetry.
Deborah Warner’s new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opened the Met’s 2013–14 season. Here she discusses the striking sets and naturalistic 19th-century costumes, and how the work provides a window on what it means to be human.
From the Archives: Eugene Onegin at the Met
Tchaikovsky’s romantic adaptation of Pushkin got a slow start at the Metropolitan, but, especially in recent decades, it has become the most popular Russian opera in the company’s repertoire.
Monday, July 6
Puccini’s La Bohème
Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, Lucas Meachem, Alexey Lavrov, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From February 24, 2018.
Tuesday, July 7
Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Starring Éva Marton, Dolora Zajick, Luciano Pavarotti, and Sherrill Milnes, conducted by James Levine. From October 15, 1988.
Wednesday, July 8
Mozart’s Così fan tutte
Starring Susanna Phillips, Isabel Leonard, Danielle de Niese, Matthew Polenzani, Rodion Pogossov, and Maurizio Muraro, conducted by James Levine. From April 26, 2014.
Thursday, July 9
Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini
Starring Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani, and Mark Delavan, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From March 16, 2013.
Friday, July 10
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Alexei Tanovitski, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From October 5, 2013.
Saturday, July 11
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Starring Hui He, Elizabeth DeShong, Bruce Sledge, and Paulo Szot, conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi. From November 9, 2019.
Sunday, July 12
Viewers’ Choice: Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde
Starring Jane Eaglen, Katarina Dalayman, Ben Heppner, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. From December 18, 1999.