Nightly Opera Streams, August 3–9
This week features the very first Live in HD transmission, of the family-friendly English-language version of The Magic Flute from 2006, and the most recent, of Handel’s scintillating satire Agrippina from this past February—as well as three other highlights from the cinema series and two classic telecasts. 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.
Met Stars Live in Concert:If you enjoy the Nightly Opera Streams, be sure not to miss our groundbreaking new pay-per-view concert series, presenting opera’s greatest stars performing live via satellite from striking locations across Europe and the U.S. The next concert features Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak, live on August 16.
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This week’s lineup covers a lot of operatic ground—from popular favorites by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, and Offenbach to last season’s Met-premiere production of Handel’s Agrippina. This guide will help you navigate the schedule.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
Nothing Like a Dame
A Met staffer looks back on his discovery of opera through the bewitching voice of soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, who stars in this week’s stream of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.
Soprano Erin Morley, who sings the automaton Olympia in this week’s stream of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, made a splash in the recent At-Home Gala with her self-accompanied tour-de-force performance of an aria from Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment.
The Magic Flute Illustrated Synopsis
Follow along with this week’s stream of The Magic Flute with a graphic-novel version of the synopsis—perfect for young opera lovers.
Visionary set and costume designer John Macfarlane’s versatile aesthetic was on display in two very different new productions during the 2019–20 season, Handel’s Agrippina and Wagner’s Der Fliegende Höllander, the former of which streams this week.
From the Archives: Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Met
Jacques Offenbach’s kaleidoscopic opera has a Met legacy boasting numerous outstanding artists who have portrayed the hapless title poet and his lost loves and nemeses.
Ever since its premiere in 1882, Wagner’s Parsifal has engendered a kind of all-consuming devotion bordering on the fanatic. Peruse some evocative commentary from a handful of notable devotees of the composer and his final masterpiece.
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.
In Focus: Agrippina
Learn more about Handel’s searing political satire, which had its Met premiere during the 2019–20 season.
Mystery! Music! Magic!
Tony Award–winning director Julie Taymor discusses her spectacular production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, which has had more than 100 performances at the Met.
From the Archives: The Met Premiere of Parsifal
Read how, against the wishes of Wagner’s widow, the Met presented the U.S. premiere of the composer’s final opera in 1903.
Madama Butterfly in Conversation
Tenor Roberto Alagna, choreographer Carolyn Choa, and assistant director Sara Erde recently discussed Anthony Minghella’s staging of Madama Butterfly and took questions from students.
The Empress Strikes Back
During the 2019–20 season, the Met presented Agrippina for the first time, in a pointed production by Sir David McVicar that amplified the work’s satirical relevance.
Handel at the Met
While the company hadn’t presented an opera by Handel before 1984, in recent years, the composer’s works have appeared with increasing frequency on the Met stage.
When in Rome
Joyce DiDonato discusses the mixture of ruthless political machinations and black comedy that makes Handel’s Agrippina—in which she plays the title role of the notorious Roman empress—so fascinating and rewarding.
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.
Crime and Punishment
In Michael Grandage’s Met-debut production of Don Giovanni, the title character wasn’t just a serial seducer but an intensely complex individual.
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.
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.
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.