Nightly Opera Streams, August 31–September 6
This week’s schedule of streams explores the operatic landscape from the early 1900s to the beginning of the 21st century, including groundbreaking works such as Strauss’s Elektra and Berg’s Lulu—as well as a special two-day presentation of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, in last season’s runaway-hit new production. 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 acclaimed 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 Joyce DiDonato, live on September 12.
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Explore some of the 20th and early 21 centuries’ most groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and enthralling masterpieces with this guide to the week.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
The Met’s new production of Porgy and Bess was a sold-out sensation, thanks in no small part to its choreographer Camille A. Brown, a native New Yorker whose work has also dazzled on Broadway and national television.
“The Week that Changed the World”
On the occasion of the 2011 Met premiere of John Adams’s Nixon in China, one journalist recalled his experience on the history-making 1972 visit that inspired the opera.
Lulu in Rehearsal
Celebrated South African artist and director William Kentridge rehearses a scene from Berg’s Lulu with soprano Marlis Petersen, who sings the title role.
When James Robinson’s new production of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess opened the Met’s 2019–20 season, it marked the latest chapter in the endlessly fascinating journey of what many believe is our nation’s greatest homegrown opera.
From the Archives: Elektra at the Met
Strauss’s overwhelming one-act opera has a limited but distinguished history at the Met, thanks largely to a series of great artists on the podium and in the title role.
Storm of the Century
In anticipation of the 2012 Met premiere of his operatic version of The Tempest, composer Thomas Adès discussed his creative process and what it takes to be faithful to Shakespeare.
Porgy and Bess at the Schomburg Center
In January 2020, cast members of the Met’s hit new production of Porgy and Bess—including bass-baritone Eric Owens and choreographer Camille A. Brown—came together for a fascinating conversation moderated by Terrance McKnight.
All in the Family
Patrice Chéreau’s humanistic 2016 Met production of Strauss’s Elektra—featuring the great Nina Stemme in the title role—revealed the psychological depth and family drama at the heart of a work that is much more than a simple, violent tale of revenge.
In his 2008 production of Britten’s Peter Grimes, director John Doyle examines one of opera’s most intriguing outcasts and the community that judges him.
John Adams and Peter Sellars on Nixon in China
Composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars discuss the historical events that informed Adams's spellbinding modern opera, Nixon in China, and Sellars’s 2011 Met-premiere production.
“Between Two Worlds”
As he prepared to conduct Patrice Chéreau’s explosive staging of Elektra in 2016, Esa-Pekka Salonen explained how Strauss’s liminal 20th-century masterpiece blends musical styles.
The Many Faces of Catfish Row
On Opening Night of the 2019–20 season, nearly every member of the 60-person chorus of Porgy and Bess was appearing on the Met stage for the very first time. Get to know just a few members of this superb ensemble.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Soprano Marlis Petersen, who sings the title role in this week’s stream of Berg’s Lulu, discusses the opera’s enigmatic anti-heroine with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who portrays Countess Geschwitz.
With its deep Freudian undercurrents, Strauss’s incendiary Elektra, inspired by Greek myth, is as modern now as it was at its premiere more than a century ago.
Taming the Tempest
Director Robert Lepage discusses his fantastic, magic-infused staging of Thomas Adès The Tempest—and the opera’s Shakespearean origins—in this 2012 video.
Remembering Benjamin Britten
Friends and colleagues of the great English composer reflect on his incomparable musical legacy.
Aria Code: Porgy and Bess
Host Rhiannon Giddens explores the enduring legacy of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess in an episode of our Aria Code podcast.
Object of Desire
The heroine of Berg’s Lulu captivates all who cross her path. In his 2015 new production of the opera, artists and director William Kentridge explored why all attempts to tame this so-called snake are doomed to fail.
Full Fathom Five
During the 2012–13 season, Thomas Adès’s The Tempest had a thrilling Met premiere, with the composer conducting Robert Lepage’s magical production and magnetic baritone Simon Keenlyside starring as Prospero.
History in the Making
John Adams’s Nixon in China is undoubtedly one of the most important operas written in the second half of the 20th century. During the 2010–11 season, the groundbreaking work had its long-awaited Met premiere, directed by the legendary Peter Sellars.
The Siren Call of The Tempest
After nearly three decades staging the plays of Shakespeare, Robert Lepage turned to Thomas Adès’s operatic version of The Tempest, directing the work’s Met-premiere production in 2012.
Week 25 (20th Century and Beyond)
Monday, August 31
Starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, Burkhard Ulrich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. From April 30, 2016.
Tuesday, September 1
Britten’s Peter Grimes
Starring Patricia Racette, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Anthony Michaels-Moore, conducted by Donald Runnicles. From March 15, 2008.
Wednesday, September 2
John Adams’s Nixon in China
Starring Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, James Maddalena, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by John Adams. From February 12, 2011.
Thursday, September 3
Starring Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber, conducted by Lothar Koenigs. From November 21, 2015.
Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
Starring Angel Blue, Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Eric Owens, Alfred Walker, and Donovan Singletary, conducted by David Robertson. From February 1, 2020.
Sunday, September 6
Thomas Adès’s The Tempest
Starring Audrey Luna, Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, Alek Shrader, Alan Oke, William Burden, Toby Spence, and Simon Keenlyside, conducted by Thomas Adès. From November 10, 2012.