Nightly Opera Streams, October 26–November 1
Politics in Opera
With the U.S. national elections just days away, this week of free streams features seven operas that put political drama at center-stage. Explore the articles and resources below to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the performances. And if you are a U.S. citizen, be sure to vote on November 3! A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
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With the 2020 U.S. national elections just days away, dive into seven operatic masterpieces that put politics at center-stage.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
Turning the Tide
Before the 2008 Met premiere of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, Ela Gandhi spoke about the idea of satyagraha and her grandfather’s incredible legacy.
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.
From the Archives: Don Carlo at the Met
Verdi’s Don Carlo is today widely considered one of the composer’s finest achievements, but it was not always so. Learn about the opera’s long road to recognition at the Met.
Bringing Boris Godunov to Life
According to director Stephen Wadsworth, Mussorgsky’s epic tsarist masterwork Boris Godunov contains three intertwined sagas. In this 2010 video about his production, he describes the opera’s historical and human dimensions.
Celebrating Renata Scotto
In more than 300 Met performances, great Italian soprano Renata Scotto, who stars in this week’s stream of Verdi’s Don Carlo, riveted audiences with her idiomatic singing and powerful acting.
“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.
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.
Vulnerability and Strength
Teresa Stratas, who gives a tour-de-force performance as Marie Antoinette in this week’s stream of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, enjoyed a Met career spanning more than three decades. Read more about this fascinating and elusive artist.
Satyahgraha, Philip Glass’s landmark 1980 work about Gandhi and the development of his philosophy of nonviolence had its Met premiere in 2008. This audio slide show offers a glimpse of the imaginative design of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch’s production.
The Ghosts of Versailles: Director’s Note
Colin Graham, who directed the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles at the Met, explains why John Corigliano’s opera offers a message of hope and compassion perfect for our time.
From the Archives: Boris Godunov at the Met
An unparalleled showcase for the bass taking on the title role, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov has brought a long line of legendary stars to the Met stage.
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.
The Message in the Music
Before the 2008 Met premiere of his Satyagraha, acclaimed American composer Philip Glass spoke about Gandhi as an opera subject and why his message still resonates today.
A Tribute to Marcello Giordani
Marcello Giordani, who passed away in October 2019 and is featured in this week’s free stream of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, was one of the Met’s brightest star tenors in recent decades.
The Art of Satyagraha
Innovative artists tell the story of Gandhi and his philosophy of non-violence in the Met-premiere production of Philip Glass’s opera.
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.
A Man for All Seasons
Beloved bass-baritone James Morris—who appears in this week’s stream of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra—reflects on singing more than 1,000 performances on the Met stage.
In Focus: Agrippina
Learn more about Handel’s searing political satire, which had its Met premiere during the 2019–20 season.
Verdi at the Met
The operas of Giuseppe Verdi have been performed around 5,700 times at the Metropolitan Opera, more than those of any other composer by a wide margin.
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.
Master of the House
With a 51-year Met career including nearly 1,700 performances, bass Paul Plishka is one of the company’s most beloved artists.
Week 33 (Politics in Opera)
Thursday, October 29
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.
Friday, October 30
Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov
Starring Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, and Vladimir Ognovenko, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From October 23, 2010.
Saturday, October 31
John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles
Starring Teresa Stratas, Håkan Hagegård, Gino Quilico, Graham Clark, Marilyn Horne, and Renée Fleming, conducted by James Levine. From January 10, 1992.