Nightly Opera Streams, November 23–29
Even if you may not be able to gather with your own family this unusual holiday season, we invite you to revel in the delicious drama of opera’s most dysfunctional family dynamics—including Strauss’s modern take on Greek myth and the demented House of Atreus, Elektra (pictured above), on Thanksgiving Day. 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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Dive into in the delicious drama of opera’s most dysfunctional family dynamics with a guide to this week’s free streams.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
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.
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.
Muhly on Marnie
Composer Nico Muhly describes the fascinating sound-world and diverse musical elements of his 2018 opera Marnie, and the inspirations behind his artistic process.
Throwing herself wholly into every role she played, French soprano Natalie Dessay was one of the Met’s most magnetic artists for nearly two decades.
Die Walküre: In Focus
The quest for the all-powerful ring continues with the second installment of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Learn more about Die Walküre with our In Focus podcast.
Few operatic conventions are more thrilling to behold than the “mad scene,” and the one in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is definitive.
Into the Fire
In Sir David McVicar’s 2009 staging, Verdi’s Il Trovatore reclaimed its place as a dramatic—not just musical—masterwork.
Rise of the Machine
The 45-ton “machine” at the center of Robert Lepage’s staging of Wagner’s Ring took quite a journey to return to the Met stage in spring 2019.
Before headlining the 2010 new production of Hamlet, which returned Ambroise Thomas’s Shakespeare adaptation to the Met after a nearly 100-year absence, baritone Simon Keenlyside discussed singing the opera’s brooding title character.
From the Archives: Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met
Donizetti’s riveting bel canto showcase for virtuoso coloratura sopranos has been a consistent presence in the Met repertory since the company’s very first season, with several legendary artists singing the title role.
Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky
The extraordinary and beloved Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who died in 2017, is featured in this week’s stream of Verdi’s Il Trovatore.
Designer Arianne Phillips and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, who sang the title role of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, discuss the production’s stunning 1960s costumes with Live in HD host Susan Graham.
Setting the Scene
The Met’s technical director explains to Live in HD host Renée Fleming how the stage crew changes the massive sets for Lucia di Lammermoor.
“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.
Marnie: In Focus
Theft, denial, deceit, and a captivating, enigmatic heroine. Learn more about Nico Muhly’s contemporary opera Marnie with our In Focus podcast.
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.
Natalie Dessay discusses taking on the title role in Mary Zimmerman’s ghostly staging of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Cunning Little Vixen
Nico Muhly’s gripping new opera Marnie arrived at the Met for its U.S. premiere in October 2018, in a fast-paced production by Michael Mayer.
Love Is a Battlefield
Before taking on the warrior-maiden Brünnhilde—whose heroism, sacrifice, and discovery of love make her the heart of Wagner’s epic Ring cycle—Christine Georke spoke about bringing one of opera’s most compelling characters to life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lawrence Tibbett—The Met’s First Boccanegra
When the Met staged Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra for the first time in 1932, the company relied on one of its finest singers and actors to portray the all-important title role—American baritone Lawrence Tibbett.
Monday, November 23
Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From April 30, 2011.
Tuesday, November 24
Nico Muhly’s Marnie
Starring Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, and Christopher Maltman, conducted by Roberto Spano. From November 10, 2018.
Wednesday, November 25
Starring Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Simon Keenlyside, and James Morris, conducted by Louis Langrée. From March 27, 2010.
Thursday, November 26
Starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, and Eric Owens, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. From April 30, 2016.
Friday, November 27
Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Starring Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Patrick Summers. From March 19, 2011.
Saturday, November 28
Wagner’s Die Walküre
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. From March 30, 2019.
Sunday, November 29
Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. From January 26, 1995.