Nightly Opera Streams, December 14–20
This week, the lineup of free streams focuses on the grandest of grand operas, with two of Wagner’s towering music-dramas, Saint-Saëns’s biblical blockbuster Samson et Dalila, Berlioz’s fiery French epic Les Troyens, and more. Explore the articles and resources below to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the screenings. A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
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The next week of Nightly Opera Streams showcases the grandest of grand operas. Dive into the full lineup with this guide.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
Back to the Future
Before the curtain went up on their new production of Samson et Dalila, director Darko Tresnjak, set designer Alexander Dodge, and costume designer Linda Cho discussed collaborating on more than 50 productions and making their Met debuts together.
From the Archives: Lohengrin at the Met
Wagner’s sweeping, Romantic epic has received more Met performances than any of the composer’s other works, beginning in the company’s very first season and featuring many of opera’s finest Wagnerian singers over the ensuing 135+ years.
Celebrating Renata Scotto
In more than 300 Met performances, great Italian soprano Renata Scotto, who stars in this week’s stream of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, riveted audiences with her idiomatic singing and powerful acting.
Leitmotifs in Wagner’s Ring
Wagner’s use and development of musical themes known as leitmotifs create a symbolic undercurrent of meaning throughout the Ring cycle. In this video, members of the Met Orchestra play and discuss some of the themes.
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.
Working from Home
A highlight of last spring’s At-Home Gala, the Met Orchestra and Chorus came together through nearly 100 individually recorded videos to perform “Va, pensiero” from Verdi’s Nabucco, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
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.
French Opera at the Met
Drawn from every era of operatic composition, from the Baroque to the modern day, a wide array of enthralling French works have appeared on the Met stage.
The Trojan Women
Director Francesco Zambello and stars Susan Graham and Deborah Voigt discuss the 2012 revival of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, in which powerful women dominate the action.
Take a peek behind the scenes in this time-lapse video documenting the Met scenic shop’s work on an enormous set piece for Darko Tresnjak’s 2018 production of Samson et Dalila.
Aria Code: Samson et Dalila
Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča discusses Dalila’s signature aria “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” from Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila.
In this highlight from the Met’s At-Home Gala last spring, the Met Orchestra came together through nearly 50 individually recorded videos to perform the Prelude to Act III of Wagner’s Lohengrin, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
From the Archives: Francesca da Rimini at the Met
Despite rare appearances on the Met stage, Zandonai’s sweeping adaptation of Dante, Francesca da Rimini, has never failed to thrill audiences.
In this excerpt from the final act of Les Troyens, Berlioz’s monumental adaptation of Virgil’s Aeneid, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is the tragic Dido, abandoned by Aeneas and haunted by visions as she plans her own death.
The Ring Transformed
Wagner’s legendary four-part Ring cycle poses the ultimate challenge for any opera company. Hear from director Robert Lepage about his groundbreaking Met staging, which premiered over the course of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.
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.
From the Archives: Berlioz at the Met
The works of French master Hector Berlioz have appeared with increasing frequency at the Met in the last half century, with all but one of his remarkable operas having been staged by the company.
Wednesday, December 16
Berlioz’s Les Troyens
Starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Karen Cargill, Bryan Hymel, Eric Cutler, Dwayne Croft, and Kwangchoul Youn, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From January 5, 2013.
Friday, December 18
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.
Sunday, December 20
Starring Deborah Voigt, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Waltraud Meier, Jay Hunter Morris, Iain Paterson, Eric Owens, and Hans-Peter König, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From February 11, 2012.