Nightly Opera Streams, May 3–9
Happy Mother’s Day
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a week of free streams showcasing some of the best—and worst—operatic moms. 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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Celebrate Mother’s Day with a week of free streams showcasing some of the best—and worst—operatic moms. Explore the full lineup with this guide.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
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.
Wozzeck: In Focus
An ordinary soldier is driven to madness and murder by an intolerable cocktail of humiliation, jealousy, and the indignities of daily life. Learn more about Berg's Wozzeck with our In Focus podcast.
From the Archives: Norma at the Met
Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece is an unsurpassed showcase for vocal virtuosity, especially for the sopranos who dare to tackle the fearsome title role. Learn about some of the great artists who have taken on the challenge at the Met over the last 130 years.
A Return to Rodelinda
As she prepared to reprise her portrayal of the title heroine of Handel’s dramatic opera, soprano Renée Fleming explained why the composer continues to seize audiences’ imaginations.
“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.
A Tribute to Marcello Giordani
Marcello Giordani, who passed away in October 2019 and is featured in this week’s stream of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, was one of the Met’s brightest star tenors in recent decades.
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.
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.
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.
Renée Fleming: Live in HD Highlights
Take a look back at some of Renée Fleming’s most powerful appearances in the company’s The Met: Live in HD series.
Making a Murderer
Swedish baritone Peter Mattei, one of opera’s great singing actors, added another chapter to his Met legacy in 2019 with his role debut as the title character of Berg’s Wozzeck.
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.
Before taking on the formidable title role of Norma, a powerful Druid priestess struggling to balance her public and personal identities, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky spoke about her character and her career—and the connections between the two.
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.
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.
Theme and Variations
In a conversation with Met General Manager Peter Gelb, director William Kentridge and Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin discuss how they aim to amplify the musical and dramatic themes of Berg’s masterpiece Wozzeck.
In Focus: Agrippina
Learn more about Handel’s searing political satire, which had its Met premiere during the 2019–20 season.
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.
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.
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.
South African artist and director William Kentridge has been responsible for three of the Met’s most thought-provoking productions in recent years—including the company’s first new staging of Berg’s Wozzeck in more than 20 years.
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.
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.
Radvanovsky and McVicar on Norma
The Met’s 2017 new production of Norma lavished Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece with an exceptional cast and evocative visuals. In this video, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky and director Sir David McVicar discuss the work’s transcendent music and the production’s depiction of druidic history.
Each stream becomes available at 7:30PM ET and remains accessible for on-demand viewing until 6:30PM ET the following day, with the exception of the May 7 stream of Wozzeck, which will be available until May 8 at 12PM ET. The May 8 stream of Madama Butterfly will begin at the normally scheduled 7:30PM ET.
Tuesday, May 4
Starring Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Andreas Scholl, Joseph Kaiser, and Shenyang, conducted by Harry Bicket. Production by Stephen Wadsworth. From December 3, 2011.
Wednesday, May 5
Starring Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Simon Keenlyside, and James Morris, conducted by Louis Langrée. Production by Patrice Caurier & Moshe Leiser. From March 27, 2010.
Friday, May 7
Starring Elza van den Heever, Tamara Mumford, Christopher Ventris, Gerhard Siegel, Andrew Staples, Peter Mattei, and Christian Van Horn, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by William Kentridge. From January 11, 2020.
Saturday, May 8
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Starring Patricia Racette, Maria Zifchak, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Patrick Summers. Production by Anthony Minghella. From March 7, 2009.
Sunday, May 9
Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. Production by Sir David McVicar. From February 29, 2020.