Nightly Opera Streams, May 10–16
National Council Auditions Alumni Week
Leading up to the 2021 National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert on May 16, this week of free streams pays tribute to some of the extraordinary Met artists who have participated in the competition over the past 60 years—and also includes an exclusive screening of Susan Froemke’s documentary The Audition, which goes behind the scenes of the program. A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
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This week’s free streams celebrate some of the extraordinary Met artists who have participated in the National Council Auditions over the past 60 years. Learn more with this guide.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
The Audition: A Note from the Filmmaker
Director Susan Froemke reflects on the creation of The Audition, her celebrated documentary about the 2007 National Council Auditions.
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.
Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, a 2001 National Council Auditions winner, made his Met debut in 2007 as Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and reprised the role in a 2014 HD broadcast. Here he sings an excerpt from his bravura final aria.
Roberto Devereux follows the ill-fated final years of Queen Elizabeth I, as she struggles to navigate monarchical duty and illicit romance. In this 2016 production preview, director David McVicar and soprano Sondra Radvanovsky discuss the opera’s important place in Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy.
Vulnerability and Strength
Teresa Stratas, who sings Mimì in this week’s stream of La Bohème, enjoyed a Met career spanning more than three decades. Read more about this fascinating and elusive artist.
The Greatest Showman
Few artists have had a greater impact on Met history than Franco Zeffirelli, the beloved director and designer who died in 2019.
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.
Aria Code: Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier
Dive into the details of the Marschallin’s monologue on the passing of time with Renée Fleming and host Rhiannon Giddens in this episode of our Aria Code podcast, a collaboration with WQXR.
Queen for a Season
During the 2015–16 season, Sondra Radvanovsky sang all three of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens, a historic feat that culminated in her starring in Sir David McVicar’s Met-premiere production of Roberto Devereux.
The Audition: Trailer
Watch the trailer for The Audition, streamed this week, and go behind the scenes at the 2007 National Council Auditions, where each year thousands of hopefuls compete for a cash prize, the chance to sing on the Met stage—and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career.
Zeffirelli Rehearsing La Bohème
In this mini-documentary from 1981, Franco Zeffirelli rehearses his new production of La Bohème and explains why he sees it as Puccini’s version of Romeo and Juliet.
Designer Catherine Zuber has charmed theatergoers—and won seven Tony Awards—for her breathtaking costumes for the Great White Way. Before the 2006 premiere of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Zuber talked about sexing up the look of Rossini’s classic comedy.
Donizetti’s Tudor Queens at the Met
The revival of the bel canto repertoire that began in the mid–20th century was late in coming to the Met, but the company has made up for lost time in recent years, including with important productions of Donizetti’s three operas based on the lives of Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart, and Elizabeth I.
Franco Zeffirelli’s lavish production of Puccini’s La Bohème has dazzled audiences for nearly 40 years. This backstage video offers a look behind the scenes at how the monumental sets are changed.
Back in the Director’s Chair
After creating 11 productions for the company, director Franco Zeffirelli returned to the Met in 2008 for a revival of his signature production of La Bohème. He spoke about filming opera, respecting Puccini, and the “irresistible fire” of La Bohème.
The Tristan “Curse”
With a pair of title roles that have been proclaimed “unsingable” by critics and artists alike, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde has encountered—or possibly courted—more than its fair share of mishaps at the Metropolitan.
Silence Is Golden
When an artist appears on the Met stage, there is generally some noise—but not for Rob Besserer, who appears in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in the mute role of Ambrogio.
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 15 stream of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which will be available until May 16 at 2PM ET. The May 16 stream of Roberto Devereux will begin at the normally scheduled 7:30PM ET.
Monday, May 10
Puccini’s La Bohème
Starring Teresa Stratas, Renata Scotto, José Carreras, Richard Stilwell, and James Morris, conducted by James Levine. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From January 16, 1982.
Tuesday, May 11
Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Starring Carol Vaness, Karita Mattila, Dawn Upshaw, Jerry Hadley, Samuel Ramey, Ferrucio Furlanetto, and Kurt Moll, conducted by James Levine. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From April 5, 1990.
Wednesday, May 12
Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde
Starring Jane Eaglen, Katarina Dalayman, Ben Heppner, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. Production by Dieter Dorn. From December 18, 1999.
Thursday, May 13
Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier
Starring Renée Fleming, Christine Schäfer, Susan Graham, Eric Cutler, Thomas Allen, and Kristinn Sigmundsson, conducted by Edo de Waart. Production by Nathaniel Merrill. From January 9, 2010.
Friday, May 14
This feature-length documentary takes you behind the scenes of the Met’s National Council Auditions, in which, each year, thousands of hopefuls compete for a cash prize, the chance to sing on the Met stage—and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career. Directed by Susan Froemke.
Saturday, May 15
Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Starring Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, Christopher Maltman, Maurizo Muraro, and Paata Burchuladze, conducted by Michele Mariotti. Production by Bartlett Sher. From November 22, 2014.
Sunday, May 16
Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Elīna Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecień, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Production by Sir David McVicar. From April 16, 2016.