Nightly Opera Streams, July 12–18
There’s nothing quite like the passion of Puccini, and this week of free Nightly Opera Streams features a lineup of the Italian master’s most popular operas. 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 intense, impassioned operas of Giacomo Puccini sweep the audience away like little else in the repertoire. Learn about this week’s featured performances with this guide.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
From the Archives: Pavarotti at the Met
In the storied history of the Metropolitan Opera, Luciano Pavarotti holds a secure place as one of the company’s most celebrated tenors.
The Animals of Manon Lescaut
Live in HD host Renée Fleming speaks with animal trainers Nancy and Paul Novograd about the four-legged stars of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.
Rallying the Troops
Take a look behind the scenes at how the Met’s stage managers, the company’s backstage generals, marshal the vast theatrical forces required for Franco Zeffirelli’s grand staging of Puccini’s Turandot.
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.
Celebrating Renata Scotto
In more than 300 Met performances, great Italian soprano Renata Scotto, who sings Mimì in this week’s stream of Puccini’s La Bohème, riveted audiences with her idiomatic singing and powerful acting.
In 2008, Giacomo Puccini's sumptuous yet tragic love story La Rondine returned to the Met stage for the first time in more than 70 years, in a spirited production by Nicolas Joël.
Mattila on Manon
Before she appeared in the title role of Manon Lescaut live in HD in 2008, Finnish diva Karita Mattila discussed acting in opera, the flaws in Manon’s character, and the importance of a good relationship with her scene partners.
The Lifespan of a Costume
Year in and year out, the 110 artisans in the Met costume shops are responsible for clothing the multitudes that fill the stage night after night—from Chinese ministers to Russian aristocrats to the humble inhabitants of Catfish Row.
Puccini’s operatic thrill ride Tosca features a fictional diva that’s one of the ultimate showcases for the real thing. But at a time when the term “diva” is thrown around seemingly willy-nilly, what exactly did the composer have in mind?
La Fanciulla del West: In Focus
A gun-slinging heroine. A romantic tale of the Wild West. The first great opera with an American setting. Learn more about Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West with our In Focus podcast.
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.
Giant Among Giants
Learn about the Met career of great American baritone Cornell MacNeil, one of the great singers of the second half of the 20th century, who stars in this week’s stream of Puccini’s Tosca.
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.
From the Archives: Manon Lescaut at the Met
One of the repertory’s most glamorous operas has been matched by equally glamorous casts in more than 200 Met performances since its company premiere in 1907.
Turandot: In Focus
In ancient China, a princess tests the worthiness of her suitors by posing a series of riddles—killing those who answer incorrectly—until a brave warrior proves he’s up to the challenge. Learn more about Puccini’s Turandot with our In Focus podcast.
A Tribute to Marcello Giordani
Marcello Giordani, who passed away in October 2019 and is featured in this week’s free stream of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, was one of the Met’s brightest star tenors in recent decades.
The 1910 world premiere of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at the Met was an enormous event for the then-young company. This Playbill article from the 2010 performances of the opera takes a look at that historic occasion from a century on.
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.
As he prepared to star as Ruggero in La Rondine—in a production that marked the work’s first Met performances in more than 70 years—tenor Roberto Alagna spoke about Puccini’s unappreciated gem.
From the Archives: Turandot at the Met
Arriving at the Met seven months after its world premiere, Puccini’s Turandot has long been a showcase for some of opera’s most exciting artists appearing in equally spectacular stagings.
Monday, July 12
Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
Starring Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by James Levine. From February 16, 2008.
Tuesday, July 13
Puccini’s La Bohème
Starring Renata Scotto, Maralin Niska, Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, and Paul Plishka, conducted by James Levine. Production by Fabrizio Melano. From March 15, 1977.
Saturday, July 17
Puccini’s La Rondine
Starring Angela Gheorghiu, Lisette Oropesa, Roberto Alagna, Marius Brenciu, and Samuel Ramey, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Nicolas Joël. From January 10, 2009.