From the Baroque to the Present: Online Opera Tour

02. 11. 2020

The Metropolitan Opera of New York provides an unforgettable cultural experience even in these unpleasant times, thus enabling all opera lovers to watch selected works from the comfort of your own home. We kindly invite you to watch exquisite opera masterpieces created in the period from the Baroque to the present day.

We have prepared a two-week review of the program for you, which will be available on the Metropolitan Opera website. More information on how you can follow this great online opera tour can be found here.

2nd November: George Frideric Händel, Rodelinda

An opera seria in three acts composed for the first Royal Academy of Music, its first performace was in London on 13 February 1725. The libretto is by Nicola Francesco Haym, based on an earlier libretto by Antonio Salvi. Rodelinda is the seventh Händel’s opera and has long been regarded as one of his greatest works.

Cast: Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Andreas Scholl, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser in Shenyang.
Conductor: Harry Bicket

3rd November: Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orfeo ed Euridice

An opera in three acts, based on the myth of Orpheus and set to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi. The piece was first performed in Vienna on 5 October 1762. The opera is the most popular of Gluck’s works and was one of the most influential on subsequent German operas.

Cast: Danielle de Niese, Heidi Grant Murphy and Stephanie Blythe
Conductor: James Levine

4th November: Wolfganga Amadeusa Mozarta, Idomeneo

An Italian language opera seria, whose libretto was adapted by Giambattista Varesco from a French text by Antoine Danchet, based on a 1705 play by Crébillion père. The work premiered on 29 January 1781 in Munich, Germany.

Cast: Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote, Matthew Polenzani and Alan Opie
Conductor: James Levine.

5th November: Giochino Rossini, Semiramide

Opera in two acts, libretto by Gaetano Rossi is based on Voltaire’s tragedy Semiramis, which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria. The opera was first performed in Venice on 3 February 1823.

Cast: Angela Meade, Elizabeth DeShong, Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov and Ryan Speedo Green
Conductor: Maurizio Benini

6th November: Guiseppe Verdi, La forza del destino

An Italian opera was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 10 November 1862. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller’s Wallensteins Lager. The overture of this opera is part of the standard repertoire for orchestras.

Cast: Leontyne Price, Giuseppe Giacomini, Leo Nucci and Bonaldo Giaiotti
Conductor: James Levine

7th November: Charles Gounod, Roméo et Juliette

An opera in five acts to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It was first performed in Paris on 27 April 1867. This opera is notable for the series of four duets for the main characters and the waltz song “Je veux vivre” for the soprano.

Cast: Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Nathan Gunn and Robert Lloyd
Conductor: Plácido Domingo

8th November: Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

An opera in three acts, also called a music drama. It is among the longest operas commonly performed, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed in Munich, on 21 June 1868.

Cast: Annette Dasch, Johan Botha, Paul Appleby and Michael Volle
Conductor: James Levine

9th November: P. Tchaikovsky, Iolanta in Béla Bartók, Bluebeard’s Castle

Iolanta, Op. 69, is a lyric opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The libretto was written by the composer’s brother Modest Tchaikovsky, and is based on the Danish play by Henrik Hertz. Iolanta was the last opera Tchaikovsky composed. The opera received its premiere on 18 December 1892 in Saint Petersburg.

Cast: Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała
Conductor: Valery Gergiev

Bluebeard’s Castle is a one-act expressionist opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs based on the French literary tale by Charles Perrault. The opera was first performed on 24 May 1918 in Budapest.

Cast: Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko
Conductor: Valery Gergiev

10th November: Richard Strauss, Salome

An opera in one act is special because the libretto is Hedwig Lachmann’s German translation of the French play by Oscar Wilde, edited by the composer. The opera sonn became one of the Strauss’s most recognisable works. First performance was in Dresden on 9 December 1905.

Cast: Karita Mattila, Ildikó Komlósi, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser and Juha Uusitalo
Conductor: Patrick Summers

11th November: Giacomo Puccini, La fanciulla del West

The opera in three acts to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini is based on the 1905 play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco. Fanciulla followed Madama Butterfly, which was also based on a Belasco play. The opera had a premiere at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in 1910.

Cast: Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani and Lucio Gallo
Conductor: Nicola Luisotti

12th November: Alan Berg, Lulu

Berg adapted the libretto from Frank Wedekind (two Lulu plays, Erdgeist and Die Büchse der Pandora). Berg died before completing the third and final act, and in the following decades the opera was performed incomplete until 1979, when Friedrich Cerha’s orchestration of the act 3 sketches was included.

Cast: Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter and Franz Grundheber,
Conductor: Lothar Koenigs

13nd November: Benjamin Britten, Peter Grimes

It was the first of Benjamin Britten’s operas to be a critical and popular success, with a libretto adapted by Montagu Slater from the narrative poem in George Crabbe’s book The Borough from 1780. It was first performed in London on 7 June 1945.

Cast: Patricia Racette, Anthony Dean Griffey and Anthony Michaels-Moore
Conductor: Donald Runnicles

14th November: Philip Glass, Akhnaten

An opera in three acts, based on the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. The libretto is by Philip Glass in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel, Richard Riddell and Jerome Robbins. The American premiere, directed by David Freeman, was on October 12, 1984 in Huston.

Cast: Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein and Zachary James
Conductor: Karen Kamensek

15th November: The Exterminating Angel

An opera in three acts, with music by Thomas Adès and libretto by Tom Cairns in collaboration with Adès. The opera is based on the 1962 film of the same name by Luis Buñuel. The opera was a joint commission between the Salzburg Festival, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Danish Opera. The opera received its world premiere on 28 July 2016 in Salzburg.

Cast: Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan,  Alice Coote, Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, Frédéric Antoun, David Portillo, David Adam Moore, Rod Gilfry, Kevin Burdette, Christian Van Horn and John Tomlinson
Conductor: Thomas Adès