The Metropolitan Opera continues the nightly opera stream, now in its fifteenth week. Fictional, Biblical, and real life-based characters inhabit this week with human superpowers, ideals, love, destruction, ritual, and magic set to music that haunts the mind, moves the heart, and delights the senses. The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Met’s homepage and can be accessed for 20 hours. Please click on the title of each opera below for more information and the link to the full synopsis. To discover even more about the operas featured this week, check out the weekly guide along with articles, interviews, videos, podcasts, and educational resources.
Monday, June 22
Verdi’s La Traviata – Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From March 11, 2017.
Rescheduled from Sunday, June 21st: Verdi’s operatic version of Alexandre Dumas fils’ tragedy La dame aux camélias (The Lady of the Camellias), the tale of the young courtesan who finds redemption in true love and who is forced to sacrifice that love on the altar of societal restrictions. This production features an enormous clock onstage making time itself a character and a dooming presence in the heroine’s brief life.
Tuesday, June 23
John Adams’s Doctor Atomic – Starring Sasha Cooke, Thomas Glenn, Gerald Finley, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by Alan Gilbert. From November 8, 2008.
A contemporary opera about the testing of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, with the main characters taken from real life: J. Robert Oppenheimer, his wife Kitty, and General Leslie Groves. Peter Sellars’ libretto is based on adapted, declassified government documents and communication between those involved in the project as well as poems of John Donne, Charles Baudelaire, and Muriel Rukeyser, a Tewa Indian song, and quotes from The Bhagavad Gita. For a powerful cinematic rendering of these events, watch Roland Joffe’s 1989 film, Fat Man and Little Boy, starring Paul Newman and John Cusack.
Wednesday, June 24
Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila – Starring El?na Garan?a, Roberto Alagna, Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. From October 20, 2018.
Based on the Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah from Chapter 16 in the Book of Judges. The opera’s best-known piece is Delilah’s aria “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” (My heart opens itself to your voice). For a lavish cinematic adaptation of the story, watch Cecil B. DeMille’s 1949 film.
Thursday, June 25
Massenet’s Manon – Starring Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Carlo Bosi, Artur Ruci?ski, Brett Polegato, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From October 26, 2019.
We return to the French Manon, with a different cast than in Week 10. This tragic tale of a beautiful young woman torn between love and luxury is based on the 1731 novel Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. There have been many adaptations of the story; the nightly stream featured Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini in Week 11. For a more recent French cinematic adaptation, watch the 2013 film version.
Friday, June 26
Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore – Starring Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti, Juan Pons, and Enzo Dara, conducted by James Levine. From November 16, 1991.
A historic performance of one of the most frequently performed operas by Gaetano Donizetti, starring the unparalleled Luciano Pavarotti. This sweet, entertaining story is inspired by Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Daniel Auber’s opera that premiered a year earlier, Le philtre. Packed with gorgeous, effervescent melodies and comical moments, it is one of the ideal starter operas for a newcomer to the lyric art.
Saturday, June 27
Massenet’s Cendrillon – Starring Kathleen Kim, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. From April 28, 2018.
In Week 6 the nightly opera stream featured Rossini’s Italian operatic adaptation of Charles Perrault’s 1697 beloved fairy tale Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper. Massenet’s opera is in French, the original language of the story. It took 119 years for this work to arrive the Met and this production is its premiere. For a live action film adaptation of the story, rent the 2015 movie on Amazon.
Sunday, June 28
Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte – Starring Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, Christian Van Horn, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. From October 14, 2017.
A love story with unforgettable music and fantastical, comedic, and philosophical elements, this opera is known as a “Singspiel” (the literal translation from German is “sing-play”); it includes both singing and spoken dialogue. This Met production by Julie Taymor is especially fun and imaginative. In honor of Mozart’s 250th anniversary year an English-language film version of the opera directed by Kenneth Branagh and set during World War I was released in 2006.
Top photo: Bigstock