While opera-deprived Canadians stay patient (because we’re nice, and frankly, because we have no choice), it’s a good time to peek over the border for a few fresh digital items. Out of our neighbours to the south, here’s a shortlist of new and brand-new American opera streams for the savvy, nostalgic, and curious:
Flight, Seattle Opera
Jonathan Dove’s airport-vignette opera is getting a digital run via Seattle Opera, starting April 23 at 7pm PT. Director Brian Staufenbiel and conductor Viswa Subbaraman make their Seattle debuts in this new production, which features Canadian soprano Sharleen Joynt in arguably her new signature role, the Flight Controller. The stream runs through April 25, and tickets are $35USD.
Signature Recitals, LA Opera
LA Opera’s fresh recital series kicked off on April 9, with tenor Russell Thomas and pianist Mi-Kyung Kim’s “mesmerizing” performance of Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. The series is set to continue with a star line-up, including Susan Graham (April 23), Christine Goerke (May 7), Julia Bullock (May 21), and J’Nai Bridges (June 4). Listeners can purchase access to the full recital package, starting at $45USD; the recitals will stay available to stream until July 1, 2021. For full details, including programme information, visit LA Opera’s website.
We Need To Talk, Opera Philadelphia
A Canadian-run leader in new opera, Opera Philadelphia is offering a diverse and truly curious online line-up. Amid the streams of La traviata and Breaking the Waves, concerts with Lawrence Brownlee, and opera-art films featuring drag queen Sasha Velour, there’s the new work out of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, We Need To Talk. Soprano Adriane Greif performs the work based on a poem by Anne Carson, where a woman converses with herself; it’s quarantine-inspired, and part of Opera Philadelphia’s Digital Commission Series. You can watch with an Opera Philadelphia Channel subscription – which is definitely worth the money.
Suite Española, Houston Grand Opera
Out of HGO Digital is the very fascinating item, Suite Española: Explorando Iberia, featuring soprano and HGO Artistic Adviser Ana María Martínez. It’s a concert of music from Spain, including zarzuela and flamenco dance; Martínez is joined by pianist Kevin J. Miller, guitarist Jeremy García, and percussionist Richard Brown. The stream is available only until April 25, 2021 and it’s free to watch with registration.
In Song, San Francisco Opera
Care to get to know opera’s biggest stars on their home turf? San Francisco Opera’s concert series, In Song, offers specially curated concerts that are part-recital, part-documentary, totally engrossing. The current instalment features American mezzo J’Nai Bridges – and her “village” – out of Tacoma, Washington. More episodes are on the horizon, featuring Jamie Barton, Pene Pati, and Amina Edris.