While the Met Opera is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it continues to offer extraordinary entertainment through its Nightly Opera Streams. The performances, originally captured as live broadcasts, begin at 7:30 PM on the company’s website.
'Les Pêcheurs de Perles' by Bizet
Wed, Jan 6
After Carmen, this is Bizet’s “other” great masterpiece, a passionate romance well stocked with the kind of melting melodies that put the young composer on the 19th-century Parisian map. The opera tells of two fisherman friends who lock horns over a demure yet vocally powerful priestess of Brahma—who is herself torn between piety and her own powerful desires.
'I Puritani' by Bellini
Thurs, Jan 7
A saga of star-crossed love set against the strife of the 17th-century English Civil War, Bellini’s bel-canto gem is best known for its mad spectaqcular scene. Elvira, a young Puritan woman, is set to marry Arturo, a royalist. But when his duty to the crown comes between them, and Elvira finds herself abandoned on her wedding day, she descends into madness with a breathtaking outpouring of virtuosity that only this style of opera can deliver.
'Cavalleria Rusticana' by Mascagni and 'Pagliacci' by Leoncavallo
Fri, Jan 8
Equally scandalous when they premiered separately in the late 19th century, these two short operas, often presented as a double bill, show just how searing and soapy opera can be. In Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, a lay-about villager leaves the girl he’s impregnated for another man’s wife. And in Pagliacci, a tortured clown plots against his beautiful young wife, whom he suspects of carrying on with a younger man.
'Maria Stuarda' by Donizetti
Sat, Jan 9
A prime example of the lyrical and virtuosic bel canto style of singing, this second Tudor tragedy tells of two queens—Mary, Queen of Scots, and her jealous cousin, Queen Elizabeth I—who are both vying for the English crown. The end of the opera’s first act becomes a battleground for dueling divas, with each prodding the other to bravura vocal heights.
'Il Trovatore' by Verdi
Sun, Dec 27
Verdi’s turbulent tragedy of four characters caught in a web of family ties, politics, and love is a mainstay of the operatic repertory. The score is as melodic as it is energetic, with infectious tunes that are not easily forgotten. The vigorous music accompanies a dark and disturbing tale that revels in many of the most extreme expressions of Romanticism, including violent shifts in tone, unlikely coincidences, and characters impelled by raw emotion.