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In cultural landscape suddenly barren, stream
of relief begins with week of Met Opera in HD

Submitted by on Mar 16, 2020 – 3:59 pm

lina Garanca as Carmen and Roberto Alagna as Don José in Bizet’s “Carmen,” which opens a week of streamed performances from the Met Live in HD series. (Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera)

Virus Antidote: Already feeling the absence of concerts, opera and theater? We’re forging a stimulus package from the web.
By Lawrence B. Johnson

Even as panic supermarket shopping burns across the land, the nourishment that many of us perhaps most crave is soul food:  a wholesome dose of vitamin B-flat to compensate for our regular indulgences in music and theater. Welcome to the seemingly limitless larder of the internet and especially the creative initiatives of major presenters in America and abroad to stream what we, for now, cannot experience first-hand.

Donning our deerstalker sleuthing cap, Chicago On the Aisle is casting around for brilliant options for culture-starved readers. The first fruit of our exploration is a spectacular week of free streamed programs from the Metropolitan Opera’s archive of “Met Live in HD” cinema broadcasts, which begin March 16 with Bizet’s “Carmen.”

Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo and Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì in Puccini’s “La bohème.” (Photo: Marty Sohl/Met Opera)

A new “Nightly Met Opera Stream” will become available on demand starting at 6:30 p.m. Central time and remaining available for 20 hours. Go to the homepage of metopera.org to access it. The homepage link will open the performance on the Met Opera on Demand streaming service. The performance will also be viewable on all Met Opera on Demand apps.

“We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times,” said Met general manager Peter Gelb. “Every night, we’ll be offering a different complete operatic gem from our collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years.”

The kick-off “Carmen,” originally broadcast Jan. 16, 2010, is a scorcher starring Elīna Garanča as Bizet’s defiant femme-fatale, with Roberto Alagna as her ill-fated lover Don José. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts in his Metropolitan Opera debut. He has since become the Met’s music director.

A scene from Donizetti’s “La fille du régiment,” with Natalie Dessay as Marie and Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio. (Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera)

Here’s the remaining nightly schedule:

Tuesday, March 17 – Puccini’s “La bohème.”

Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas. Transmitted live on April 5, 2008.

Wednesday, March 18 – Verdi’s “Il trovatore.”

Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on Oct. 3, 2015.

Anna Netrebko as Leonora in Verdi’s “Il trovatore.” (Photo: Marty Sohl/Met Opera)

Thursday, March 19 – Verdi’s “La traviata.”

Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Quinn Kelsey. Transmitted live on December 15, 2018.

Friday, March 20 – Donizetti’s “La fille du régiment.”

Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez. Transmitted live on April 26, 2008.

Saturday, March 21 – Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, and Mariusz Kwiecien. Transmitted live on February 7, 2009.

Sunday, March 22 – Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.”

Conducted by Valery Gergiev, starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on February 24, 2007.