The Metropolitan Opera is not scheduled to resume live performances until 2021, but the company continues to delight opera fans around worldwide with free streams of productions from its archives. The lineup from August 31 through September 6 is devoted entirely to works from the 20th century, including operas by George Gershwin, Richard Strauss, John Adams, Benjamin Britten, Alban Berg and Thomas Adès. All of this week’s recordings were recorded in high definition for the Met’s Live in HD series. (Click here to see the Met’s schedule for September 28 through October 4.)
The streams go live on the Met’s website each night at 7:30pm EDT (12:30am BST) and most remain available until 6:30pm EDT the next day. They can also be viewed through the Met Opera on Demand app. A full schedule for Week 25 is below.
Porgy and Bess | Photograph: Ken Howard
Anchoring the lineup is George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward’s 1935 jazz masterpiece Porgy and Bess, a 2020 recording of which—starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles—streams for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday. Other highlights include a stark and intense 2016 production of Richard Strauss’s Elektra, starring Nina Stemme as Greek mythology’s ultimate daddy’s girl; Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, the dark tale of a 19th-century fisherman believed to be guilty of a terrible crime; and John Adams and Alice Goodman’s superb modern opera Nixon in China, which alternates between heightened realism and dreamlike experimentalism. To help you navigate your options, the Met provides both a useful thumbnail guide to the works and a more comprehensive collection of articles and podcasts.
In addition to its free streams of full operas, the Met also offers a new series of live pay-per-view virtual concerts every other week. The fourth of these, in which the Norwegian dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen sings from the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo, is available through September 10.
This week’s Metropolitan Opera nightly streaming schedule:
Monday, August 31: R. Strauss’s Elektra
Starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, Burkhard Ulrich and Eric Owens. Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Transmitted live on April 30, 2016.
Tuesday, September 1: Britten’s Peter Grimes
Starring Patricia Racette, Anthony Dean Griffey and Anthony Michaels-Moore. Conducted by Donald Runnicles. Transmitted live on March 15, 2008.
Wednesday, September 2: John Adams’s Nixon in China
Starring Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, James Maddalena and Richard Paul Fink. Conducted by John Adams. Transmitted live on February 12, 2011.
Thursday, September 3: Berg’s Lulu
Starring Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter and Franz Grundheber. Conducted by Lothar Koenigs. Transmitted live on November 21, 2015.
Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5: The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
Starring Angel Blue, Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Eric Owens, Alfred Walker and Donovan Singletary. Conducted by David Robertson. Transmitted live on February 1, 2020.
Sunday, September 6: Thomas Adès’s The Tempest
Starring Audrey Luna, Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, Alek Shrader, Alan Oke, William Burden, Toby Spence and Simon Keenlyside. Conducted by Thomas Adès. Transmitted live on November 10, 2012.
RECOMMENDED: Our day-by-day roundup of the best theater, opera and dance to stream online
Elektra | Photograph: Marty Sohl
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