The Metropolitan Opera will be closed through at least next September, but the New York institution continues to sustain opera lovers with free nightly streams of full operas from its archives. From December 14 through December 20, the company is going big with epic works by composers including Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky and Saint-Saëns. All but two of the productions were recorded in high definition for cinematic release as part of the Met series Live in HD.
A different opera goes live on the Met's website at 7:30pm EST (12:30am GMT) every night and remains there until 6:30pm EST the next day. The productions can also been viewed via the Met Opera on Demand app on multiple devices. A full schedule for Week 40 is below.
Samson et Dalila | Photograph: Ken Howard
Two of this week's operas take on stories from the Bible: Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila on Monday and Verdi's Nabucco on Saturday. Others depict large-scale dramas from Greek mythology (Berlioz's Les Troyens on Wednesday), medieval Italy (Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini on Thursday, with Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo) and Tsarist Russia (Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov on Friday). No lineup of operatic epics would be complete without Wagner, of course, and this week's slate features two Wagners classics: Lohengrin on Tuesday and the Ring Cycle finale Götterdämmerung on Sunday. To choose what to watch, consult the Met's thumbnail guide to this week's operas or its extensive collection of articles and podcasts.
For families this week, the Met is also offering a special holiday festival of activities built around Englebert Humperdinck's folktale opera Hansel and Gretel, which streams free for four days starting at 5pm EST on Thursday, December 17. In recent months, the Met has also been producing pay-per-view virtual concerts; the latest, starring bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and guests in a holiday program at the Brecon Cathedral in Wales, was broadcast live on December 12 and will remain viewable through December 26.
This week's Metropolitan Opera nightly streaming schedule:
Monday, December 14: Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila
Starring Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Transmitted live on October 20, 2018.
Tuesday, December 15: Wagner’s Lohengrin
Starring Eva Marton, Leonie Rysanek, Peter Hofmann, Leif Roar and John Macurdy. Conducted by James Levine. From January 10, 1986.
Wednesday, December 16: Berlioz’s Les Troyens
Starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Karen Cargill, Bryan Hymel, Eric Cutler, Dwayne Croft and Kwangchoul Youn. Conducted by Fabio Luisi. Transmitted live on January 5, 2013.
Thursday, December 17: Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini
Starring Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo and Cornell MacNeil. Conducted by James Levine. From April 7, 1984.
Friday, December 18: Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov
Starring Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko and Vladimir Ognovenko. Conducted by Valery Gergiev. Transmitted live on October 23, 2010.
Saturday, December 19: Verdi’s Nabucco
Starring Liudmyla Monastyrska, Jamie Barton, Russell Thomas, Plácido Domingo, and Dmitry Belosselskiy. Conducted by James Levine. Transmitted live on January 7, 2017.
Sunday, December 20: Wagner’s Götterdämmerung
Starring Deborah Voigt, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Waltraud Meier, Jay Hunter Morris, Iain Paterson, Eric Owens, and Hans-Peter König. Conducted by Fabio Luisi. Transmitted live on February 11, 2012.
Nabucco | Photograph: Marty Sohl
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