Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva and Daniela Mack as Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville." Photo: Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Opera
A Cornucopia of Online Opera
Ciao, Opera Mavens. We hope you all are staying safe & sane, and that these online offerings help keep you happy & healthy at home through the holidays!
OPERA SAN JOSE operasj.org
Three Decembers (Jake Heggie / Gene Scheer) – Mezzo Susan Graham (Merola 1987) leads the cast of OSJ’s first fully-staged digital production, based on an unpublished play by Tony Award winning playwright Terrence McNally. This intimate 90-minute chamber opera follows the story of famous actress Madeline Mitchell (Graham) and her two adult children, Beatrice and Charlie, portrayed by OSJ Resident Artists Maya Kherani and Efraín Solís (Adler 2014-15); conducted by Christopher James Ray and directed by Tara Branham.
On-demand streaming starts Thu Dec 3; tickets $40/household ($50 with opening night gala), available online.
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA sfopera.com
Opera is ON – The company’s online programs continue: next up, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (from 2008, starring Ramón Vargas) premiering Sat Nov 28 and Celebrating the Voices of San Francisco Opera (a program taking you behind the scenes to meet some of the many tastemakers, designers, and performers that make SFO shine) premiering Sat Dec 4. Want more? SFO subscribers, donors (at the $75 level and up), and Bel Canto Legacy Society members can login to access all past full opera streams plus artist interviews, cast lists, and program materials.
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM merola.org
A Very Merola Holiday Recital – Celebrate the season with Merola alums Maria Valdes (soprano 2013), Alice Chung (mezzo 2017, 2019), Casey Candebat (tenor 2012, 2014), Christian Pursell (bass-baritone 2017), and Ronny Michael Greenberg (pianist 2014).
Sat Dec 12 at 4pm; tickets $25 individuals, $40 households, $80 VIPs (includes virtual reception with artists), available through eventbrite.com.
WEST EDGE OPERA westedgeopera.org
Aperture: Where New Opera Comes Into Focus – It’s not too late to sign up and participate in this exciting virtual residency project! Join the process as 22 composer / librettist teams present their ideas for new works for a chance to win a $60,000 commission and have their opera performed with a live orchestra; receive two emails per week introducing the creators, view their pitch, listen to curators discuss their potential, submit your own opinions, and even sit in on roundtable discussions. Monthly memberships start at $15; click here to learn more, sign up for a free issue, or become a member.
Other digital content from local companies:
ARS MINERVA arsminerva.org
Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi) – The composer’s only oratorio, based on the Old Testament story of Judith’s victory over Assyrian general Holofernes’s army; the work was written to be performed by the women of Venice’s L’Ospidale della Pieta, an institution that served as a girls’ orphanage and music conservatory where Vivaldi served as violin master. Co-produced with the San Francisco Girls Chorus; you can watch the video here
(performance starts around the 20-minute mark after an introduction by Ars Minerva’s Celine Ricci & SFGC’s Valerie Sainte-Agathe).
LIVERMORE VALLEY OPERA livermorevalleyopera.com
Triple Threat: Arias at Home – Free monthly online concert series (but donations are welcome) presented live & then remaining on LVO’s YouTube channel so you can watch them again & tell your friends about them! October’s concert featured Christopher Bozeka, Alba Franco-Cancél , Elena Galván, Rafael Porto, and Andrew W. Potter; November featured Alex Boyer, Elena Galván, Nikola Printz, and Philip Skinner.
Next live concert: Sat Dec 5 at 6pm with Christopher Bozeka, Eugene Brancoveanu, Kirk Eichelberger, and Shawnette Sulker.
POCKET OPERA pocketopera.org
3-Song Mini-Concert Series – As part of keeping artists working and to send you the gift of opera in English, we have engaged some of our finest singers to record three songs each of our inimitable translations for everyone to enjoy in the comfort and safety of your homes. Please go to our website to view videos by Rabihah Davis Dunn, Chelsea Hollow, Ellen Leslie, Nikola Printz, Patrick Hagen, and Anders Fröhlich.
Last but not least, some personal favorites from farther afield & across the country:
HOUSTON GRAND OPERA houstongrandopera.org
Vinkensport or, The Finch Opera (David T. Little / Royce Vavrek) – Join Marquee TV for free to access this delightful 45-minute opera plus upcoming release of Mozart’s The Impresario plus Bon Appetit! (with Jamie Barton) streaming Nov 27-Dec 27.
MINNESOTA OPERA mnopera.org
Das Rheingold (Wagner) – Broadcast recording of 2016 production by director Brian Staufenbiel (Opera Parallèle’s Creative Director) starring bass-baritone Greer Grimsley (from SFO’s 2018 Ring Cycles) as Wotan. Streaming on demand through Sat Nov 28; digital access available here, pay what you want.
TULSA OPERA tulsaopera.com
Rigoletto (Verdi) – Go to Tulsa’s YouTube channel to watch a recording of their Rigoletto at ONEOK ballpark, the first live opera performance in the United States since the COVID-19 shutdown (bonus points if you can spot your faithful correspondent in the stands)!
And this (courtesy of Opera Maven Kimberly Thompson):
Kelli O’Hara “They Don’t Let You in the Opera”
Happy Thanksgiving & Enjoy!