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BWW Feature: OPERA ONLINE APRIL 24 - MAY 1 at Computer Screens


BWW Feature: OPERA ONLINE APRIL 24 - MAY 1 at Computer Screens

Having visited a far northern opera company in Helsinki, Finland, last week, we now travel south to the Teatro Massimo of Palermo, on the Mediterranean shore of Sicily, one of Italy's southernmost points. Perhaps we can salute it with fresh squeezed orange juice from local fruit or cannoli, Italy's famous cream puffs.

Readers can find the opera performances at Along with ballets, childrens' shows and concerts, more than a dozen popular traditional operas are available to watch online there. Don't miss the Teatro Massimo Gala. The first artist on the program is Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat who will make his Metropolitan Opera debut as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata in 2021. It's a new major voice with tons of squillo (resonance).

Scroll down past all the Gala artists to the Video Gallery where opera lovers can watch productions from Teatro Massimo: Rossini's The Barber of Seville, as well as his rarely performed William Tell; Bellini's I Puritani and Norma; Mozart's Idomeneo and The Magic Flute; Verdi's Falstaff, La Traviata, and Macbeth; Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Turandot; Bizet's Carmen; Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. If readers wonder how different two productions of the same opera can be, I suggest they compare the Barber of Seville from Teatro Massimo and from Barn Opera as cited below.

Barn Opera is Joshua Collier's fun-loving small company located in Brandon, Vermont. In normal times, skiers can have real maple syrup on their pancakes, spend the day on the slopes, and enjoy opera in the evening. Now four of their piano-accompanied productions, Carmen, Cosi fan Tutte, La Bohème, and The Barber of Seville are online. In this Barber, Almaviva is from Los Angeles and his goal is to rescue Rosina from the snows of New England. The cast sings in the original Italian, but Collier's updated comedic direction and zany English subtitles are enough to keep any audience laughing.

Los Angeles Opera is offering Living Room Recitals on its website. The recitals are by current and former members of the company's young artist program. Will Liverman, an up-and-coming baritone, sings French opera, classic Broadway show tunes, cabaret, and Karl Loewe's rarely heard song, Erlkönig. The better known version has music by Franz Schubert. Arturo Chacon-Cruz sings well-known Mexican and American songs with guitar, finishing with the aria "Nessun' dorma" from Puccini's Turandot accompanied digitally on the piano by Young Artist Program Director, Nino Sanikidze.

Is there any whipped cream left over from the cannoli? Put it on a piece of chocolate cake and you're in Vienna with for a full menu of performances. On Apr. 24, 2020, Vienna State Opera offers Madama Butterfly in a production by Josef Gielen with Ana María Martínez as Cio-Cio-San; on the 25th, Fidelio in a production by Otto Schenk, starring Peter Seiffert and Camilla Nylund; and on the 26th, Hänsel und Gretel. On the 27th, opera lovers can see Vienna's Butterfly with Kristīne Opolais as Cio-Cio-San.

The show on April 28th is Otto Schenk's production of Beethoven's Fidelio conducted by Peter Schneider. Klaus Florian Vogt sings Florestan and Anja Kampe sings Leonore. On April 30th, the Staatsoper offers David McVicar's production of Berlioz' Les Troyens conducted by Alain Altinoglu with Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandre, Brandon Jovanovich as Enée, and Joyce DiDonato as Didon.

Finnish National Opera's Stage 24 has a performance in German of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) conducted by John Fiore. Many of its singers have the kind of resonance that sounds like liquid bronze. Veteran bass-baritone Johan Reuter who sings the title role and soprano Camilla Nyland, the Senta, have appeared in major opera houses all over the world. The work of their Finnish colleagues, particularly tenor Tuomas Katajala, is also most impressive. Director Kasper Holten's production retains the mythical seafaring imagery but also deals with the role of an artist trying to make fine art as well as a living in the 21st century society. Don't miss this major production.

Conducted by Oleg Caetane and directed by Ole Anders Tandberg, the performance of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District features Svetlana Sozdateleva as Katerina. Dmitri Bertman's beautifully constructed production of The Rake's Progress, conducted by Elvin Gullberg and sung in English, stars Steve Davislim as the ne'er-do-well Tom. Lady Macbeth, The Rake's Progress, and a few other performances will be available for the next five months. The photo at the top of the page shows a scene from The Finnish National Opera's The Rake's Progress by photographer Heikki Tuuli.

At the pace, opera companies are offering online performances, lovers of the art can enjoy a performance every evening with their customary dessert and after-dinner beverage.

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From This Author Maria Nockin