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BWW Feature: Opera Streaming Online No. 49 For The Week of 3/19

Brown Sounds in LA, the Ring in San Francisco, and Wainwright's Prima Donna in Stockholm: All in No. 49

BWW Feature: Opera Streaming Online No. 49 For The Week of 3/19 The Magic Opera Flying Carpet Tour boarded our vehicle and we flew to an airport in Novato, CA, north of San Francisco. Manon-la-Chat was annoyed from the start because one tour member whose dog sitting arrangement fell through, brought a teacup poodle named Roxanne on board.

"She is not big enough to be a problem for you, Manon," I said.

"She has already ruined my catnap with her loud bark," replied Manon.

I guess we will have to put up with this all week because neither of them can go to the opera. Perhaps a dinner of shrimp cocktail and pot roast with various root vegetables will calm everyone's nerves.

Wagner's Siegfried is online from San Francisco Opera on March 20 and 21, 2021. Siegfried, a warrior without fear comes of age and prepares for battle in the third chapter of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. Tenor Daniel Brenna stars as the Siegfried, the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde who was born to retrieve the almighty ring of power from the dragon Fafner. Siegfried knows neither love nor fear. He doesn't even recognize deceit until he tastes the sting of the dragon's blood. That is when his great adventure begins.

Francesca Zambello directs and Sir Donald Runnicles conducts an all-star cast including bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, soprano Irène Theorin, mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller, and tenor David Cangelosi. Siegfried is a co-production of San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera. Opera lovers may stream Siegfried all weekend long, starting Saturday at 10 A M Pacific Time.



We stay in Novato for two nights and bus to San Jose for Three Decembers for our second performance. In San Jose we have a delightful Italian dinner of antipasto, lasagna al forno, and tiramisu.

Jake Heggie's Three Decembers is available online from Opera San Jose starring Susan Graham. Prices begin at $15 and access is available for at least 30 days after the day of ticket purchase.

After the opera, we get ready for our overseas flight to Spain. Since we will eventually go to Sweden, we make sure that every tour member has sufficient warm clothing. That includes Roxanne and Manon who have snow booties.

For dinner in Barcelona we enjoy paella at a local, tree-shaded outdoor restaurant that has its own recipe for the dish. Theirs consists of rice, seasonal vegetables, paprika, and saffron with a mix of fresh seafood and well-cured Iberian ham.

The Liceu presents Mozart's Don Giovanni online from Barcelona, Spain. The central character of this opera is an archetypal figure who continues to provide food for thought more than two hundred years after his creation. Christof Loy's production stars Christopher Maltman as a desperate and lonely Don Giovanni whose successes were all in the past.

Cast: Don Giovanni, Christopher Maltman; Il Commendatore, Adam Palka; Donna Anna, Miah Persson; Don Ottavio, Ben Bliss; Donna Elvira, Véronique Gens; Leporello, Luca Pisaroni; Masetto, Josep-Ramon Olivé; Zerlina, Leonor Bonilla. Josep Pons conducts the Symphony Orchestra of Liceu Opera Barcelona and Christof Loy directs the production. Streamed on OperaVision on December 4, 2020, the show is available for 6 months:

LINK. Click on Performances, Operas and Don Giovanni.


After our flight to Umeå, Sweden, we dine on reindeer meat at a restaurant that specializes in Scandinavian culture. Since the menu didn't say which parts of the reindeer our tour would be served, our waitress recites the names of everything on the family-style serving plates! This restaurant does not let much go to waste so we get not only reindeer steaks and legs, but inner organs as well.

The Norrlands Operan is a Swedish opera company in Umeå. This month its presentation is Love and Politics, a program of arias from four Verdi operas based on plays by Friedrich Schiller: Don Carlos, Luisa Miller, I Masnadieri, and Giovanna D'Arco.Óperas Click on Love and Politics.

The next day we fly the short hop to to Stockholm and bus to town for a meal of beef and pork Köttbulla at Meatballs for the People. Elk, deer, wild boar, and even bear are options that sometimes appear on the menu there. Our meatballs come with mashed potatoes, rich gravy, sour pickles, and lingonberries.

Prima Donna, an opera by singer-song-writer Rufus Wainwright, was first performed on July 10, 2009. Together with Bernadette Colomine, Wainwright co-authored the work's French language libretto about a day in the life of an aging opera singer. The stream is from the Royal Swedish Opera. Originally the Metropolitan Opera in New York was to premiere Prima Donna, but because of a disagreement over the language of its libretto and dates of its performances, the Manchester International Festival in the United Kingdom presented the first performance of the opera in July 2009.

LINK:Óperas Click on Performances, Operas, Prima Donna.

After late night cocktails and spice cookies for tour members, The Magic Opera Flying Carpet takes off for San Francisco. We fly over the North Pole and land in the city by the bay for the finale of the Ring.

On March 27 and 28, in Götterdämerung, Wagner's Ring Cycle reaches its transcendent climax with a suspenseful tale of bravery, sacrifice, destruction, and renewal.



Today, it's just a short flight into the sunshine of Los Angeles. Yes, there is a tiny bit of smog, but the blue of the ocean welcomes our tour back home. Before leaving the Magic Opera Flying Carpet, Tour members watch Brown Sounds, a digital short on the LA Opera website.

LA Opera in collaboration with the African American Art Song Alliance, Aural Compass Projects, the Black Opera Alliance, the National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Philadelphia Dance Company, presents Brown Sounds. This new Digital Short by French filmmaker Jérémy Adonis celebrates the Black experience with poetry, song, and dance. Starring in it is mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, whose LA Opera credits include recent productions of Eurydice and Roberto Devereux.

Bryce-Davis writes, "Young Black children are often taught that their history begins with slavery. Our purpose with this project is to portray a history that goes back to the beginning of time and stretches far into the untapped treasures of the future: a celebration of Black art, Black bodies, Black consciousness. I recited Henry Dumas' poem as a grad student, and when the time came for me to give my recital later that semester, I realized the words were still singing in my being. I asked fellow Manhattan School of Music student Ayanna Witter-Johnson if she could set the words to music and she graciously said yes. For this reincarnation of the project, we brought together an all-star Black creative team representing the vast experiences of the African diaspora, and a coalition of arts organizations, led by LA Opera, to help spread this message to the world."


After Brown Sounds, we bus to a downtown LA restaurant for Viennese pastry and coffee accompanied by live jazz. We love the fact that in LA one can find the food and culture of almost any city in the world. Sometimes it's nice to arrive home to comfort food.

Photo of Raehann Bryce-Davis courtesy of LA Opera.

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