My Column (Filed in J’sFiles/OPERA/2021.Last.MET.Stream) For Wed. July 21, 2021
The final week of free nightly opera streams from the Metropolitan Opera is upon us. The free part disappears after Sunday.
After 70 weeks and 112 different operas, the MET’s series of free, streamed performances has reached the end of a grand experiment. It’s been a huge success as the MET has streamed to more than 21.2 million viewers in 152 countries. But after Sunday night, there will be a fee. For a limited time, a special discounted rate of $99 will be available. Thereafter, this popular program will cost $149.
WHAT: Nightly Met Opera Streams, a free series of Met Live in HD encore productions.
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. now to Sunday.
Local opera fans may have seen some of this week’s productions livestreamed at Fort Lewis College on Saturday mornings when The MET Live in HD was a standard feature of our cultural scene.
Here’s this week’s schedule:
Wednesday: Bizet’s “Les Pécheurs de Perles” (The Pearl Fishers), starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiechien and Nicolas Testé, in a production conceived by Penny Woolcock. From a live performance Jan. 16, 2016.
Thursday: Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” starring Erin Morley, Hibla Gerzmava, Kate Lindsey, Vittorio Grigolo and Thomas Hampson, in a production by Bartlett Sher. From Jan. 31, 2015.
Friday: Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment,” starring Natalie Dessay, Felicity Palmer and Juan Diego Flórez, in a Laurent Pelly production. From April 26, 2008.
Saturday: Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, in a David McVicar production. From Oct. 3, 2015.
Sunday: Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera,” starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Marcelo Alvarez and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, in a production by David Alden. From Dec. 8, 2012.
The MET has made it easy to access the operas. Go to the general website, www.metopera.org, and click on Watch Now under the headline: Nightly Opera Stream. The operas stream nightly at 5:30 p.m., and include a short introduction. Each night’s opera is also available until 4:30 p.m. the next day.
Among the many reasons to tune in, the great Russian baritone, Dimitri Hvorostovsky, appears in “Trovatore” and “Maschera.” He died on Nov. 22, 2017, at age 55, after struggling with a debilitating brain tumor. He had a 20-year career at the MET and gave more than 180 performances singing Germont in “La Traviata,” as well as the title roles of Don Giovanni, Rigoletto and Eugene Onegin. With his burnished tone, shock of white hair and unmistakable virility, Hvorostovsky always gave a memorable performance. In this week’s reprises, he will sing Count Anckarström in “Maschera” and Count di Luna in “Trovatore.”
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association.