Met Opera highlights operas featured in ‘Aria Code’

Christine Goerke in the title role of Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ – Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

The Nightly Met Opera Streams beginning Monday, May 31st, highlight the collaboration between the Metropolitan Opera and WQXR – New York’s Classical Radio Station. For the next week, the Met presents some of the productions from its Live in HD series of transmissions which featured during the podcast series Aria Code, broadcast on WQXR.

Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, is the first of these productions. It stars Christine Goerke as the icy Princess Turandot who is determined never to be possessed by a man, setting her suitors the task of answering three riddles at which none was successful until the arrival of Prince Calaf – sung by Yusif Eyvazov. Also in the cast are Eleonor Buratto and James Morris, and Franco Zeffirelli’s production – recorded on October 12th, 2019 – is conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

The production on Tuesday, June 1st is Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, which stars Elīna Garanča and Robert Alagna in the title roles. With a cast which includes Laurent Naouri, Elchin Azizov and Dmitry Belosselskiy, the opera retells the Biblical epic in which the heroic Samson falls victim to the seductive powers of Dalila, bringing fearful consequences for both. Filmed on October 20th, 2018, Samson et Dalila was produced by Darko Tresnjak, and the conductor was Sir Mark Elder.

Wednesday, June 2nd, features Bizet’s ever-popular Carmen, starring Aleksandra Kurzak as the defiant, seductive and bewitching Carmen, with Robert Alagna as Don Jose who – to his detriment – falls in love with her. Clémentine Margraine is Micaela and Alexander Vionogradov sings Escamillo. Louis Langrée conducted this performance, which was produced by Sir Richard Eyre, and filmed on February 2nd, 2019.

On Thursday, June 3rd, Pretty Yende stars in the title role of Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment – the romantic comedy about the fearless young orphan, Marie, raised by a regiment of French soldiers. Stephanie Blythe is the Marquise of Berkenfield, and actress Kathleen Turner appears in a cameo role as the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Javier Camarena is Marie’s lover, Tonio, and Maurizio Muraro is Sgt Sulpice. The conductor is Enrique Mazzola, production is by Laurent Pelly, and this performance was filmed on March 2nd, 2019.

George and Ira Gershwin’s only opera, Porgy and Bess, is the featured work on Friday, June 4th. With its gorgeous score of memorable songs, the opera stars Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, Golda Schultz and Donovan Singletary as Clara and Jake, Latonia Moore as Serena, and Frederick Ballentine and Alfred Walker as Sportin’ Life and Crown. David Robertson conducts this performance and production is by James Robinson. The recording took place on February 1st, 2020.

The featured work on Saturday, June 5th is Verdi’s Macbeth. Based on the Shakespeare tragedy of the man who would stop at nothing – not even murder – to become king, Macbeth stars Anna Netrebko in what’s been described as a sensational portrayal of Lady Macbeth, with Željko Lučić in the title role. Joseph Calleja is Macduff, and René Pape is Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts this performance from October 11, 2014, and production is by Adrian Noble.

On Sunday, June 6th, Anthony Roth Constanzo takes the title role in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. Set in Ancient Egypt, this “creative depiction of history” (in the words of Roth Constanzo) is based on the accession to the throne of the pharaoh Amenhotep IV – thought to have been around 1352 BC – on his religious convictions and the consequences of his actions. Dísella Lárusdóttir is Queen Tye, J’Nai Bridges, in her Met debut, is Akhnaten’s wife Nefertiti, Aaron Blake is the High Priest of Amon, Will Liverman is Horemhab, Richard Bernstein is Aye and Zachary James is Amenhotep III. Production is by Phelim McDermott, and Karen Kamensek conducts this performance filmed on November 23rd, 2019, during the opera’s premiere season at the Met.

All Nightly Met Opera Streams begin at 7.30 pm (ET)/12.30 am UK time (BST) the following day, and remain available via metopera.org for 23 hours. The performances are also accessible on all Met Opera on Demand apps.

Information sourced from Metropolitan Opera program notes

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