Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Here is a quick pick of what is on online this week, with a little information about the shows to whet your appetite:
Il Trittico from The Royal Opera House - available until June 19th
Puccini's triple bill of Love, Murder, Religion, Suicide and Comedy, Il Trittico is a great introduction to verismo opera. Also, the three operas are not linked, so for the time poor it's easy to watch one and come back for more later.
Il Tabarro is a straight forward tale of a marriage gone wrong. It follows the cardboard cut out opera pattern - soprano is sleeping with tenor, bass-baritone is displeased, the whole thing ends in death. Il Tabarro means "The Cloak." Why this title? Well, it turns out the meanie husband likes to keep dead bodies in his coat...
Suor Angelica is a more complex affair. Set in a convent, and with an entirely female cast, it's a staple of many music colleges and courses who are often light on men! The Royal Opera Production sees the nuns living and working in an orphanage/home for sick and dying children. It's a clever piece of direction that heightens Angelica's personal tragedy, and perhaps helps us understand the powerful state of mind that leads to her suicide.
Gianni Schicchi allows the brilliance of Puccini's comic writing to come to the fore. In all his operas there are moments of joy and laughter - from the lusty students of Boheme, to the grumpy church warden of Tosca. In Gianni Schicchi, the tale of the lawyer who confounds the expectations of a group of vulture-like relatives desperate to inherit, Puccini shows his wit. Listen out for that most famous of arias "O bio babbino caro". Note babbino not bambino (or indeed, baboon, thanks very much autocorrect). This is an ironic comic aria in which a spoiled daughter winds her daddy round her little finger. It has nothing to do with dead children (see Suor Angelica for that).
The Skating Rink - from Garsington Opera's 2018 season, premiers online at 18:00, June 9th.
Opera vision is a great resource for finding free opera online. They are currently showing this production from Garsington's 2018 season, so if you fancy something less traditional, sung in English, then this could be for you.
It's a tale of lust, political intrigue, embezzlement and murder. It seems very fitting in our current political times. Also - ice skating.
Who said operas were all the same?
Good interview about the piece to get you stuck in:
Anthropocene - Welsh/Scottish Opera
Another stream from opera vision. This opera tells the story of a mission to the Artic that goes horribly wrong and the incredible discovery of Ice, a woman frozen alive in a solid ice block.
The Ring Cycle - Opera North
Opera North are sharing the entirety of their semi staged Ring for free. It's impossible to round up The Ring in brief, but think Lord of the Rings with an 100 piece orchestra.
Live from Covent Garden - June 13th
The Royal Opera House opens its metaphorical doors for the first time since March. They will be running a season of concerts and ballet shorts with a nominal ticket fee, though this first, taster concert is free.
Remember; if you feel that you can donate something to these companies, sharing their work during lockdown, please do. It's not an easy time to be creating opera, music and theatre,