Week 12: Lyric Commentaries for opera streaming and more!

It's the first week of June, and we are continuing our weekly series of providing commentaries and supplementary materials to enrich your time streaming your favorite operas. Included in this week's lineup are selects from week 12 of the Met's Nightly Streams, productions across the pond at the Royal Opera House and Opera Holland Park, and world-class performances at Dutch National Opera, Staatsoper Berlin, and Opera Australia.  

To help you get the most out of these operas, Lyric Opera Commentaries discuss the synopsis, music, and some historical insight into how each piece was created. It’s like a Pre-Opera Talk you can enjoy at home!

Enjoy the background, and enjoy the operas! View more Lyric commentaries that enhance your weekly opera streaming. 

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Monday, June 1

Metropolitan Opera
Bellini: I Puritani

This production from the Metropolitan Opera stars Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo, and John Relyea, and was conducted by Patrick Summers on January 6, 2007.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2017/18 Season and is by Roger Pines. 

I puritani

by Vincenzo Bellini

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Roger Pines
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Tuesday, June 2

Metropolitan Opera
Berg: Lulu

This production from the Metropolitan Opera stars Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber, and was conducted by Lothar Koenigs on November 21, 2015.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2008/09 Season and is by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Nicholas Ivor Martin. 

Lulu

By Alban Berg

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Opera Holland Park
Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera

This production from Opera Holland Park stars Anne Sophie Duprels, Matteo Lippi, George von Bergen, Alison Langer, and Rosalind Plowright, and is conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren. 

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2010/11 Season and is by Sir Andrew Davis. 

Un Ballo in Maschera

By Giuseppe Verdi

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Part two
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Part three
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Part four
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Thursday, June 4

Metropolitan Opera
Puccini: Tosca

This production from the Metropolitan Opera stars Shirley Verrett, Luciano Pavarotti, and Cornell MacNeil, and was conducted by James Conlon on December 19, 1978.

Puccini's Tosca returns this upcoming season in a new-to-Chicago production. In addition to this week's commentaries, we invite you to read this Lyric Lately article as we take a look back at Lyric's history with this masterpiece.

The Lyric Commentary from the 2014/15 Season is read by Anthony Freud and written by Nicholas Ivor Martin. 

Tosca

By Giacomo Puccini

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary read by Anthony Freud with written assistance by Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Dutch National Opera
Wagner: Das Rheingold


This production from Dutch National Opera stars Thomas Johannes Mayer, Marina Prudenskaja, Doris Soffel and Stefan Margita, and was conducted by Hartmut Haenchen in 2014.

Lyric Commentaries from the 2015/16 Season are by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Jack Zimmerman and by Colin Ure. In addition to our commentaries, we invite you to visit our Ring cycle page, filled with articles, musical highlights, production photos, and behind-the-scenes looks from Lyric's canceled 19/20 Ring cycle. 

Das Rheingold

By Richard Wagner

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Sir Andrew Davis in collaboration with Jack Zimmerman
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Commentary by Colin Ure
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Friday, June 5

Royal Opera House
Puccini: Il trittico

This production from the Royal Opera House stars Lucio Gallo, Eva-Maria Westbroek, and Ermonela Jaho, and was conducted by Antonio Pappagano in 2011.

Lyric Commentary from 1996/97 Season is by Alfred Glasser, former Director of Education at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Il trittico

By Giacomo Puccini

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Albert Glasser, former Director of Education at Lyric Opera of Chicago
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Staatsoper Berlin
Music from Mozart to Jazz

This evening of music from Staatsoper Berlin will stream live on June 5, and will feature selections from Mozart's Così fan tutte, music by Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Frank Raschke, and wind instruments of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2017/18 Season and is written and read by Nicholas Ivor Martin. 

Così fan tutte

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Saturday, June 6

Metropolitan Opera
Verdi: Otello

This production from the Metropolitan Opera stars Sonya Yoncheva, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Željko Lučić, and was conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin on October 17, 2015.

The Lyric Commentary from the 2013/14 Season and is by Anthony Freud in collaboration with Nicholas Ivor Martin. 

Otello

By Giuseppe Verdi

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Anthony Freud in collaboration with Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Sunday, June 7

Opera Australia
Puccini: Madama Butterfly

This production from Opera Australia stars Hiromi Omura and Georgy Vasiliev, and was conducted by Brian Castles-Onion in 2014. 

The Lyric Commentary from the 2019/20 Season is by Elinor Olin.

Madama Butterfly

By Giacomo Puccini

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Elinor Olin
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Photos: Dan Rest, Todd Rosenberg, Robert Kusel

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Music used in Lyric Commentaries is provided courtesy of Warner Classics, the Official Education and Promotion Music Provider of Lyric Opera of Chicago.