March 16, 2020

Week of October 26: Lyric Commentaries for opera streaming and more

New works, politically inspired stories, and spooky music all seem seasonally appropriate for this week in opera streaming. First we'll start with New Dark Age, a women-produced program and online broadcast from our friends at the Royal Opera House. Featuring works by prominent composers Hannah Kendall, Missy Mazzoli, Anna Meredith, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, with direction from Ola Ince and Katie Mitchell, this exciting opera stream is not to be missed.

Then, we'll watch the world premiere of The Trials of Susan B. Anthony, a song cycle based on the life of the American women's rights activist and social reformer. We'll also head to The Metropolitan Opera for selections from their "Politics in Opera" nightly streams. Finally, we'll celebrate Halloween with a special offering from Savannah Voice Festival, and with a radio broadcast of Mozart's Don Giovanni. 

Lyric Opera Commentaries discuss the synopses, music, and some historical insights into the creation of the world's most beloved operas, and musical masterpieces you might never have experienced. 

Explore Lyric Commentaries to make the most out of your opera streaming experience. 

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

Monday, October 26

Royal Opera House 
New Dark Age 

This brand new, all-women-produced program and broadcast from Royal Opera House premieres on Saturday, October 24 at 1:30pm CDT, and will be offered through Monday, November 23, 2020. This is a pay to view premiere.

The performance will open with Hannah Kendall's The Knife of Dawn, directed by Ola Ince, featuring baritone Peter Brathwaite, and conducted by Jonathon Heyward.

Katie Mitchell will then present New Dark Age, a drama showcasing works by Missy Mazzoli, Anna Meredith, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir. This new work stars soprano Nadine Benjamin, soprano Anna Dennis, and mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, and is conducted by Natalie Murray Beale. 

Tuesday, October 27

The Metropolitan Opera
Handel: Agrippina 

This production from The Metropolitan Opera stars Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, directed by Sir David McVicar. Agrippina was conducted by Harry Bicket on February 29, 2020. This opera stream will be available until Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30pm. 

Wednesday, October 28

Steven Mark Kohn: The Trial of Susan B. Anthony

A coproduction of ADA Artist Management, Austin Opera, Berkshire Opera Festival, Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, and San Diego Opera, The Trial of Susan B. Anthony makes its digital world premiere on Monday, October 26 at 7pm CDT. Featuring mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, The Trial of Susan B. Anthony is a seven-movement piece outlining the American social reformer's quest for justice and women's rights. Zabala will be accompanied by pianist Myra Huang. This stream will be available through Monday, November 9, 2020. 

Thursday, October 29

The Metropolitan Opera
Adams: Nixon in China

This production from The Metropolitan Opera stars Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, James Maddalena, and Richard Paul Fink, and was directed by Peter Sellars. Nixon in China was conducted by John Adams on February 12, 2011. This opera stream will be available until Friday, October 30 at 6:30pm. 

Lyric presented John Adams's Doctor Atomic in the 2007/08 Season. We suggest listening to this commentary for insights into the composer’s process and style. The Lyric Commentary is by Jesse Gram.

Doctor Atomic

By John Adams

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

Commentary by Jesse Gram

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Friday, October 30

The Metropolitan Opera
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov

This production from The Metropolitan Opera stars René Pape, Oleg Balashov, Mikhail Petrenko, Aleksandr Antonenko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Evgeny Nikitin, and Vladimir Ognovenko, and was directed by Peter Stein. Boris Godunov was conducted by Valery Gergiev on October 23, 2011. This opera stream will be available until Saturday, October 31 at 6:30pm. 

Lyric Commentary from the 2011/12 Season is by Sir Andrew Davis. 

Boris Godunov

By Modest Mussorgsky

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

Commentary by Sir Andrew Davis and Nicholas Ivor Martin

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Savannah Voice Festival
An All Hallow's Night of Streams

The Savannah VOICE Festival, in partnership with VOICExperience Foundation, brings Halloween-inspired music to life in an homage to the eerie and spooky pop-culture traditions of the season. This event will feature performances of Camille Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre, Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Dies Irae and selections from Don Giovanni. An All Hallow's Night of Streams premieres on Friday, October 30 at 7pm and 9pm EDT/6pm and 8pm CDT, and will replay on Saturday, October 31 at 11am EDT/ 10am CDT. 


Saturday, October 31

Royal Opera House
Mozart: Don Giovanni 

This production from the Royal Opera House stars Mariusz Kwiecień, Alex Esposito, Véronique Gens, Malin Byström, Elizabeth Watts, Antonio Poli, Alexander Tsymbalyuk, and Dawid Kimberg, and was directed by Kasper Holton. Don Giovanni was conducted by Nicola Luisotti in 2014. This radio broadcast will be available through Monday, November 2, 2020. 

Lyric Commentary from the 2019/20 Season is by Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. 

Don Giovanni

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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

Sunday, November 1

The Metropolitan Opera
Glass: Satyagraha

This production from The Metropolitan Opera stars Richard Croft, Rachelle Durkin, Maria Zifchak, Alfred Walker, Kim Josephson, and was directed by Phelim McDermott. Satyagraha was conducted by Dante Anzolini on November 19, 2011. This opera stream will be available until Monday, November 2 at 6:30pm. 

Free streaming opportunities presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee performs in Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: the Next Chapter, with Ryan Opera Center Music Director Craig Terry on piano. 


The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center presents Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter, a free virtual concert celebrating the depth and breadth of Black artistry. Hosted by world-renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee, who also serves as artistic advisor for the event, the concert features prominent Ryan Opera Center alumni—soprano Whitney Morrison, mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges, and baritone Will Liverman—and three current 2020/21 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members—tenors Martin Luther Clark and Lunga Eric Hallam, and baritone Leroy Davis. Performances are accompanied by Craig Terry, the Grammy Award-winning music director of the Ryan Opera Center; and Chris Reynolds, current Ensemble pianist. Members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra make an appearance in a special selection, performing from their homes.

Visit our production page for program notes, artist biographies, and video conversations with the artists discussing their musical selections and why this concert is taking place. This stream will be available through January 26, 2021. 


For the Love of Lyric 

Renée Fleming starring in the virtual concert, For the Love of Lyric. 


For the Love of Lyric's starry lineup is led by world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming and features special guests, including Tony Award® and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-actress Heather Headley, sopranos Ailyn Pérez and Julia Bullock, mezzo-soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna J'Nai Bridges, and bass Soloman Howard, with Doug Peck serving as music director. Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble and members of the Chicago Children's Choir also perform in this enlightening and entertaining program of familiar and revelatory selections from the worlds of opera, Broadway, popular music, and some surprising sources.

Visit our production page to listen to a special commentary from dramaturg Roger Pines as he delves into what to expect from this unique virtual concert. This stream will be available through December 13, 2020. 


Header photo is from Lyric's 2007/08 Season production of Doctor Atomic (Robert Kusel). 

All other photos: Kyle Flubacker, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dan Rest, Todd Rosenberg, Scott Suchman Photo 

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