Week one: free Commentaries for free Met Live Streams

While you and your family are safely practicing social distancing, you can still experience the power of opera from the comfort of home. This week, our friends at The Metropolitan Opera are live streaming some opera favorites, many of which have recently graced the Lyric stage! While the casts and productions might be different, the music and the history remain the same. 

We invite you to prepare for these broadcasts by listening to the Lyric Opera Commentaries. They’re fun and each one is around a half-hour. Acquaint yourself with the synopsis, the music and some historical goodies about how each piece was created. It’s like a pre-opera talk in your living room! 

Enjoy the commentaries, and enjoy the operas! View more Lyric commentaries that enhance the Met's Nightly Streams. 

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

Monday, March 16 – Bizet: Carmen

The Met Opera performance is conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. Transmitted live on January 16, 2010.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2016/17 season and is written and read by Jack Zimmermann.

Carmen

by Georges Bizet

commentary by Jack Zimmerman
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Tuesday, March 17 – Puccini: La bohème

This classic Met production is conducted by Nicola Luisotti, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas. Transmitted live on April 5, 2008.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2018/19 season and was written and read by journalist and former Chicago Sun-Times classical music critic Wynne Delacoma.

La bohème

by Giacomo Puccini

commentary by Wynne Delacoma
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Wednesday, March 18 – Verdi: Il trovatore

This performance is conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring a cast full of voices familiar to Lyric audiences: Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee, and the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on October 3, 2015. You might recognize this production from recent Il trovatore performances on the Lyric stage. 

The Lyric Commentary is from Lyric’s 2018/19 season and was written and read by Elinor Olin, musicologist and professor at Northern Illinois University.

Il trovatore

by Giuseppe Verdi

commentary by Elinor Olin
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Thursday, March 19 – Verdi: La Traviata

This Met performance is conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Ryan Opera Center alum, Quinn Kelsey. Transmitted live on December 15, 2018.

The Lyric Opera Commentary is from our 2018/19 season and was written and read by David Buch, professor emeritus of music at the University of Northern Iowa and former visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

La traviata

by Giuseppe Verdi

commentary by David Buch
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Friday, March 20 – Donizetti: La Fille du Régiment

This opera is conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Natalie Dessay, who was last at Lyric in Manon in 2008, and Juan Diego Flórez. Transmitted live on April 26, 2008.

Lyric hasn’t produced this opera since 1973 when the title role was sung by La Stupenda herself, Dame Joan Sutherland. You can read more about Dame Sutherland’s performances at Lyric and then listen to Lyric dramaturg, Roger Pines pay tribute to this legendary artist:

Listen to Roger Pines's tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland
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Saturday, March 21 – Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

This performance is conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Lyric Opera favorites Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, and Mariusz Kwiecien. Transmitted live on February 7, 2009.

The Lyric Opera Commentary for Lucia comes from the 2016/17 season was written by author Nicholas Ivor Martin.

Lucia di Lammermoor

by Gaetano Donizetti

commentary by Nicholas Ivor Martin
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Sunday, March 22 – Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

This Met Opera performance is conducted by Valery Gergiev, starring Lyric’s Special Projects Advisor Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and the late Lyric favorite Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on February 24, 2007.

The Lyric Commentary is from the 2016/17 season and was written and read by Lyric’s dramaturg, Roger Pines.

Eugene Onegin

by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

commentary by Roger Pines, Dramaturg
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Photos: Todd Rosenberg

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