New York Metropolitan Opera: Verismo Special
Sundays in August
Starting in August, Stingray Classica will broadcast an opera production by the New York Metropolitan Opera every Sunday for 11 consecutive weeks. We kick off on August 2 and 9 with two verismo operas from the early 20th century. Verismo, as an operatic genr,e had its origins in an Italian literary movement that sought to portray the world with greater realism. Verismo was a post-Romantic operatic tradition associated with Italian composers such as Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano, Cilea, and Puccini. Stingray Classica will broadcast two beloved works from Cilea and Puccini. In Puccini's "American" opera La Fanciulla del West, which is set during the height of the California gold rush, the titular heroine must steel herself in the face of adversity in order to win the affections of the man she loves. The opera's lead role is notoriously demanding, often making casting difficult. Cilea’s semi-historical biographical opera Adriana Lecouvreur (August 9) details the turbulent nine-year relationship between the French actress and her military paramour Maurice de Saxe. The opera is infused with captivating drama, emotional honesty, and beautiful lyrical arias. This performance features the highly praised Anna Netrebko.
Puccini - La Fanciulla del West
Sunday, 2 August
The Metropolitan Opera presents Puccini's "American" opera based on David Belasco's play The Girl of the Golden West. During the height of the California gold rush, the titular heroine must steel herself in the face of adversity in order to win the affections of the man she loves. Despite its glamorised and highly publicised premiere, La Fanciulla del West disappeared from the repertory for a number of decades. Critics argued that despite its traditional handling of the themes of sacrifice and redemption, Fanciulla's setting was not conducive to grand opera conventions. Equally, the opera's lead role is notoriously demanding, often making casting difficult. In recent years however, it has returned to popularity, and is now considered amongst Puccini's great works. This performance features Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano), Carlo Bosi (tenor), and Oren Gradus (bass). Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, United States, in 2018.
Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur
Sunday, 9 August
Critically panned since its premiere, Adriana Lecouvreur nevertheless remains immensely popular with audiences to this day. This semi-historical biographical opera details the turbulent nine-year relationship between the French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and her military paramour Maurice de Saxe, culminating in the titular character's death under mysterious circumstances. Basing his story on the play by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé, Cilea comments upon some of the real-life rivalries and plots surrounding Lecouvreur in the time leading up to her death. The opera is infused with captivating drama, emotional honesty and beautifully lyrical arias. This performance features Anna Netrebko (soprano), Piotr Beczala (tenor) and Anita Rachvelishvili (mezzo soprano). It was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, United States, in 2019.