Operas MET – France
Sundays in July
In July, Stingray Classica delivers you one of the finest opera houses of the world to the comfort of your home with a series of premieres from New York City's Metropolitan Opera on Sundays. This series features three of the most famous works by French composers. On July 12, Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and renowned soloists Isabel Leonard (mezzo), Karen Cargill (soprano), and Erin Morley (soprano) in a gripping rendition of Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. The following Sunday, July 19, offers yet another French masterpiece: Georges Bizet's Carmen under the baton of Louis Langrée. The opera was first criticized for its flagrant immorality, but went on to become a beloved core piece of the operatic repertoire. Finally, on July 26, Sir Mark Elder conducts the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’s masterpiece Samson et Dalila. The work is known as the archetypal depiction of a man betrayed by an immoral woman, and has influenced many magnificent works of today.
Poulenc - Dialogues des Carmélites
Sunday, 12 July
One of the most successful operas of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Metropolitan Opera in this performance of Francis Poulenc's gripping opera, based on the play by Georges Bernano. It tells the story of a community of Carmelite nuns during the French Revolution who decides to face death at the guillotine rather than renounce their vows. Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ private lives and their external realities—it is in equal measure historical, psychological, and spiritual. Featuring Isabel Leonard (mezzo), Karen Cargill (soprano), and Erin Morley (soprano). This performance was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2019.
Bizet - Carmen
Sunday, 19 July
Louis Langrée conducts the Metropolitan Opera in a performance of Bizet’s masterpiece of the Gypsy seductress, who lives by her own rules, no matter the cost. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining cultural figure. This drama—of a soldier torn between doing the right thing and pursuing the woman that he cannot resist—bursts with melody and seethes with all the erotic vitality of its unforgettable title character. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere and was much denounced in the press for its flagrant immorality. The power of the music and the drama, however, created an equally vocal faction in favour of the work. The composer Tchaikovsky and the philosopher Nietzsche both praised the opera, the latter identifying in the robustness of the score nothing less than a cure-all for the world’s spiritual ills. This performance features Clémentine Margaine (soprano), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Alexander Vinogradov (bass) and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2019.
Saint-Saëns - Samson and Delilah
Sunday, 26 July
Sir Mark Elder conducts the Metropolitan Opera in this performance of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. The source of this popular opera is a single chapter in the biblical Book of Judges: Samson, a pre-monarchic leader of the ancient Israelites, fights valiantly against the Philistines, enemies of his people, until Delilah seduces him and shears off his hair, the secret to his superhuman strength. The brevity of this source material did nothing to prevent it from becoming one of the world’s great stories of love (or at least passion)—as well as the archetypal depiction of a man betrayed by an immoral woman. Saint-Saëns’s opera, along with other artistic renderings across multiple genres, has had an important role in the popularisation of this tale. The performance features Elīna Garanča (mezzo), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Elchin Azizov (baritone), and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2018.