Two Boys Live Stream

(Not the porny kind!)

Tonight is the stateside premiere of Nico Muhly‘s Two Boys, commissioned by the Met Opera and given a workshop world premiere at English National Opera.  Tonight’s performance will be live streamed on the Met’s site at 8pm.  Here’s the NYT review of the premiere.

Two Boys at ENO poster

Poster from ENO’s Two Boys premiere

There’s a neat behind-the-scenes article about the development of the piece since ENO.  It also mentions some of the outside-the-box promotion the Met’s been doing (TV spots during Catfish seem appropriate), including an “Ask me Anything” session with Muhly on Reddit!  Strangely engrossing…   He elaborated on some of the questions on his own site too.

PS: “Two Boys One Cup” was definitely a Google autofill suggestion today…

EDITED TO ADD:  Britten‘s final opera, Death in Venice, is streaming until Friday on BBC Radio 3, which I mention here because of Muhly’s self-proclaimed love of Britten’s operas and the centrality of a boy character to each.  Maybe by listening to the two you can play spot-the-influence; I heard some gamelan-like touches are appear in both…

Also, here’s a video from the Met with the most music and footage from the actual opera as I’ve yet seen…  To put some visuals to the disembodied music you’ll hear tonight…


Midsummer at 7:30

Tonight’s season premiere performance of Britten‘s 1960 opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Met Opera will be live streamed on their website tonight at 7:25.  Here’s the full schedule of streaming performances for the rest of the season.

Here’s an excerpt from the Liceu in Barcelona, featuring David Daniels as Oberon, King of the Fairies (teehee):


Britten to Zandonai

This Sunday and Monday you can treat yourself to a double feature of operas from the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Glyndebourne opera festival in England.

Francesca da Rimini at The Met, 2013

Copyright Metropolitan Opera, Photo by Marty Sohl

First up, Sunday at noon in New York, PBS is airing the Metropolitan Opera‘s performance of Riccardo Zandonai‘s Francesca da Rimini (check your local listings).  The Met gave the opera’s American premiere in 1916, but it’s gotten pretty intermittent revivals since then; this performance is a revival of a 1984 production.

Then on Monday, via the internet, you can see Glyndebourne‘s 2010  production of Benjamin Britten‘s Billy Budd (lots of B–alliteration), fitting for his centennial year.  They just say that the webcast will be at “lunchtime”…  Greenwich Mean Time, I presume…


Luckily, all the webcasts of this summer’s Glyndebourne performances are still available online, so you can catch up with some Rameau, Strauss, or Donizetti after you’re done with Monday’s Britten.

Diamond Jubilee, Revisited

I hadn’t been to BBC Radio 3’s Opera page in a while, but now’s a good time to revisit because Britten‘s 1953 opera Gloriana, written for the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II‘s coronation, has made its first return to its original commissioner, the Royal Opera House.

1953 Premiere production of Gloriana at Royal Opera House

1953 premiere performance of Britten’s Gloriana, from the ROH Online Archives.

Britten’s Gloriana on BBC Radio 3

Gloriana was sort of a failure at its time, hence the 60-year wait for a repeat.  A pretty rare opera with a great cast and production (a play within a play, apparently).

2013 Production of Gloriana at Royal Opera House

2013 Production of Gloriana at ROH; Photo copyright the Royal Opera House & Clive Barda

For more current photos, I didn’t realize the ROH had a Flickr account…  Also, I was looking through their Online Archives for that 1953 picture, but they’ve been publicizing the original pictures more publicly on their site too

Only 3 days left for Gloriana on BBC; after that it’s back to the Wagner & Verdi fest, when will it end…  D:

The Sound of a Screw Turning

I think it’s clear by now that I’m obsessed with Benjamin Britten‘s ghost story chamber opera The Turn of the Screw, even more so now that I’ve actually seen it in the flesh…  Today BBC Radio 3 will be streaming a live performance of it from The Barbican in London 7pm their time, which should be 2pm East Coast time.


Above is a trailer for LA Opera‘s performance a few seasons back.  I think that was before I was super-into ToS, but now the idea of Patricia Racette as the Governess is pretty exciting…


So I saw The Turn of the Screw at New York City Opera and it was sooo great!  Everything I’d hoped for and more.  The updating to the 1980s worked great, the set was neat (even if it could’ve stood to change a bit more for certain scenes), there were some wonderfully creepy ghost-related stage pictures, and most importantly of all: the music, story, and performances were just spectac’.

But when soprano Lauren Worsham (below) who, despite being 30 was great as the skittish child Flora, came out for her bow in an oversized purple ’80s sweater, what cartoon character did she remind me of?

Soprano Lauren Worsham in NYCO's Turn of the Screw

Photo credit Richard Termine (who has an opera section in his portfolio!)

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Turn of the Screw in Brooklyn


I’ll be seeing this on Thursday…


Glad to be going back to the now itinerant New York City Opera after missing them last season.  Ever since this season was announced, I’ve been pumped for The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten and I’m glad to see some positive press from the NY Times and fellow bloggers at Parterre (which has some especially good background on the opera, the inspiring story by Henry James, and the cultural contexts each were created in).

I’ve actually featured this opera a few times before, once for Halloween (it is a ghost story after all), and in a post on the British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan who was the original Governess, who you can actually see in some of the historic images featured in the above video!  The Halloween post featured a link to a full playlist of the opera on YouTube, apparently a 1980s made-for-TV version.  Good prep for seeing it in person…

20th Century British Opera Double-Feature

NYC Opera put out this trailer for the first two operas in their reduced, traveling 2013 season, their second season since leaving their long-time home at Lincoln Center due to monetary woes…  I think it’s a fun pairing, with Thomas Adès‘ first opera, Powder her Face (complementing the Met‘s earlier presentation of his Tempest), and Benjamin Britten‘s ghost story chamber opera The Turn of the Screw (which I have featured before in all its full-length glory).

In addition to the directors talking about their ideas and themes and whatever, you can also see stage design maquettes!  always fun…

The Vyvyan Archives

It’s going to be a library science kind of day today.  In my first post I featured the English soprano Jennyfer Vyvyan, who was a big player both in the Händel revival and in Britten‘s career.  The website made to share her legacy is pretty thorough, but maybe even more interesting (at least to someone studying this line of work…) is the BBC Radio 4 feature on the music critic Michael White‘s work processing her archives, available here for a year (ACT FAST!!!)

Since last time I featured her Baroque repertoire, I figured I’d show her Britten work this time!  This is from a 1959 TV adaptation of The Turn of the Screw (a more recent TV adaptation of which I featured for Halloween!  what can I say, probably my favorite Britten opera).  This was the first Britten work to make it to the screen, and the footage was apparently almost lost.  Thank goodness for archivists and librarians!

Britten War Requiem

Sunday may have officially been Veteran’s Day, but today’s the federal holiday, so it still counts…  That bit of crassness aside, I’ll let Benjamin Britten‘s 1962 War Requiem speak for itself:

This full 1992 performance is by the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

Also, if all goes according to plan, this will be the first post to be shared to Facebook, so hello!  This is my blog about all things comics & opera, so check it out if you like either or both of those things, I guess.