Bringing the Music Home: Livestreams, Broadcasts, and Playlists
May. 01, 2020
As much of the world continues to observe strict social distancing guidelines, performing arts organizations in every sector continue to connect with their audiences through online streams, virtual concerts, and playlists. These range from archival broadcasts on grand stages to livestreamed living-room performances, and everything in between. Below is a selection of organizations, ensembles, and artists offering outstanding virtual content this month. Many of these streams are presented at no cost, while others require a subscription or request a donation to sustain the artists and institutions. We hope that our readers will be inspired, entertained and uplifted by these excellent offerings.
Douglas J. Cuomo's opera Doubt is streaming online at PBS's Great Performances through June 22, 2020. The Great Performances broadcast was recorded during the January 2013 world premiere run of Doubt at Minnesota Opera.
Earlier this month, Tobias Picker was scheduled to conduct his opera, Emmeline, for Tulsa Opera, where he is the Artistic Director. When those performances were postponed to the 2021-22 season, Tulsa Opera moved to streaming as part of their engaging Staying Alive series.
(Madison Leonard performs "The Letter Aria" from Tobias Picker's Emmeline, accompanied by the composer)
Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Ernest is available to stream on OperaVision until June 2 here, and the Metropolitan Opera has scheduled an exciting week of broadcasts which include Thomas Adès's The Tempest (May 12), and Richard Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos (May 13).
On May 31, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (OTSL) joins the Regional Arts Commission, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and others for an inspiring evening of performances spanning music, theater, dance, visual art, and more, reflecting the artistic diversity and traditions of this community. You can watch live on OTSL's website, YouTube, or Facebook. To learn more, click here.
While a trip to the opera may be impossible at the moment, La Scala is offering a virtual tour of its historic house here.
OPERA America has compiled a comprehensive, and continually updated, list of opera performances, talks, and educational resources from North America and Europe here. From weekly zarzuela broadcasts to a behind-the-scenes look at this unique art form, opera fans and industry insiders alike will find a plethora of exceptional and informational content.
Sometimes, ensembles are choosing to give the world premiere of a piece online in the event of a cancellation. Others are writing new works to be premiered live online, as Huw Watkins did with his work Arietta, written for violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster for their #UriPosteJukeBox series.
(Elena Urioste and Tom Poster give the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Arietta)
Together with the Royal Concertgebouworkest, the Royal Concertgebouw presents the Mahler Festival Online, an alternative to the Mahler Festival scheduled to take place in Amsterdam from May 8-17. This new festival includes an extensive line-up of digital programming: more than twenty-five streams will be shown via social media on their website, as well as broadcast in part on AVROTROS and NPO2 extra. To learn more, click here.
NY Phil Plays On, a new portal for free digital content both old and new, was created to provide comfort and connection to millions of classical music fans worldwide. View past broadcasts including Mahler's New York on demand, and visit the website often to see what is coming up next.
On May 3, Bang on a Can presented a thrilling six-hour marathon of new music online, with a second marathon of live streamed music taking place on June 14.
The International Contemporary Ensemble continues to host Virtual Town Hall meetings with discussions focusing on timely and important topics including "Equity and Access", "Board Leadership in the time of COVID-19", and more. These meetings are open to the public who simply need to RSVP.
Finally, various organizations have also moved their conferences into to the virtual realm this year, including the League of American Orchestras and OPERA America. This format makes it possible for vital discussions to take place, and allows an even greater number of artists and organizations to participate.
Each week, the Project Schott NY (PSNY) blog features a playlist highlighting peak performances of works by a single composer. Click here to listen to music by Christopher Cerrone and here for works by Michael Hersch. Look for a playlist of Kate Soper's music on the blog this Friday.
Finally, explore Classic FM's round-up of self-isolating choirs and orchestras performing inspirational at-home concerts during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We encourage everyone to visit their favorite organizations and ensembles for updates and announcements, as well as the chance to enjoy new and rediscovered material. If circumstances permit, please do consider supporting these institutions which have been greatly impacted during this challenging and unprecendented time.