New York’s Met Opera to host virtual concert series amid pandemic

Source: AFP Published: 2020/7/12 17:48:41

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko Photo: AFP

Several of opera's biggest stars beamed in from around the world on Saturday to announce the Metropolitan Opera's latest virtual initiative amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The New York opera house, which suspended live performances in March, plans a dozen pay-per-view concerts through mid-December featuring leading singers from around the world. Tickets will cost $20.

The series kicks off on Saturday with German tenor Jonas Kaufmann at the Polling Abbey outside Munich performing some of opera's greatest hits including "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot and popular arias from Tosca and Carmen.

Others performances include US soprano Renee Fleming at the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington in August and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko from the Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna.

Details about later performances are still being worked out. None of the shows will have a live audience, a Met spokeswoman said.

Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel plans a holiday concert from a to-be-determined church in Wales in December. 

"Hopefully by then there will be a semblance of an orchestra," Terfel said on the Zoom press conference.

US soprano Angel Blue will also perform in December at a New York venue yet to be named. Blue said she hopes to include some patriotic numbers that could bring people together in the wake of mass protests for racial justice.

"We are a melting pot," said Blue, who is African American. Music has the capacity to help people "come together for the good of the community," she added.

The series is the opera's latest effort to stay on the public radar and garner some revenue at a time when live performances remain suspended.

The Met in June canceled its fall 2020 season. The current plan is to launch the season on December 31, but that also depends on public health conditions.


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