Sunday, December 15, 2019

Favorites by Year 2019

For another perspective on 2019 see the KK Awards.

This list is limited to performances that took place in 2019.  This was another year without travel, but there is so much on the internet these days that it hardly matters.  This year I reviewed 50 performances, including 1 DVD, 8 HDs, 12 live, 3 movies of musicals, 3 oldies from Met on Demand, and 22 Streams.  14 operas were new to me.  Some of my favorite viewings this year came from performances in previous years and don't appear in this list.  It was an ok but not very exciting year for me.

Favorite Performances



  • Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.  I love it when they wail and you cannot beat Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili when it comes to wailing.  This came to me in HD from the Met.  ** Met HD


  • Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment.  This also came to me live in HD from the Met and starred Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena in outstanding performances.  They were both lively and outgoing in their roles.  ** Met HD


  • Poulenc's Dialogue des Carmélites This is a third item live in HD from the Met starring Karita Mattila and Isabel Leonard.  It is a magnificent almost all female opera done extremely well.  ** Met HD

  • Hoiby's Bon Appétit!.  An opera has been made of an episode of Julia Child's cooking show.  It was seen live streamed from Iowa.  The surprise here was to find out how few Europeans were familiar with Julia Child.  She cooked while she sang, and the audience got a taste.  **

  • Verdi's Rigoletto.  This was an outdoor summer festival item from Bregenz and was chosen for the spectacular set.

  • Heggie's If I Were You.  This was composed for the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera, and performed by its graduates.  I attended the world premier.  **

  • Mazzoli's Breaking the Waves.  This was produced in excellent style by West Edge in the Bay Area.  We like to recognize all the good new opera.  **

Marcellina, Bartolo, Count, Curzio, Figaro 


  • Massenet's Manon. This came in HD from the Met.  I love Lisette Oropesa, and this was her best performance of the year.  ** Met HD


  • Strauss, J II's Die Fledermaus.  This streamed from the Wiener Staatsoper.  This was all in the traditional style with all the old jokes which I love.


Singer of the Year

The singer of the year doesn't appear anywhere in this list but must be Lise Davidsen for Tannhäuser at Bayreuth and Pique Dame at the Met.  If you don't know her, listen.
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New to Me Opera


Hans Abrahamsen'sThe Snow Queen (2019) streamed from Munich.
Daniel Catán's opera Florencia en el Amazonas (1996) on film
Glass's Akhnaten in HD (1984) from the Met.
Heggie's If I Were You  (2019) live in San Francisco.  **
Henze's The Bassarids (1966) streamed.  My first Henze.
Hoiby's Bon Appétit! (2018) streamed from Iowa.  **
Kuusisto's Ice (2019) streamed.
Mazzoli's Breaking The Waves (2016) live in the Bay Area  **
Menotti's Amelia Goes to the Ball (1937) live at CSUS  **
Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona (1733) on DVD
Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard (1888) live in Sacramento  **
Verdi's I Masnadieri (1888) streamed.
Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans (1716) streamed.
Wagner's Rienzi (1842) streamed on medici.tv

** live, live stream or live in HD


Things recommended to buy

The pickings are very slim.

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