Press Room presents top opera and more this December

This December, more of the world’s top opera performances will be presented on than ever before, enhancing the site’s must-see schedule of live events and vintage programming. Live from Paris on December 8 comes Verdi’s La forza del destino starring Marcelo Alvarez, and there will be a wealth of video-on-demand performances of landmark opera productions, including Massenet’s Werther with Jonas Kaufmann, Bellini’s La sonnambula with Natalie Dessay, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Gerald Finley. Also available on in December will be more than 30 vintage music films by prize-winning director Christopher Nupen, including five showcasing beloved cellist Jacqueline du Pré. For the holiday season, will also be offering subscription gift cards, for three, six, or twelve months.
Recognized as the go-to experience for classical music on the internet, earns more worldwide acclaim every month, with the Toronto Star pointing out that “ initiated a seismic shift in the world of classical music.” New Yorker writer Alex Ross said on his blog, The Rest Is Noise, that “the hits keep coming at”
Among the new live events this December is “Leonard Slatkin’s America,” a concert that sees the conductor leading the Orchestre National de Lyon and piano soloist James Tocco in a program ranging from Ives and Gershwin to Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (“The Age of Anxiety”). The performance will be webcast live by on December 1 at 2pm EDT.
December also brings the live webcast of an all-Liszt piano recital from Lise de la Salle, performing at Paris’s Auditorium du Louvre – where she made her debut at just 14 – on December 7 at 2pm EDT. Appearing live on for the first time, the pianist offers a program of original works by Liszt, including such famous piano transcriptions as his dazzling version of Wagner’s Liebestod. De la Salle’s most recent album, also dedicated to the Hungarian composer, was selected as a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice” and awarded a Diapason d’Or.
Another December highlight will be La forza del destino from the Opéra Bastille – the work’s first staging there in 30 years. The Jean-Claude Auvray production stars Violeta Urmana and Marcelo Alvarez, with Philippe Jordan on the podium. American Audiences will be among the first to see this performance when it is broadcast live on December 8 at 1pm EDT, before being made available to viewers in France and Belgium the following day.
In addition to these live webcasts, also offers an extensive library of video-on-demand programs, available via subscription. These performances, documentaries, and archival features spotlight leading musical institutions and world-class artists – from golden-age legends to today’s top stars. Along with the star-studded 2010 Werther, La sonnambula, and Don Giovanni productions, newly available online this December, there will be Rameau’s Platée in a 2009 production from Opéra National de Paris starring Mireille Delunsch and led by Marc Minkowski, and Verdi’s La traviata from Opéra de Lyon. There are also such vocal treats as countertenor Philippe Jaroussky’s recital from the 2009 Verbier Festival and a masterclass led by the great Teresa Berganza. The 30-plus Christopher Nupen films available on include not only the priceless du Pré documents (complete with Elgar’s Cello Concerto and a number of all-star chamber performances) but also films of Evgeny Kissin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Nathan Milstein. All 32 Beethoven piano sonatas recorded by Daniel Barenboim in 1983-84 will be available by the year’s end.
Offering “treasures aplenty” was how Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly described, designating it one of the Web’s leading classical music experiences. The app for iPads, iPhones, and other digital devices – available for free at the Apple app store – was recently named one of the top five apps for classical music by WQXR, the classical music station of New York City.
Now, especially for the holiday season, is offering gift cards for subscriptions of three months (at $39), six months (at $69), or one year (at $119). The cards will be available for online purchase at, to be mailed directly as gifts.
December events live at
December 1, 2pm EDT
“Leonard Slatkin’s America”: Ives, Gershwin, Ellington, Bernstein, Rorem, etc.
Leonard Slatkin, conductor; James Tocco, piano; Orchestre National de Lyon; Big Band de la Musique de l’Air
December 7, 2pm EDT
Recital: Lise de la Salle plays Liszt
Lise de la Salle, piano
Auditorium du Louvre (Paris, France)
December 8, 1pm EDT
Verdi: La forza del destino
Opéra National de Paris
Mario Luperi (Marchese di Calatrava), Violeta Urmana (Donna Leonora), Vladimir Stoyanov (Don Carlo di Vargas), Marcelo Alvarez (Don Alvaro); Phillipe Jordan, conductor
Opera-on-Demand at
Massenet: Werther
Opéra National de Paris, France, 2010
Jonas Kaufmann (Werther), Sophie Koch (Charlotte), Ludovic Tézier (Albert); Benoit Jacquot, staging; Michel Plasson, conductor
Bellini: La sonnambula
Opéra National de Paris, France, 2010
Natalie Dessay (Amina); Javier Camarena (Elvino); Marco Arturo Marelli, staging; Evelino Pidò, conductor
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Glyndebourne Festival, UK, 2010
Brindley Sherratt, Anna Samuil, Luca Pisaroni (Leporello); Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Jonathan Kent, staging; Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Since its official launch in May 2008, has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of music and arts lovers from 182 countries – online viewers who have watched over twelve million videos to date. The site currently averages more than 80,000 individual visitors each month. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads and iPhones.
One of the biggest successes to date at has been the webcast of a Lucerne Festival concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic. This has been watched more than 347,500 times (live and as video-on-demand) by visitors from 150 countries. Other recent popular offerings from include an evening of chamber music at the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Paris; Georges Pretre conducting La Scala Orchestra in a program of Franck and Respighi; Daniel Harding conducting the same orchestra in Strauss’s Alpine Symphony; and an all-Brahms evening featuring Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon.
Building on the success of webcasts from the Verbier Festival in 2007, has offered high-definition webcasts from many other leading festivals, including Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Aspen, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Lucerne; from such Parisian venues as the Opéra National de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Pleyel; and from Milan’s famed La Scala. Many operas and concerts performed by the world’s top artists and orchestras have been webcast as live events and later as video-on-demand (VOD) – all available for free. The list of artists presented at is a “who’s who” of today’s stars, including Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Plácido Domingo, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Anna Netrebko, Maurizio Pollini, Thomas Quasthoff, and Simon Rattle. Among the featured orchestras are such renowned ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In addition to webcasts of more than 80 live concerts each year, has partnered with the world’s top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions giving music-lovers the opportunity to watch more than 700 VOD programs, growing to 1,000 programs over the next two years. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits and archival material. Featured artists include such legendary musicians as Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Herbert von Karajan, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as such leading film directors as Bruno Monsaingeon, Paul Smaczny, and Frank Scheffer. In November, added to its library with the invaluable film record of Daniel Barenboim performing all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in the 1980s in Vienna.
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