Five of the best operas to watch at home in the coming days

It’s often seen as an elitist and exclusive artform - but there’s never been a better time to get into opera.

The Royal Opera House in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York are offering free streams of their dramatic and spectacular work. All Nightly Met Opera Streams begin at 12.30am. The performances are also accessible on all Met Opera on Demand apps.

Here’s what’s coming up in the next few days ...

1 AKHNATEN

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    Philip Glass, Met Opera, June 19

    The life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten are the subject of this 1983 work by the groundb-reaking American composer Philip Glass, known for his ‘minimalist’ style, often featuring repeated arpeggios. The text, taken from original sources, is sung in the original languages, linked together with the commentary of a narrator. Egyptian texts of the period are taken from a poem of Akhenaten himself, from the Book of the Dead, and from extracts of decrees and letters from the Amarna period, the 17-year period of Akhenaten’s rule. Other portions are in Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew. This production was staged in 2019.

    Where to watch: metopera.org

    2 SATYAGRAHA

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    Philip Glass, Met Opera, June 20

    Another of Glass’s landmark works, Satyagraha is loosely based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.The title refers to Gandhi’s concept of nonviolent resistance to injustice, Satyagraha, and the text, from the Bhagavad Gita, is sung in the original Sanskrit.

    Where to watch: metopera.org

    3 LA TRAVIATA

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    Verdi, Met Opera, June 21

    Verdi’s immensely popular work was inspired by the life and death of the Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis. It is currently the most performed opera in the world, and the role of Violetta a favourite for many star sopranos.

    Where to watch: metopera.org

    Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role of Glass’s Akhnaten (photo: Karen Almond/Met Opera)

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    4 THE MAGIC FLUTE

    Mozart, Royal Opera, June 19 to July 3

    The Royal Opera’s spellbinding production of Mozart’s much-loved opera features a cast including Roderick Williams, who sang at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

    Where to watch: roh.org.uk

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    5 IL TRITTICO

    Puccini, Royal Opera, streaming until June 19

    The one-act works that form the trilogy - Il tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi - range from gritty melodrama to life-affirming comedy. While each opera stands alone, the three come together to create a sense of a complete event, rich in textures and musical forms.

    Where to watch: roh.org.uk