The Met Summer Series.

The Met is going to run some of their HD broadcasts from the past again this summer. I didn’t get to see nearly as many from the last season, but these are bound to please everyone:

Verdi’s Aida – Wednesday June 16 & Thursday June 17
Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette – Wednesday June 23 & Thursday June 24
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – Wednesday July 7 &Thursday July 8
Puccini’s La Bohème – Wednesday July 14 & Thursday July 15
Puccini’s Turandot – Wednesday July 21 & Thursday July 22
Bizet’s Carmen – Wednesday July 28 & Thursday July 29

The Met – Live in HD: 2009-2010 Season Schedule Announced.

It’s that time of the year again – although I haven’t been able to get out to see all of the broadcasts this year, I still think it’s a cool thing to be able to do, so here’s the next season’s schedule:

The Met: Live in HD series

The Met: Live in HD, the company’s highly successful, award-winning series of live Saturday performance transmissions into movie theaters in more than 35 countries around the world, has sold more than 1.1 million tickets so far this season. Three transmissions remain in the 2008-09 series: Madama Butterfly (March 7), La Sonnambula (March 21), and La Cenerentola (May 9).

The 2009-10 HD series will feature nine transmissions, beginning October 10 with Tosca and continuing with Aida (October 24), Turandot (November 7), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (December 19), Der Rosenkavalier (January 9), Carmen (January 16), Simon Boccanegra (February 6), Hamlet (March 27), and Armida (May 1). In January 2009, the Met won a special Emmy Award for “advancing technology through ongoing, live, global transmission of high-definition programming to movie theaters.” (Details on the 2009-10 HD presentations and other Met media initiatives follow later in this release.)

Selected Met Broadcasts Out on DVD

Some of the HD Broadcasts are out on DVD or are coming out very soon: 

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The First Emperor

Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

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Hansel and Gretel

Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

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Peter Grimes

Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

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Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

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La Boheme

Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

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Manon Lescaut

Medium: DVD Date: 2008-09-16

Met’s HD Broadcasts Debut on Monday 9/22

9/22 Gala will only be broadcast in the US – sorry, the rest of the world… Again, I’m reposting this information, no affiliation with the Met…

The Met’s Opening Night Gala, starring Renée Fleming. Monday, September 22 at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT (Live) 6 pm PT/7 pm MT (Tape Delay)

The Met’s 125th anniversary season opens with a celebratory gala starring the extraordinary soprano Renée Fleming singing three of her most acclaimed roles. Met Music Director James Levine, Marco Armiliato, and Patrick Summers conduct fully staged scenes from Verdi’s La Traviata, Massenet’s Manon, and Richard Strauss’s Capriccio. World renowned designers Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel have created new costumes for Fleming’s star turn. Tenor Ramón Vargas and baritones Thomas Hampson and Dwayne Croft join the soprano for this exciting season opener. Susan Graham will host the HD transmission. 

Don’t miss the next 10 Live in HD events, which will be transmitted live to more locations in more countries than ever before! Get your tickets now to experience the ultimate stage spectacle, live on screen at your local movie theater. Continue reading

“Met at the Movies” – La Fille du Régiment (HD Broadcast)

This upcoming Saturday “Met at the Movies” will have its last HD Broadcast of this season: Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment. Here’s a review from New York Times:

Comedy works best, one theory goes, when the people in it don’t know they are being funny. Another school favors a more Marxian (Groucho, not Karl) approach, in which the reasonable turns into the improbable, and the improbable into the outrageous. The Metropolitan Opera’s visually drab but industriously comic new production of Donizetti’s “Fille du Régiment” represents theory No. 1 with touches of theory No. 2. Read the rest.

Everyone seems to like this production – go check it out at your local movie theater! For locations, click here.

“Met at the Movies on the Web”: Tristan und Isolde Live Broadcast (March 28, 7PM)

I had to miss HD Live Broadcast of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde last Saturday due to my vacation, but as some might know this particular production was somewhat unfortunate when it came to singer cancellation due to sickness, so Met has decided to do an online broadcast of the last date of Tristan this Friday with (hopefully) healthy duo of Voigt and Heppner who were scheduled to sing all dates together but that did not happen. The web broadcast will be this Friday, March 28 at 7PM (ET). Here’s the official “news flash”: Continue reading

Met at the Movies: Peter Grimes (Review)

On March 15th (Saturday) I had another chance to go see Met HD Broadcast at a local movie theater, and I have to say that this one was by far the best of this season. Britten’s Peter Grimes, one might argue, is the best opera in English, even if some have reservations about the opera sung in English in general (see Justin Davidson’s review below with Mencken’s quote about baseball and Italy). It is a great work of music and its libretto is as interesting as anything opera-related. This new production of Peter Grimes was quite dark (color and emotion-wise) with a single piece of stage “furniture” that represents the village:

Continue reading

Met at the Movies: This Saturday – Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes Simulcast tomorrow! Here’s a full libretto for your reading pleasure.[PDF File]

Here is a timely review of Met’s new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes that you can see for yourself this weekend either in a live broadcast from the Met on Saturday (3/15) or in a recorded encore performance on Sunday (3/16) – to find a movie theater in your area (both US and the rest of the world), go here.

A new Met production of Britten’s “Peter Grimes.”

by Alex Ross

Few operas are as rooted in one place as Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes,” which has rumbled back to the Metropolitan Opera, in a new production by John Doyle. The title character, a dark-souled fisherman who goes mad after his apprentices die, was the invention of the poet George Crabbe, who grew up in Aldeburgh, on the eastern coast of England, in the later eighteenth century, and apparently based Grimes on a detested local character. Montagu Slater, the opera’s librettist, wove his elaboration of the tale into various Aldeburgh settings. And Britten, a resident of the same town for most of his adult life, brilliantly evoked its sights and sounds in his music—the crying of gulls, the creaking of buoys, the endless booming of the waves. The obvious way to stage “Grimes” is to re-create Aldeburgh and let Britten’s flawless score do the rest. This was the approach taken by Tyrone Guthrie, who first directed the opera at Covent Garden, in 1947, two years after the première, and who later brought a vividly detailed version to the Metropolitan Opera, in 1967. That classic production played at the Met as recently as 1998, and, while it showed its age, it remained a deeply absorbing experience: you were pulled into a kind of tragic picture postcard. Continue reading

Was There A Certain Amount of Excitement? Met’s Peter Grimes Is Coming Soon!

First to the Met itself on 2/28 and then to the movie theater next door in HD broadcast on 3/15. Let’s all put on some Britten and lean forward expectedly. New York Times shares some information about the upcoming (new) production of Peter Grimes at the Met:

The game is constantly afoot in Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes.” Everyone, it seems, is hunting for something or someone in this opera, most spectacularly in the third and last act, when the entire little fishing community on the harsh North Sea coast of England transforms itself into a vicious mob on the track of Grimes himself, “the borough criminal” who must be caught and destroyed. One of the most terrifying scenes in opera, it is likely to chill audiences once more when the Metropolitan Opera unveils its new staging on Thursday evening. This is the company’s third production since it introduced this compelling work in 1948, just three years after the world premiere at the Sadler’s Wells Opera in London. Read the rest.

Alex Ross pitches in with his always enlightening remarks as well: Continue reading

America Kills True Love: “Met at the Movies” – Manon Lescaut Review.


So as I already posted many times, I have been a great appreciator of Met’s series of opera HD Broadcasts and this past Saturday I was able to catch Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with Karita Mattila and Marcello Giordanni in the main roles of Manon and Chevalier des Grieux (libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica – this is a good story, you should look into it). The opera is based on 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. The premiere took place in 1893 and, as biographers often point out, although it was Puccini’s third opera, it was his first great success. His next opera, La Boheme (1896), will establish him as a clear successor to the great Verdi, I think. Continue reading