The Saturday morning opera-goers “club” at Galaxy Cinemas is about to re-group, when the phenomenally successful screening of the series The Met: Live in HD returns for its sixth season.
Live transmissions from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, which go out via satellite in high definition and 5.1 digital surround sound, now reach more than 700 theatres across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Out of a total of 11 operas this season, seven will be new productions. These include one Met premiere and one world premiere. And six will be screened between now and Christmas.
Saturday at 9:55 a.m., Anna Netrebko opens The Met season with Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Set in Windsor Castle and the Tower of London in the year 1536, the doomed queen is driven insane by her appallingly unfaithful husband King Henry VIII.
Netrebko sings one of opera’s greatest mad scenes in this Met premiere production by David McVicar. Ekaterina Gubanova is her rival Jane Seymour, Ildar Abdrazakov sings Henry VIII, and Marco Armiliato conducts. And the duet between Anna (soprano) and Jane Seymour (mezzo soprano) is considered one of the finest in the entire operatic repertoire.
Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be presented Oct. 29 at 9:55 a.m. He’s the young, arrogant, promiscuous nobleman who abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast until he encounters something he cannot kill, beat up, dodge, or outwit.
Mariusz Kwiecien brings a youthful and sensual interpretation of Mozart’s anti-hero to The Met for the first time, under the direction of Tony award winning director Michael Grandage. The conductor is James Levine, now entering his fifth decade as resident music director.
The full title of the opera literally means The Rake Punished. Although sometimes described as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and the supernatural. And as a staple of the standard operatic repertoire, it rates seventh on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide, besides proving a fruitful subject for writers and philosophers.
In The Met’s ground breaking new four-part production of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, the much awaited part three, Siegfried, will take place Nov. 5 at 9 a.m.
Wagner’s cosmic vision focuses on the hero’s early conquests, while Robert Lepage’s astonishing 80-ton stage set transforms itself from bewitched forest to mountaintop love nest. Gary Lehman sings the title role and Deborah Voigt’s Brünnhilde is his prize. Again, James Levine conducts.
Philip Glass’s opera Satyagraha (“insistence on truth”) screens Nov. 19 at 9:55 a.m. Richard Croft plays Gandhi in the second of Glass’s Portrait Trilogy of operas about men who changed the world. This encore of a visually extravagant production was described by The Washington Post as “a profound and beautiful work of theatre.”
On Dec. 3 at 9:30 a.m. is Handel’s Rodelinda. First performed in London in 1725, the first modern productions were at Glyndebourne and then at The Met. Renée Fleming reprises her sensational role from Stephen Wadsworth’s much-heralded production from 2004. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts.
The last new production this fall is Gounod’s Faust on Dec. 10 at 9:55 a.m. With Jonas Kaufmann in the title role and René Pape as the devil, Gounod’s classic retelling of the Faust legend couldn’t be better served.
Tony award winning director Des McAnuff updates the story to the first half of the 20th century, with a production that won great praise in London last season. Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin follows on the heels of his success with Don Carlo.
For those who have never been to one of these shows, and who might perhaps feel intimidated by opera, know that you’ll watch world class performances from the one of the best seats, at a fraction of the New York cost. Subtitles carry the full text, and synopsis sheets are handed out at the ticket counter. More information is available at www.metoperafamily.org.
Tickets and season packages are available at the theatre and online, with discounts for seniors and students. Visit www.cineplex.com/events.