The 2017-18 season of The Met: Live in HD began (as did the season at the house) with a dazzling production of Bellini’s Norma starring Joyce DiDonato, Sondra Radvanovsky, and Joseph Calleja, a staging that was met with wide acclaim and enthusiasm. If you had not snagged a ticket to opening night at the opera house, you still had the “default” opportunity to see the stellar production Live in HD; and if you missed that second opportunity, you may yet have another chance next summer, when the Met often reprises its Live in HD winners and stages encores in selected cinemas. It is not, however, too late to take in a few other Live in HD presentations from the world-renowned Met. The company has broadcast more than 100 Live in HD programs and this season marks the 12th year these wildly popular presentations are being simulcast.
Once thought of as the domain of cultural elitists, opera has garnered a wider audience because of these accessible broadcasts, available in nearly 2,000 select US and international movie theaters; domestically, the series is presented through Fathom Events and its Digital Broadcast Network. To date, over 22 million tickets have been sold in 73 countries, with the average ticket price hovering at about $23. Not bad, for a full-scale, lavish, stunningly staged production.
As animated on the big screen, the Live in HD simulcasts offer an up-close and personal look at the opera’s staging – beads of sweat-on-the-brow, and all – that is truly thrilling. Moreover, with the easy-to-read supertitles, it is simple to follow the story line, even if the libretto is one of opera’s more notoriously convoluted plots. Additionally, the Saturday afternoon simulcasts are often shown again on the following Wednesday evenings, with an encore screening. The transmissions are accompanied by engrossing intermission segments–behind the scenes, say, with the prop or costume department, or an interview with a popular tenor or soprano, or an informative segment about a modern composer. It is always a rewarding afternoon, culturally, educationally, and visually.
Fathom Events is one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters and is well-known for its domestic presentations of event-cinema, including high-definition performances of not only the Metropolitan Opera, but also dance and theater productions, such as the Bolshoi Ballet and England’s National Theatre, as well as classic film presentations.
Tickets for The Met: Live in HD 2017-18 season can be purchased online at FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). Details on ordering tickets for the 2017-18 Live in HD series vary from country to country.
Still to come this season are: Tosca (January 27); L’Elisir d’Amore (February 10); La Bohème (February 24); Semiramide (March 10); Così Fan Tutte (March 31); Luisa Miller (April 14); Cendrillon (April 28).
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr. Within months of their initial live transmissions, the Live in HD programs are shown on the Public Broadcasting System. The PBS series, Great Performances at the Met, is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Also on screen January 13th and 17th (check local listings for times), courtesy of Fathom Events, is the film, The Opera House, by award-winning documentary filmmaker Susan Froemke. It chronicles a significant period of the Metropolitan Opera’s rich history and a time of noteworthy change for New York. Featuring rarely seen archival footage, stills, recent interviews, and a soundtrack of extraordinary Met performances, the film chronicles the creation of the Met’s storied home of the last 50 years, against the backdrop of the artists, architects, and politicians who shaped the cultural life of New York City in the ’50s and ’60s. Among the notable figures in the film are famed soprano Leontyne Price, who opened the new Met in 1966 in Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra; Rudolf Bing, the Met’s imperious General Manager, who engineered the move from the old house to the new one; Robert Moses, the unstoppable city planner who bulldozed an entire neighborhood to make room for Lincoln Center; and Wallace Harrison, whose quest for architectural glory was never fully realized.
TOSCA (Giacomo Puccini) NEW PRODUCTION
January 27, 2018 at 12:55 p.m. ET
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume; Production: Sir David McVicar; Set and Costume Designer: John Macfarlane; Lighting Designer: David Finn; Choreographer: Leah Hausman; Cast: Sonya Yoncheva (Tosca), Vittorio Grigolo (Cavaradossi), Sir Bryn Terfel (Scarpia), Patrick Carfizzi (Sacristan)
L’ELISIR d’AMORE (Donizetti)
February 10, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Conductor: Domingo Hindoyan; Production: Bartlett Sher; Set Designer: Michael Yeargan; Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber; Lighting Designer: Jennifer Tipton; Cast: Pretty Yende (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Davide Luciano (Belcore), Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Dulcamara)
LA BOHÈME (Puccini)
February 24, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Conductor: Marco Armiliato; Production: Franco Zeffirelli; Set Designer: Franco Zeffirelli; Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall; Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler; Cast: Sonya Yoncheva (Mimì), Susanna Phillips (Musetta), Michael Fabiano (Rodolfo), Lucas Meachem (Marcello), Alexey Lavrov (Schaunard), Matthew Rose (Colline), Paul Plishka (Benoit/Alcindoro)
SEMIRAMIDE (Rossini) FIRST TIME IN HD
March 10, 2018 at 12:55 p.m. ET
Conductor: Maurizio Benini; Production: John Copley; Set Designer: John Conklin; Costume Designer: Michael Stennett; Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler; Cast: Angela Meade (Semiramide), Elizabeth DeShong (Arsace), Javier Camarena (Idreno), Ildar Abdrazakov (Assur), Ryan Speedo Green (Oroe)
COSÌ FAN TUTTE (Mozart) NEW PRODUCTION
March 31, 2018 at 12:55 p.m. ET
Conductor: David Robertson; Production: Phelim McDermott; Set Designer: Tom Pye; Costume Designer: Laura Hopkins; Lighting Designer: Paule Constable; Cast: Amanda Majeski (Fiordiligi), Serena Malfi (Dorabella), Kelli O’Hara (Despina), Ben Bliss (Ferrando), Adam Plachetka (Guglielmo), Christopher Maltman (Don Alfonso)
LUISA MILLER (Verdi) FIRST TIME IN HD
April 14, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Conductor: Bertrand de Billy; Production: Elijah Moshinsky; Set and Costume Designer: Santo Loquasto; Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler; Cast: Sonya Yoncheva (Luisa), Olesya Petrova (Federica), Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo), Plácido Domingo (Miller), Alexander Vinogradov (Walter), Dmitry Belosselskiy (Wurm)
CENDRILLON (Massenet) MET PREMIERE
April 28, 2018 at 12:55 p.m. ET
Conductor: Bertrand de Billy; Production: Laurent Pelly; Set Designer: Barbara de Limburg; Costume Designer: Laurent Pelly; Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler; Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Cendrillon), Alice Coote (Le Prince Charmant), Stephanie Blythe (Madame de la Haltière), Kathleen Kim (La Fée), Laurent Naouri (Pandolfe)
© Ruth J. Katz 2017 All Rights Reserved