Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing set in the Far East returns to the Met stage for the first time in 100 years. Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Her suitors are tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who sing the lilting duet “Au fond du temple saint,” which opera fans know and adore. Director Penny Woolcock explores the timeless themes of pure love, betrayal, and vengeance in a production that vividly creates an undersea world on the stage of the Met. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda brings his romantic flair to the lush score from the composer of Carmen. Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) kicks off the first 2016 event of The Met: Live in HD 10th Anniversary Season with a live performance in select cinemas nationwide on January 16, followed by an encore showing on January 20.
Nina Stemme, one of opera’s greatest dramatic sopranos, takes on the title role of the proud princess of legendary China. Tenor Marco Berti is Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her hand. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani. Behold the brilliance of Puccini’s classic opera on the big screen when Turandot is broadcast live on January 30 with an encore presentation on February 3.
The Met stage ignites when soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann join forces in Puccini’s obsessive love story. Opolais sings the title role of the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress, while Kaufmann is the dashing student who desperately woos her. Director Richard Eyre places the action in occupied France in a film noir setting. “Desperate passion” is the phrase Puccini himself used to describe the opera that confirmed his position as the preeminent Italian opera composer of his day. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the stirring score. Experience the allure of Manon Lescaut when it is broadcast live in cinemas on March 5 with a second showing on March 9.
Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. One of the world’s foremost Butterflys, soprano Kristine Opolais, takes on the title role, and Roberto Alagna sings Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly’s heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts. Prepare to be mesmerized when Madama Butterfly returns to the big screen live on April 2, with another chance to see the performance on April 6.
In the final HD presentation of the Tudor Queens trilogy, directed by Sir David McVicar, Sondra Radvanovsky plays Queen Elizabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves, Roberto Devereux. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini. Travel back to the Tudor period and experience the sensational Roberto Devereux opera live on April 16, with an encore presentation on April 20 in select cinemas nationwide.
The genius director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme – unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner – who portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra’s fearsome mother, Klytämnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass Eric Owens are Elektra’s troubled siblings. Chéreau’s musical collaborator, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducts. Witness this tale of revenge on the big screen live on April 30, with an encore presentation on May 4.
The Met: Live in HD Information
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 also provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.