Operas From The Met
THESE HIGH-DEFINITION PROGRAMS have created a whole new audience for the highest-quality opera via The Met: Live in HD showings in movie theaters across the US and around the world.
Expert close-up camera-work and exclusive behind-the-scenes interval footage and interviews make these programs very much more than second-best to sitting in the theater, and add to the intimacy of the experience. If you missed any of these operas in live performance, or have never had the opportunity to see one of the spectacular productions at the Met, this is your opportunity.
One of today's most compelling singing actresses, Karita Mattila takes on the irresistible role of Manon Lescaut, the headstrong young woman torn between a life of luxury and the call of her true love: the Chevalier des Grieux, played by Marcello Giordani. The young Puccini lavished some of his most sensual music on this early hit, conducted here by the Met's beloved James Levine.
Just as a young woman is about to marry her sweetheart, she is discovered-by the entire village, to say nothing of her fiancé-asleep in the bedroom of a stranger. It takes the young man two acts to figure out that sleepwalking is to blame, and everything ends happily. Natalie Dessay as Amina and Juan Diego Flórez as Elvino deliver bel canto magic and vocal fireworks in Mary Zimmerman's 2009 production. The Tony award-winning director transfers Bellini's bucolic tale to a rehearsal room in contemporary New York, where an opera company rehearses La Sonnambula-and where the singers are truly in love with each other.
This was the groundbreaking broadcast that launched the Met's heralded Live in HD series, seen by opera lovers in movie theaters around the world. Adults and children alike were enchanted by the whimsical humor and breathtaking puppetry of Julie Taymor's hit production, presented in a shortened English-language version. Under the baton of Maestro James Levine, a winning ensemble cast including Nathan Gunn, Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklosa, and René Pape brings fresh life to Mozart's timeless fairy tale.
This complete vision for Gluck, with choreography by Morris and costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, features the artistry of Stephanie Blythe in the title role. The alluring Danielle de Niese is Orfeo's adored wife, Euridice, who inspires the hero to face the underworld for her sake.
Star Soprano Anna Netrebko plays Donizetti's hapless heroine in this production by Mary Zimmerman that updates the events to the 19th Century. Rising young tenor sensation Piotr Beczala is Edgardo and Mariusz Kwiecien plays Lucia's brother Enrico whose brutal authority forces her to deny her heart and many for the sake of her family.
The pain of unrequited love is portrayed unforgettably by two of today's greatest stars. Renée Fleming is musically and dramatically radiant as the shy Tatiana, who falls in love with the worldly Onegin, played with devastating charisma by Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Their mesmerizing vocalism and chemistry explode in one of opera's most heartbreaking final scenes. With Valery Gergiev on the podium conducting Tchaikovsky's passionate score, this performance is one for the ages.
Madcap physical comedy and impeccable coloratura come together for Natalie Dessay's indelible portrayal of the feisty tomboy raised by a regiment of French soldiers. Juan Diego Flórez is the young Swiss villager who conquers her heart-and a slew of high Cs. Also featuring uproarious performances by Felicity Palmer and Alessandro Corbelli, as well as a cameo by Tony Award winner Marian Seldes, this laugh-out-loud production was a runaway hit that left audiences exhilarated.
If ever a composer was born to set the enchanting fairy tale of Cinderella to sparkling music it was Rossini. His much put upon heroine Angelina (Elina Garanca) has to cope not only with nasty stepsisters, but also an over-the-top, farcical father, Don Magnifico (Alessandro Corbelli). And in this version the Prince (Lawrence Brownlee) and his valet (Simone Alberghini) swap identities, which causes no end of delightful confusion. With Cesare Lievi's delightful storybook production and Maurizio Benini's expert conducting, it's all as light and delicious as a marvelous musical soufflé.
This deliciously dark take on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale, appealing to audiences of all ages, was part of the Met's popular English-language holiday series. Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer star as the famous siblings lost in the woods, who battle the ravenous Witch-a zany portrayal by tenor Philip Langridge-while the Met orchestra, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, glories in the rich, folk-inspired score.
John Adams's mesmerizing score, in Penny Woolcock's powerful production, tells the story of one of the pivotal moments in human history-the creation of the atomic bomb. Conducted by Alan Gilbert in his Met debut, this gripping opera presents the human face of the scientists, military men, and others who were involved in the project, as they wrestled with the implications of their work. Baritone Gerald Finley gives a powerful star turn in the title role as the brilliant J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Soprano Anna Netrebko took New York by storm when she performed the role of the fragile Puritan maiden Elvira. Her daring take on the heroine's famous mad scene earned her rapturous standing ovations from sold-out houses night after night. Overflowing with ravishing arias and ensembles, Bellini's bel canto gem also stars Eric Cutler as Elvira's love Arturo, Franco Vassallo as her suitor Riccardo, and John Relyea as her uncle Giorgio.
The world's most famous love story comes to life in Gounod's opera, with superstars Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna playing the star-crossed young couple. The abandon and ardor of their performances brought audiences to their feet in both the opera house and in movie theaters. And the unique, up-close-and-personal camerawork takes the viewer onstage to witness some of the production's most memorable images and sultriest moments as never before.
In Anthony Minghella's stunning production of Puccini's opera , Patricia Racette is Cio-Cio-San, the trusting and innocent young geisha of the title, who disastrously falls in love with American Navy lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton (Marcello Giordani), only to be abandoned by him. Maria Zifchak is her loyal servant Suzuki and Dwayne Croft is Sharpless, the sympathetic American consul who does all he can but is unable to avert tragedy.
It is no wonder that Met audiences have gone wild over Karita Mattila's sizzling performance. Indisputably one of the greatest Salomes of our time, Mattila utterly incarnates Oscar Wilde's petulant, wilful, and lust-driven heroine. With Strauss's groundbreaking music magnifying the degenerate atmosphere and building the erotic tension, this is one opera that is as shocking today as it was at its premiere in 1905.
There are few occasions to match the excitement and glamour and of an Opening Night at the Met. This spectacular gala showcased the extraordinary soprano Renée Fleming in three different, equally dazzling roles, each costumed by a different designer. The famous productions by Franco Zeffirelli (Verdi's La Traviata, Act II, conducted by James Levine), Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (Massenet's Manon, Act III), and John Cox (Strauss's Capriccio, final scene) were fully staged. With Ramón Vargas, Thomas Hampson, Dwayne Croft, and Robert Lloyd.
James Levine's love for this monumental opera shimmers throughout this exciting performance. It was an afternoon to remember: Met favorite Deborah Voigt singing her first run as the proud Irish princess opposite tenor Robert Dean Smith-making an astonishing Met debut in front of a live worldwide movie-theater audience. Michelle DeYoung was a sisterly Brangäne and Matti Salminen an imposing King Marke.
And you will find all our programs from the Metropolitan Opera in our Met Opera channel.
BOB HUGHES' SIX DEGREES OF MOZART - FOR THE METROPOLITAN OPERA
As part of All-Time Classics, we bring you "Six Degrees of Mozart" ... for The Met. The great Mozart's musical, and sometimes personal, influence is pretty much everywhere imaginable. Discover the opera house's many Mozart connections:
The first performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni at The Met was in 1883; since then it's been performed 514 times and is the 19th-most performed opera in the company's repertoire (the top is La Bohème, with 1,208 performances since 1900).
Met music director James Levine's favorite Mozart opera is said to be Idomeneo.
Between its house premiere in 1982 and 2006, The Met has given 82 performances of Idomeneo.
Balanchine's ballet Mozartiana was performed at The Met in 1936.
Ezio Pinza sang the title role in Don Giovanni some 79 times beginning in 1929; at Plácido Domingo's 40th-anniversary concert in 2009, Mariusz Kwiecien's costume as Giovanni was inspired by one originally worn by Ezio Pinza.