by Steven Doyle
I am a huge fan of the theater, and adore the opera. If you are like me you will want to pay very close attention. The Metropolitan Opera has a few very sweet programs that brings the opera not only to local theaters, but also to your home.
The Metropolitan Opera is the largest classical music organization in North America. It presents about 27 different operas each year in a season which lasts from late September through May. The operas are presented in a rotating repertory schedule with up to seven performances of four different works staged each week. Moving to the new Lincoln Center location in 1966, performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinée on Saturday.
Several operas are presented in new productions each season. Sometimes these are borrowed from or shared with other opera houses. The rest of the year’s operas are given in revivals of productions from previous seasons.
Just out of pure happenstance I wandered into one of the participating theaters showing one of the operas on Valentine’s Day, shown live. I was able to enjoy Donizetti’s charming comedy L’Elisir d’Amore starring soprano Pretty Yende as the spunky and extremely captivating Adina and tenor Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the hapless villager after her heart. A perfect opera to view for a love-stricken holiday.
During intermission theater-goers were able to watch stage-hands moving sets, and chattering about various actions behind the scenes. This also gave us time to grab popcorn. Minutes later we were once again treated, this time with interviews with the conductor and the led characters of the program. As if that was not enough, chef Lidia Bastianich was backstage creating a beautiful pasta dish that would actually be eaten during act two of the program on stage. I was filled with a heartful of delight as act two began.
The next opera the Met will be showing at local theaters, which include NorthPark, CInemark 17 which just upgraded the theater, Village on the Parkway, Cinema West Plano, Tinseltown in Grapevine and many more. Check this link for a theater near you. The Met simulcasts in 2,200 theater in 70 countries, so regardless where you are there is a great chance you may enjoy an evening at the Met without leaving your zip-code.
In case you are not wanting to check out a theater, or unable to,you may also view the opera in your home with Met Opera On Demand.
Your next opportunity to view The Met in theaters is Saturday, March 10, 2018 with the production of Semiramide an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. Semiramide was Rossini’s final Italian opera based on a Voltaire tragedy. The music took the form of a return to vocal traditions of Rossini’s youth, and was a melodrama in which he “recreated the baroque tradition of decorative singing with unparalleled skill. The ensemble-scenes (particularly the duos between Arsace and Semiramide) and choruses are of a high order, as is the orchestral writing, which makes full use of a large pit.
Semiramide is one of Rossini’s finest contributions to the genre and deservedly one of the most popular. You will not want to miss this evening, either in New York or from the comfort from a comfy seat in your favorite local theater.
There is no other experience like the opera at The Met.