The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera, 8 December 2012.
A new generation of rising stars shines in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of Puccini’s most popular opera. Vittorio Grigolo is the poor poet Rodolfo who falls head over heels for his neighbor, the seamstress Mimì, sung by the radiant Kristine Opolais. Susanna Phillips is the flirtatious Musetta, Massimo Cavaletti is her sweetheart Marcello, and Patrick Carfizzi as Schaunard and Oren Gradus as Colline complete the ensemble. Stefano Ranzani conducts.
New tenor star Vittorio Grigolo takes on the title role in Offenbach’s fantastical opera, giving a tour-de-force performance as the tortured poet unlucky in love. He is joined by a trio of leading ladies: Erin Morley sings the mechanical doll Olympia, Hibla Gerzmava is the fragile Antonia, and Christine Rice sings Giulietta, the Venetian courtesan. Bartlett Sher’s colorful production, seen here in its second Live in HD presentation, also stars Thomas Hampson as the sinister Four Villains and Kate Lindsey as Niklausse, Hoffmann’s friend and muse. Yves Abel conducts.
A youthful cast brings Rossini’s immortal comedy to sparkling life, led by Christopher Maltman as Figaro, the resourceful barber and man-about-town of the title. The lovely Isabel Leonard is Rosina, the clever young woman at the center of the story, and Lawrence Brownlee sings Count Almaviva, the man who loves her and—with Figaro’s help—rescues her from the house of her elderly and smitten guardian, Bartolo, played by Maurizio Muraro. Paata Burchuladze is the bumbling music master Basilio, and rising conductor and bel canto specialist Michele Mariotti leads the Met’s musical forces in Bartlett Sher’s lively production.
Live performance from the Metropolitan Opera, March 1, 2014.
Rossini’s charming take on the Cinderella story features a brilliant cast, led by bel canto stars Joyce DiDonato in the title role and Juan Diego Flórez as her Prince Charming. Alessandro Corbelli delivers a comic tour de force as Don Magnifico, Cinderella’s stepfather. Pietro Spagnoli is Dandini, the Prince’s valet, who, disguised as his master, puts the prospective brides to the text, and Luca Pisaroni is the philosopher Alidoro, who takes the place of the fairy godmother. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Cesare Lievi’s whimsical production.
Eva-Maria Westbroek stars in the title role of Zandonai’s sensuous drama, opposite Marcello Giordani as Paolo. Piero Faggioni’s lush production provides the perfect setting for one of the all-time great tales of tragic passion, adapted from an episode in Dante’s Inferno. Mark Delavan co-stars as Giovanni, the husband and brother of the star-crossed lovers, whose jealousy leads him to kill them both. Robert Brubaker is Malatestino and Marco Armiliato conducts.
Aida (2009) Metropolitan Opera. Verdi / Italian. Live from the Met 2009.
John Adams’s groundbreaking work vividly brings to life President Nixon’s 1972 visit to communist China. Peter Sellars’s Met production, based on his 1987 world-premiere staging, features choreography by Mark Morris and stars James Maddalena as Nixon, Robert Brubaker as Chairman Mao, Janis Kelly as First Lady Pat Nixon, Russell Braun as Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, and Kathleen Kim as Chiang Ch’ing, Mao’s wife. From the pomp of the public displays to the intimacy of the protagonists most private moments, Adams, Sellars, and librettist Alice Goodman reveal the real characters behind the headlines in this landmark American opera.
Minnie, the titular "Girl of the Golden West" is saloon-keeper, nurse, and Bible school teacher to a camp of miners during the California Gold Rush. When the mysterious Mr. Johnson arrives, the miners suspicions (and jealousies) are roused. Stage production from The Metropolitan Opera 8 January 2011
"Irresistible" (Opera News) rising-star mezzo Elina Garanca triumphs as Rossini's Cinderella in this delightful Metropolitan Opera production. "As close to pure joy as you will find in a big-time opera house" (New Yorker), conquering audiences and critics alike, "Garanca has a gorgeous voice that she uses with exceptional skill, melting tenderness; but when the part calls for coloratura fireworks, she unleashes a flawless technique and ringing high notes of impressive power" (Associated Press). Filmed in High Definition Widescreen.
Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades. The 2011 Met production was directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, who presented the action as an opera within an opera, updating the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear. Juan Diego Florez starred as the title role while Diana Damrau plays Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato was in breeches as his pageboy Isolier. Conducted with verve and finesse by Maurizio Benini, the production also features the stylish French baritone Stephane Degout as Ory's bibulous conspirator Raimbaud, charismatic Italian bass Michele Pertusi as the Count's long-suffering Tutor, and, formidable as Adele's housekeeper Ragonde, the Swedish dramatic mezzo Susanne Resmark.
In the depths of the Rhine, the three Rhinemaidens guard the Rhinegold, a treasure of immeasurable value. The Nibelung dwarf Alberich is dazzled by the sight of it. The girls explain that whoever wins the gold and forges it into a ring will gain power over the world, but must first renounce love. Frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts to catch one of the girls, Alberich curses love and steals the gold. Wotan, lord of the gods, is reproached by his wife Fricka: he has promised to give Freia, goddess of youth, to the giants Fasolt and Fafner in return for their building a fortress for the gods. When the giants demand their reward, Loge, the god of fire, suggests an alternative payment: the ring Alberich has forged from the Rhinegold, and his other treasures. The giants agree, and Wotan and Loge leave for the Nibelungs’ underground home.
Robert Lepage’s remarkable Met Opera production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, the 2013 Grammy Award Winner for Best Opera Recording, is now available as individual DVDs. Siegfried features Bryn Terfel, Jay Hunter Morris, and Deborah Voigt, with Fabio Luisi conducting.
James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of this epic comedy, back at the Met for the first time in eight years.
Robert Lepage’s landmark staging of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, unveiled over the course of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons, was the first new Met production of the complete cycle in more than 20 years. Combining state-of-the-art technology with traditional storytelling, it brings Wagner’s vision into the 21st century. With Die Walküre, the story of the Ring enters the world of human beings. Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek are Siegmund and Sieglinde, the twin children of Wotan, sung by Bryn Terfel. Deborah Voigt stars in the title role of the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Wotan’s favorite daughter. James Levine conducts.