By Norm Robins
The Metropolitan Opera will broadcast encore performances of four operas this summer in HD, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Puccini’s La Bohème, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Verdi’s Aida.
The first will be Roméo et Juliette on June 19th. Soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Vittorio Grigolo star as Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers in Bartlett Sher’s romantic staging. Recorded live January 21, 2017.
On June 26th they will broadcast La Bohème. Soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Vittorio Grigolo are the young bohemians in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of Puccini’s ever-popular masterpiece. Recorded live April 5, 2014.
Then on July 10th they will broadcast Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Bartlett Sher’s madcap take on Rossini’s comedy features a winning cast, including mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, and baritone Peter Mattei. Recorded live March 24, 2007. If you want to introduce children to opera you can’t get a much better way than with this opera.
They end their summer encore season with Aida July 17th. Soprano Anna Netrebko sings the compelling title role of Verdi’s monumental grand opera, alongside mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as her rival, Amneris. Our own Dolora Zajick is famous worldwide for her performances of Amneris. Recorded live October 6, 2018.
Both live broadcasts and encore performances are in HD. True, voices sound better live than electronically transmitted. But the stage presence is stunning when viewed in HD on a big movie theater screen. The camera gets incredible shots that the live audience doesn’t see because the viewer is stationary. The camera, on the other hand, is in several places at once, can zoom in and out, and can pan. The human eye can’t do that. The interviews with the cast and crew during the intermissions are fun to watch. And while these are being done stagehands prepare the stage for the next scene. Watching their action makes you wonder. How do they know what to do? How can they move sets around so fast and effortlessly?
These performances will be shown at the Riverside 12, 11 N. Sierra St, Reno, and at the Summit Sierra at 13965 S. Virginia St., Reno. For more information go to https://www.metopera.org/season/in-cinemas/