The Met: Live in HD is the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live opera performances transmitted via satellite from New York City to select venues across the world, including Manistee’s Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (one of only two venues in the northern lower peninsula). Get tickets for these incredible 2019-20 shows.
Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Franco Zeffirelli’s celebrated production of Turandot, which stars powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke, in the title role of the icy Chinese princess who has renounced all men, alongside tenor Roberto Aronica, the unknown prince vying for her love.
Manon’s story—from innocent country girl to celebrated courtesan to destitute prisoner—is one of the great tragic tales in literature and music. Lisette Oropesa stars as the irresistible title character, the tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life, in Laurent Pelly’s revealing production. Michael Fabiano is the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate love for Manon proves their undoing. Maurizio Benini conducts Massenet’s sensual score.
Anthony Minghella’s vividly cinematic staging returns to cinemas, featuring soprano Hui He in the devastating title role. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts one of opera’s most beautiful and heartbreaking scores, with a cast that also includes Andrea Carè as Pinkerton, Plácido Domingo as Sharpless, and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki. (Not the live broadcast. Original date is November 9 and moved to November 17 at The Ramsdell.)
Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo headlines American composer Philip Glass’s transcendent contemporary creation, with Karen Kamensek conducting. Phelim McDermott’s stunning production employs a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers to conjure a mystical reimagining of ancient Egypt. One of the staging’s distinctive visual features is provided by the Gandini Juggling Company, whose movements are perfectly choreographed with the orchestral score. This production of Akhnaten was originally created by LA Opera, Improbable and English National Opera, where it premiered, winning the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts William Kentridge’s new production of Alban Berg’s expressionistic masterpiece Wozzeck, regarded for its intense emotional power and brilliant score as one of the most significant operas of the 20th century. Composed during and in the aftermath of World War I, Berg’s dark exploration of a soldier besieged by the evils of society, is staged by Kentridge in a ramshackle warren of stairs, ramps, discarded furniture and debris. His own theatrically animated charcoal drawings, along with other projected drawings, maps and film clips, evoke a nightmarish world of crashed planes, searchlights, ghostly gas masks and battlefields.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess returns to the Met for the first time since 1990, in a new production directed by James Robinson in his company debut. America’s “folk opera,” as the 1935 creators described it, tells the story of disabled beggar Porgy, sung by Eric Owens, and his love for the drug-addicted Bess, portrayed by Angel Blue. Infused with the timeless melodies of the much-loved classics “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin” and “My Man’s Gone Now,” the new co-production with English National Opera and Dutch National Opera was hailed as a triumph at its premiere in London earlier this year.
In the Met’s first-ever performances of Agrippina, Handel’s satire of sex and power politics, Sir David McVicar reconceives a production he originally created for the Monnaie in Brussels in 2000, evoking a scandalous world in which the Roman Empire never fell but simply kept going right up to the present. Holding a distorted mirror to contemporary society (as Handel did when he staged this opera), the production presents the corrupt intrigues of the political classes, brought to life by Joyce DiDonato as the power-hungry empress Agrippina, Brenda Rae as the scheming, seductive Poppea, and Kate Lindsey as the feckless teenager Nerone.
François Girard, whose mystical, blood-drenched vision for Wagner’s Parsifal became one of the Met’s most intensely visceral highlights in recent seasons, turns to another Wagnerian masterpiece, Der Fliegende Holländer, conducted by Valery Gergiev. For the first time at the Met, Sir Bryn Terfel sings the role of the mysterious Dutchman, condemned to roam the seas for eternity, with Anja Kampe as the devoted Senta, whose love can set him free. In a nod to Senta’s obsession with a portrait of the legendary title seafarer, the Met stage is transformed into a colossal oil painting.
Sir David McVicar’s bold staging of Puccini’s operatic thriller returns to the Live in HD series after its acclaimed broadcast in 2017. This time, star soprano Anna Netrebko is the passionate title diva, opposite Brian Jagde as her lover, the idealistic painter Mario Cavaradossi. Michael Volle is the menacing Baron Scarpia, the evil chief of police. Bertrand de Billy conducts the electrifying score, which features some of Puccini’s most memorable melodies.
A pseudo-historical opera about Mary, Queen of Scots, and her bitter rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, Donizetti’s drama thrills with intense stand-offs and impressive vocal displays. Soprano Diana Damrau and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton square off as two of history’s most formidable monarchs, with Maurizio Benini conducting.