Cinema Nouveau presents the new 2014 / 15 Metropolitan Opera Season, including five new productions
Exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, with ten opulent operas on show on the big digital screen
The much-anticipated 2014/15 season from The Metropolitan Opera in New York returns to South Africa in November this year, with the launch of the next successful season of The Met: Live in HD. The ten full-length operas, including five new productions, will release exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide from November 2014 to May 2015.
These grand operas, filmed at the iconic Metropolitan Opera House, feature some of the world’s most talented singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers. With these exclusive productions, Cinema Nouveau continues to give local audiences the opportunity to witness these spectacular ‘live’ broadcasts on the big screen, in full digital projection, at various sites across South Africa. Past productions have received critical acclaim and gained recognition around the world.
Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, with a searing performance from star soprano Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, launches the new season, on Saturday, 08 November for a limited season. The next transmission will be the Met’s spirited new production of Mozart’s masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) on Saturday, 22 November, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. Carmen, the much-loved opera from Bizet, can be seen on the big screen from Saturday, 29 November and Rossini’s popular Il Barbiere di Siviglia can be seen from 20 December.
On 20 February 2015, Susan Stroman makes her Met debut directing a new production of Lehár’s The Merry Widow, with Renée Fleming in the title role and Andrew Davis conducting.
Two double bills of one-act operas also receive new productions this season: Iolanta, with Anna Netrebko in the title role, and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Mariusz Treliński, release on 21 March next year.
The last production of this season, releasing on Saturday, 23 May 2015, sees Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by David McVicar, receive its first new Met production in 45 years.
The 2014-15 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb and Met Music Director James Levine. “With a mix of new offerings, a few repertory rarities, and solid casting of our mainstay revivals, this should prove to be a stimulating season for the Company and for our audiences,” said Gelb.
The Met: Live in HD, the Met’s award-winning series of live transmissions to cinemas around the world, has expanded its worldwide distribution to more than 2 000 theatres in 69 countries this season, the largest global audience the initiative has ever reached. The Met was the first arts company to experiment as an alternative content provider, beginning on a modest scale in 2006. Since then, its programme has grown every season with more than 16 million tickets sold to date.
Met opera stars serve as hosts for each of the Live in HD series, conducting live interviews with cast, crew, and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features. Altogether the worldwide HD audience is given an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world’s great houses.
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg.
Each of these entertaining operas is a glorious production that will be screened exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, including: Gateway Nouveau, Durban; V&A Waterfront Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Blue Route in Cape Town; Rosebank Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Bedford in Johannesburg; and at Brooklyn Nouveau, Pretoria. Their release onto the big screen affords South African lovers of opera the unique opportunity to become an integral part of these ‘near-live’ and breath-taking performances.
For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za or sterkinekor.mobi, or call our Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437). Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. You can also download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to make bookings.
The Met: Live in HD 2014-15 Schedule
The HD season opens on 08 November 2014 with Macbeth and continues with Le Nozze di Figaro (22 November), Carmen (29 November), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (20 December), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (10 January 2015), The Merry Widow (21 February), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (07 March), Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle (21 March), La Donna del Lago (10 April) and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (22 May).
Macbeth – Giuseppe Verdi (releases on 08 November 2014)
Star soprano Anna Netrebko delivers her searing portrayal of Lady Macbeth, the mad and murderous mate of Željko Lučić’s doomed Macbeth, for the first time at the Met. Adrian Noble’s chilling production of Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy also stars Joseph Calleja as the noble Macduff and René Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 13mins – one intermission)
Le Nozze di Figaro – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (releases on 22 November 2014)(The Marriage of Figaro)
Met Music Director James Levine conducts a spirited new production of Mozart’s masterpiece, directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in a 19th-century manor house in Seville, but during the gilded age of the late 1920s. Dashing bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov leads the cast in the title role of the clever servant, opposite Marlis Petersen as his bride, Susanna, Peter Mattei as the philandering Count they work for, Amanda Majeski as the long-suffering Countess, and Isabel Leonard as the libidinous pageboy Cherubino.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 52mins – one intermission. New production.)
Carmen – Georges Bizet (releases on 29 November 2014)
Richard Eyre’s mesmerizing production of Bizet’s steamy melodrama returns with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress. Aleksandrs Antonenko plays her desperate lover, the soldier Don José, and Ildar Abdrazakov is the swaggering bullfighter, Escamillo, who comes between them. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the irresistible score, which features one beloved and instantly recognizable melody after another.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 38mins – one intermission)
Il Barbiere di Siviglia – Gioacchino Rossini (The Barber of Seville) (releases on 20 December 2014)
The Met’s effervescent production of Rossini’s classic comedy – featuring some of the most instantly recognizable melodies in all of opera – stars Isabel Leonard as the feisty Rosina, Lawrence Brownlee as her conspiring flame, and Christopher Maltman as the endlessly resourceful and charming barber, himself. Michele Mariotti conducts the vivid and tuneful score.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 25mins – one intermission)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – Richard Wagner (releases on 10 January 2015)
James Levine returns to one of his signature Wagner works conducting this epic comedy—back at the Met for the first time in eight years—about a group of Renaissance “master singers” whose song contest unites a city. Michael Volle, Johan Botha, and Annette Dasch lead the superb international cast in this charming and magisterial celebration of the power of music and art.
(Approximate running time: 6hrs – two intermissions)
The Merry Widow – Franz Lehár (releases on 21 February 2015)
The great Renée Fleming stars as the beguiling femme fatale who captivates all Paris in Lehár’s enchanting operetta, seen in a new staging by Broadway virtuoso director and choreographer Susan Stroman (The Producers, Oklahoma!, Contact). Stroman and her design team of Julian Crouch (Satyagraha, The Enchanted Island) and costume designer William Ivey Long (Cinderella, Grey Gardens, Hairspray) have created an art-nouveau setting that climaxes with singing and dancing grisettes at the legendary Maxim’s. Nathan Gunn co-stars as Danilo and Kelli O’Hara is Valencienne. Andrew Davis conducts.
(Approximate running time: 2hrs, 57mins – one intermission. New production.)
Les Contes d’Hoffmann – Jacques Offenbach (The Tales of Hoffmann) (releases on 07 March 2015)
The magnetic tenor Vittorio Grigolo takes on the tortured poet and unwitting adventurer of the title of Offenbach’s operatic masterpiece, in the Met’s wild, kaleidoscopic production. Hibla Gerzmava, Christine Rice, and Erin Morley play the three heroines—each an idealized embodiment of some aspect of Hoffmann’s desire. Thomas Hampson portrays the shadowy Four Villains, and Yves Abel conducts the sparkling score.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 46mins – two intermissions)
Iolanta – Peter Tchaikovsky
Bluebeard’s Castle – Bela Bartók (releases on 21 March 2015)
On the heels of her triumphant Met performances in Eugene Onegin, soprano Anna Netrebko takes on another Tchaikovsky heroine in the first opera of this intriguing double bill, consisting of an enchanting fairy tale (Iolanta) followed by an erotic psychological thriller (Duke Bluebeard’s Castle). Netrebko stars as the beautiful blind girl who experiences love for the first time in Iolanta, while Nadja Michael is the unwitting victim of the diabolical Bluebeard, played by Mikhail Petrenko. Both operas are directed by Mariusz Trelinski, who was inspired by classic noir films of the 1940s. Iolanta also stars Piotr Beczala, and Valery Gergiev conducts both operas.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 39mins – one intermission. New production.)
La Donna del Lago – Gioacchino Rossini (releases on 11 April 2015)
Bel canto superstars Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez join forces for this Rossini showcase of vocal virtuosity, set in the medieval Scottish highlands and based on a beloved novel by Sir Walter Scott. DiDonato is the “lady of the lake” of the title, and Flórez is the king who relentlessly pursues her, their vocal fireworks embellishing the romantic plot in this Met premiere production conducted by Michele Mariotti.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 30mins – one intermission. New production.)
Cavalleria Rusticana – Pietro Mascagni
Pagliacci – Ruggero Leoncavallo (releases on 23 May 2015)
Opera’s most enduring tragic double bill returns in an evocative new production from Sir David McVicar, who sets the action across two time periods but in the same Sicilian village. Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the dual tenor roles of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci. Rae Smith (War Horse) has designed the moodily atmospheric 1900 village square setting of Cavalleria, which transforms to a 1948 truck stop for the doomed vaudeville troupe of Pagliacci. Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Pag) sing the unlucky heroines, and Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium.
(Approximate running time: 3hrs, 30mins – one intermission. New production.)