Live at the Met season concludes with Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier
Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high definition (HD) opera transmissions to theaters around the world, concludes its 2016-17 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday, May 13, at 12:30 p.m., with Richard Strauss’ grandest opera Der Rosenkavalier.
The Met’s first new production since 1969 of Strauss’s rich, romantic masterpiece stars Renee Fleming in her final performance of one of her signature roles — the Marschallin. The production also includes Elina Garanca as Octavian and Gunther Groissbock as Baron Ochs; Erin Morley is Sophie.
In his new production, Robert Carsen places the action at the end of the Habsburg Empire, underscoring the opera’s subtext of class and conflict against a rich backdrop of gilt and red damask. Set in an idealized Vienna of the past, Strauss’s most popular opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover but ultimately forced to accept the laws of time, giving him up to a pretty young heiress.
The New York Observer praises the production, and in particular, Netrebko’s performance: “The centerpiece of the opera is a long aria for Tatiana in which she composes a letter declaring her love for the sophisticated Onegin, whom she has only just met. Tchaikovsky’s music depicts a range of emotion from self-doubt to ecstasy, and Netrebko was so gorgeously committed to the truth of the scene that it was easy to overlook the sheer beauty of her singing. Particularly delicious was her use of a firm mezzo-piano dynamic, perfectly audible throughout the theater and yet feeling as intimate as a whisper.”
Critics are calling the production a “revelation!” Huffington Post called it “A Rosenkavalier not to be missed … Renee Fleming soars to new heights. A final chance to see one of our greatest sopranos sing one of the most moving characters in the repertory.”
The New York Times praises the performance: “Fleming should be proud of the magnificent performance she gave… She sang beautifully on this milestone night for her, and for opera … Garanca’s plush, sensual voice is ideal … The sweet-voice Erin Morley makes an utterly charming Sophie … Gunther Groissbock’s muscular sound and declamatory style are perfect … Sebastian Weigle led a distinguished performance.” The production has a run time of four hours, 12 minutes with two intermissions.
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 70 countries, making the Met the only arts institution with an ongoing global art series of this scale. Met Opera stars serve as hosts for the series, conducting live interviews with cast members, crew and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features; altogether, the worldwide audience is given an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world’s great houses.
Individual tickets to each of the operas in the season are $20, ($18 Opera House members, $10 students). Tickets may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org.
The Opera House is equipped with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired. Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.