The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will launch the 2011-12 season of Live at the Met high definition opera broadcasts with Gaetano Donizetti's Anna Bolena on Saturday at 1 p.m.
"We're very excited to be presenting our first full season of live opera transmissions," says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. "We enjoyed a successful summer of encore presentations; but there's something very electric about presenting the live broadcasts as they are being performed at the Met. We've been looking forward to this for some time."
In Anna Bolena, Metropolitan Opera star soprano Anna Netrebko takes on the legendary title role in Donizetti's bel canto masterpiece, which has been a musical and dramatic showpiece for many of history's greatest singers. The opera, based on the final tragic days of Anne Boleyn, makes its Met premiere in this new production by David McVicar, whose staging of Il Trovatore was a best-selling Live at the Met presentation last season.
Stephen Costello is Lord Percy and Anna Netrebko is the title character in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. The opera will be screened live in high definition at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
Powerhouse Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova sings the role of Giovanna Seymour, Bolena's lady-in-waiting and romantic rival. Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov is the cruel King Enrico (Henry) VIII. Stephen Costello and Tamara Mumford are the queen's allies, Lord Percy and Smeaton. Italian conductor Marco Armiliato leads the Met Orchestra in what is widely considered one of Donizetti's finest scores.
The Associated Press says Netrebko "scores a huge success in her most challenging role yet she can melt our hearts one moment with a soft high C of great delicacy, then pin us to the backs of our seats the next with a ferocious outburst of notes." The New York Times notes that she performed "with a defiance that brought down the house."
The broadcast lasts four hours 10 minutes, notes Davis. "There is one intermission," he adds, "during which the Opera House will have snacks, beverages and box lunches available for purchase in the trustees room on the second floor of Village Hall." No food or beverage is allowed inside the theatre.
Live at the Met opera broadcasts are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. Additional support comes from Bob and Shirley Coon, Bob and Susan Dilks, and DFT Communications.
Tickets to Anna Bolena are $20 ($18 for Opera House and Met members, $15 for students) and are available in advance by calling or visiting the Box Office at 679-1891 Tuesday Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Saturday, 2-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org. A subscription to all 11 opera broadcasts in the 2011-12 season is available for $193.
Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, 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.