The 1891 Fredonia Opera House continues the 2011-12 season of Live at the Met high definition opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera with Jules Massenet's Manon, on Saturday at noon.
"We're very excited to be participating in our first full season of live opera transmissions; there's something very exhilarating about presenting the broadcasts as they are being performed live at the Met," says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. "And this week's offering, Manon, is one of the genre's most popular and enduring operas."
Manon is the story of a country girl with conflicting desires for love and luxury who is drawn into a life of glamorous but hollow Parisian sophistication. The production features star soprano Anna Netrebko singing her first Met performances of the title role. Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Chevalier des Grieux, a young nobleman who falls in love with Manon; Paulo Szot sings the role of Lescaut, Manon's protective cousin who struggles with temptations of his own; and David Pittsinger sings the Comte des Grieux, who wants his son out of Manon's arms and into a respectable future. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Massenet's passionate opera, seen in a stylish new production by Laurent Pelly that was a sensational hit when Manon opened at London's Covent Garden in 2010.
Anna Netrebko sings the title role in Massenet’s Manon. The opera will be screened live in high definition at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday starting at noon.
The New York Times hails Netrebko's performance: "With her rich, gleaming sound and vocal charisma, [Netrebko] was a Manon of rare intensity and emotional depth Mr. Beczala's ardent, virile voice sounded wonderful."
The Associated Press also praises the production. "Netrebko's full-blooded, vocally virtuosic Manon is at first surprising in a role usually sung by lighter, more delicate voicesbut the Russian soprano's supercharged voice is a fine fit for a production that paints a picture of ravishing Paris with a knife in it."
The broadcast runs four hours, five minutes, notes Davis. "There are two 30-minute intermissions," 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, Steve and Mary Rees and DFT Communications.
Tickets to Manon are $20 ($18 for Opera House and Met members, $15 for students) and are available in advance by visiting or calling the Box Office at 679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. They also may be purchased anytime online at www.fredopera.org.
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.