Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera's award-winning series of live, high definition opera transmissions to theaters around the world, continues its 2013-14 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday at 1 p.m., with Antonin Dvorak's classic opera Rusalka, starring superstar soprano Renee Fleming.
"We're very excited to be participating in our third full season of Live at the Met broadcasts," notes Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. "The audiences, while small, have been extremely enthusiastic about this series. There's just something exhilarating about seeing an opera production presented by one of the world's foremost companies and seeing it right here in Fredonia at the same time audiences in NYC are seeing it live. We encourage people to come see what all the fuss is about!"
In this Met production, Fleming sings her first Live in HD performance of one of her signature roles, the title character in Dvorak's sumptuously melodic Rusalka. The story of the opera, which is about a water spirit's tragic romance with a human prince, is drawn from several folktale sources including Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." Fleming won the Met's National Council Auditions 25 years ago singing the forlorn mermaid's famous aria "Song to the Moon" and has sung the role of Rusalka more than any other artist in Met history.
The Opera House continues its presentation of the 2013-14 Live at the Met season with Antonin Dvorak’s classic opera Rusalka, starring superstar soprano Renee Fleming, on Saturday at 1 p.m. Fleming performed at the Super Bowl on Sunday, singing the National Anthem.
On Sunday, Fleming sang the National Anthem, making her the first opera singer to be given this honor.
Conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads a cast that also includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince Rusalka yearns to love, Dolora Zajick as the cackling swamp witch Jezibaba, Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess, Rusalka's rival, and John Relyea as Rusalka's father, the Water Sprite. The opera runs approximately four hours with two intermissions.
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 64 countries, making the Met the only arts institution with an ongoing global art series of this scale. The Met was the first arts company to experiment with this type of broadcast, beginning on a modest scale in 2006 and growing every season since then, with more than 10 million tickets sold to date.
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, $15 students). The Opera House also offers a flexible subscription consisting of eight tickets that can be used however the patron wants - one at a time to eight different operas, all at once for eight people, or anything in between. It is $142. 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 remaining 2013-14 Live at the Met season operas include: Borodin's Prince Igor on March 1; Massenet's Werther on March 15; Puccini's La Boheme on April 5; Mozart's Cosi fan tutte on April 26; and Rossini's La Cenerentola on May 10.
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.
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.