Met Live season kicks off with Puccini’s beloved ‘Turandot’
Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high definition (HD) opera transmissions to theaters around the world, kicks off its 2019-20 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m., with Giacomo Puccini’s beloved masterpiece ‘Turandot.’ This production falls during the Feeding Fredonia Food Challenge, of which the Opera House and the village of Fredonia are participants.
Franco Zeffirelli’s spectacular staging of Puccini’s final opera returns to cinemas, with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Beubauer Music Director, conducting his first Puccini opera with the Met company.
Powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke takes on the icy title princess, alongside tenor Yusif Eyvazov as the unknown prince vying for her love.
The opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody.
The large Turandot orchestra calls for a wide variety of instruments, including alto saxophones, celesta, bass xylophone, harps, and an organ. There are several genuine Chinese themes that are integrated into the score in a suave and brilliantly original manner, including the big imperial anthem in Act II. The opera also contains moments of sheer melodic beauty in Puccini’s most lyrical vein, most notably in the tenor’s unforgettable song of triumph, “Nessun dorma,” which opens Act III. The production has a run time of three hours, two minutes, with two intermissions.
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 73 countries across six continents, 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 27 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, $10 students). A flexible subscription of eight tickets which can be used however you want — one at a time to eight different operas, all at once for eight people, or anything in between — is available for $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 Opera House and Village of Fredonia are participants in the Feeding Fredonia Challenge, which runs October 7-18. Patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event. Items collected will be given to the Fredonia Food Pantry at the Fredonia Presbyterian Church. The goal is to collect nearly 3 tons of food for neighbors in need! Food items particularly needed include beans, canned fruit, canned meats, canned vegetables, cereals, coffee, dry milk, peanut butter, rice, soups, spaghetti sauce, pastas, canned spaghetti sauce and jelly.
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.