Opera House Met Live Season continues with Philip Glass’ Akhnaten
Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high definition (HD) opera transmissions to theaters around the world, continues its 2019-20 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m., with Philip Glass’ “Akhnaten.”
Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’ masterpieces, following his now-legendary Met staging of Satyagraha. Star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is the title pharaoh, the revolutionary ruler who transformed ancient Egypt, with the striking mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti.
To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic music, McDermott has created an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts in her Met debut.
“Akhnaten” is one of Philip Glass’s three large-scale operas based on a “big idea,” in this case monotheism, following Einstein on the Beach, which dealt with new notions of time and space, and Satyagraha, which explored the spiritual and political revelation of non-violence. Satyagraha and Akhnaten, especially, deal largely with the unseen forces affecting the inner (psychological), interpersonal (political), and universal (mystical) aspects of existence, subjects that are uniquely portrayed by the composer’s entrancing musical lines.
The opera runs three hours, 30 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 Live at the Met Series is underwritten with support from Daniel S. Kaufman and Timothy W. Beaver.
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.