Broadcast

Metropolitan Opera Broadcast: The Enchanted Island 

Radio Broadcast and Live in HD Transmission of Saturday, January 21, 12:55 P.M. (HD), 1:00 P.M. (Radio)
 

Broadcast Enchanted Island hdl 1112
Set designs by Julian Crouch for The Enchanted Island
Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical Department/set designs by Julian Crouch
The 2011–12 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is sponsored by 
Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®,
with generous long-term support from The Annenberg Foundation and 
the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, 
and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

The Enchanted Island 

WORLD-PREMIERE PRODUCTION 
Devised and written by Jeremy Sams
Inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream 
Music by George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Jean-Philippe Rameau,
André Campra, Jean-Marie Leclair, Henry Purcell, Jean-Féry Rebel
THE CAST     (in order of vocal appearance)
Prospero     countertenor, DAVID DANIELS
Ariel     soprano, DANIELLE de NIESE
Sycorax     mezzo, JOYCE DiDONATO
Caliban     bass-baritone, LUCA PISARONI
Miranda     soprano, LISETTE OROPESA
Helena     soprano, LAYLA CLAIRE
Hermia     mezzo, ELIZABETH DeSHONG
Demetrius     tenor, PAUL APPLEBY
Lysander     baritone, ELLIOT MADORE
Neptune     tenor, PLÁCIDO DOMINGO
Ferdinand countertenor, ANTHONY
     ROTH COSTANZO
Quartet 1     soprano, ASHLEY EMERSON
Quartet 2     soprano, MONICA YUNUS
Quartet 3     tenor, PHILIPPE CASTAGNER
Quartet 4     bass, TYLER SIMPSON

Conducted by WILLIAM CHRISTIE

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus

Production: Phelim McDermott
Associate director and set designer:
     Julian Crouch
Costume designer: Kevin Pollard
Lighting designer: Brian MacDevitt
Choreographer: Graciela Daniele
Animation and projection design:
     Fifty Nine Productions
Musical advisor: Ellen Rosand
Dramaturge: Paul Cremo
Chorus master: Donald Palumbo
Musical preparation: Steven Eldredge,
     Dan Saunders, Carol Isaac, Steven White,
     Bradley Brookshire
Assistant stage directors: Peter McClintock,
     Sarah Ina Meyers, Kathleen Smith Belcher
Harpsichord continuo: William Christie,
     Bradley Brookshire
English coach: Erie Mills
Prompter: Carol Isaac

Production a gift of Dr. David G. Knott and
     Ms. Françoise Girard

Major funding from Rolex SA

Additional funding from the Edgar Foster
     Daniels Foundation, Mr. and Mrs.
     William R. Miller, and American Express
THE SCENES  (A remote island) Timings 
ACT I   1:00–2:27
    Sc. 1 Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 2 Sycorax's cave; Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 3 Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 4 Near Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 5 A ship out at sea  
    Sc. 6 The seashore  
    Sc. 7 The forest near Sycorax's cave;
a golden strand
 
    Sc. 8 Outside Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 9 A golden strand near Prospero's cell  
    Sc. 10 An enchanted grove  
    Sc. 11 Act I finale: Neptune's realm;
outside Prospero's cell
 
ACT II   2:57–4:14
    Sc. 1  The shore; Sycorax's side
of the island; the shore; Prospero's cell
 
    Sc. 2  Outside Prospero's cell: the Masque;
Ferdinand's ship
 
    Sc. 3  Lover's maze in a forest  
    Sc. 4  Act II finale: the shore  

Host: Margaret Juntwait
Commentator: Ira Siff
Music producer: Jay David Saks
Producers: Mary Jo Heath, Ellen Keel,
    William Berger
Executive producers: Mia Bongiovanni,
    Elena Park
Directed for Live Cinema by
Barbara Willis Sweete
HD host: Deborah Voigt

For more information on the broadcasts,
    please visit www.operainfo.org.

This performance is also being broadcast live
    on Metropolitan Opera Radio
    on SiriusXM channel 74. 

This performance will be transmitted live, in
    high definition and surround sound, into
    selected movie theaters. For information,
    visit www.metopera.org/hdlive.

THE STORY 

ACT I. Prospero, exiled Duke of Milan, lives on a remote island with his daughter, Miranda, surrounded by books, potions and instruments of magic. Prospero, having once taken up with the sorceress Sycorax, who ruled the island, loved her and left her, banishing her to the dark side of the island, stealing her sprite servant, Ariel, and enslaving her son, Caliban.

The story begins some sixteen years later, as an aging Prospero conceives a final plan to ensure Miranda's future happiness and end his exile. He divines that a ship is passing nearby, bearing the King of Naples and Prince Ferdinand, whom Prospero has destined for Miranda. Prospero commands Ariel to cast a spell that will conjure a storm and shipwreck the royals on the island. In return, he promises Ariel his freedom.

Broadcast Enchanted Island Caliban lg 112
Kevin Pollard costume design
Caliban

Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical
Department/costume designs by Kevin
Pollard

Caliban, who has overheard their conversation, rushes to tell Sycorax. Sensing that Prospero is vulnerable, Sycorax tells Caliban to steal a vial of dragon's blood from Prospero's cell, which she will use to restore her enfeebled powers, so she and Caliban can regain control of the island.

Prospero finds Miranda troubled by dreams and unfamiliar emotions. Meanwhile, Caliban steals the vial, vowing that he will rule the island with Miranda as his queen. He substitutes another vial of worthless lizard's blood. Ariel mistakenly uses this for the Tempest Spell, with catastrophic consequences: two pairs of honeymooning lovers — Helena and Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander — are shipwrecked and separately cast ashore on the island.

Prospero now commands Ariel to find Prince Ferdinand and cast a spell on him to ensure that Ferdinand and Miranda will fall in love immediately. But the first man Ariel sees is Demetrius, not Ferdinand. Ariel dutifully casts the spell on him and leads him to Miranda. The two fall in love, much to Prospero's fury.

Meanwhile, Lysander has come ashore, cursing Neptune for, as he thinks, washing his beloved Hermia out to sea. Ariel wrongly assumes that he has finally found Ferdinand and casts the spell to make Miranda and Lysander fall in love, much to Demetrius's fury.

On the other side of the island, an exhausted Helena arrives, observed by Sycorax, who decides she will give Helena to Caliban as his queen instead of Miranda, the daughter of her enemy. Using the stolen vial, Sycorax conjures a spell to make Helena fall in love with Caliban — much to his delight — and hopes the spell is strong enough to last.

Ariel, having cast a spell on the wrong man twice, realizes that the true Ferdinand must still be somewhere out at sea. Deciding to go to the very top, he calls upon Neptune for help. The sea god appears, furious that a human, Lysander, has been cursing him and angry that Ariel has disturbed his peace. Ariel begs Neptune to find Ferdinand, and Neptune finally agrees to scour the seas.

Prospero, observing the chaos he has wrought — lovers mismatched, Ariel frantic, Caliban running wild and Ferdinand nowhere in sight — despairs of ever achieving his dream.

Broadcast Enchanted Island hdl 2 112
Set designs by Julian Crouch for The Enchanted Island
Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical Department/set designs by Julian Crouch

ACT II. Hermia awakens from a nightmare, only to realize that her dream was all too true: her new husband, Lysander, was swept away from her in the storm. She runs off to find him and discovers him doting on Miranda — with no memory of his wife.

Sycorax, meanwhile, exults in her revived powers and the certainty that she will soon have her revenge on Prospero and regain control of the island for her son.

Broadcast Enchanted Island Ferdinand lg 2 1121
Kevin Pollard costume design for
Ferdinand

Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical
Department/costume designs by Kevin
Pollard

Hermia is reunited with Helena. Helena's memory and emotions have been stirred by the sight of Demetrius, despite the fact that he is with Miranda and fails to recognize her. Hermia and Helena bemoan the fickleness of men. Helena then takes off after Demetrius, spurning Caliban, who is crushed. Caliban rushes to Sycorax for consolation, but she explains that hearts that love can always be broken. 

Caliban, in his fury, steals a magic book from Prospero's cell and conjures a dream of himself as a potentate of the world, attended by loving subjects. When his fantasty spins out of control and the creatures turn on him, Prospero intervenes and disperses them.

Meanwhile, Neptune has found Ferdinand's ship and sent it racing toward the island. Ferdinand looks toward his future. Like Miranda, he has been dreaming of an elusive someone.

Ariel sets about putting matters to rights, leading the five mismatched lovers through a forest maze until they fall asleep side by side. Ariel's magic ensures that when they awaken, the lovers are paired with their proper and previous mates. The five make their way to the shore to see Ferdinand and the king arrive, greeted by Prospero. Ferdinand reads the pardon ending Prospero's exile. Seeing Miranda, he falls in love instantly, deeply and forever — without the aid of any spell.

Sycorax enters and challenges Prospero. When he rebuffs her, Neptune appears and takes her part, berating Prospero for victimizing others as he himself was once victimized. Ashamed, Prospero begs forgiveness of Sycorax and gives the island back to her and her son. Neptune extols the virtues of mercy, and Sycorax grants Prospero forgiveness. All join to celebrate a new day of joy, peace and love.

Broadcast Enchanted Island hdl 3 112
Kevin Pollard's costume designs for the mermen and mermaids
Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical Department/costume designs by Kevin Pollard

THE BACKGROUND 

Broadcast Enchanted Island Neptune lg 1112
Kevin Pollard's costume design for
Neptune in The Enchanted Island

Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical
Department/costume designs by Kevin
Pollard

The practice of creating pasticcios — works devised by assembling previously composed pieces, often by more than one composer, into a "new" score — is almost as old as opera itself. In more recent years, pasticcio was less likely to be found in the opera house than on Broadway, which was the venue for such works as Crazy for You (1992), a revision of the 1930 Gershwin musical Girl Crazy that made liberal use of Gershwin songs from other shows, and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002), an adaptation of a 1967 movie musical that combined new original music with songs from the film, as well as re-purposed tunes by Victor Herbert, Gilbert and Sullivan and Tchaikovsky.

The Met commissioned Jeremy Sams to create a new English-language libretto forThe Enchanted Island, a pasticcio set to the music of several Baroque composers — among them Handel, Rameau, Purcell and Vivaldi. Sams's storyline for the new opera uses characters and situations from two Shakespeare plays, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Enchanted Island had its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on December 31, 2011, with William Christie conducting. The production was directed and designed by the team of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, who were responsible for the Met's production of Satyagraha. The cast was headed by Joyce DiDonato (Sycorax), David Daniels (Prospero), Plácido Domingo (Neptune), Luca Pisaroni (Caliban) and Danielle de Niese (Ariel). spacer 

Send feedback to OPERA NEWS.



Follow OPERA NEWS on FacebookTwitter Button 

Current Issue: January 2015 — VOL. 79, NO. 6