From Development server
22 April 2008

Met's 2008-09 Live in HD Season to Feature Eleven Transmissions to Some 800 Venues Worldwide

The Metropolitan Opera announced today details of its Live in HD offerings for the upcoming 2008-09 season, with the company planning to transmit performances of eleven operas - including five new productions and one Met premiere - to as many as 800 venues worldwide.

The Met also plans to increase the scope of its Live in HD transmissions - currently seen in some 600 theaters in seventeen countries - in order to meet demand, with its distribution network expanding to include additional venues in North America as well as countries including Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Ireland.

The company's Live in HD series begins on September 22, 2008, with a North America-only transmission of its Opening Night Gala performance. An October 11 transmission will mark the series' return to worldwide presentations, with subsequent showings taking place on Saturdays through May 9, 2009. The September 22 performance stars soprano Renée Fleming in staged performances of scenes from La Traviata, Manon and Capriccio, and will also feature tenor Ramón Vargas and baritones Thomas Hampson and Dwayne Croft; Met music director James Levine and Marco Armiliato will conduct.

The company's production of Salome will be transmitted on October 11, with soprano Karita Mattila reprising the title role alongside the Jochanaan of Juha Uusitalo; Mikko Franck conducts.

The Met premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic will play in HD on November 8, in a new production by director Penny Woolcock. Baritone Gerald Finley sings the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and will be joined by Sasha Cooke as his wife, Kitty, Eric Owens and Richard Paul Fink. Alan Gilbert conducts the performance.

Robert Lepage's new staging of La Damnation de Faust - reconceived from an earlier co-production by the Saito Kinen Festival and the Opéra National de Paris - will play on November 22, with James Levine conducting. Marcello Giordani sings the title role alongside Susan Graham's Marguerite and John Relyea as Méphistophélès.

Renée Fleming stars in a December 20 Live in HD transmission of Massenet's Thaïs, which takes the Met stage in a production by John Cox that originally played at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jesús López-Cobos conducts, and Thomas Hampson sings the role of Athanaël.

A January 10 HD transmission will feature Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna in Nicolas Joël's production of La Rondine, a co-production with the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Marco Armiliato wields the baton.

Mark Morris's production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice receives an HD broadcast on January 24, with Stephanie Blythe and Danielle de Niese singing the title roles under James Levine's baton.

Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón will star in Mary Zimmerman's staging of Lucia di Lammermoor on February 7, with Marco Armiliato conducting.

On March 7, Patrick Summers conducts Cristina Gallardo-Domâs's Cio-Cio-San and the Pinkerton of Marcello Giordani in Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly.

Mary Zimmerman's new production of Bellini's La Sonnambula, which stars Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, with Evelino Pidò conducting, will be transmitted on March 21.

The company's final HD presentation of the season, on May 9, will feature Elina Garanča in La Cenerentola, opposite the Don Ramiro of Lawrence Brownlee. Maurizio Benini conducts the performance.

Tickets for the company's 2008-09 Live in HD season will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada beginning in August. Tickets will be available for purchase by Met members in North America two weeks prior to the public sales date.

This season, the Met expanded the reach of its transmissions to include venues in Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland. In addition, the Met's distribution network transmitted the April 5 La Bohème performance to nineteen Princess Cruise Line ships en route to Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Cape Horn and Egypt. That live performance, viewed by an audience of more than 136,000 people, broke all of the company's previous Live in HD box office records. The Met plans to transmit encore performances of Bohème to venues in Canada, the U.S. and Europe on May 3, 14 and 19. Following the current season, which saw a total of eight productions transmitted, the company anticipates that nearly 900,000 people will have attended Live in HD broadcasts since its inception during the 2006-07 season.

More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera

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