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 2017-18 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Sat., Oct. 7, at 1 p.m., with a new staging of Vincenzo Bellini’s masterpiece Norma.
The opera stars Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role of the Druid priestess and Joyce DiDonato as her rival, Adalgisa – a casting coup for fans of bel canto opera.
Radvanovsky sang the role to acclaim at the Met in 2013, as well as at the Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Gran Teatre de Liceu, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, making her one of the world’s leading interpreters of the iconic title character.
Tenor Joseph Calleja is Pollione, Norma’s unfaithful lover; and Carl Rizzo conducts. Sir David McVicar’s evocative production sets the action deep in a Druid forest where nature and ancient ritual rule.
Norma is an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal challenge, and dramatic power. It examines an ageless and archetypal situation: a powerful woman compromises her ideals for love, only to find herself betrayed by her lover. But equally gripping is her relationship with the younger woman who is the new object of her former lover’s attention and in whom Norma sees both a rival and a second self. The title role demands dramatic vocal power combined with the agility and technique of a coloratura singer. It is a daunting challenge that few can rise to – those who have are part of operatic lore.
The production has a run time of three hours, 20 minutes, with one intermission.
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 70 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, $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 is equipped with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired. Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member. Headset funding provided by Robert & Marilyn Maytum, the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, the Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club, and by a grant from Theatre Development Fund’s TAP Plus program in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts.
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.