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 2017-18 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Sat., Oct. 14, at 1 p.m., with Wolfgang Mozart’s comedic Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).
Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts the full-length, German version of Mozart’s magical fable, in Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor’s spectacular production, which captures both the opera’s earthy comedy and its noble mysticism.
The story is a sublime fairy tale that was written originally for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a Singspiel (“song-play”) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score.
The varied tone of the work requires singers who can specialize in several different musical genres. The comic and earthy are represented by the baritone, Papageno, while true love in its noblest forms is conveyed by the tenor, Tamino, and the soprano, Pamina. The bass, Sarastro, expresses the solemn and the transcendental. The use of the chorus is spare but hauntingly beautiful, and fireworks are provided by the coloratura Queen of the Night.
Golda Schultz makes her Met debut at Pamina with Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Charles Castronova as the fairy tale prince Tamino, Markus Werba as the bird-catching Papageno, Christian Van Horn as Sprechter and Rene Pape as Sarastro. The production has a run time of three hours, nine 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.
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.