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., March 10, at 1 p.m., with Gioachino Rossini’s Semiramide, last presented at the Met nearly 25 years ago.
This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks features an all-star bel canto cast that includes, in her Met role debut, Angela Meade, in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon.
Meade squares off in breathtaking duets with Elizabeth DeShong in the trouser role of Arsace, Commander of the Assyrian Army. Javier Camarena is the Indian king Idreno, Ildar Abdrazakov is Prince Assur, and Ryan Speedo Green is the high priest Oroe.
Semiramide is the culmination of the Italian phase of Rossini’s monumental yet unusual career. He had already produced such immortal comedies as Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Italiana in Algeri, but in the early 19th century he was celebrated above all else for his tragedies – none more so than Semiramide. For decades after its premiere, the opera swept through the music capitals of Europe and beyond, enthralling audiences with its urgent, transcendentally beautiful use of melody; undeniably exhilarating drama; and, most importantly, astonishing vocal displays.
The music of Semiramide combines the cherished assets of Rossini’s style – magnificent vocalism, irresistible melody, buoyant energy – with achievements unique to this score. The extremely difficult vocal style necessary for the solos is evident from the title character’s ravishing aria, “Bel raggio lusinghier.”
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 73 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.