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Friday, May 4

Just Announced Met@the Music Hall 2012 - 2013 season

Just Announced!
Met@the Music Hall
2012-2013 season: 12 opera broadcasts
Tickets on sale:
To new subscribers (members only): noon Saturday May 12
To members: noon Saturday May 19
To public: noon Saturday May 26
World Class Opera, Close to Home
Sit Back and Enjoy the Amenities….
Fine Concessions and Opera Box Lunches
Professional Upgrades Enhance the Experience….
Crisper, more Dynamic Sound, Brighter, Higher Resolution Image 
Engage with other Patrons and Experts throughout the Season….
Opera Circles Feature Inside Information and Lively Discussions
The Music Hall just announced the lineup for the 2012-2013 season of Met@The Music Hall opera broadcasts from Lincoln Center on screen at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The wildly popular operas are broadcast in high definition, and feature live interviews and a look at behind-the-scenes action.  In addition to The Music Hall’s usual assortment of fine concessions, the original Opera Box Lunch, now featuring sandwiches with fresh baked local bread, will be available in the lobby, along with wine, beer and an extensive pastry menu.

Thanks to The Music Hall’s Treasure the Future Capital Campaign donations, the Met@The Music Hall has undergone a makeover which provides patrons with both crisper, more dynamic sound and image. According to Chris Curtis, Programming Coordinator for The Music Hall, “Those benefits result from a major upgrade to the existing Dolby Digital Surround Sound System and to our digital projector and the fact that the huge screen has been moved closer to the audience.”

To keep the opera conversation going, there will be Opera Circle talks throughout the season. These fun and lively discussions offer patrons inside information from opera experts. Award-winning writer/producer, Dennis Neil Kleinman says of leading the Opera Circle talks that he loves the diversity, “We get everyone from some of the Seacoast’s best singers, instrumentalists and music history buffs who are glad to share their knowledge, to total neophytes who have never experienced an opera before and are looking for an introduction. Somehow it all works. We show scenes from the opera and analyze their themes and dramatic content. We discuss what was going on in the society at the time the opera was written and how it impacted the composer. We talk about how the opera was received - La Traviata was considered scandalous in its day! - and what about the opera has enabled it endure.”

“Seeing world class opera, close to home, at a reasonable price and in such a beautiful setting as The Music Hall’s Historic Theater makes for such a wonderful experience,” says Chris Curtis, “Come find out what everyone has been talking about – come to The Met @ The Music Hall!”

2012-13 Schedule of Live in HD transmissions

October 20 (Delayed) at 12 PM EDT  Approximate running time: 3:02
L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti) – New Production
The Live in HD season begins October 20 with a new production of Donizetti’s comic gem L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sherand conducted by Maurizio Benini. Anna Netrebko makes her Met role debut as the beautiful landowner Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Mariusz Kwiecien sings Adina’s arrogant fiancé, Sergeant Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri will sing the role of the magic potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara. “L’Elisir d’Amore is kind of two operas at the same time,” Sher says. “It’s an opera that’s a great entertainment, and it’s an opera that has something else happening underneath. It’s informed by when in Italian history it was written—you can see the early stirrings of a cry for independence.”

Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designed by: Jennifer Tipton
Cast: Anna Netrebko (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Mariusz Kwiecien (Belcore), Ambrogio Maestri (Doctor Dulcamara)

October 27 at 1 PM EDT Approximate running time: 3:27
Otello (Verdi)
Verdi’s towering masterpiece, based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, makes its first Live in HD appearance. Semyon Bychkov conducts an extraordinary cast led by Johan Botha in the title role of the jealous Moor of Venice, opposite Renée Fleming in one of her greatest roles, Otello’s innocent wife Desdemona. Falk Struckmann sings Iago, Otello’s disloyal ensign, and Michael Fabiano is the captain Cassio.
Conductor: Semyon Bychkov
Production: Elijah Moshinsky
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Eleanor Fazan
Cast: Renée Fleming (Desdemona), Johan Botha (Otello), Michael Fabiano (Cassio), Falk Struckmann (Iago)
November 10 at 1 PM Approximate running time: 3:30
The Tempest (Adès) – Met Premiere
British composer Thomas Adès makes his company debut conducting the Met premiere of his opera The Tempest, which has been widely praised as a modern masterpiece. Robert Lepage’s innovative production recreates the interior of the La Scala opera house as the magical island venue for the otherworldly arts of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan. Simon Keenlyside sings Prospero, as he did to critical acclaim in the opera’s world premiere at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. “The Tempest is an extraordinary, exquisite composition.” Lepage says. “The opera captures the magic of Shakespeare’s last play. It is a box full of magic tricks, which makes it a gift for me and for the designers.” The opera also stars Isabel Leonard as Prospero’s daughter, Miranda; Toby Spence as his brother, Antonio; Audrey Luna as the spirit Ariel; Iestyn Davies as the jester, Trinculo; Alek Shrader in his Met debut as the noble Ferdinand;Alan Oke as the monstrous Caliban; and William Burden as the King of Naples. The libretto, by Meredith Oakes, is adapted from the original text of Shakespeare’s play.

Conductor: Thomas Adès
Libretto: Meredith Oakes
Production: Robert Lepage
Set Designer: Jasmine Catudal
Costume Designer: Kym Barrett
Lighting Designer: Michel Beaulieu
Video Designer: David Leclerc
Cast: Audrey Luna (Ariel), Isabel Leonard (Miranda), Iestyn Davies (Trinculo), Alek Shrader (Ferdinand), Alan Oke (Caliban), William Burden (King of Naples), Toby Spence (Antonio), Simon Keenlyside (Prospero)

December 1 at 1 PM EST Approximate running time: 3:13
La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
Mozart’s final Italian opera, La Clemenza di Tito, features a charismatic cast conducted by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket and led byGiuseppe Filianoti as the title character, a Roman emperor. Barbara Frittoli is the vengeful Vitellia, daughter of a deposed ruler, whose plan to assassinate Tito is complicated by her romance with the young nobleman Sesto, sung by Elīna Garanča. Kate Lindseyand Lucy Crowe co-star as the young lovers Annio and Servilia. Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s stylized production is one of the legendary director’s most acclaimed stagings.

Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Set & Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Cast: Lucy Crowe (Servilia), Barbara Frittoli (Vitellia), Elīna Garanča (Sesto), Kate Lindsey (Annio), Giuseppe Filianoti (Tito)

December 8 at 1 PM Approximate running time: 3:54
Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi) – New Production

Verdi’s vivid drama of jealousy and vengeance will be seen in a new production by acclaimed opera director David Alden, returning to the Met for the first time in more than 20 years. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which stars Karita Mattila in her Met role debut as Amelia, Marcelo Álvarez as Gustavo III, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Anckarström, Stephanie Blythe as the fortuneteller Ulrica, and Kathleen Kim as the page Oscar. Alden, whose production is set in a dreamlike, early 20th-century Swedish environment, says that “Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s greatest and most brilliant scores, with a variety of different colors. It alternates between the light and the intensely melodramatic. Verdi pulls it all together with unbelievable theatrical energy.Ballo is theatrical dynamite.”

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Steinberg
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Choreographer: Maxine Braham
Cast: Karita Mattila (Amelia), Kathleen Kim (Oscar), Stephanie Blythe (Ulrica), Marcelo Álvarez (Gustavo III), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Anckarström)

December 22 (Delayed) at 12PM EST Approximate running time: 3:54
Aida (Verdi)

Verdi’s iconic opera set in ancient Egypt stars powerhouse Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who makes her Met debut in the title role of an enslaved Ethiopian princess. Olga Borodina, one of the world’s best-known interpreters of the role, sings Aida’s royal rival, Amneris, and Roberto Alagna is the hero Radamès, who must choose between his love for Aida and his duty to his country. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which also stars George Gagnidze as the Ethiopian king, Amonasro. Sonja Frisell’s spectacular staging uses the full theatrical capabilities of the Met stage to immerse the audience in the grandeur of ancient Egypt.

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Sonja Frisell
Set Designer: Gianni Quaranta
Costume Designer: Dada Saligeri
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Cast: Liudmyla Monastyrska (Aida), Olga Borodina (Amneris), Roberto Alagna (Radamès), George Gagnidze (Amonasro), Štefan Kocán (Ramfis), Miklós Sebestyén (The King)

January 5 at 12 PM EST Approximate running time: 5:41
Les Troyens (Berlioz)

Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed 2003 production of Berlioz’s Trojan War epic returns to the Met for its first revival. Fabio Luisi conducts a cast led by Marcello Giordani in the central role of Aeneas, the hero who flees the ruins of Troy for a new set of challenges in the North African kingdom of Carthage. Deborah Voigt reprises the role of the cursed Trojan prophetess Cassandra, which she sang in the new production premiere, and Susan Graham makes her Met role debut as Dido, the noble but heartbroken Queen of Carthage.

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Francesca Zambello
Set Designer: Maria Bjørnson
Costume Designer: Anita Yavich
Lighting Designer: James F. Ingalls
Choreographer: Doug Varone
Cast: Deborah Voigt (Cassandra), Susan Graham (Dido), Marcello Giordani (Aeneas), Dwayne Croft (Coroebus), Kwangchul Youn (Narbal)

January 19 at 1 PM EST Approximate running time: 3:15
Maria Stuarda (Donizetti) – Met Premiere

David McVicar, who directed last season’s Met premiere of Anna Bolena, directs the company premiere of the second opera in Donizetti’s famous trilogy of operas about Tudor history. “Donizetti’s three Tudor operas are very different in tone, mood, and musical content,” McVicar says. “With Maria Stuarda being a different kind of opera than last season’s Anna Bolena, which we presented with a great deal of historical accuracy, we’ve gone for a visual style which is freer. Rather than reflecting history, it reflects the romantic nature of this retelling of the story and the sweeping romantic nature of Donizetti’s music.” Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of the defiant Mary, Queen of Scots. South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s formidable rival, Queen Elizabeth I. Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Francesco Meli as the Earl of Leicester, Joshua Hopkins as Cecil, andMatthew Rose as Talbot.

Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: David McVicar
Set & Costume Designer: John MacFarlane
Lighting Designed By: Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer: Leah Hausman
Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever (Elisabetta), Francesco Meli (Leicester), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Rose (Talbot)

February 16 at 1 PM EST Approximate running time: 3:31
Rigoletto (Verdi)

Rising Italian conductor Michele Mariotti leads the new production premiere of Rigoletto, seen in a new staging by the Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer in his Met debut. Mayer’s approach transports the story from 16th-century Italy to Las Vegas in 1960, with a cast led by Željko Lučić in the title role, Diana Damrau as his daughter, Gilda, Piotr Beczala as the Duke of Mantua, Štefan Kocán as the assassin Sparafucile, and Oksana Volkova in her Met debut as Sparafucile’s seductive sister, Maddalena. “I’ve tried to imagine a recent world that captures the decadence of the Duke’s palace, where the participants are in pursuit of power, money, and beauty,” Mayer says. “Las Vegas in the ‘60s is such a world, where a kind of prankster energy could go bad—it’s the epitome of the kinds of events that happen in Rigoletto.”

Conductor: Michele Mariotti
Production: Michael Mayer
Set Designer: Christine Jones
Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
Choreographer: Steven Hoggett
Cast: Diana Damrau (Gilda), Oksana Volkova (Maddalena), Piotr Beczala (Duke of Mantua), Željko Lučić (Rigoletto),Štefan Kocán (Sparafucile)

March 2 at 12 PM EDT Approximate running time: 5:40
Parsifal (Wagner)

Jonas Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character in Parsifal, conducted by Daniele Gatti and directed by noted film and opera director François Girard in his Met debut. “Parsifal is not just an opera—it’s a mission. At the end of his life, Wagner was trying to reconcile all the aspects of his spirituality. It’s a sacred piece in the history of music,” Girard says. The cast also features Katarina Dalayman as Kundry, the mystical woman who tempts Parsifal; Peter Mattei in his role debut as Amfortas, king of the Knights of the Holy Grail; René Pape in one of his greatest roles, the wise old knight Gurnemanz; and Evgeny Nikitin as the magician Klingsor.

Conductor: Daniele Gatti
Production: François Girard
Set Designer: Michael Levine
Costume Designer: Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Lighting Designer: David Finn
Video Designer: Peter Flaherty
Choreographer: Carolyn Choa
Dramaturg: Serge Lamothe
Cast: Katarina Dalayman (Kundry), Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal), Peter Mattei (Amfortas), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), René Pape (Gurnemanz)

March 16 at 12 PM EDT Approximate running time: 3:57
Francesca da Rimini (Zandonai)

Zandonai’s early 20th-century melodrama Francesca da Rimini returns to the Met for its first revival in more than 25 years, in Piero Faggioni’s opulent and realistic production. Marco Armiliato conducts Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role of a noblewoman who is tricked into marrying the brutal Gianciotto, sung by Mark Delavan, instead of her true love Paolo, sung by Marcello Giordani. Robert Brubaker sings the wicked Malatestino, whose jealousy incites a murder.

Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Production: Piero Faggioni
Set Designer: Ezio Frigerio
Costume Designer: Franca Squarciapino
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Choreographer: Donald Mahler
Cast: Eva-Maria Westbroek (Francesca), Marcello Giordani (Paolo), Robert Brubaker (Malatestino), Mark Delavan (Gianciotto)

April 28 (Delayed) at 12 PM  Approximate running time: 4:31
Giulio Cesare (Handel)

Cast: Natalie Dessay (Cleopatra), Alice Coote (Sesto), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), David Daniels (Giulio Cesare), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Guido Loconsolo (Achilla) David McVicar’s second new production of the season is this dynamic staging of Giulio Cesare, a hit at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, which incorporates elements of Baroque theater and 19th-century British imperialism to illuminate the opera’s themes of love, war, and empire building. “Giulio Cesare is a kaleidoscope of an opera—a semi-comic, semi-tragic adventure story. You get romance, you get drama, you get moments of political wheeling-and-dealing, complex family relationships—as well as real emotion and tragedy,” McVicar says. “It’s a miracle, and it has enabled me to express everything I feel is important about opera.” David Danielsstars as the title character, opposite Natalie Dessay in her Met role debut as the bewitching Cleopatra, Alice Coote as Sesto, Patricia Bardon as Cornelia, Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo, and Guido Loconsolo in his Met debut as Achilla.

Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: David McVicar
Set Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George

Met@The Music Hall Series Sponsors

Me & Ollie’s; New Hampshire Public Television ; Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN)

Tickets for Met@The Music Hall

Tickets are $27.50 ($24.50 for members) per show, 18 & under: $15. Tickets on sale to new subscribers (members only): noon Saturday May 12 (phone, walk-up only); to members: noon Saturday May 19; and to public: noon Saturday May 26. Tickets can be purchased at The Music Hall box office, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, on the phone at 603.436.2400, or online at www.themusichall.org.

Praise for Met @ The Music Hall

“My longstanding appreciation for The Music Hall and its offerings has grown even stronger as a result of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. The performances are wonderful, and the venue makes the experience special.” – Barbara T. Cooper, Music Hall member and UNH professor
“I’m telling all of my friends to go to The Music Hall … the sound is great, the theater is beautiful and comfortable, you see the singers up close, and everyone…is nice and easy to talk to.” – David Jefferson, member

Praise for The Met broadcasts:

“The Met’s experiment of merging film with live performances has created a new art form… This venture may be the most significant development in opera since the supertitle.” – The Los Angeles Times
the best of big city life” –  Wall Street Journal

“High C’s in High Def…Bravo!” – The Boston Globe

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