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February 2008

Southern California Met Live in HD Theaters 2007-2008


It is a bit odd that there are no locations in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, or Imperial counties. I suppose for Santa Barbara, Ventura is only about half an hour away. But El Centro (the county seat of Imperial County) is 114 miles from San Diego. If one lives in San Luis Obispo one could go all the way to Bakersfield (122.2 miles, 2 hours 37 minutes) or Ventura (132.8 miles, 2 hours 48 minutes). Since most of the performances start at 10 in the morning, it means one would have to be up somewhat early for a Saturday.

Ventura County:
Cinemark Century Stadium 16
2875 Elba Street
Ventura, CA 93001

Los Angeles County:
Regal Edwards Renaissance Stadium 14
One East Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801

AMC Burbank 16
125 East Palm Ave
Burbank, CA 91502

National Amusements The Bridge
6081 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045

The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre
3507 Trousdale Pkwy.
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Cinemark 22
2600 West Avenue I
Lancaster, CA 93534

Cinemark Antelope Valley Mall
1475 West Avenue P
Palmdale, CA 93551

Regal Edwards Valencia 12
24435 Town Center Drive
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

AMC Promenade 16
21801 Oxnard Street
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

San Bernardino County:
AMC Ontario Mills 30
4549 Mills Circle
Ontario, CA 91764

Cinemark 16 Victorville
14470 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA 92392

Orange County:
Cinemark Century 20 Bella Terra in Huntington Beach
7777 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Regal Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 & IMAX
65 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Cinemark Century Stadium 25
1701 W. Katella Avenue
Orange, CA 92868

AMC 30 at The Block
20 City Blvd. West, Bldg. E
Orange, CA 91764

Riverside County:
Cinemark Century Theatres at The River
71800 Highway 111
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

San Diego County:
AMC La Jolla Village 12
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

Regal UA Horton Plaza 14
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

Regal Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium 18 & IMAX
10733 Westview Parkway
San Diego, CA 92126

AMC Mission Valley 20
1640 Camino Del Rio, North
San Diego, CA 92108

California Central Valley Met Live in HD Theaters 2007-2008


There are a mere nine locations for those who live in the Central Valley of California to watch and hear the Met Opera - Live in HD performances. The Sacramento Metropolitan area is well covered, which makes sense given that it is the most highly populated in the Central Valley. Fresno and Bakersfield have one theater each, and Stockton and Modesto are reasonably close to Tracy, which is a rather smaller city than either of those two. But if one happens to live in Visalia, the nearest location is 45.78 miles north in Fresno. The nearest location to Merced is also Fresno, 49.41 miles south.

North Sacramento Valley:
Cinemark Chico
801 East Avenue
Chico, CA 95926

Cinemark Movies 10
980 Old Alturas Road
Redding, CA 96003

Sacramento Metro:
Cinemark Roseville 14
1555 Eureka Road
Roseville, CA 95661

Cinemark Downtown Plaza
445 Downtown Plaza
Sacramento, CA 95814

Regal Natomas Marketplace Stadium 16
3561 Truxel Road
Sacramento, CA 95834

Cinemark Sacramento Stadium 14
1590 Ethan Way
Sacramento, CA 95825

North San Joaquin:
Cinemark Movies 14
3300 N. Naglee Road
Tracy, CA 95376

South San Joaquin:
Regal Bakersfield Stadium 14
9000 Ming Avenue, Suite G
Bakersfield, CA 93307

Regal Fresno Stadium 22 & IMAX
250 Paseo del Centro
Fresno, CA 93720

Bay Area Met Live in HD Theaters 2007-2008

San Francisco:
Cinemark Century San Francisco Centre 9
835 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

North Bay:
The Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Cinemark Century Northgate 15
7000 Northgate Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

Rialto Cinemas Lakeside
551 Summerfield Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

The Peninsula:
Cinemark Century 20 Daly City
1901 Junipero Serra Blvd.
Daly City, CA 94015

Cinemark Century 20 Downtown Redwood City
825 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063

Cinemark Century 12 Downtown San Mateo
320 East 2nd Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401

East Bay:
Regal Hacienda Crossings Stadium 21 & IMAX
5000 Dublin Blvd
Dublin, CA 94568

AMC Bay Street 16
5614 Bay Street  Ste 220
Emeryville, CA 94608

Cinemark Century 16 Downtown Pleasant Hill
125 Crescent Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Cinemark Century 25 Union City
32100 Union Landing
Union City, CA 94587

Cinemark Century 14 Downtown Walnut Creek
1201 Locust Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

South Bay:
Cinemark Century 20 Great Mall
1010 Great Mall Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035

Cinemark Century Cinemas 16
1500 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043

Cinemark CinéArts at Santana Row
3088 Olsen Drive
San Jose, CA 95128

AMC Eastridge 15
2190 Eastridge Loop
San Jose, CA 95122

Cinemark Century 20 Oakridge
925 Blossom Hill Road
San Jose, CA 95123

Cinemark Century Cinemas at Del Monte Center
1700 Del Monte Center
Monterey, CA 93940

LA Opera's 2008-2009 Season

September 6-26 2008: Il Trittico
September 7-26 2008: The Fly
October 2-18 2008: Madama Butterfly
November 15- December 14 2008: Carmen
January 10-25 2009: Die Zauberflöte
February 21- March 15 2009: Das Rheingold
April 4-25 2009: Die Walküre
April 11-26 2009: Die Vögel
May 21- June 21 2009: La Traviata

Two U.S. premieres and the company's first Der Ring des Nibelungen. Quite a lot of film directors this season: William Friedkin (Il Tabarro/Suor Angelica), David Cronenberg, and Woody Allen (Gianni Schicchi). I'm most interested in hearing Nathan Gunn as Papageno and Plácido Domingo as Siegmund. I have to say I'm disappointed that LA Opera is starting Der Ring the same year as Seattle Opera and Washington National Opera, and only a year after San Francisco Opera unveils Francesca Zambello's production on the West Coast.

Press Release [PDF] | 2008-2009 Season Official Site

Tito Beltrán News

Tenor Tito Beltrán goes on trial this Friday. Interestingly this article says that the singer performs regularly at San Francisco Opera, and I don't remember him at all. As it happens, I have heard him, at one of the six performances of L'Elisir d'Amore at SF Opera in 2000, as Nemorino. He also sang seven performances in 1997 as Rodolfo in La Bohème, three performances in 1997 as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, and four performances in 1999 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor.

Official Site | The Local Article

Seattle Opera's 2008-2009 Season

August 2-23 2008: Aida
August 16 2008: International Wagner Competition
October 18- November 1 2008: Elektra
January 10-24 2009: Les Pêcheurs de Perles
February 21- March 7 2009: Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung
May 2-16 2009: Le Nozze di Figaro

I may avoid Aida, as Andrea Gruber is in the title role, and her vibrato is overwhelming. I am not terribly fond of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, but William Burden will sing Nadir, so I might just go, considering it is also during the San Francisco Opera hiatus. I am most interested in hearing Bluebeard's Castle, as I missed this in Los Angeles. John Relyea is singing the title role in Seattle. Mariusz Kwiecien is singing the Count in Figaro, but the rest of the cast may not be up to his level.

Seattle PI Article

Hansel and Gretel Live in HD Met Simulcast

Hansel and Gretel by Rackham* Notes *
The Met's simulcast of Hansel and Gretel aired today. The production, by Richard Jones, is new to the Met and opened on Christmas Eve. Created for
Welsh National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, the staging is rather dark. Act I is nearly all grey, Act II takes place in an oppressive green room meant to be the woods, and Act III has much grey again, though the sweets do add some color. Though many of the costumes look like Tracht, for the most part this is not a storybook come to life, but has a more contemporary and surrealistic aesthetic. The dream sequence in Act II is especially amusing, featuring many chefs and an attendant with a fish head. There are a few weaknesses in the staging, it was a bit odd when Hansel and Gretel smear berries on themselves in Act II, considering that they are supposedly starving. Parts of Act III made little sense, as there is no house, gingerbread or otherwise, representing the Witch's abode. When Hansel and Gretel sing about the tempting house, and they eat from a large cake on top of an enormous tongue sticking out of a mouth painted on a scrim.

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski kept things going at a good pace, though the orchestra and singers (Rosalind Plowright and Alan Held as Gertrude and Peter, the parents) were slightly off near the end of Act I. Christine Schäfer had some shrill notes in the beginning as Gretel, but sounded fine once warmed up. I had her pegged as a German from the start, her open-mid front unrounded vowel in "black" and "cap" gave her away. This was, obviously, quite minor, she was perfectly understandable. Alice Coote sounded and looked convincing as Hansel. Philip Landridge was wonderful as the Witch. I was most surprised by Sasha Cooke as the Sandman, her voice was clear and tender.

* Tattling *
Theater 12 at the AMC Bay Street 16 was mostly full, though not sold-out. The image was not clear from the third row, the edges of light objects were not smooth and seemed to move. The effect was strangely watery. The sound was good from this location, though I heard other patrons who had been in the back heard echoes. The image did go fuzzy at one point in Act III, and the sound also was disturbed once after that, both incidences occurred when the Witch was singing.

Renée Fleming hosted the simulcast, she made us aware that there would be some shots from backstage during the overture, she spoke to the lead singers at intermission, and so forth. The simulcast had many close-ups, and one could see the performance in a way one could never experience it at the opera house itself. One could appreciate many details that could not be seen from afar. Most of the time, this was great, but I would have rather not seen Rosalind Plowright spit out her food quite so vividly in Act I. One was even able to see Alice Coote's fillings in Act III.