Live in HD Met Simulcasts

Enchanted Island Live in HD Met Simulcast


 * Notes *
The Metropolatian Opera's new Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island, was shown as a simulcast yesterday. The English libretto, created by Jeremy Sams, uses characters from Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream and The Tempest. "Arise, ye subterranean winds" from The Tempest, or, The Enchanted Island, which has been attributed to Purcell, was the only piece from this work. The score starts off with the overture from Alcina, and employs 26 other pieces by Händel, the majority of these from his operas and oratorios. The rest of the music is mostly Vivaldi and Rameau. Arias from André Campra's Idoménée and Jean-Marie Leclair's Scylla et Glaucus were included, along with dance music from Jean-Féry Rebel's Les Éléments, and a cantata from Giovanni Battista Ferrandini. It was a rather entertaining spectacle, and the music held together fairly well. I was disoriented at times by pieces I knew, as they had such different texts, but it was not unpleasant as much as vaguely dizzying.

Phelim McDermott's production has a lot of charm, in no small part because of the detailed set by Julian Crouch. The proscenium reminded me of H. R. Giger or Steampunk, and some of the projections used were rather ornate. Though some of the trees and roots looked inelegantly bulbous, overall, the aesthetic sense was consistent and attractive.

The orchestra sounded clean and speedy under William Christie. There were times when the singers were slightly behind. The quartet "Days of pleasure, nights of love" in Act I sounded somewhat chaotic, though all the singers had lovely voices. Luca Pisaroni made for a light, reedy Caliban, his lightly accented English was perfectly comprehensible. Plácido Domingo made two stunning entrances as Neptune, but his diction was less than clear. Anthony Roth Costanzo's Ferdinand sounded bright and winsome. Lisette Oropesa's Miranda was likewise pretty and mincing. Danielle de Niese acted Ariel with utter conviction, sprightly and breathy. David Daniels was strong as Prospero, and seemed as robust as ever. Joyce DiDonato (pictured above, photograph by Ken Howard) was splendid as Sycorax, her voice nimble, but she seemed unafraid to create ugly sounds when necessary.

* Tattling *
The placement of one of the microphones picked up the sound of objects striking the stage all too clearly on at least three occasions.

Northern California Met Live in HD Theaters 2010-2011

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

Cinemark CinéArts Empire 3
85 W Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127

Marin County:
The Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

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

Cinemark Cinearts Sequoia 2
25 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Sonoma County:
Rialto Cinemas Lakeside
551 Summerfield Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Napa County:
Cinemark Napa 8
825 Pearl Street
Napa, CA 94559

Mendocino County:
Arena Theatre
210 Main Street
Point Arena, CA 65468

San Mateo County:
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 Theatres at Tanforan
1188 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066

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

Alameda County:
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 Hayward
1069 B Street
Hayward, CA 94541

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

Contra Costa County:
Cinemark Blackhawk Plaza
4175 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Danville, CA 94506

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

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

Santa Clara County:
AMC Cupertino 16
10123 N Wolfe Rd
Cupertino, CA 95014

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 Palo Alto CinéArts 2
3000 El Camino Real, Building 6
Palo Alto, CA 94306

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

Sutter County:
Cinemark Yuba City
1410 Whyler Road
Yuba City, CA 95993

Santa Cruz County:
Regal Santa Cruz 9
1405 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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

Southern California Met Live in HD Theaters 2010-2011

San Luis Obispo County:
Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

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

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

AMC Santa Anita
400 S Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007

AMC Burbank 16
125 East Palm Avenue
Burbank, CA 91502

AMC AMC Glendora 12
1337 E Gladstone Street
Glendora, CA 91740

Regal Long Beach 26
7501 Carson Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90808

Regal LA Live
1000 W Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015

The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Bridge De Lux with IMAX
6081 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045

AMC Century City 15
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Cinemark 22
2600 West Avenue I
Lancaster, CA 93534

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

AMC Puente Hills 20
1560 South Azusa Avenue
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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:
Cinemark Jess Ranch
18935 Bear Valley Road
Apple Valley, CA 92308

AMC Ontario Mills 30
4549 Mills Circle
Ontario, CA 91764

Cinemark 16 Victorville
14470 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA 92392

Orange County:
Cinemark Huntington Beach 20
7777 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Regal Irvine Spectrum 20 & IMAX
65 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Cinemark Orange Stadium Promenade 25
1701 West Katella Avenue
Orange, CA 92868

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

AMC Tustin Legacy 14
2457 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782

Riverside County:  
Regal Palm Springs Courtyard Stadium 9
789 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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

AMC Galleria at Tyler 16
3775 Tyler Street
Riverside, CA 92503

Regal Temecula 15
40750 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA 92591

San Diego County:
AMC Otay Ranch 12
2015 Birch Road
Chula Vista, CA 91915

AMC La Jolla Village 12
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

AMC Plaza Bonita 14
3050 Plaza Bonita Road
National City, CA 91950

Regal Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

Regal 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

Regal San Marcos 18
101180 West San Marcos
San Marcos, CA 92078

Imperial County:
Cinemark Imperial Valley Mall 14
3651 S Dogwood Road
El Centro, CA 92243

Santa Barbara County:
Arlington Theatre
1317 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Music Academy of the West
1070 Fairway
Santa Barbara, CA 93108 

California Central Valley Met Live in HD Theaters 2010-2011

Shasta County:
Cinemark Movies 10
980 Old Alturas Road
Redding, CA 96003

Butte County:
Cinemark Chico
801 East Avenue
Chico, CA 95926

Placer County:
Cinemark Roseville 14
141555 Eureka Road
Roseville, CA 95661

El Dorado County:
Regal El Dorado Hills Stadium 13
2101 Vine Street
El Dorado Hills, CA, 95762

Sacramento County:
Cinemark Laguna 16
9349 Big Horn Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Cinemark Folsom 14
261 Iron Point Road
Folsom, CA 95630

Cinemark Downtown Plaza
445 Downtown Plaza
Sacramento, CA 95814

Cinemark Greenback Lane 16
6233 Garfield Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95841

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

Cinemark Sacramento Stadium 14
1590 Ethan Way
Sacramento, CA 95825

San Joaquin County:
Kerasotes ShowPlace 16
848 Lifestyle Street
Manteca, CA 95336

Regal Stockton City Centre 16
222 N El Dorado Street
Stockton, CA 95202

Merced County:
Hollywood Mainplace Stadium Cinema
403 West Main
Merced, CA 95340

Fresno County:
Regal Fresno Stadium 21 plus IMAX
250 Paseo del Centro
Fresno, CA 93720

Kern County:
Regal Bakersfield Stadium 14
9000 Ming Avenue, Suite G
Bakersfield, CA 93307

Pacific Northwest Met Live in HD Theaters 2010-2011

Washington State:
Regal Auburn Stadium 17
1101 Super Mall Way, Suite 901
Auburn, WA 98001

Cinemark Century Federal Way
2001 S. Commons
Federal Way, WA 98003

Regal Columbia Mall 8
1321 N. Columbia Center Boulevard
Kennewick, WA 99336

Lincoln Theatre
712 South First Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

AMC Kent Station 14 
426 Ramsay Way
Kent, WA 98032

Regal Alderwood Stadium 7
3501 184th Street SW
Lynnwood, WA 98037

Cinemark Capital Mall 14
625 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Olympia, WA 98502

The Rose Theatre
235 Taylor Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Regal Bella Botega 11 Cinema
8890 NE 161st Avenue
Redmond, WA 98052

AMC Pacific Place 11
600 Pine Street, Ste. 400
Seattle, WA 98101

Regal Thornton Place Stadium 14
301 NE 103rd St
Seattle, WA 98125

Regal Northtown Mall 12
4750 North Division Street
Spokane, WA 99207

AMC Southcenter 16
600 3600 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188

Cinemark Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing
3200 SW Hocken Avenue
Beaverton, OR 97005

Regal Old Mill 16
680 SW Powerhouse Drive
Bend, OR 97702

Cinemark Clackamas Town Center
12000 Southeast 82nd Avenue
Happy Valley, OR 97086  

Cinemark Tinseltown USA
651 Medford Center
Medford, OR 97501

Coast Arts
777 W Olive Street
Newport, OR 97365

Regal Lloyd Center 10 Cinema
1510 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, OR 97232

Regal Santiam 11
365 Lancaster Drive SE
Salem, OR 97317

Cinemark 17
2900 Gateway
Springfield, OR 97477

The Met Opera - Live in HD 2010-2011

October 9 2010: Das Rheingold
October 23 2010: Boris Godunov
November 13 2010: Don Pasquale
December 11 2010: Don Carlo
January 8 2011: La Fanciulla del West
February 12 2011: Nixon in China
February 26 2011: Iphigénie en Tauride
March 19 2011: Lucia di Lammermoor
April 9 2011: Le Comte Ory
April 23 2011: Capriccio
April 30 2011: Il Trovatore
May 14 2011: Die Walküre

Next season the Met presents 12 simulcasts in 1,500 theaters across 46 countries.

Press Release | Official Site

Madama Butterfly Live in HD Met Simulcast

This account of the Met simulcast of Madama Butterfly comes from Upstairs Tenor, who is an usher and supernumerary at San Francicsco Opera.

  * Notes * 
Anthony Minghella left us too soon, but his production of Madama Butterfly is, at least, a testament to his memory. Stark and beautifully designed, with incredibly specific and insightful Personregie down to the tiny role of Butterfly's mother, the production is one of the best things the Met has done in years. The much talked about puppet portraying Butterfly's son was wonderfully realistic, though ill-served by close ups that revealed the faces of the puppeteers, usually covered by veils, in HD. Renée Fleming hosted the intermission interviews, and proved herself a competent interviewer.

The reliable Patrick Summers conducted a sensitive, well-thought-out performance, even if the woodwinds were somewhat lacking at several points. The cast was excellent, lead, as it is, by the dream-cast Cio-Cio San of Patricia Racette. Racette, who stepped in at late notice after Cristina Galldro-Domas took ill, is easily the best Butterfly singing today, and the camera caught every nuance, every quirk of the eyebrow and every smile in her expressive face. Her Pinkerton, Marcello Giordani, was a bit shaky in Act I, but much stronger after his hour's rest offstage. Maria Zifchak has been the Met's regular Suzuki for years, and examined up close, now we know why: who knew she was such an exquisite actress? Those were real tears during the Humming Chorus. Dwayne Croft, sounding like a dream, also returned to give an expert Sharpless, keen to every facet of the role. Greg Fedderly appears to have cemented his position as the reigning king of character tenors, and his snide Goro was a treat. Dean Peterson's gravelly-voiced Bonze and the surprisingly sympathetic Yamadori of David Won rounded out the principal cast.

* Tattling * 
There was a small dropout in the feed right in the middle of "Un Bel Di." Thank God it only lasted about two seconds. The audience at Daly City's Century 20 Theaters was quite well-behaved save a few watch alarms, but during the opening of this production, a completely silent dance performed by a Geisha, I heard a cell phone go the Met Audience. That's Technology for you.

The Met Opera - Live in HD 2009-2010

October 10 2009: Tosca
October 24 2009: Aida 
November 7 2009: Turandot
December 19 2009: Les Contes d'Hoffmann
January 9 2010: Der Rosenkavalier
January 16 2010: Carmen
February 6 2010: Simon Boccanegra
March 27 2010: Hamlet
May 1 2010: Armida

Next season the Met presents 9 simulcasts, down from 11 this season.

Press Release  | Official Site

La Damnation de Faust Live in HD Met Simulcast

Damnationfaust   * Notes *
Director Robert Lepage's production La Damnation de Faust was shown as a simulcast over the weekend. His Met debut certainly had the marks of a production from that company. Carl Fillion's set was not entirely unlike the one for Doctor Atomic from a few weeks ago, both being vertical and grid-like. Both also made use of projections, though the ones here were more elaborate, reactions to the performers themselves.

Lepage did serve up one arresting image after another, and one must say that choreographers Johanne Madore and Alain Gauthier did especially fine work. However, at times it did seem like overkill for a piece that is most often performed unstaged. Going wild with video projections, dancing, and acrobatics was dizzying, though it translated well cinematically. The cameras moved quite a bit, but it seems that Barbara Willis Sweete is being less creative with her work, there were no moving or doubled images as in Tristan. It is, however, difficult to judge the overall impact of a production when there are so many closeups.

The musical values were exceedingly high, as usual, and conductor James Levine was impressive. Bass-baritone John Relyea had suitable eyebrow makeup for Méphistophélès, and he sang with great vigor. Marcello Giordani had not a trace of warmth in his voice, but sang perfectly well. Susan Graham was, however, sublime as Marguerite. Her "Autrefois un roi de Thulé" was lovely.

* Tattling * 
Both sound and picture briefly stopped twice at the beginning of "D'amour l'ardente flamme" at the beginning of Part IV. The audience whispered a bit during the music, and there was much coughing. The cinemacast was supposedly sold-out in San Francisco, though there were quite a few seats that were empty in the first few rows.

Doctor Atomic Live in HD Met Simulcast

DoctorAtomic * Notes * 
Penny Woolcock's new production of Doctor Atomic was shown as a simulcast over the weekend. The set design, by Julian Crouch, was somewhat busy, and involved a wall of cubbyholes meant to be offices. Andrew Dawson's choreography was likewise overwrought at times, as when dancers held contortions within the small office spaces. Video was used as well, and as is the pitfall with such things, it was somewhat distracting from the music at times. Catherine Zuber's costumes were pretty, one especially appreciated how she put the red-haired Sasha Cooke (Kitty Oppenheimer) in pinks and fuchsias.

Alan Gilbert conducted energetically, and the cast was uniformly strong. Sasha Cooke was a bit harsh at times, but she had lovely moments as well. Cooke is also quite beautiful, even glamorously so. Meredith Arwady was wonderful as Pasqualita, as she was in Chicago. Thomas Glenn (Robert Wilson) Eric Owens (General Leslie Groves), Richard Paul Fink (Edward Teller) all gave performances consistent with their work in San Francisco and Chicago. Gerald Finley was especially good as J. Robert Oppenheimer, his aria in the finale of Act I was absolutely gorgeous. It was also unhampered by strange, mime-like choreography.

* Tattling * 
The sound and picture stopped for a few seconds during the Bhagavad Gita chorus. The audience was mostly well-behaved, though there was some talking. My companion fell asleep and snored at least on one occasion. Also, someone tripped over her feet at one point. Worst of all though was someone's watch or cellular phone alarm. It rang about 80 times during the beginning of the second act. The alarm sounded about 10 times at a time every few minutes.

The Met Opera - Live in HD 2008-2009

Next season the Met presents 11 simulcasts, including:

Opening Night Gala (North America Only)
September 22, 2008

October 11, 2008

Doctor Atomic
November 8, 2008

Le Damnation de Faust
November 22, 2008

December 20, 2008

La Rondine
January 10, 2009

Orfeo ed Euridice
January 24, 2009

Lucia di Lammermoor
February 7, 2009

Madama Butterfly
March 7, 2009

La Sonnambula
March 21, 2009

La Cenerentola
May 9, 2009

To be perfectly honest, I'm only interested half of these. I'll probably see the first three operas and naturally Orfeo ed Euridice. For Salome, it is only to hear Mattila, as I detest this particular opera. (Yes, I know, I'm a philistine.) Likewise, I am not interested in Le Damnation de Faust, but Susan Graham and John Relyea are hard to resist. I am compelled to see Doctor Atomic again, due to the absurdity factor. Does one need to hear Eric Owens sing about chocolate cake yet again? The answer is clear.

Press Release

Tristan und Isolde Live in HD Met Simulcast

Mettristan * Notes *
The Dieter Dorn/
Jürgen Rose production of Tristan und Isolde was shown as a simulcast yesterday. I tried my best not to worry too much about the set and staging, as I did not find the Dorn/Rose Le Nozze or Così at Bayerische Staatsoper particularly interesting, though their Don Carlo was not bad. However, I found myself liking the production, especially Max Keller's lighting. Naturally, in Act III, there were ridiculous props on stage to signify we were in Kareol, including a number of toy knights in armor.

James Levine conducted well, the orchestra and singers were all synchronized. Deborah Voigt (Isolde) was in fine form, she only had one small gasp before she put the torch out in Act II. She sang the "Liebestod" beautifully. Robert Dean Smith's debut as Tristan at the Met seemed to go smoothly, especially considering he was in Berlin a few days ago and was flown in just for this performance. There were a few times when the orchestra overwhelmed him, and when he didn't exactly know where to be on stage. Michelle DeYoung was lovely as Brangäne, her high notes are fine and her voice is strong without being ugly. Matti Salminen embodied King Marke, he looked and sounded the part.

* Tattling *
Susan Graham was a fine host, I never noticed how expressive her eyebrows are. Her interviews with Levine and Voigt were especially charming. There was only one time the sound went out this time, for a few seconds when Kurwenal was singing in Act III. From the simulcast, it was quite clear that both Voigt and DeYoung have perfect teeth, and that Voigt's eyes are a most brilliant blue.

Barbara Willis Sweete's filming of the simulcast was extremely irritating. She employed the use of multiple images, which in and of itself could have been useful, but since the perspective kept changing and the images moved around, tracking a certain character, it was simply headache-inducing. Often the field of vision was constricted, so that there was just one small box on the screen with a bunch of empty black space around it. It was also quite annoying when the images would show either exactly the same image (the image of the flame trebled, for example), or the same person in different views. The constant motion was at odds with the production and with the work itself.

The Wagnerians were out in full force, the movie theater was sold-out. One couple arrived late and sat in front of me, they spoke at full volume a few times. The female half of the couple received a phone call during Act III, as the male half kept falling asleep and snoring.

Peter Grimes Live in HD Met Simulcast

Metpetergrimes* Notes *
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Benjamin Britten's music, I did attend today's simulcast of Peter Grimes. Some of Britten's rhythms in this opera were of interest, particularly the sea shanty at the end of Act I. Unlike the protagonists of Billy Budd or The Turn of the Screw, the character of Peter Grimes is not completely inane. His status as an outsider is rather operatic, of course, and the ambiguity of his tale is intriguing. I was also quite curious about John Doyle's production since I had just heard his interview on the Los Angeles Opera podcast from last year. The production is striking, though Scott Pask's set was tiresome at times. The set is meant to be oppressive, and it certainly was, but it was also a bit like a stark Advent calendar.

Donald Runnicles seemed to have a good handle on the orchestra, and everything sounded very much together. I had no idea our maestro perspired so much, and this is one of the odd things about the simulcasts, they do sometimes show us more than we wish to see. The singing was all at a high level, with fine diction from everyone, I was able to get away with not reading the subtitles. Felicity Palmer was horribly funny as Mrs. Sedley. Patricia Racette's vibrato grated a bit on me, as usual, but she had some brilliant moments as well, and was convincing as the kind Ellen Orford. Anthony Dean Griffey was impressive in the titular role, both acting and singing were great.

* Tattling *
People clapped a great deal for Patricia Racette and Donald Runnicles as the opening credits ran, good thing they are decoupled from the overture.
Natalie Dessay was a cute host for the simulcast, she did brief interviews of Racette and Griffey, Doyle and Pask, the costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, and Runnicles. The picture froze for several seconds during Act I when Peter was singing the words "The storm is here and I shall stay." The sound did go out for a second, but resumed more quickly than the picture.

Manon Lescaut Live in HD Met Simulcast

MetmanonI am going to skip out on tomorrow's Live in HD Met Simulcast of Manon Lescaut, as there is quite enough of Puccini in my future. It is tempting, as the cast looks good. I heard Mattila sing the title role several times in 2006, and that production was one of the best that season. Marcello Giordani will sing Des Grieux, I found his voice somewhat strained the only time I heard him in Simon Boccanegra, but certainly many complimentary words have been written about him as well. Dale Travis will be Geronte, Dwayne Croft sings Lescaut, and Sean Panikkar has the small part of Edmondo, as he did in San Francisco as an Adler Fellow. The performance at the Met is sold-out.

Cast [PDF] | Live in HD Official Site | Participating Theaters on the West Coast | Washington Post Review