LIVE OPERA FROM THE MET: At your local theater

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The Met has come to the hinterlands! So if you missed the first 3 seasons of Live in HD simulcast performances of the Metropolitan Opera productions then tarry no more. At a fraction of the cost of a normal opera ticket, you can experience  complete live performances  of the entire Metropolitan Opera season, shown in high definition simulcasts in movie theaters around the country (and internationally too) at the same time they are being performed at the Met.

This is a stroke of genius on the part of the Met to attract and build a new audience for opera throughout the world, and it is a huge opportunity for opera aficionados and first-timers alike to see opera at its best, from the best seats in the house. The HD performances show close-ups that bring the opera alive, with a feeling you are being swept up into the drama and music. You can leave the opera glasses at home, because every seat in the house is front orchestra.

Tip for teachers: Opera is a great intro to classical music for kids. It tells a story, and they love the overblown drama and emotions of it all as well as the larger than life characters, music, costumes, and sets. Plan a teaching unit on opera that introduces students to the genre, including its origins, musical form, the dramatic roles of the soloists, chorus and orchestra,  terminology of the opera (overture, aria, duet, ensemble, recitative, chorus, libretto etc.).  Then before attending one of the performances,  study about that specific opera: the music, composer, history, style, country, and plot. (They might also want to write and stage a mini-opera themselves.) Then let your kids experience their first opera, live and straight from the Met! See below suggested resources for introducing the opera to kids)

Buy tickets in advance from local movie theaters and independent venues in the United States and in other countries as well. Children’s, Adult, and Senior tickets are available, and prices vary according to theater. Seating is limited, so plan ahead and buy tickets early.

Listen and see video clips of last season’s performances

The Met: Live in HD 2009–10 Series

General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine recently announced the lineup for next season’s Live in HD performances. The series, which just won a Peabody Award, will present nine live transmissions in its fourth season. Tickets for the 2009–10 series will go on sale in September, with priority access for Met members (before tickets are made available to the general public). The schedule is as follows:

Tosca October 10
James Levine; Karita Mattila, Marcelo Álvarez, Juha Uusitalo, Paul Plishka

Aida October 24
Daniele Gatti; Violeta Urmana, Dolora Zajick, Johan Botha, Carlo Guelfi, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Stefan Kocán

Turandot November 7
Andris Nelsons; Maria Guleghina, Marina Poplavskaya, Marcello Giordani, Samuel Ramey

Les Contes d’Hoffmann December 19
James Levine; Kathleen Kim, Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Gubanova, Elina Garan?a, TBA, René Pape

Der Rosenkavalier January 9
James Levine; Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Christine Schäfer, Eric Cutler, Thomas Allen, Kristinn Sigmundsson

Carmen January 16
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Barbara Frittoli, Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Mariusz Kwiecien

Simon Boccanegra February 6
James Levine; Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordani, Plácido Domingo, James Morris

Hamlet March 27
Louis Langrée; Natalie Dessay, Jennifer Larmore, Toby Spence, Simon Keenlyside, James Morris

Armida May 1
Riccardo Frizza; Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Bruce Ford, José Manuel Zapata, Barry Banks, Kobie van Rensburg

SUGGESTED RESOURCES for introducing Opera to kids:

THE WORLD'S VERY BEST OPERA FOR KIDS (PB?CD)

TEACHER’S GUIDE TO OPERA FOR KIDS Paperback and CD. A great resource to actively engage children in the creative arts, enhancing appreciation, focused listening skills, and critical thinking. Hear 14 beautifully performed arias in English, representing a wide range of styles, including Mozart, Handel, Verdi, Bizet, Wagner, Rossini, Puccini, Offenbach, and others.
The book includes complete lyrics, composer biographies, synopses, lesson plans, activities, karaoke-style sing-along tracks, glossary and more. Gr. 2-8.
Paperback and 72 min. CD  4099  $34.95

OPERA STORIES DVD

OPERA STORIES on DVD. This 5-DVD collection is an ideal introduction to the drama, characters and spectacle of opera! Charlton Heston narrates the story from the original opera settings, interspersed with excerpts from major opera productions. For example, La Boheme is told from the sidewalk cafes of Paris, where Mimi and Rodolfo fall in love; Aida from the majestic pyramids of Egypt. 10 programs, each of which tells the story of a single opera: a perfect format for an appreciation class.
Includes La Boheme, Manon Lescaut, Falstaff, Die Fledermaus, Il Trovatore, Aida, Tosca, Otello, Andrea Chenier, and Ernani.
524 min. 5-DVD Set  5203  $49.95

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