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Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma
Saturday, October 7, 10:55AM
Run time 3:04/One intermission
(Act I 89 / Intermission 30 / Act II 65)
This opera is an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal challenge, and dramatic power. It examines an ageless and archetypal situation: a powerful woman compromises her ideals for love, only to find herself betrayed by her lover. But equally gripping is her relationship with the younger woman who is the new object of her former lover’s attention and in whom Norma sees both a rival and a second self. The title role demands dramatic vocal power combined with the agility and technique of a coloratura singer. It is a daunting challenge that few can rise to: those who have are part of operatic lore.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Saturday, October 14, 10:55AM
Run time 3:09/One intermission
(Act I 68 / Intermission 35 / Act II 86)
A sublime fairy tale that moves freely between earthy comedy and noble mysticism—was written for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a Singspiel (“song-play”) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score. The composer and the librettist were both Freemasons—the fraternal order whose membership is held together by shared moral and metaphysical ideals—and Masonic imagery is used throughout the work. The story, however, is as universal as any fairy tale.
Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel
Saturday, December 9, 10:55AM
Run time 2:27/One intermission
(Act I 79 / Intermission 30 / Act II 51)
Following the rapturous response to his last opera, The Tempest, the Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. Hailed by the New York Times at its 2016 Salzburg Festival premiere as “inventive and audacious … a major event,” The Exterminating Angel is a surreal fantasy about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera.
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca
Saturday, February 3, 10:55AM
Run time 2:53/Two intermissions
(Act I 45 / Intermission 35 / Act II 41 / Intermission 35 / Act III 27)
Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Critics, for their part, have often had problems with Tosca’s rather grungy subject matter, the directness and intensity of its score, and the crowd-pleasing dramatic opportunities it provides for its lead roles. But these same aspects have made Tosca one of a handful of iconic works that seem to represent opera in the public imagination. Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.
Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore
Saturday, February 10, 10:00AM
Run time 2:39/One intermission
(Act I 72 / Intermission 32 / Act II 55)
L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic comedy film today—the joy is in the journey, and Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.
Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème
Saturday, February 24, 10:30AM
Run time 2:55/Two intermissions
(Acts I & II 61 / Intermission 33 / Act III 26 / Intermission 26 / Act IV 29)
La Bohème, the passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things—a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor—that make up our everyday lives.
Gioachino Rossini’s Semiramide
Saturday, March 10, 10:55AM
Run time 4:00/One intermission
(Act I 121 / Intermission 30 / Act II 89)
This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così fan tutte
Saturday, April 21, 10:55AM
Run time 3:31/One intermission
(Act I 89 / Intermission 30 / Act II 92)
The third and final collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte is a fascinating paradox: a frothy comedy of manners with an intensely dark take on human nature; an old story (it has antecedents in Boccaccio, Shakespeare, and Cervantes, among others) with a startlingly modern tone; and a beautiful score depicting questionable behavior. Così fan tutte was only moderately successful at its premiere and remained just outside the standard repertoire for more than a century. Così still poses unique challenges, and correspondingly unique rewards, for the public today. Every possible impression of love—from the loftiest to the basest—is explored in this extraordinary opera – complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters and a ferris wheel.
Guiseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller
Thursday, May 3, 6:00PM
Run time 3:38/Two intermissions
(Act I 64 / Intermission 35 / Act II 42 / Intermission 35 / Act III 42)
James Levine and Plácido Domingo add yet another chapter to their legendary Met collaboration with this rarely performed Verdi gem, a heart-wrenching tragedy of fatherly love.
(Act I 64 / Inter 35 / Act II 42 / Inter 35 / Act III 42)
Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon
Thursday, May 10, 6:00PM
Run time 2:47/One intermission
(Acts I & II 71 / Intermission 30 / Acts III & IV 66)
“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly enchanting.” Now, for the first time ever, Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story comes to the Met, with DiDonato starring in the title role. She is paired with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production.
Sponsored locally by The Wayland Henry Cato Jr. Foundation with additional support from the Christine Gempp Love Foundation, Lollie B. Plank, Isabel Wallop, the Witzel Family Foundation, Anne Pendergast, and Craig & Judy Johnson