New York, NY (July 11, 2020) – The Metropolitan Opera announced its entry into live pay-per-view concert events today, unveiling a lineup of 12 concerts from summer to fall featuring some of opera’s biggest stars in striking locations across Europe and the United States.
The live events will be shot with multiple cameras linked by satellite to a control room in New York City, where the host of the programs, soprano Christine Goerke, will be situated. Gary Halvorson, the Met’s award-winning director of the company’s Live in HD cinema transmissions, will direct each of the programs.
Featured artists are Roberto Alagna, Piotr Beczała, Angel Blue, Joseph Calleja, Javier Camarena, Diana Damrau, Lise Davidsen, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann, Aleksandra Kurzak, Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky, Bryn Terfel, Pretty Yende and Sonya Yoncheva.
“This new initiative is intended to create live performance opportunities for our artists and our audiences at a time when they both sorely need it,” said Met general manager Peter Gelb. “Although some concert activity is beginning to take place once again in some parts of the world, this is a chance for opera fans to experience their favorite stars in real time, since it’s going to be a long time before artists and their audiences are fully mobile again.”
Gelb also noted that the performances are being set in picturesque locations, without audiences present in the venue. “We think it will be more satisfying for the performers, as well as the thousands who will be watching at home, not to experience these performances through the eyes of a socially distanced audience.”
The cameras will be free to fully explore the interiors of the venues, capturing the artists’ performances as well as the architectural details of their unusual locations. Entrances and exits will be dispensed with, and in order to give the singers breaks from their strenuous groups of arias, the camera will cut back to New York and to Ms. Goerke, who will introduce brief documentary segments that will fill these pauses.
The first concert stars tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who will sing a program of classic arias live from the ornate Polling Abbey located in the Bavarian countryside outside Munich, Germany. The grand Baroque interior of the historic venue, built in the 1770s with soaring vaulted ceilings and breathtaking frescoes, will serve as a setting for a performance featuring some of the repertory’s most spectacular showcases for the tenor voice. Selections will include “Nessun dorma” from Turandot, “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca, “Ah! lève-toi, soleil” from Roméo et Juliette, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen, “È la solita storia” from L’Arlesiana, and “Un dì all’azzurro spazio” from Andrea Chenier, among others. Helmut Deutsch will accompany on piano.
Tickets for each recital are $20 and can be purchased on the Met’s website at metopera.org, and the performances will be available for on-demand viewing for 12 days following the live event. The programs can be viewed on your computer, mobile device, or home entertainment system (via Chromecast or AirPlay).
Complete schedule (all events start at 1 p.m. Eastern Time):
- July 18: Jonas Kaufmann, live from the Polling Abbey in Polling, Bavaria
- Aug. 1: Renée Fleming, live from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C.
- Aug. 16: Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak, live outdoors from the Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Èze, France (sole Sunday performance)
- Aug. 29: Lise Davidsen, live from the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo, Norway
- Sept. 12: Joyce DiDonato, live from the Fundació Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain
- Sept. 26: Sondra Radvanovsky and Piotr Beczała, live from Barcelona, Spain (location TBD)
- Oct. 10: Anna Netrebko, live from Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna, Austria
- Oct. 24: Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja, live from Malta (castle location TBD)
- Nov. 7: Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena, live from Zurich, Switzerland (location TBD)
- Nov. 21: Sonya Yoncheva, live from Berlin, Germany (location TBD)
- Dec. 12: Bryn Terfel, live from Wales (church location TBD)
- Dec. 19: Angel Blue live from New York City (location TBD)
The programs will be broadcast at a later date on PBS.
Met Stars Live in Concert is sponsored by the Neubauer Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Rolex. In recognition of the health crisis and its impact on the Met vocal artists who are out of work, Rolex is making a contribution to METCHORUSARTISTS.The Metropolitan Opera is collaborating with Askonas Holt and Centre Stage Artist Management as co-producers for some of these events.
Met’s website at metopera.org