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The Metropolitan Opera's 2011-12 Season Begins September 26 .

  New York's mighty Metropolitan opera ,the world's largest performing arts organization ,will open its 2011-12
season of Monday,September 26 with a new production of Gaetano Donizetti's melodious and powerful opera Anna Bolena , loosely based on the intrigue at the court of Henry V111  which led to the beheading of his queen
Anne Boelyn .  There will be a starry cast with the charismatic and beautiful Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as queen Anne, Latvian mezzo Elina Garanca (ga-ran-cha) as Jane Seymour, and Russian(actually Tatar ) bass
Ildar Abdrazakov as the imperious king Henry. 

  Donizetti's 1830 bel canto masterpiece has never been performed at the Met before, but was a part of the New York City Opera's repertoire back in the 1960s and 70s when the late great Beverly Sills sang the role of Anna to great acclaim .  The opera takes considerable liberties with the  historical facts , but  when great singers animate the roles, no one cares in the least bit about this !

   There will be six other new productions , including the completion of  the Met's controversial high tech  production of Wagner's mighty Ring of the Nibelung , which  will  continue with  Siegfreid  in October
and conclude with Gotterdammerung (The Twilight of the Gods)  toward the end of the season in 2112.
   Health permitting ,  maestro James levine will be on the podium , with many of today's leading  Wagner singers.  The director is the Canadian Robert Lepage , of Cirque du Soleil fame .

  Other new productions will include Mozart's classic opera Don Giovanni , about the amorous exploits of
  Spain's Don Juan and his grievous sins which cause him to be thrown literally into hell  at the end ,
also with maestro Levine conducting, health permitting .Polish baritone Mariusz Kwecien and Canadian baritone Gerard Finley will alternate as the dashing but shamelessly licentious Don.

   "Faust", by the 19th century French composer Charles Gounod, based on the monumental play of the same name by Goethe  and once on of the most popular of all operas , will feature the handsome and
golden-voiced German tenor Jonas Kaufman as the aged philosopher  who is tempted by Mephistopheles with youth ,riches and power if he will sell his soul  to the evil one , and Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya will be Marguerite, the innocent young girl who is seduced and abandoned by Faust, and the rising young French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin will conduct .

   "The Enchanted Isle " is a real curiosity , a sort of artificial opera made out of music by various Baroque composers such as  Vivaldi, Handel and Jean-Philippe Rameau .  It's sort of an operatic Frankenstein's monster, put together from bits and pieces of different operas with a story based on Shakespeare's The Tempest " , and an English language text  by Jeremy Sams .  Such operatic  pastiches are nothing new , and were even performed in  the time of  the composers whose music is being cannibalized.

   The cast will include  Baroque opera specialist  singers such as Daniele De Niese , as well as Placido
Domingo , Joyce Di Donato and Lisette Oropesa ,and the renowned American conductor and specialist in Baroque opera William Christie will conduct . 

   Manon, by the French composer Jules Massenet  (1842-1912) , is an elegant and melodious opera
about the amorous exploits of a young French country girl who  becomes a  kept woman in decadent Paris , yet is in love with a dashing but less than wealthy young nobleman ,and is torn between her elderly sugar daddy and  her true love, only to die while being sent into exile for moral turpitude .
  You might call this the operatic equivalent of a chick flick !  Anna Netrebko will be the beautiful but ill-fated Manon , and Polish tenor Piotr Beczala  her  love interest, with  the Met's principal guest conductor Fabio Luisi on the podium .

   Other operas in the repertoire will include such old favorites as Verdi's La Traviata ,  Puccini's La Boheme and Tosca , Rossini's rollicking comic opera The Barber of Seville , Donizetti's  charming
pastoral comedy L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love ). and Hansel &Gretel by the REAL Engelbert Humperdinck ,not the singer who appropriated the name.
   Some less well-known but truly interesting operas will include Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd, based on the famous novel about seafaring by Herman Melville,  "Satyagraha by minimalist composer Philip Glass,
based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, and sung,believe it or not in Sanskrit ! , 
Khovanshchina by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, better known for Boris Godunov, which deals with the ruthless struggle for power in Moscow not long before Peter the Great came to power in Russia ,
and Verdi's Nabucco , based on the Babylonian captivity of the Jews under king Nebachudnezzar ,
and Ernani , about the life of a Spanish nobleman who is outlawed and becomes a bandit ,
and the truly strange "Makropoulos Case" by the great Czech composer Leos Janacek (Ya-na-check),
about a woman who is hundfeds of years old because of  a bizarre experiment in prolonged life by her father, who had been a mad scientist , and is now a world -famous opera singer .

   The singers will be a veritable Who's Who of today's leading opera stars ,including Renee Fleming ,
Patricia Racette, Marcello Giordani , Violeta Urmana , Maria Guleghina, Rene Pape, Olga Borodina,
Vladimir Galuzin, and others.   Conductors will include such distinguished names as Sir Andrew Davis, Jiri Belohlavek , Fabio Luisi, Louis Langree, David Robertson , and  two rising young  conductors making their Met debuts,  Robin Ticciati of England and  Mikko Franck of Finland .

   The Met's acclaimed  live movie broadcasts all over the U.S. will include  Satuday matinee
performances of  Anna Bolena on October 15, Siegfried on November 5, Satyagraha on November 19,
Handel's Rodelinda  on December 3, Faust on December 10, The Enchanted Isle on January 21,
Gotterdammerung on February 12, Ernani on  February 25, Manon on April 7, and la Traviata on
April 14. 

   You can also experience Met perfrmaces on the internet at Met Player and Sirius .  For more information, check the Met's website .  You don't have to live in New York or be wealthy to
enjoy the Met's world-class performances ! 

Posted: Aug 10 2011, 05:58 PM by the horn | with no comments
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