(Posted this afternoon on the TONY Blog)
Moments ago, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled the details of its 2008–2009 series of high-definition transmissions to movie theaters worldwide. Citing the phenomenal success of the series, now seen on 600 screens around the globe (as well as a few select cruise ships), the project expands from 8 broadcasts to 11, and adds another 200 screens to its tally. In addition, special encore screenings of this season's La Bohème will close the current series on May 3, 14 and 19.
Among next season’s screen gems are the opening night gala with Renée Fleming in scenes from La Traviata, Manon and Capriccio (which will be transmitted in North America only); the electrifying Karita Mattila (above) in Richard Strauss’s racy Salome (which will no doubt cause consideration of an "R" rating…); and the season’s new productions of Doctor Atomic, La Damnation de Faust, Thaïs, La Rondine and La Sonnambula (in other words, all the new productions except for the David McVicar Il Trovatore).
Here's the complete schedule:
Monday, September 22, 2008 OPENING NIGHT GALA
(North America only; 6:30 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. CDT / tape delayed to 8:00 p.m. MDT / 7:00
p.m. PDT) – Opening Night Gala starring Renée Fleming in fully staged
performances of scenes from three different operas: Verdi’s La Traviata (Act II), Massenet’s Manon (Act III), and the final scene from Richard Strauss’s Capriccio.
Tenor Ramón Vargas and baritones Thomas Hampson and Dwayne Croft
co-star. Met Music Director James Levine and Marco Armiliato conduct.
Saturday, October 11, 2008 SALOME (1:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 11:00 a.m. MDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT/ 17:00 p.m. UTC / 18:00 p.m. BST / 19:00 CEST) – Soprano Karita Mattila reprises her acclaimed interpretation of the title character of Strauss’s Salome, with baritone Juha Uusitalo as Jochanaan. Mikko Franck conducts.
Saturday, November 8, 2008 DOCTOR ATOMIC (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC / 19:00 p.m. CET) – Penny Woolcock directs the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, starring Gerald Finley as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and Sasha Cooke as his wife, Kitty, with Eric Owen and Richard Paul Fink. Alan Gilbert conducts. NEW PRODUCTION
Saturday, November 22, 2008 LA DAMNATION DE FAUST (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC; 19:00 p.m. CET) – Robert Lepage directs Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, starring Marcello Giordani in the title role, with Susan Graham as Marguerite and John Relyea as Méphistophélès. James Levine conducts. (A new production reconceived in collaboration with Ex Machina for the Met, based on a co-production of the Saito Kinen Festival and Opéra National de Paris.) NEW PRODUCTION
Saturday, December 20, 2008 THAÏS (12:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. CST / 10:00 a.m. MST / 9:00 a.m. PST/ 17:00 p.m. UTC; 18:00 p.m. CET) – Renée Fleming stars in the title role of Massenet’s Thaïs, with Thomas Hampson as the monk Athanaël in John Cox’s production, which originated at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jesús López-Cobos conducts. NEW PRODUCTION
Saturday, January 10, 2009 LA RONDINE (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC; 19:00 p.m. CET) – Nicolas Joël directs Puccini’s La Rondine, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna in a production originally mounted by the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Marco Armiliato conducts. (Co-production with the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.) NEW PRODUCTION
Saturday, January 24, 2009 ORFEO ED EURIDICE (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC; 19:00 p.m. CET) – Stephanie Blythe and Danielle de Niese star in Mark Morris’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. James Levine conducts.
Saturday, February 7, 2009 LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC; 19:00 p.m. CET) – Dynamic opera duo Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón star in Mary Zimmerman’s acclaimed production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Saturday, March 7, 2009 MADAMA BUTTERFLY (1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. PST/ 18:00 p.m. UTC; 19:00 p.m. CET) – Cristina Gallardo-Domâs sings the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in Anthony Minghella’s stunning production. Marcello Giordani stars as Pinkerton. Patrick Summers conducts.
Saturday, March 21, 2009 LA SONNAMBULA (1:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 11:00 a.m. MDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT/ 17:00 p.m. UTC; 18:00 p.m. CET) – Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez star in Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula, conducted by Evelino Pidò. NEW PRODUCTION
Saturday, May 9, 2009 LA CENERENTOLA (1:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 11:00 a.m. MDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT/ 17:00 p.m. UTC; 18:00 BST; 19:00 p.m. CEST) – Elīna Garanča stars in Rossini’s bel canto Cinderella story, La Cenerentola. Lawrence Brownlee stars as her Prince Charming, Don Ramiro. Maurizio Benini conducts.