Live From The Met

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Opera On 320120505

Janacek's The Makropoulos case

Live from The Met

Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.

When, at the end of the 16th century alchemist Hieronymus Makropulos made a potion that would extend the span of human life, he tested it on his daughter Elina. She fell into a coma and Hieronymus was sent to prison. But after a week Elina woke up and fled with the formula. Three hundred years later, she is still going - but does life have any value if it goes on for ever?

Emilia Marty....Karita Mattila (Soprano)

Albert Gregor....Richard Leech (Tenor)

Dr Kolenaty....Tom Fox (Bass)

Kolenaty's Clerk....Alan Oke (Tenor)

Baron Prus....Johan Reuter (Baritone)

Janek....Matthew Plenk (Tenor)

Count Hauk-Sendorf....Bernard Fitch (Tenor)

Stagehand....James Courtney (Bass)

Cleaning Woman....Jane Shaulis (Mezzo-Soprano)

Chambermaid....Edyta Kulczak (Mezzo-Soprano)

Kristina....Emalie Savoy (soprano)

New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus

New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Conductor... Jiri Belohlavek.

Opera On 320121208

Live from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera", a drama loosely based on the real events leading to the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden. Verdi masterfully develops this story at various levels: with the backdrop of a political conspiracy, he tells of the personal tragedy of a king and his forbidden love of his best friend's wife. This new production by David Alden features the Met's Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi at the helm of a starry cast lead by Marcelo Alvarez as King Gustav, Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia Anckarstrom, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as her husband, the King's friend and advisor Count Anckarstrom.

Amelia Anckarstrom - Sondra Radvanovsky (soprano)

Oscar - Kathleen Kim (soprano)

Madame Ulrica Arvidsson - Dolora Zajick (contralto)

King Gustavo III - Marcelo Alvarez (tenor)

Count Anckarstrom - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone)

Christiano - Trevor Scheunemann (bass)

Count Ribbing - Keith Miller (bass)

Count Horn - David Crawford (bass)

The Chief Justice - Mark Schowalter (tenor)

Amelia's Servant - Scott Scully (tenor)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera New York

Fabio Luisi, conductor.

Opera On 320121222

Live from the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

Presented by Margaret Juntwait with commentary by Ira Siff.

The Barber of Seville, Rossini's great comic opera, in Bartlett Sher's English adaptation,

with Isabel Leonard as Rosina, Rodion Pogossov as Figaro and Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva. Yves Abel conducts.

Count Almaviva has disguised himself as a poor student in the hope of persuading the beautiful Rosina to love him for himself, rather than for his money. But there's a snag: Rosina is the ward of grumpy old Dr. Bartolo, and he too has plans to marry her.

The Count needs help, but crafty barber Figaro is on hand. He suggests that the Count disguise himself as a drunken soldier, ordered to be billeted with Dr. Bartolo, and so gain entrance to his house.

Two centuries after its premiere - and now universally accepted as the composer's comic masterpiece - Rossini's prequel to The Marriage of Figaro remains as tuneful, ironic and uproariously funny as ever.

Rosina: Isabel Leonard, contralto

Count Almaviva: Alek Shrader, tenor

Figaro: Rodion Pogossov, baritone

Dr. Bartolo: John Del Carlo, baritone

Don Basilio: Jordan Bisch,bass

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Conductor: Yves Abel.

Opera On 320121229

The Tempest, by Thomas Adès, from the Metropolitan Opera, New York, conducted by the composer. With Simon Keenlyside as Prospero, Audrey Luna as Ariel, and Isobel Leonard as Miranda.

Miranda suspects that the magic practices of her father, Prospero, are responsible for a huge storm that has sunk a passing ship.

She's right: those on board were his enemies. Prospero nevertheless instructs his spirit Ariel to revive them and bring them to the island.

One of them is Prince Ferdinand who, when he arrives ashore, finds Miranda and the two fall instantly in love. Prospero is not pleased. He immobilizes Ferdinand and prepares to further his vengeance on the rest of the court.

The New York Times called Thomas Adès's masterpiece "one of the most inspired, audacious and personal operas to have come along in years," noting that "Adès drew a textured, glittering and suspenseful account of his opera from the great Met orchestra." The Financial Times lauded the performance's "rare virtuosity... Keenlyside sang with sensitive force... (and) loomed and brooded magnetically."

Ariel - Audrey Luna (soprano)

Miranda - Isabel Leonard (mezzo)

Trinculo - Iestyn Davies (countertenor)

Ferdinand - Alek Shrader (tenor)

Caliban - Alan Oke (tenor)

King of Naples - William Burden (tenor)

Antonio - Toby Spence (tenor)

Prospero - Simon Keenlyside (baritone)

Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera

Thomas Adès, conductor.