Friday, September 2, 2011

Met will offer more operatic adventure

This season's movie-theater showings from the Metropolitan Opera will bring another batch of operas that are unlikely to show up on a Charlotte stage anytime soon.

The Met will unveil the last two dramas of Richard Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung," completing the cycle it began last year. Soprano Renee Fleming will star in Handel's "Rodelinda," whose rich score will treat her fans to a string of arias spotlighting her. In opera's answer to the History Channel, Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" will show Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour aiming vocal fireworks at each other as they compete for the favor of Henry VIII.

In addition to the live showings on Saturday afternoons, nice of the operas will have recorded Encore showings on Wednesday evenings. The schedule:

Oct. 15: Donizetti's "Anna Bolena," featuring Anna Netrebko as Anne Boleyn. Encore Nov. 2.

Oct. 29: Mozart's "Don Giovanni," with baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as Mozart's version of Don Juan. Encore Nov. 16.

Nov. 5: Wagner's "Siegfried," Part 2 of his "Ring of the Nibelung." Noon.

Nov. 19: "Satyagraha," Philip Glass' portrayal of Gandhi. Encore Dec. 7.

Dec. 3: Handel's "Rodelinda," starring Renee Fleming as a woman whose husband has disappeared during wartime. 12:30 p.m. Encore Jan. 4.

Dec. 10: Gounod's "Faust." Jonas Kaufmann portrays the scientists who sells his soul to the devil -- played by Rene Pape. Encore Jan. 11.

Jan. 21: "The Enchanted Island," the Met's answer to the pastiche operas of the 18th century. It will borrow music by Handel, Vivaldi and others; leading singers include Placido Domingo and Spartanburg native David Daniels. Encore Feb. 8.

Feb. 11: "Twilight of the Gods," the finale of Wagner's "Ring." Noon.

Feb. 25: Verdi's "Ernani," which eclipses the classic love-triangle concept by having three men vie for a woman's love. Encore March 14.

April 7: Massenet's "Manon," starring Netrebko again, this time as a young woman who avoids the convent and throws herself into a life of romance, luxury and turmoil. (Pictured above; photo by Bill Cooper for Covent Garden.) Encore: April 25.

April 14: Verdi's "La Traviata," with Natalie Dessay as the courtesan who sacrifices her one chance at true love.

The Charlotte-area theaters are the Stonecrest 22 at Piper Glen, near Ballantyne, and the Concord Mills 24 in Concord. Viewers further up Interstate 85 can also opt for the Tinseltown theater in Salisbury, 305 Faith Road.

This season, the starting time for most Saturday showings moves earlier, to 12:55 p.m. The exceptions are noted above. Of course, if the massive and cantankerous "Ring" set malfunctions again, as it did last season before "The Valkyrie" -- delaying the start for more than a half-hour -- it's anybody's guess when the music will begin.