New York, NY (Top40 Charts / WNET)
Acclaimed Polish film director Mariusz Treliński makes his highly anticipated Met debut with the Metropolitan Opera's new production, inspired by classic noir films of the 1940s, bringing together two rarely performed one-acts: Tchaikovsky's lyrical fairy tale Iolanta, about the psychological awakening of a blind princess, and Bartók's harrowing Bluebeard's Castle, in which newlywed Judith
must open seven locked doors to discover the full depths of her husband's dark secrets.
Valery Gergiev conducts the double bill, which is a co-production with Teatr Wielki-Polish National
Opera. Anna Netrebko stars as the title character in Iolanta, with Piotr Beczala and Aleksei Markov as Vaudémont and Robert, two rivals for her love. Nadja Michael sings the central role of Judith
in Bluebeard's Castle, with Mikhail Petrenko as her mysterious and menacing new husband.
In reviewing the production, The New York Times noted, "There were overwhelming passages in Mr. Gergiev's account of this astonishing Bartok score, with its Expressionist angst and Debussy-like lushness. He brought out rustic, folkloric elements in the music that seemed fresh."
And Bloomberg found the double-bill to be "thrillingly staged by Mariusz Trelinski… Both operas make poetic use of video in a way I've rarely seen on the opera stage. And both had superlative casts. Netrebko's blooming soprano and dignity — even in a billowy white nightgown — humanized the princess. Piotr Beczala's tenor gleamed as Vaudemont, who lights up her life."
Bass baritone Eric Owens hosts the broadcast.
Iolanta/Bluebeard's Castle was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 14, 2015 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in over 70 countries around the world. The Live in HD series has reached a record-breaking 17 million viewers since its inception in 2006.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National
Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes
Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David
Sacks is Music
Producer. Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria
Warivonchik are Producers. Peter
Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is Series Producer; David
Horn is Executive Producer.
Visit Great Performances online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.
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About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter
Gelb and Music Director James
Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company's repertory. The Met's 2014-15 season features five new productions shown Live in HD, including Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James
Levine and directed by Richard Eyre; Lehár's The Merry Widow, conducted by Andrew Davis and directed by Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman; Rossini's La Donna del Lago, conducted by Michele Mariotti and directed by Paul Curran; Tchaikovsky's one-act opera Iolanta presented in a double bill with a new staging of Bartók's one-act Bluebeard's Castle, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Mariusz Treliński; and Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio
Luisi and directed by David
Building on its 84-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio
Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, returns for its ninth season in 2014-15 with ten live transmissions. Met Opera on Demand, a subscription service, makes selections from the company's extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio
XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season and the Met offers free live audio streaming of performances on its website once a week during the opera season.