Peter Gelb has transformed New York's Metropolitan Opera since becoming general manager in the summer of 2006. His goal is broadening the opera house's audience, trimming down opera's overstuffed pomp and replacing it with populist circumstance. Basically, he wants regular people like us to enjoy opera again.
Central to Gelb's plan are a slew of new productions that rework classics with fresh eyes and ears. He's bringing in directors, designers and talent at the forefront of their respective arts worldwide to tackle the job. The most exciting thing about it is we'll actually get to see it.
How? The Met is broadcasting eight live performances—in high-definition—in select movie theaters across the globe. New Mexico is one of the lucky markets. Simulcasts will be held at Albuquerque's Cottonwood Starport (10000 Coors NW) and Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 West San Francisco), with eight productions on the big screen by the end of April 2008. Tickets for each performance are $22 for adults, $20 seniors and $15 for children. Here’s a look at what’s to come.
Roméo et Juliet
Saturday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 30 minutes. 1 intermission
Hansel and Gretel
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m.
Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes. 1 intermission
Saturday, Jan. 12, 11:30 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes. 1 intermission
Saturday, Feb. 16, 11 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 41 minutes. 3 intermissions
Perfect for Valentine's Day, Puccini's first great love affair comes to life more than 25 years since its last appearance at the Met.
Saturday, March 15, 11:30 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 45 minutes. 2 intermissions
Director John Doyle (who won a Tony for his treatment of of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd) makes his Met debut with a new production of Britten's dark and multilayered social study.
Tristan und Isolde
Saturday, March 22, 10:30 a.m.
Running time: 5 hours, 35 minute. 2 intermissions
Ach, Wagner! The roots of atonal music are audible in this philosophically rich melodrama.
Saturday, April 5, 11:30 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes. 2 intermissions
Anyone holding out for a breathtakingly festooned Zeffirelli production shouldn't miss this. Puccini's most beloved work comes alive with all the requisite bells and whistles.
La Fille du Régiment
Saturday, April 26, 11:30 a.m.
Running time: 3 hours, 10 minutes. 1 intermission