By night, they share a perfect passion. But for Princess Isolde and her lover Tristan, every day is any agony of separation. Can they shrug off the bonds of honour and duty that keep them apart? Or is death their only hope of everlasting night?
The Black Oud represents a subtle new direction in documentary. I have used the term 'bio-documentary' to describe this slight, though essential, difference between my film and the majority of personal or experimental documentaries made in the last decade.
The Grove is the second part of Lawrence Jordan's H.D. Trilogy. It continues what began with THE BLACK OUD (again featuring Joanna McClure as the catalyst) and concludes in STAR OF DAY.
Sonya Yoncheva sings one of opera’s most beloved heroines, the tragic courtesan Violetta, a role in which she triumphed on the Met stage in 2015, opposite Michael Fabiano as her lover, Alfredo, and Thomas Hampson as his father, Germont. Carmen Giannattasio sings later performances of the title role opposite Atalla Ayan, with the great Plácido Domingo as Germont. Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Star soprano Anna Netrebko scored a triumph in Laurent Pelly’s acclaimed 2012 production, singing the title heroine for the first time at the Met. Manon’s story—from innocent country girl to celebrated courtesan to destitute prisoner—is one of the great tragic tales in literature and music, and this performance brings out all of its colors, as seen through Massenet’s masterful score, from the comedic beginning to the heart-wrenching finale. Piotr Bezcala is des Grieux, Manon’s lover, who decides to become a priest when she leaves him, but ultimately is reunited with her, only to lose her again. Paulo Szot sings Lescaut, and Fabio Luisi conducts the Met Orchestra and Chorus.
After disinheriting his nephew Ernesto, the elderly DON PASQUALE seeks a wife to produce an heir for his estate. Dr. Malatesta sympathizes with Ernesto and devises a plan to help Ernesto regain his inheritance and the widow Norina. In this Metropolitan Opera production of Donizetti's lighthearted opera, Anna Netrebko is a brazen, beautiful, vocally indomitable and utterly winning Norina while Mariusz Kwiecien, as Malatesta, uses his voice and physique with force and wit. Otto Schenk's direction allows Donizetti's buffo charmer to resonate with deepter and more stimulating emotions.
Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann brings aching intensity and vocal charisma to the tortured title hero of Massenet’s Goethe adaptation. Sophie Koch, in her Met debut, is an appealing and elegant Charlotte, the object of Werther’s passionate affection that will lead to tragedy. Lisette Oropesa as Sophie, David Bižić as Albert, and Jonathan Summers as Le Bailli co-star. Richard Eyre’s atmospheric production is conducted by rising maestro Alain Altinoglu.
Renée Fleming is Countess Madeleine, the beautiful, enigmatic woman at the center of Strauss’s sophisticated “Conversation Piece for Music.” She is being courted by two men: Joseph Kaiser sings the composer, Flamand, and Russell Braun is Olivier, the poet. The stellar cast also includes Peter Rose as the theater director La Roche, Sarah Connolly as the actress Clairon, and Morten Frank Larsen as the Countess’s brother. John Cox’s elegant production places the action in the 1920s. Andrew Davis conducts.
The Met assembled an ideal cast for François Girard’s acclaimed new production of Wagner’s final masterpiece: Jonas Kaufmann in the title role of the fool “made wise by compassion”, René Pape as Gurnemanz, the veteran Knight of the Grail, Katarina Dalayman as Kundry, Peter Mattei is Amfortas, the anguished ruler of the Grail’s kingdom, and Evgeny Nikitin sings the evil magician Klingsor.
The last of the four music dramas in Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. On the rock of Brünnhilde the three Norns weave fate. Valhalla must burn, bringing an end to the gods. Siegfried acquires Brünnhilde’s strength as a Valkyrie. He gives her his ring, and she gives him Grane, her horse. Hagen urges his half-brother Gunther to marry Brünnhilde, although she is fated to be the wife of Siegfried, who is tricked into marrying their sister, Gutrune. Brünnhilde curses Siegfried and tells Hagen he can be wounded only from the back. Hagen pierces Siegfried’s back and mortally wounds him. Siegfried's body is brought back, to Gutrune's distress. Gunther and Hagen fight and the former is killed, but the ring cannot be taken from Siegfried's body. Brünnhilde orders a pyre to be raised and rides into it on Grane, wearing the ring, which will return, on her death, to the Rhinemaidens, who drag Hagen down to the depths of the river. Valhalla finally burns.
Live performance from the Metropolitan Opera, 10 December 2011.
Live performance from the Metropolitan Opera, 14 December 2013.
Acclaimed artist William Kentridge directed and designed this visually dazzling Met premiere production of Shostakovich’s satirical opera, adapted from the classic short story by Nikolai Gogol. Baritone Paulo Szot leads the cast as Kovalyov, the hapless bureaucrat whose nose has mysteriously gone missing. Alexander Lewis and Andrey Popov co-star, and Pavel Smelkov conducts.
In Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s towering tragedy, Renée Fleming gives a captivating performance as the innocent Desdemona, a role long considered one of her calling cards. Johan Botha as the title hero delivers an imposing portrayal of a proud warrior brought down by jealousy, and Falk Struckmann is thrilling as the villainous Iago. James Morris sings Lodovico. Elijah Moshinsky’s production is conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
The Isle of Wight Festival is a music festival which takes place every year on the Isle of Wight in England.It was originally held from 1968 to 1970. These original events were promoted and organised by the Foulk brothers (Ron, Ray and Bill Foulk) under the banner of their company Fiery Creations Limited.
Richard Eyre’s elegant production, which opened the Met’s 2014–15 season, sets the action of Mozart’s timeless social comedy in a manor house in 1930s Seville. Ildar Abdrazakov leads the cast as the resourceful Figaro set on outwitting his master, the philandering Count Almaviva, played by Peter Mattei. Marlis Petersen sings Susanna, the object of the Count’s affection and Figaro’s bride-to-be, Amanda Majeski is the Countess, and Isabel Leonard gives a standout performance as the pageboy Cherubino. Music Director James Levine on the podium brings out all the humor, drama, and humanity of Mozart’s score.
The Met’s spectacular production of Verdi’s Egyptian epic captures both the grandeur and the intimacy of this powerful tale of love and politics. Liudmyla Monastyrska is Aida, the Ethiopian princess-turned-slave in love with the Egyptian warrior Radamès, sung by Roberto Alagna. Olga Borodina is her rival, Amneris, daughter of the Pharao, and George Gagnidze sings Aida’s father, Amonasro, the King of Ethiopia. Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium.
Met Music director James Levine conducts a cast of youthful stars in Mozart’s sophisticated comedy about testing the ties of love. Susanna Phillips and Isabel Leonard are the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, who are led to believe their fiancés have gone off to war. Matthew Polenzani and Rodion Pogossov are Ferrando and Guglielmo, the lovers who return in disguise to test their girls' fidelity. Danielle de Niese sings the scheming maid Despina and Maurizio Muraro is Don Alfonso, the philosopher and mastermind pulling the strings.
Live from the Metropolitan Opera, February 2012.
Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles, the title character in Dvořák’s sumptuously melodic Rusalka. The story of the opera, which is about a water spirit’s tragic romance with a human prince, is drawn from several folktale sources including Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Star conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a cast that also includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince whom Rusalka yearns to love; Dolora Zajick as the cackling swamp witch Ježibaba; Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess, Rusalka’s rival; and John Relyea as Rusalka’s father, the Water Sprite.