Fairfield University announces the new season of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD

Fairfield University's collaboration with the Met Live in HD continues on the big screen at the Quick Center for the Arts on campus. The 2008-2009 season features a series of ten operas including five new productions: "La Damnation de Faust," "Thaïs," "La Rondine," "La Sonnambula" and "Doctor Atomic." Lovers of the operatic grand scale will enjoy a bonus that opens the season: a Metropolitan Opera Gala evening with Renée Fleming.

As the Metropolitan Opera celebrates its 125th anniversary, the Live in HD series, now in its third year, has been seen around the world by millions of opera aficionados and opera novices of all ages. The local response has been tremendously enthusiastic and as word of the performances has spread throughout Fairfield County, the audience has grown exponentially. In order to accommodate a rapidly growing audience, this season features encore performances of all ten operas; some performances will be repeated on the same day and others will repeat on a subsequent day.

Met orders and ticketing for members and subscribers of the Metropolitan Opera will be processed starting August 15th. Non-Met member orders and ticketing will be processed starting August 22nd. Prices include single tickets as well as a three-tiered price for subscriptions: Single tickets: $22, $20 seniors, $15 children/students; $21 per ticket with the purchase of 5-7 performances; $20 per ticket with the purchase of 8-10 performances; $19 per ticket with the purchase of all 11 performances. There is no reserved seating, only open seating.

Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Gala with Renée Fleming
Monday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Maestros James Levine and Marco Armiliato conduct fully staged performances starring Renée Fleming in three of her most acclaimed roles: Violetta in "La Traviata," the title role in Massenet's "Manon," and the Countess in Richard Strauss' "Capriccio." Tenor Ramón Vargas and baritones Thomas Hampson and Dwayne Croft join the soprano for this gala performance.

Richard Strauss' "Salome"
Saturday, October 11 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (7 p.m. Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 1 hrs. 37 min.
Karita Mattila caused a sensation when she sang Salome at the Met for the first time in 2004. She reprises her stunning interpretation of the part, including her unforgettable Dance of the Seven Veils.

John Adams' "Doctor Atomic" - New production
Sunday, November 9 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. (Encore Performances)
Approximate running time 3 hrs. 21 min.
A contemporary masterpiece that explores a momentous episode of modern history: the creation of the atomic bomb. Director Penny Woolcock makes her Met debut with this gripping story that changed the course of history. Baritone Gerald Finley plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the title character.

Hector Berlioz's "La Damnation de Faust" - New production
Saturday, November 22 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (7 p.m. Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 2 hrs. 45 min.
Robert Lepage, one of theater's most imaginative directors, applies his artistry to Berlioz's contemplation of good and evil. Using projections, Lepage has created a vision for "La Damnation de Faust" that seamlessly marries art and technology. Marcello Giordani stars in the title role opposite Susan Graham as Marguerite and John Relyea as Méphistophélès. James Levine conducts this rarely staged masterwork.

Jules Massenet's "Thaïs" - New production
Saturday, December 20 at 12:00 p.m.
Monday, December 22 at 6 p.m. (Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 3 hrs. 21 min.
Renée Fleming plays the Egyptian courtesan in search of spiritual sustenance. Thomas Hampson is the monk who falls from grace. Massenet's sensual score is presented in a production that was originated at Lyric Opera of Chicago by John Cox.

Giacomo Puccini's "La Rondine" - New Production
Saturday, January 10 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, January 11 at 1 p.m. (Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 2 hrs. 15 min.
Opera's charismatic real-life duo, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, provide the star power to deliver this ravishing romance from the world's most popular opera composer. Gheorghiu plays the kept woman who gambles on true love and Alagna is the man who makes her question the cost of her glittering existence. Nicolas Joël directs the new production of this gorgeously melodic look at love.

Christoph Willibald von Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice"
Saturday, January 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (7 p.m. Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 1 hrs. 31 min.
Mark Morris' acclaimed production returns! This complete vision for Gluck, with choreography by Morris and costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, features the artistry of Stephanie Blythe in the title role. The alluring Danielle de Niese is Orfeo's adored wife, Euridice, who inspires the hero to face the underworld for her sake. Music Director James Levine conducts.

Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Saturday, February 7 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (7 p.m. Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 3 hrs. 34 min.
Anna Netrebko, acclaimed for her dramatic skills, plays the title role of Donizetti's fragile heroine in this performance. Tenor Rolando Villazón plays Lucia's lover, Edgardo, with baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as her tyrannical brother. Mary Zimmerman's hit production is staged as a Victorian ghost story.

Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly"
Sunday, March 8 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. (Encore Performances)
Approximate running time 3 hrs. 23 min.
Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, the original star of the Butterfly production when it opened the 2006-07 season, returns to the title role of Anthony Minghella's stunning production, a new classic of the Met repertory.

Vincenzo Bellini's "La Sonnambula" - New Production
Saturday, March 21 a t 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m. (Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 2 hrs. 30 min.
Mary Zimmerman, who directed Natalie Dessay in last season's hit new production of "Lucia di Lammermoor," underlines "La Sonnambula's" dual elements of sleep and wakefulness in an intriguing staging set in the present. Bellini's hauntingly lyrical score soars as performed by Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, back from their sensational run together in "La Fille du Régiment" in leading opera houses around the world.

Gioachino Rossini's "La Cenerentola"
Saturday, May 9 at 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 10 at 12:30 p.m. (Encore Performance)
Approximate running time 3 hrs. 0 min.
Hot on the heels of her triumphant Met debut as Rosina in last season's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," Elïna Garanca portrays another Rossini charmer in this bel canto Cinderella story. Lawrence Brownlee is her Prince Charming. Veteran baritone Alessandro Corbelli demonstrates his impeccable comic timing to match the gravitas of Met favorite John Relyea.

Tickets will be available online at fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information on performances in this series, please visit the MetHD section of the website at www.fairfield.edu/methd.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 7, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 227

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