The Met: Live in HD presents the final HD opera of the season - Armida - with Renée Fleming at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on May 1



hImage: ArmidaThe Met: Live in HD wraps-up another successful season of live opera transmissions to millions of opera fans and new devotees at movie theaters and performing arts centers around the world with a performance of Rossini's "Armida" on Saturday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m., presented locally at Fairfield University's Regina A Quick Center for the Arts. The house opens at 12:30 p.m. for a pre-opera presentation of interviews. The 1:00 p.m. performance is sold out at the Quick Center for the Arts. Seating is still available for an encore performance on the same day at 6:30 p.m. with the house opening at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is part of the Arts & Minds series at Fairfield University.

In The New York Times review of the opening night performance, critic Anthony Tommasini applauds star Renée Fleming as one who "has always made very particular and personal choices of operatic roles ... the managers of the Metropolitan Opera, fully appreciative of Ms. Fleming's vocal artistry and star power, have been ready to accommodate her...In requesting this fantastical, infrequently heard 1817 work ... Ms. Fleming was hardly playing it safe." Tommasini describes the title role of Armida as one that "is an alluring, conniving sorceress ... a tour de force for a soprano who can combine alluring long-spun lyrical singing with dazzling, sometimes demonic, coloratura flights. Moreover, the lead soprano dominates a cast that requires six Rossini tenors, a casting nightmare for any company. The Met lined them up, headed by Lawrence Brownlee in an assured and appealing performance as Rinaldo... Still, this was Ms. Fleming's show and she was impressive."

The Tony Award®-winning director Mary Zimmerman works her magic in a "fanciful production" and, in addition to Fleming and Brownlee, whose performance Tommasini describes as "winning ... for an increasingly important artist," the outstanding cast includes fellow tenors in smaller but crucial rolls, John Osborn as Goffredo, Yeghishe Manucharyan as Eustazio, José Manuel Zapata as Gernando and Kobie van Rensburg and Barry Banks as Ubaldo and Carlo, respectively, who "joined Mr. Brownlee for a beautiful, wafting account of a deservedly famous trio for three tenors."

Conducting is Riccardo Frizza and Graciela Daniele, in her Met debut, has choreographed a delightful 15-minute ballet segment. Richard Hudson designed the sets and costumes and Brian MacDevitt is the lighting designer.

Deborah Voigt, who will conduct live backstage interviews with the cast during intermission, hosts the HD transmission. The intermission features also include a preview of the upcoming fifth season of "live in HD," which begins on Oct. 9 with Wagner's "Das Rheingold" in a new production directed by Robert Lepage.

The expected running time is under 4 hours with 2 intermissions. "Armida" is sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Tickets for reserved seating are $22 general, $20 seniors and $15 for children and students. They are 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. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. And become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook! Keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts! Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter.

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

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

Posted on April 21, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 272