Opera screenings in HD, Dolby sound open tomorrow at CCP

Opera screenings in HD, Dolby sound open tomorrow at CCP
By Walter Ang
March 18, 2013
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Opera fans and those who are curious to try out the art form will now be able to watch operas staged by New York City's Metropolitan Opera (Met) without flying to the USA.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines and the Met, will be holding screenings of the Met's latest productions in high-definition video and full Dolby sound at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.

English subtitles will be available for all the screenings. The series begins on March 19 with Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida," featuring Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with heroic Radames, played by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina. "Aida" runs at 3pm and 8pm.

Other scheduled screenings, all with 3pm and 8pm shows, of Met productions for this year include "Rigoletto" on April 16, also by Verdi, where his tragedy of love, betrayal and revenge is given a modern setting: the staging transplants court jester Rigoletto (now a bartender), his daughter Gilda, and the Duke of Mantua (now as a Frank Sinatra-like playboy) to Las Vegas in the 1960s.

Next is "L'Elisir D'Amore" (The Elixir of Love) on May 28, a comedy opera by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti where peasant Nemorino tries to woo landowner Adina with a potion bought from quack doctor Dulcamara.

On July 9, the series will screen "Maria Stuarda," a tragic opera about the life of the titular Queen of Scots by Gaetano Donizetti based on Andrea Maffei's translation of Friedrich Schiller's play "Maria Stuart." (Dulaang UP staged both English and Tagalog versions of the play in 2009.)

The series ends on August 20 with an opera sung in English, composer Thomas Ad├Ęs' "The Tempest" which is based on William Shakespeare's fantasy play where sorcerer Prospero exacts revenge on his brother Antonio while his daughter falls in love with the son of one of his enemies.

The Met stages up to four different rotating opera productions each week. It has had a program in place for broadcasting live via satellite some of its performances to movie theaters since 2006. Its "Live in HD" series of shows is broadcast to more than 1,500 theaters in 60 countries worldwide. Using technology to reach audiences is not novel to the Met as it has broadcast regularly on radio since 1931 and on television since 1977.

The screenings to be held at the CCP will not be live and are from the Met's 2012-2013 season. The screenings will be full-length operas that range from as short as two hours to as long as four hours and will include intermissions.

P500 for each opera and subscription ticket of P1,000 for all five operas. Students get 50% discount for both single opera tickets and subscription tickets. Contact 832-3704 or 832-1125 loc. 1409.

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