The moment that much of the midstate’s music community has been awaiting has finally arrived. The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series opens Saturday with “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour,” for those whose Italian is rusty).
The Met season in New York opened in September with a production of “The Marriage of Figaro,” an event disrupted by demonstrators alleging that John Adams’ “The Death of Klinghoffer” is anti-Semitic and glorifies terrorism. Opera may be high art, but it is also serious business.
While the Met radio broadcasts have been around since 1931, it was general manager Peter Gelb’s inspired idea in 2006 to begin the HD broadcasts and begin a worldwide boom in the popularity of grand opera. The HD telecasts are now seen in more than 70 countries around the world, including two locations in the midstate: Macon’s Douglass Theatre and the Galleria Mall Stadium Cinemas in Centerville.
Opening the HD season of 10 telecasts, “Il Trovatore” is the work of Giuseppe Verdi and, like the play it is based on, boasts an immensely melodramatic story line. It’s not hard to see why this work has proven so immensely popular over the years. Indeed, the so-called “Anvil Chorus” is known to multitudes who have never seen the opera.
The plot, which hinges on a tragic case of mistaken identity, tells the story of the Count di Luna and his love for the beautiful Leonora, whose heart belongs to the mysterious knight Manrico.
The latter believes the gypsy Azucena to be his mother, and ominously we soon learn that years before, di Luna’s brother was kidnapped and presumably murdered by a gypsy. Into this tale of rivalry, revenge and mistaken identities comes a convent and a poisonous ring -- all of the ingredients necessary for a heart-rending melodrama.
The popular Anna Netrebko sings the role of Leonora and Youghoon Lee is Manrico, as Marco Armiliato conducts the Met’s orchestra.
Up next is another Verdi classic, “Otello,” on Oct. 17.
When: 12:55 p.m. Oct. 3
Where: Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and the Galleria Mall Stadium Cinemas 15, 2980 Watson Blvd., Centerville
Cost: $24 adults, $20 seniors