Love is dangerous:
'Le Comte Ory' on April 9
The Metropolitan Opera presents its first-ever performance of Rossini’s final comic opera, Le Comte Ory, in a production by Bartlett Sher at 10 a.m. April 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. Twylah Olson and Linda McPhee (see column at right for more about them) jointly host this ninth event of the second season of The Met: Live in HD 2010-11 Season, presented by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA).
Maurizio Benini conducts an exceptional cast of stars, led by Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato as Isolier. The rarely heard opera, in which a love-struck count resorts to trickery to seduce a lonely countess, will be transmitted to movie theaters in 46 countries.
All three stars have appeared in Sher’s acclaimed Met production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Damrau and Flórez sang in the 2006 new production premiere and DiDonato and Flórez starred in a 2007 Live in HD transmission of the opera. Le Comte Ory’s hero is Flórez’s seventh bel canto role at the Met. He has sung in La Cenerentola, L’Italiana in Algieri, Don Pasquale, and the new production premieres of both La Sonnambula and La Fille du Régiment. He debuted the role of Count Ory in 2003 at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy.
The Performing Arts Center box office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and an hour prior to performance time. Ticket prices are $20 adult, $17 senior, and $10 student.
On Apr. 23: Richard Strauss' 'Capriccio'
On opening night of the 2008–09 season, Renée Fleming dazzled audiences when she sang the final scene of Strauss’s wise and worldly meditation on art and life. Now she performs the entire work, in which the composer explores the essence of opera itself.
The performance begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 23 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
On Apr. 30: Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'
James Levine leads this revival of
Giuseppe Verdi's intense drama (which premiered in the 2008-09 season), starring four extraordinary singers, in what might be the composer's most melodically rich score.
The performance begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 30 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
About your hosts
"As a child growing up on a farm in western Kansas, we drove to Denver to see the Metropolitan Opera production of Carmen... I was instantly 'hooked' on opera!" says host Twylah Olson.
"It was 10 years later when I saw another live Met performance in Oklahoma City, and then another in Minneapolis, followed by a few Portland Opera Company productions," she continued. "So you can imagine my surprise when all these fabulous 'Live from the Met' broadcasts came to Newport on a big screen! I had set too low a goal! My new goal is to see them all. Each HD performance has been a feast for all the senses. It's very easy to see why they call it 'Grand Opera'... I'm forever grateful."
"I fell in love with opera in Gladys Korn's kitchen the summer I was 10," recalls host Linda McPhee. "That summer my grandfather, Charley, and I were voraciously reading myths. Gladys hired me to help with her big English garden, four dogs (two Great Danes and two dachshunds), and conservatory bird clinic. When we were done with our chores, we drank lemonade, talked about movies (she'd been Loretta Young's dresser), and then she'd play an opera recording. She'd tell me the stories and describe sets and costumes before I went home to my noisy family of eight for dinner. It was a magic summer."
"When I lived in San Francisco, I saw operas as I could afford to, which was rarely," McPhee continued. "Then there was a long opera-less span. Now I am really enjoying these HD performances. Every time the music begins, I am 10 again."
Met Opera season events at a glance
• Apr. 9, Le Comte Ory, 10 am
• Apr. 23, Capriccio, 10 am
• Apr. 30, Il Trovatore, 10 am
• May 14, Die Walkure, 9 am
To learn more about hosting a Met Opera Live in HD event, please contact OCCA Executive Director Catherine Rickbone at 541-574-2652, or email her with questions