2019 Summer HD Festival

In this 11th year, over ten nights performances from the Met’s Live in HD series will be shown starting with a screening of FUNNY FACE in a special co-presentation with Film at Lincoln Center.   Screenings run from August 23 through September 2.  There will be 3000 seats in the Plaza in front of the Opera House with an additional standing room area. Cancellations due to thunder/lighting or high wind will not be rescheduled. 

FUNNY FACE [HD Festival]
Aug 23 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

A delightful and heartfelt classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Funny Face has all of the hallmarks of a great American movie musical and stars screen legends Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn.  Inspired by an unproduced musical by Leonard Gershe—itself loosely based on the life of famed photographer Richard Avedon—the 1957 film includes a number of beloved tunes by George and Ira Gershwin, including “’S wonderful” and “Let’s Kiss and Make Up.” A co-presentation of Film at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera

Approximate running time: 1 hour 45 minutes


AIDA [HD Festival]
Aug 24 @ 7:45 pm – 11:30 pm

Original Air Date: 10/06/2018
Luisotti; Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Antonenko, Kelsey, Belosselskiy, Speedo Green
Live in HDMOD Video SID.19349992
In what should be a highlight of the new season, soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, going toe-to-toe with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Later in the season, a second star-studded cast takes over, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Dolora Zajick as the leading ladies.Tenors Aleksandrs Antonenko and Yonghoon Lee alternate as Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti and Plácido Domingo take the podium for the Met’s monumental production. Production a gift of Mrs. Donald D. Harrington Revival a gift of Viking Cruises

CARMEN [HD Festival]
Aug 25 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 01/16/2010
Nezet-Seguin; Frittoli, Garanca, Alagna, Tahu Rhodes
Live in HDMOD Video SID.19349993

RWW Review:  Overall, I give the afternoon an A; not that there weren’t things to NOT like, but that I felt the balance of elements was extremely satisfying, and you understand why Carmen can survive anything from Spike Jones (set in a bubble gum factory decades before regie theatre was thought of) to Carmen Jones to whatever some crazy director somewhere in the EU is cooking up. What a score, even if you’re listening mostly to Choudens and Guiraud recitatives. The melodies, the characters, the everything. Almost every time I listen/watch Carmen at home, I am overwhelmed anew; in the theatre its length (no, not Wagnerian, but it isn’t short and as it used to be with 3 intervals with work the next day etc, etc. often the whole was not the sum of its parts. Today, it emphatically was. I have not yet seen the production in the house, and probably won’t be able to see the original cast when I do.

Now to the particulars. I loved Elina Garanca; her voice to me is both fruity and clear. Her middle and upper voice are technically very satisfying and if there is a little weakness at the bottom in a theare the size of the Met, she has baby blue eyes and a command of the role that clearly put her as one of my very favorite Carmens (never saw Stevens, but Resnik (Dallas, 1963 my first), Bumbry, Verrett, Borodina, De Los Angeles (Newark, and I enjoyed), Crespin, Horne, Baltsa are the ones most worthy of mention. Garanca wowed the Paramus audience besides me as well.

Alagna is such a theatre performer that you go with him even when everything is not perfect. He is a very fine Jose, had to make the high climax of the Flower song pure falsetto to avoid a crack, but overall one of my favorite Joses. That he is arguably the best with the text of any doesn’t hurt, and visually he’s quite a specimen at 47. Carmen has to give him up because he’s immature not because he isn’t the hottest guy in Seville.

Frittoli is a singer I like, having adored her Fiordiligi in the house, many
Desdemonas, and her wrenching Suor Angelica. Her vibrato is always 10% too “loose” to be ideal, but when she needs to get out a big climax, she’s right there, only Freni and Lidia Marimpietri (Dallas, 1963) have made a greater impact.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes was a late (10 am this morning) replacement for Kwiecien who was ill. Though he is often portrayed as a bari hunk, he looked skinny in the costume, and I wasn’t much impressed. The vocal if not stylistic standard is Merrill. The best Escamillos for me (all seen live) Jose van Dam, Sam Ramey, Rene Pape, Norman Treigle (also in that first Carmen). I’ve heard and seen worse Escamillos than Rhodes, MUCH worse.

Conducting. I liked Yannick Nezet-Seguin very much. The musical preparation was outstanding. He started the first act prelude like a house of fire, but as he was accompanying the singers, came into more traditional tempi; he got a nice Gallic tang out of the orchestra. Where the preparation showed was in the many numbers that mix in the quintet of smugglers with chorus and 1 or more of the principals. Elizabeth Caballero as Frasquita sounded VERY good; I want to hear more of her, but the ensemble was really terrific today.

I have to cut this short, but except for the final tableau , i found the production very satisfactory, and easily the best visual Carmen of my experience (i liked John Bury’s sets in the Peter Hall production but not a lot else). I didn’t mind the dancing (might not feel so on repeated viewings) This is the 5th Met production I’ve seen (I alas never saw the Guthrie which showcased Stevens and Tucker (plus on some occasions others, but mostly RS and RT for the whole of the 50s.”

Aug 26 @ 7:45 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 10/09/2010
Levine; Terfel, Croft, Owens, Blythe
Live in HD SID.19359991

RWW Review:  My qualifications on Monday’s performance centered on the Giants, the Alberich, Wotan and the Loge, all OK, but not stellar. I thought all were much better this afternoon. I can’t explain the booing of Croft, but maybe he understood broadcast mics were there and was intent on best possible tone. His performance was one of the best vocal Loges I’ve ever heard today. Eric Owens’ voice sounded better and the Giants MUCH better. As for Terfel, I though his miking was a little muffled (only one of the singers) at times, but clearly this is was in the best voice of the performances I’ve heard (Opening Night-Sirius only for me), Monday, and today. Adam Diegel (Froh) and Dwayne Croft (Donner) even better today, and the split second hammerblow that was just a half second off on Monday was perfect today. There were lots of close-ups today, but also lots of framed scenes of two or more characters interacting.

My only real cavil about today was that the lighting for the NIbelheim scene was mostly washed out. In the theatre, it has a coppery ambience; the first and third scenes came off very well in the house. The final scene seemed even better today, and credit to LePage for timing the final moments to keep applause mostly out until the music has done.

I would be remiss if I did not congratulate Levine on a tremendous performance, and Diegel and Blythe helped him on to the stage for bows at the end. I would call this the Legato Rheingold, not a clinker in the cast. The Met Orchestra is one of the elements that distinguishes their live broadcasts so much. LePage honored the text — there’s a RIng, there’s Rhinegold, a serpent (that came off better in the theatre than on the HD transmission), and a toad (even though it looked more like a bullfrog), and a rainbow bridge.

Aug 27 @ 7:45 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 05/11/2019
Nézet-Séguin; Leonard, Pieczonka, Morley, Cargill, Mattila, Portillo, Croft
Live in HD SID.19359992

Aug 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 10/20/2018
Elder; Garanca, Algana, Naouri, Azizov, Belosselskiy
Live in HDMOD Video SID.19359993

Aug 29 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 04/28/2018
de Billy; DiDonato, Coote, Kim, Blythe, Naouri
Live in HD SID.19359994

Aug 30 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 10/04/2018
Armiliato; Westbroek, Eyvazov, Bosi, Lucic, Simpson, Rose, Gradus
Live in HDMOD Video SID.19359995
Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings Puccini’s gun-slinging heroine in this romantic epic of the Wild West, with the heralded return of tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the role of the outlaw she loves. Tenor Yusif Eyvazov also sings some performances. Baritone Željko Lučić is the vigilante sheriff Jack Rance, and Marco Armiliato conducts.

Aug 31 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 03/02/2019
Mazzola; Yende, Blythe, Camarena, Corbelli, Muraro
Live in HD SID.19359996

Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis … Pour mon âme,” with its nine high Cs. Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trade off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. And in an exciting piece of casting, stage and screen icon Kathleen Turner makes her Met debut in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Enrique Mazzola conducts. A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna

Sep 1 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 04/14/2018
de Billy; Yoncheva, Beczala, Domingo, Vinogradov, Belosselskiy, Petrova
Live in HD SID.19359997

Plácido Domingo adds yet another role to his legendary Met career in this rarely performed Verdi gem, a heart-wrenching tragedy of fatherly love. Sonya Yoncheva sings the title role opposite Piotr Beczała in the first Met performances of the opera in more than ten years. Bertrand de Billy conducts. Production a gift of Catherine and Ephraim Gildor Revival a gift of Rolex and Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman

Sep 2 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Original Air Date: 01/12/2019
Noseda; Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Beczala, Bosi, Maestri, Muraro
Live in HD SID.19369991
Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role. Drama Queen (Article by William Berger) “On New Year’s Eve, Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur returns to the Met with soprano Anna Netrebko in the touchstone title role. She teams up with tenor Piotr Beczała as her lover, Maurizio—a brilliant pairing of stars fresh off a joint triumph in performances of Adriana in Vienna. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili rounds out the all-star principal trio, and maestro Gianandrea Noseda is on the podium. Sir David McVicar’s new staging—the Met’s first new production of the work in more than half a century—embraces Cilea’s glamorous 18th-century Parisian setting but also mines for deeper artistic significance in an opera that is often underestimated.” (William Berger) Co-Production of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Wiener Staatsoper; San Francisco Opera; and L’Opéra National de Paris Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund