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2013: HAPPY 200TH BIRTHDAY, MR. VERDI

September 2012 to May 2013

The Metropolitan Opera - Lincoln Center, New York

Something to celebrate: 200 years from the birth of one of the greatest composers, Giuseppe Verdi.To the world, as to the nation he helped to found, Verdi left an enduring legacy of music, charity, patriotism, honour, grace, and reason” stated Mary Jane Phillips-Matz.  And the Metropolitan Opera is going to honor him by presenting AidaRigolettoIl TrovatoreOtelloUn Ballo In Maschera and Don Carlo

VENDETTA, TREMENDA VENDETTA - My favorite Opera story, as a writer, is Rigoletto, one of the only noirs in this genre. Based on the play 'Le roi s'amuse'  by Victor Hugo, Rigoletto is a deformed court jester who offends people to amuse his Duke. The 'offended' are usually other aristocrats accused of being cornuti (cheated-on men), of being promiscuous (women who cheat) or of being the parents of loose girls. Rigoletto knows because his Duke is the one who is visiting married women and virgins all along. Bad karma and bad luck follow, because Rigoletto has a beautiful young daughter whom he is keeping as far as possible from the Duke. But the Duke gets to her, and I cannot tell you the finale, it’s a crescendo of emotions and twists you must experience yourself. Go see it.
 
AIDA, HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE? – This is my favorite staged opera for its incredible scenery. Aida, like Tosca and most Opera female characters, is not the sharpest tool in the shed so the plot is simply an impossible love story (Romeo and Juliet in Ancient Egypt). But scenery, costumes, props, and obviously Verdi’s music (‘Celeste Aida’, ‘Triumphal March’) are unforgettable. Again, go see it.
Below you will find dates and times:
 
IL TROVATORE
September 29, 2012, 12:30 pm
October 4, 2012, 7:30 pm
October 8, 2012, 7:30 pm
October 12, 2012, 8:00 pm
October 17, 2012, 7:30 pm
October 20, 2012, 8:00 pm
October 25, 2012, 7:30 pm
January 9, 2013, 7:30 pm
January 12, 2013, 1:00 pm
January 16, 2013, 7:30 pm
January 19, 2013, 8:00 pm
January 24, 2013, 7:30 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Salvatore Cammarano
Conductor: Daniele Callegari
Leonora: Carmen Giannattasio
Azucena: Dolora Zajick
Manrico: Gwyn Hughes Jones
di Luna: Franco Vassallo
Ferrando: Morris Robinson
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish
David McVicar’s vivid production keeps the action moving in Verdi’s intense melodrama, which includes some of the composer’s most memorable music. Carmen Giannattasio, Sondra Radvanovsky, Patricia Racette, Angela Meade, Marco Berti, Franco Vassallo, and Alexey Markov take on leading roles, with a pair of star mezzos sharing the role of the gypsy Azucena: Stephanie Blythe and Dolora Zajick.
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=12179
 
OTELLO
October 9, 2012, 7:30 pm
October 13, 2012, 8:00 pm
October 16, 2012, 7:30 pm
October 20, 2012, 1:00 pm
October 27, 2012, 1:00 pm
March 11, 2013, 7:30 pm
March 15, 2013, 7:30 pm
March 20, 2013, 7:30 pm
March 23, 2013, 8:00 pm
March 27, 2013, 7:30 pm
March 30, 2013, 8:00 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Arrigo Boito
Conductor: Semyon Bychkov
Desdemona: Renée Fleming
Otello: Johan Botha
Cassio: Michael Fabiano
Iago: Falk Struckmann
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish

Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece returns to the Met with two exciting casts. Johan Botha sings the title role opposite the acclaimed Desdemona of star soprano Renée Fleming, with Falk Struckmann as Iago and Semyon Bychkov conducting.
Later in the season, José Cura, Krassimira Stoyanova, and Thomas Hampson take on the principal roles, with Plácido Domingo on the podium.
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=12094

  

UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
November 8, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 12, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 15, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 19, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 24, 2012, 8:00 pm
November 27, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 30, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 4, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 8, 2012, 1:00 pm
December 14, 2012, 7:30 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Antonio Somma
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Amelia: Karita Mattila
Oscar: Kathleen Kim
Ulrica: Dolora Zajick
Riccardo: Marcelo Álvarez
Renato: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish
Accompanied by a thrilling score, Verdi’s vivid characters grapple with life and love, betrayal and death. Director David Alden’s dreamlike setting provides a compelling backdrop for this dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance. Marcelo Álvarez stars as the conflicted king; Karita Mattila is Amelia, the object of his secret passion; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is her suspicious husband. Kathleen Kim is the page Oscar, and mezzo-soprano powerhouses Dolora Zajick and Stephanie Blythe take turns singing the fortuneteller Ulrica. Fabio Luisi conducts.
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=11984
 
AIDA
November 23, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 26, 2012, 7:30 pm
November 29, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 3, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 7, 2012, 8:00 pm
December 12, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 15, 2012, 1:00 pm
December 19, 2012, 7:30 pm
December 22, 2012, 8:00 pm
December 28, 2012, 7:30 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Antonio Ghislanzoni
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Aida: Liudmyla Monastyrska
Amneris: Olga Borodina
Radamès: Marco Berti
Amonasro: Alberto Mastromarino
Ramfis: Stefan Kocán
The King: Miklós Sebestyén
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish

The Met’s unforgettable production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska and Hui He. They share the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radamès, played by Marco Berti and Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina.
Fabio Luisi conducts this revival, which features recent choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=11972
 
RIGOLETTO
January 28, 2013, 8:00 pm
January 31, 2013, 7:30 pm
February 4, 2013, 7:30 pm
February 8, 2013, 8:00 pm
February 12, 2013, 7:30 pm
February 16, 2013, 1:00 pm
February 19, 2013, 8:00 pm
February 23, 2013, 8:00 pm
April 13, 2013, 8:30 pm
April 16, 2013, 8:00 pm
April 20, 2013, 8:30 pm
April 24, 2013, 7:30 pm
April 27, 2013, 8:30 pm
May 1, 2013, 7:30 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
Conductor: Michele Mariotti
Gilda: Diana Damrau
Maddalena: Oksana Volkova
Duke of Mantua: Piotr Beczala
Rigoletto: Željko Lucic
Sparafucile: Stefan Kocán
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish

Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdi’s towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960—an ideal setting for this eternal conflict of depravity and innocence. In this production, inspired by the antics of the Rat Pack, Piotr Beczala is the womanizing Duke of Mantua, with Željko Lucic as his tragic sidekick, Rigoletto. Diana Damrau is Rigoletto’s daughter—and their victim. Michele Mariotti conducts.
http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/production.aspx?id=12117
 
DON CARLO
February 22, 2013, 7:00 pm
February 25, 2013, 7:00 pm
February 28, 2013, 7:00 pm
March 6, 2013, 7:00 pm
March 9, 2013, 11:00 am
March 13, 2013, 7:00 pm
March 16, 2013, 7:30 pm
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettists: Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry
Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Elisabeth de Valois: Sondra Radvanovsky
Eboli: Anna Smirnova
Don Carlo: Ramón Vargas
Rodrigo: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Grand Inquisitor: Eric Halfvarson
Sung in Italian, with Met Titles in English, German, and Spanish

Nicholas Hytner’s powerful 2010 production features a strong cast for Verdi’s epic vision of the Spanish Inquisition. Ramón Vargas sings the title role, joined by Sondra Radvanovsky, Anna Smirnova, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson. Lorin Maazel conducts.
 
 
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Images:
* Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi (croped) by Giacomo Brogi (1822-1881). File from the Wikimedia Commons. 
Caricature of Giuseppe Verdi (1860). Author: Melchiorre De Filippis Delfico (1825–1895). File from the Wikimedia Commons.
Thomas Keene in Othello. Library of Congress.REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZC6-58.  File from the Wikimedia Commons.
* Don Carlo. From Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection.  File from the Wikimedia Commons. 
* Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Character – Amneris. Costume design realized on commission of Ricordi & C. by Girolamo Magnani for the premiere at Teatro alla Scala, February 8, 1872.Author Girolamo Magnani. File from the Wikimedia Commons.
* Costumes for the Duke of Mantua and Gilda at the premiere of Verdi's opera Rigoletto (Publisher: Casa Ricordi, 1851) Source: http://www.teatrolafenice.it/public/libretti/63_1269LibrettoRigoletto.pdf (page 28). File from the Wikimedia Commons.