Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Met season opens in October

Published:Friday | September 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Met's 2016-17 season of Live in HD cinema transmissions features 10 presentations. They begin on October 8 with a new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, to be broadcast direct via satellite to Carib 5, Jamaica.

The Palace Amusement Company, in partnership with the Jamaican-German Society (JGS) and The Gleaner, will bring the timely staging of Tristan und Isolde, starring Nina Stemme, to Jamaican audiences in keeping with the local celebration of Germany Week by the JGS.

Celebrated German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces that stand at the centre of today's operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about theatre, Wagner insisted that words and music were equals in his works.




This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or 'total work of art', combining music, poetry, architecture, painting and other disciplines. It is a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.

Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera's general manager, Peter Gelb, this new adaptation of Tristan und Isolde by Polish director Mariusz Trelinski and set designer Boris Kudlicka is a prestigious international co-production. It involves three other institutions that teamed on the work - Teatr Wielki (Polish National Opera), Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.

The new production had its world premiere in Baden-Baden, a town in south-western Germany's Black Forest, followed by a staging in the Varsovian Teatr Wielki. The imminent inauguration at the Met is viewed as a huge professional success for the Polish creator, whose Iolanta/Bluebeard's Castle delighted the New York audience and viewers around the world during last year's opera season.




As Trelinski said, "We are very happy about being chosen for this project. There are places which are important artistically and there are other less prestigious places which aren't as crucial. There are places the entire world observes. When there's a premiere at Met, we deal with an Internet transmission to several dozen countries. This is impossible to overestimate."

Tristan und Isolde is said to be a masterpiece, one of the very few operas whose historical significance goes far beyond the history of the genre. According to author, Piotr Kaminski, Wagner's genius is all-absorbing and subordinates everything to itself. There is no other composer who aroused so many mutually exclusive passions, but at the same time no other composer built such a staggering yet coherent vision of his own work.

The Met's 2016-17 season of Live in HD's cinema transmissions features 10 presentations, to be shown on the Palace Amusement circuit in live and encore presentations. They are Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner; Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; L'Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho; Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi; Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod; Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak; La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi; Idomeneo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Tchaikovsky; and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss.