Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Palace shows new Met season Oct 8

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 9:00 AM

Founded in 1880 as an alternative to the previously established Academy of Music opera house, The Met debuted in 1883 in a new building on 39th and Broadway, New York (now known as the 'Old Met'). The new Metropolitan Opera House, which opened at Lincoln Centre in September 1966, was equipped with the finest technical facilities.

Many great conductors have helped shape the Met, beginning with Wagner's disciple Anton Seidl in the 1880s and 1890s, and Arturo Toscanini, who made his debut in 1908.

Within a few weeks of the opening of the new Met in 1966, soprano Birgit Nilsson starred as Isolde, one of her signature roles, in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Now, 50 years later, Nina Stemme opens the Met's 2016 - 17 season in the same role, in a new production by Mariusz Trelinski. Stuart Skelton stars as Tristan, Ekaterina Gubanova as Brangane and Rene Pape as King Marke.

Jamaica officially joins in the 50th anniversary celebrations on October 8 at Carib 5, when The Met's 2016 -17 season of Live in HD cinema transmissions opens. Fittingly, Palace Amusement Company is honouring the celebration of German composer Robert Wagner by teaming with the Jamaican-German Society (JGS) and The Gleaner for this staging of the celebrated opera.

In recent years Swedish, soprano Nina Stemme has sung roles such as Isolde (Tristan and Isolde) and Brunnhilde (Wagner's Ring Cycle), among many others.

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Stemme's highly acclaimed Isolde in Christof Loy's production of Tristan and Isolde at the Royal Opera House in London rendered her the Laurence Olivier Award for best role interpretation 2010. Nina Stemme has also been honoured with the Swedish Royal medal Litteris et Artibus and the Italian Premio Abbiati.

Stuart Skelton was named Male Singer of the Year at the 2014 International Opera Awards. In 2015 he made a major role debut, singing Tristan in Tristan und Isolde with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson. In 2010, he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for his performances as Peter Grimes with the English National Opera.

Ekaterina Gubanova was born in Moscow and began her musical studies as a pianist.

In 2005, she sang as Brangane in Tristan und Isolde at the Opera National de Paris.

She has since reprised the role in Baden-Baden, Rotterdam, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, St Petersburg and Munich, collaborating with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Semyon Bychkov and Kent Nagano.

Rene Pape as been a member of the Berlin State Opera since 1988, but considers New York's Metropolitan Opera his operatic "home away from home." Since his house debut in 1995, he has appeared every season at the Met, in 18 roles and more than 160 performances. Pape's first CD of solo arias, Gods, Kings & Demons, was released in 2008 on Deutsche Grammophon with his hometown orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Sebastian Weigle. The disc won an ECHO award, the German equivalent of a Grammy.