An Extraordinary Cast Stars in Verdi's Popular Favorite Il Trovatore on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, August 28 at 12 p.m. ET on PBS

Aug 04, 2011, 15:42 ET from WNET New York Public Media

Marcelo Alvarez, Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky reprise their performances in David McVicar's lauded production

NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Verdi's Il Trovatore, starring four of the world's most celebrated interpreters of the leading roles and conducted by Marco Armiliato, will air on THIRTEEN's Great Performances at the Met Sunday, August 28 at 12 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will premiere the production on Thursday, August 25 at 8 p.m.

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The telecast was originally seen live in movie theaters on April 30, 2011 as part of the groundbreaking series, The Met: Live in HD, which transmits live performances to more than 1500 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 46 countries around the world.

Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. For more than 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.

The cast earned excellent reviews for their performances after the premiere of David McVicar's critically acclaimed production in 2009: as the heroic troubadour of the title, Marcelo Alvarez is "exciting, conveying Manrico's urgency and desperation" (The Wall Street Journal); in the role of Leonora, Sondra Radvanovsky is "remarkable…a spirited, feisty heroine" (Variety); Dolora Zajick is "a force of nature" (The New York Times) as Azucena, the gypsy with a dark secret; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky's "vivid presence and rich baritone emphasize Count di Luna's swings between hell-bent vengeance and romantic obsession" (Variety).

McVicar's production of Il Trovatore, notoriously difficult to stage due to its complex plot, also won critical acclaim for its straightforward emotional power. The New York Times applauded McVicar's "clear-headed, psychologically insightful and fluid staging." This staging of Il Trovatore, which is visually inspired by Francisco Goya's series of prints entitled "The Disasters of War," features sets by Charles Edwards, costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, and choreography by Leah Hausman.

Renee Fleming, who stars in Strauss's Capriccio also in August on Great Performances at the Met, is the host for Il Trovatore and will interview the opera's stars during the intermission. Barbara Willis Sweete directs the transmission and Jay David Saks is music producer.

Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and Joseph A. Wilson. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®.

Visit Great Performances online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs. For the Met, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

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About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company's repertory. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world. The Met's 2011-12 season features seven new productions, including: the world premiere of The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche with an original libretto by Jeremy Sams set to the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, and others; the Met premiere of Donizetti's Anna Bolena directed by David McVicar; and the final two installments of Wagner's epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Maestro Levine. The first complete performances of the new Ring cycle are scheduled for April and May 2012. The season also features new productions of three repertory classics by outstanding directors—Mozart's Don Giovanni by Michael Grandage, Gounod's Faust by Des McAnuff, and Massenet's Manon by Laurent Pelly.

Building on its 81-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, returns for its sixth season in 2011-12. The series of 11 transmissions begins October 15 with Anna Bolena and ends with La Traviata on April 14. The Met recently introduced Met Player, a new subscription service that makes much of its extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public for the first time online, and in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season, as well; the Met on Rhapsody on-demand service offers audio recordings; and the Met presents free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the opera season.

The Met has launched several audience development initiatives, including Open House dress rehearsals, a popular rush ticket program, Gallery Met, and an annual Holiday Series presentation for families. For more information, please visit: www.metopera.org.

SOURCE WNET New York Public Media