Patrick Summers conducts the first revival of Stephen Wadsworth's acclaimed 2007 production
NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gluck's rarely performed masterpiece, Iphigenie en Tauride, starring Susan Graham, Placido Domingo and Paul Groves, will air on THIRTEEN's Great Performances at the Met Sunday, May 29 at 12 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Patrick Summers conducts the revival of the Metropolitan Opera's much-lauded production by Stephen Wadsworth.
The program was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 26, 2011 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1500 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 46 countries around the world.
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Prior to the premiere of the production in 2007, which also featured Graham, Domingo, and Groves, the Met hadn't performed Gluck's final opera since 1917. The title role of Iphigenie en Tauride is a touchstone role for Graham, who has performed it with great success at the Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Teatro Real de Madrid. Domingo added the role of Iphigenie's long-lost brother Oreste to his extensive repertoire for the 2007 premiere of Wadsworth's production and earned excellent reviews for his performance in what has traditionally been considered a baritone role.
Groves reprises his Pylade, which he has sung at leading opera houses in Madrid, Paris, London, Chicago, and San Francisco. Maestro Summers, who has conducted a diverse range of works at the Met ranging from Salome to Rodelinda, also conducts the Met's revival of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor this season. The cast also features Gordon Hawkins as the Scythian king Thoas and Julie Boulianne as the goddess Diane.
Iphigenie en Tauride ("Iphigenia in Tauris"), based on the Greek myth about a priestess facing the aftermath of her family's violent history, is often considered the culmination of Gluck's life ambition to achieve a perfect union of music and drama. Reviewing the current revival, the New York Times critic called it "An impassioned revival… (which) confirms that there is no reason for this radiant opera not to be a repertory staple," praising the singers and "the Met orchestra's warmly powerful, propulsive performance."
Wadsworth's production features sets by Thomas Lynch, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Neil Peter Jampo.
Great Performances at the Met: Iphigenie en Tauride was directed for the live HD transmission by Barbara Willis Sweete and hosted by soprano Natalie Dessay. Jay David Saks is the music producer. The performance is sung in French with English subtitles. Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, public television viewers and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®. Additional funding for Great Performances at the Met: Iphigenie en Tauride is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and Joseph A. Wilson.
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 2010-11 season features seven new productions, including the first two installments of a new Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Maestro Levine, and two company premieres (John Adams's Nixon in China directed by Peter Sellars, and Le Comte Ory directed by Bartlett Sher). The season also features new productions of three repertory classics by outstanding directors—Boris Godunov by Stephen Wadsworth, Don Carlo by Nicholas Hytner, and La Traviata by Willy Decker.
Building on its 80-year-old international 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 fifth season in 2010-11. The series of 12 transmissions began October 9 with Das Rheingold and ends with Die Walkure on May 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 Radio 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.
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