NEW YORK, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Met Music Director James Levine conducts Mozart's barbed romance Così fan tutte, a comic masterpiece about the romantic complications that ensue when a pair of friends decide to test their fiancées' fidelity.
Lesley Koenig's sleek production features a cast filled with rising Met stars, including Susanna Phillips and Isabel Leonard as the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella; Matthew Polenzani and Rodion Pogossov as their fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; and Danielle de Niese as their feisty maid Despina. Maurizio Muraro is the cynical Don Alfonso on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, August 24 at 12 p.m. on PBS. (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera on Sunday, August 31 at 12:30 p.m.)
"I don't think I have ever heard a more vibrant, masterly and natural performance than this... glowing, crisp and buoyant account of Mozart's...'Così Fan Tutte.' Lesley Koenig's simple, sunny, and charmingly traditional production from 1996 [features a] winning cast [which] performed like a crack comedic theater troupe," observed The New York Times.
Associated Press asserted "This was prime Levine: a lithe, energetic, transparent account of Mozart's miraculous score, brisk but not rushed, polished and profound."
Soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast.
Così fan tutte was originally seen live in movie theaters on April 26 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 66 countries around the world. The transmission reached a record-breaking 15 million viewers.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers.
Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America's most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by Mercedes T. Bass and Donald G. Sisler, with additional funding by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, 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.
Visit Great Performances online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.
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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's 2013-14 season features six new productions, including Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Deborah Warner in her Met debut; the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly's Two Boys, conducted by David Robertson and directed by Bartlett Sher; Verdi's Falstaff, conducted by Levine and directed by Robert Carsen; Strauss's Die Fledermaus, conducted by Adam Fischer and directed by Jeremy Sams; Borodin's Prince Igor, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov in his Met debut; and Massenet's Werther, conducted by Alain Altinoglu and directed by Richard Eyre.
Building on its 82-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 eighth season in 2013-14 with ten live transmissions. Met Opera on Demand, a subscription service, makes selections from the company's extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online 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 and the Met offers free live audio streaming of performances on its website once a week during the opera season.