The Met's revival starring Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani commemorates the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met
NEW YORK, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Opera's production of La Fanciulla del West, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met, will air on THIRTEEN's Great Performances Sunday, April 24, at 12 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will air the program Thursday, April 21, at 8 p.m. ET, with an encore broadcast on Sunday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m.
The program was originally seen live in movie theaters on January 8, 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.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers.
Deborah Voigt sings the title role of Minnie in Giancarlo Del Monaco's 1991 production, with Marcello Giordani as Dick Johnson (the disguised bandit Ramerrez) and Lucio Gallo as the villainous sheriff Jack Rance. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the work, which the composer told The New York Times in 1910 he considered "the best of [his] operas."
Set in a mining camp during the California Gold Rush, saloon owner Minnie has her sights set on the mysterious Dick Johnson, and nothing — not horses, hangmen, nor a high-stakes poker game — can keep her from finding true love.
The debut of La Fanciulla del West on December 10, 1910, was the first-ever world premiere presented by the Met. It earned nineteen curtain calls for Puccini, stage director David Belasco, stars Emmy Destinn and Enrico Caruso, and conductor Arturo Toscanini. A review in the New York Herald suggests that the evening was a triumph for all involved: "The event had been looked forward to as socially one of the most brilliant in the history of the house, and the result justified expectation...In a word, it was the kind of premiere of which older Europe would have been very proud and of which New York would have been envious."
As for the current production, the Associated Press praised Voigt for "a riveting and moving portrayal" displaying a "shining top that pierced through the sumptuous orchestration... her warm, endearing manner combined with an infectious stage-dominating moxie to make [the role] all her own." As Dick Johnson, Giordani "is at his best here" said the New York Daily News. Under the baton of Luisotti "the score emerged as arguably Puccini's most subtly written and boldly modern music" (The New York Times).
Great Performances at the Met: La Fanciulla del West was directed for the live HD transmission by Barbara Willis Sweete and hosted by Met soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Jay David Saks is the music producer. The performance is sung in Italian 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: La Fanciulla del West is provided by The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund.
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.
SOURCE Thirteen/WNET New York