NEW YORK, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles, the title character in Dvořák's sumptuously melodic Rusalka, on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, May 18 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera Friday, May 30 at 9 p.m.)
The story of the opera, which is about a water spirit's tragic romance with a human prince, is drawn from several folktale sources including Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid."
Star conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a cast that also includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince whom Rusalka yearns to love; Dolora Zajick as the cackling swamp witch Ježibaba; Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess, Rusalka's rival; and John Relyea as Rusalka's father, the Water Sprite.
Fleming won the Met's National Council Auditions 25 years ago singing the forlorn mermaid's famous aria "Song to the Moon" and has sung the role of Rusalka more than any other artist in Met history.
"Portraying a water nymph who gives up a life of enchantment to pursue mortal love with a handsome prince, Ms. Fleming sang with tonal splendor and commendable ease," enthused The New York Times.
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham hosts the broadcast.
Rusalka was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 8 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.
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®. Additional funding is provided 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, Barbara Willis Sweete 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.