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Metropolitan Opera Guild News: January 2010

“Elina Garanca’s cool beauty and sultry mezzo have made her one of Europe’s hottest stars,” writes Opera News.  “This month she sings Bizet’s femme fatale in the HD broadcast of the Met’s new Carmen staging.”  George Hall introduces and interviews the newest Opera News cover diva, who hails from Latvia, via the world’s great opera houses.  Also in the magazine’s January issue comes a reminder that a well and truly established diva, Renée Fleming, is to be the first honoree in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s exciting new series, “The Met Mastersingers,” which debuts in February.

Back with the Carmen theme, writer David J. Baker looks at the ways conductors, directors, and prima donnas have tried to meet the challenges of this masterpiece in which two different agendas are at work – the brutal realism of Prosper Mérimée’s novella and the debonair conventions of opéra comique.

Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, making his Met debut this season helming the Met’s new Carmen, talks with Features Editor Brian Kellow about the opera’s intriguing mix of French and Spanish influences.  Another Met debutante, visionary director Richard Eyre, also bowing with the new Carmen, tells David Cote that Bizet’s opera has lost none of its power to shock.

In a vibrant portrait, Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, fresh from a Houston triumph as Elsa in Lohengrin, talks to writer Allan Ulrich about her increasing association with Italian repertoire.  She soon sings her first Italian role at the Met – Amelia in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra – complete with an HD broadcast on February 6.  Her colleague in the title role: “debutante” baritone Plácido Domingo.

As always, there are special extras exclusively for subscribers and Met patrons at the Opera News website,

The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s two lectures for the first month of the New Year constitute the first two parts of another popular “Opera Boot Camp”, on January 23 and 30, both Saturdays.  While the first is sold out, there are still tickets to “Opera Evolution” – a capsule history of the first two centuries of the most complex performing art.

Soon after, the Metropolitan Opera Guild presents the debut of an exciting new series:  “The Met Mastersingers”.  Starting at the very top for this inaugural event, the Guild has invited superstar soprano Renée Fleming to join its executive producer Paul Gruber in an informal conversation about her life and career.  The event will take place on Wednesday, February 3 at New York’s Town Hall and will feature screenings of the radiant soprano’s favorite filmed performances as well as a new video biography and filmed anecdotes by Fleming’s colleagues and friends.  Ticket and other information for “The Met Mastersingers: Renée Fleming” follows below.


Upcoming lectures and public events from the Metropolitan Opera Guild

Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 11am – 12:15pm

OPERA BOOT CAMP I: Vocal Verbiage and Vocabulary

presented by Laura Day

Don’t know the difference between a soprano and a tenor, or an aria and a recitative?  Think a sforzando is a military command or a sushi order?  Learn the language of music and the sounds of the singers in this fun-filled session.

Price: $16 – SOLD OUT

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 11am – 12:15pm

OPERA BOOT CAMP II: Opera Evolution: 1600-1800
presented by Dottie Allen

What is opera and where did it come from?  Who were Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart, and why are they important to this great synergy of art forms?  Find out on a tour of opera’s first 200 years.

Price: $16.00

These two Boot Camp events will be held in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Opera Learning Center on the 6th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose building at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 8pm

The Met Mastersingers: Renée Fleming

The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, New York City

Tickets are $50 for Guild members and Met patron, and $75 for all others.  Following the program, join the Guild for an artists’ reception with champagne and dessert: $150 for premium seating and reception.  For tickets, call (212) 769-7009, or order online at

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© 21C Media Group, December 2009

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