Fancy an unusual kind of art appreciation in the Metro? Head over to Makati this December and feast your eyes on classical operas that can definitely entice you for three long hours. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend such activities without checking them out myself. Your resident millennial attended the opening night of the Met Opera last November 8 with Madama Butterfly as the featured presentation.
As someone who’s used to watching stage plays live with either English or Filipino as the language, I’d still give recorded operas in a foreign language two thumbs up. It’s definitely a must-try for the next six months.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines, The Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc. and Ayala Malls Cinemas once again bring New York’s The Met Opera series at Greenbelt 3 Cinemas in Makati City from December 2016 to May 2017.
The prestigious Met Opera series, now on its third year at Ayala Malls will be presented in high-definition format (HD), featuring six stunning productions that will start on December 6 with Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Movie patrons seeking classical forms of art will be treated to a series of engaging stage plays that can give anyone the feeling of being at The Met. The special screenings continue on January 10 with Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, followed by Così Fan Tutte on February 14, Madama Butterfly on March 14, Turandot on April 4 and Tristan and Isolde on May 9.
Through digital technology, the stage plays will be presented as it was recorded during their live performance at The Met – complete with backstage scenes, and interviews with the actors and production crew. Ayala Malls Cinemas bring to the local scene productions composed by world-renowned and legendary artists Giacomo Puccini, Gioachino Rossini, Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Richard Wagner and Wolgang Amadeus Mozart.
Here’s what the next screenings are about:
Sparkling with wit and energy, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) is about a resourceful barber and man-about-town. Count Almaviva arrives in Seville to search for the mysterious woman he met in Madrid. When he learns that she is Rosina, due to be married to her tyrannical guardian Bartolo, he enlists the help of the cunning barber Figaro to win her hand. Almaviva and Rosina fall in love, and Rosina turns her mind to duping Bartolo. The combined conniving of all three is too much for Bartolo, who has to admit defeat when he discovers Almaviva and Rosina have married right under his nose.
Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci is about two complementary works that tell dark tales of passionate love that sours to violent jealousy.
Così Fan Tutte is a romantic comedy that tells the tale of two men testing their fiancées’ faithfulness on the prodding of a cynical old man named Don Alfonso. The men, Ferrando and Guglielmo pretended to go to war leaving Fiordiligi and Dorabella while Don Alfonso continues his scheme of luring the sisters to fall for other men.
Madama Butterfly is a beautiful atmospheric production about an unfortunate, doomed love. Soprano Kristine Opolais brings all of her passionate commitment to her role of Cio-Cio-San, the teenage geisha who gives up everything for Lt. Pinkerton.
In Turandot, Nina Stemme takes on the title role of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand, opposite Marco Berti as Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her love. Anita Hartig and Leah Crocetto share the role of Liù, the faithful slave girl. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.
The final presentation, Tristan and Isolde, an audacious new production by Mariusz Treliński (the director responsible for the 2014–15 season’s double bill of Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle) sees an Irish Princess, Isolde, on board a ship from Ireland to Cornwall, as she marries King Marke who governs Cornwall. She is escorted by Tristan, the King’s loyalist and his nephew. Isolde has already fallen in love with Tristan. But now he delivers her to the King as though she were a prisoner. She compels him to take poison with her because she detests the idea of marrying King Marke. However, her maid, Brangane, prepares medicine of love instead of poison. When their ship calls at the port, they have already fallen passionately in love with each other.
For advanced ticket purchase, log on to www.sureseats.com. Tickets for the Met Opera series will be sold at Php 450 each. However, patrons and cineastes may also subscribe to all six shows for only Php 2,400. Book your tickets now!