The Met: Live in HD to Transmit Twelve Operas in 2012-13, Seven are New Productions

A scene from Act 2 of Verdi’s “Aida.”
Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera (c) 2005

The Met: Live in HD series, the world’s largest provider of alternative cinema content, will reach its widest-ever global audience in its seventh season, which begins October 13 with the live transmission of Donizetti’s comedy L’Elisir d’Amore.

Joyce DiDonato as the title character of Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda.” Photo: Brigitte Lacombe/Metropolitan Opera.

In the Berkshires, the programs are transmitted to the screens of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, and the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown.

The series has expanded to reach 1,900 theaters in 60 countries around the world, with Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Qatar joining the HD distribution network for the first time. To accommodate audience demand this season, dozens more cinemas have been added in Germany, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The geographical breakdown of the number of theaters worldwide includes 760 in the U.S (with 660 theaters through National CineMedia); 159 in Germany (an increase of more than 30 theaters from last season); 141 in Canada; 130 in France; 128 in the United Kingdom (an increase of more than 40 theaters from last season); and 121 in Sweden (also an increase of more than 40 theaters).

“In addition to bringing grand opera directly from our stage into communities across the nation and around the world, our HD programs energize our performers, who know that a sizeable percentage of the global population of opera fans are watching and listening to them,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager.

Jonas Kaufmann as the title character of Wagner’s “Parsifal.” Photo: Micaela Rossato/Metropolitan Opera.

The series opens on October 13 with Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, starring Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien in a new production by Bartlett Sher, and continues with Verdi’s Otello (October 27), starring Johan Botha and Renée Fleming, conducted by Semyon Bychkov; the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest (November 10), conducted by the composer, directed by Robert Lepage, and starring Simon Keenlyside; Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (December 1), with Elīna Garanča, Giuseppe Filianoti, and Barbara Frittoli; a new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (December 8), directed by David Alden, conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi, and starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Marcelo Álvarez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Stephanie Blythe; Verdi’s Aida (December 15), starring debuting soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, Olga Borodina, and Roberto Alagna; Berlioz’s Les Troyens (January 5), conducted by Luisi and starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, and Marcello Giordani; the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (January 19), directed by David McVicar and starring Joyce DiDonato in the title role; a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto (February 16), starring Željko Lučić, Diana Damrau, and Piotr Beczala, directed by Michael Mayer in his Met debut, conducted by Michele Mariotti; a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal (March 2), starring Jonas Kaufmann, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, and René Pape, directed by François Girard and conducted by Daniele Gatti; Zandonai’s rarely heard Francesca da Rimini (March 16), with Eva-Maria Westbroek and Giordani; and a new production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare (April 27), directed by McVicar and starring David Daniels as Caesar and Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra.

Thomas Adès “The Tempest” in Robert Lepage’s production.
Québec Opera Festival photo: Nicola Vachon.

Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Eric Owens, Sondra Radvanovsky and Deborah Voigt will serve as hosts for the Live in HD presentations this season, conducting live interviews with cast, crew, and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes interviews and features.

All 12 high-definition productions will be shown live worldwide on Saturdays. Most operas begin at 12:55 p.m. EST, with some operas beginning earlier in the afternoon; exact starting times appear on the schedule below. The majority of encore presentations in the United States will be shown on Wednesdays, 18 days after the live exhibition. For complete information on locations and tickets, visit

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline and Paul G. Desmarais Sr. The HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.

A scene from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Berlioz’s “Les Troyens.”
Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera.

The Met: Live in HD Complete 2012-13 Schedule
*New Production

*Saturday, October 13, 2012 – L’ELISIR D’AMORE (12:55 p.m. ET)

Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in Bartlett Sher’s new production of one of the greatest comic gems in opera, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino. Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir. Maurizio Benini conducts.

Saturday, October 27, 2012 – OTELLO (12:55 p.m. ET)

Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece returns to the Met with Johan Botha in the title role opposite the acclaimed Desdemona of star soprano Renée Fleming. Semyon Bychkov conducts.

*Saturday, November 10, 2012 – THE TEMPEST (12:55 p.m. ET)

Composer Thomas Adès conducts the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his own work, with baritone Simon Keenlyside starring as Prospero. Director Robert Lepage recreates the interior of 18th-century La Scala in this inventive staging.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 – LA CLEMENZA DI TITO (12:55 p.m. ET)

The virtuosic Elīna Garanča sings Sesto in Mozart’s drama set in ancient Rome. Giuseppe Filianoti is the noble Tito and Barbara Frittoli is Vitellia, in this handsome revival of one of the composer’s final masterpieces. Harry Bicket conducts.

*Saturday, December 8, 2012 – UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (12:55 p.m. ET)

Director David Alden’s dreamlike setting provides a compelling backdrop for this dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance. Marcelo Álvarez stars as the conflicted king; Sondra Radvanovsky is Amelia, the object of his secret passion; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is her suspicious husband. Kathleen Kim is the page Oscar, and Stephanie Blythe sings the role of the fortune-teller Ulrica. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi conducts.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 – AIDA (12:55 p.m. ET)

The Met’s unforgettable production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radamès, sung by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina. Fabio Luisi conducts.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 – LES TROYENS (12 noon ET)

The Met offers a rare opportunity to witness Berlioz’s vast epic, last performed at the house in 2003. Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, and Marcello Giordani lead the starry cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War. Fabio Luisi marshals the large-scale musical forces.

*Saturday, January 19, 2013 – MARIA STUARDA (12:55 p.m. ET)

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the world’s most exciting singers, takes on the virtuosic bel canto role of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots. Director David McVicar turns to the second opera of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, which explores regal characters at fateful moments of their lives. Elza van den Heever sings Elizabeth I, and Maurizio Benini conducts.

*Saturday, February 16, 2013 – RIGOLETTO (12:55 p.m. ET)

Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdi’s towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960. Piotr Beczala is the womanizing Duke, Željko Lucic is his tragic sidekick, Rigoletto, and Diana Damrau is Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda.

*Saturday, March 2, 2013 – PARSIFAL (12:00 p.m. ET)

Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of the innocent who finds wisdom in François Girard’s new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece. His fellow Wagnerian luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas, Evgeny Nikitin as the wicked Klingsor, and René Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz. Daniele Gatti conducts.

Saturday, March 16, 2013 FRANCESCA DA RIMINI (12:00 p.m. ET)

Zandonai’s compelling opera, inspired by an episode from Dante’s Inferno, returns in the Met’s ravishingly beautiful production, last seen in 1986. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and tenor Marcello Giordani are the doomed lovers. Marco Armiliato conducts.

*Saturday, April 27, 2013 – GIULIO CESARE (12:00 p.m. ET)

The opera that conquered London in Handel’s time comes to the Met in David McVicar’s lively production. The world’s leading countertenor, David Daniels, sings the title role opposite Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts.

*New Production

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