Exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, with ten opulent operas – and a special encore – on show on the big digital screen
The much-anticipated 2015/16 Live in HD season from The Metropolitan Opera in New York returns to South Africa in October this year. In celebration of ten years of The Met: Live in HD being screened on cinemas around the world, including Cinema Nouveau, the new season presents ten opulent, full-length operas, including six new productions, and a special encore.
The first opera to be broadcast on the cinema screen in the first Met: Live in HD season, the 2006 production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, will be screened in January 2016 as part of the tenth anniversary season.
All the opera productions will release exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres from 24 October 2015 to May 2016.
In addition to the production, lovers of opera are invited behind the scenes with the Met’s stars. Singers serve as hosts for the HD series, conducting live interviews with cast and crew members as well as the production teams. They introduce the popular behind-the-scenes features during the intermissions, giving cinema audiences an unprecedented look at what goes into staging an opera at one of the world’s greatest houses. The series has become a global phenomenon with more than 18 million tickets sold since its inception ten years ago.
The new season opens at Cinema Nouveau on Saturday, 24 October with Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore, with star soprano Anna Netrebko as Leonora, following her triumph as Lady Macbeth in the last season. The next transmission will be another Verdi favourite, Otello, which releases for limited screenings from 14 November.
The Met’s Music Director James Levine conducts the third opera of the season – Wagner’s early masterpiece, Tannhäuser, (28 November) starring leading Wagnerian tenor, South African-born Johan Botha in the title role of the young knight caught between love and passion.
The next opera, Berg’s Lulu, also has a strong South African connection. Music Director James Levine – one of Lulu’s leading champions – conducts a new production for the Met from acclaimed South African artist and director, William Kentridge (The Nose), who applies his unique vision to Berg’s opera. This opera releases on 12 December.
The groundbreaking broadcast that launched the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series to cinemas in 2006 – including Cinema Nouveau here in South Africa – returns for a special encore screening from 08 January 2016, in celebration of The Met’s tenth anniversary season. Mozart’s much-loved The Magic Flute returns in a shortened English-language with James Levine conducting a winning ensemble cast.
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) returns to the Met for the first time in 100 years, and will be screened locally from06 February 2016. This lavish opera is followed by a rare treat for Puccini fans – a trio of his operas over the next three months.
First up is the famous Turandot featuring opera’s leading dramatic soprano Nina Stemme in the title role, on the big screen from 20 February. This is followed by Manon Lescaut under the baton of Fabio Luisi on 26 March, with the third Puccini opera, Madama Butterfly, with one of the world’s foremost Butterfly’s, Kristine Opolais, in the lead role as the spurned Geisha in Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production from 23 April.
The penultimate opera of the 2015/16 season is Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux with Sondra Radvanovsky in the role of Queen Elizabeth I. This production, by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Maurizio Benini, will be screened from 07 May. The season closes with the Greek tragedy, Elektra by R. Strauss, with soprano supreme Nina Stemme as the title heroine. This final opera releases for limited screenings from 28 May.
Click here for a short trailer on the new season:
Click here for a trailer of The Met: Live in HD production of “Il Trovatore”:
These grand operas, filmed at the iconic Metropolitan Opera House, feature some of the world’s most talented singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers.
With these exclusive productions, Cinema Nouveau continues to give local audiences the opportunity to witness these spectacular ‘live’ broadcasts on the big screen, in full digital projection, at various sites across South Africa. Past productions have received critical acclaim and gained recognition around the world.
The Met: Live in HD, the Met’s award-winning series of live transmissions to cinemas around the world, has expanded its worldwide distribution to more than 2 000 theatres in 70 countries this season, the largest global audience the initiative has ever reached.
The Met was the first arts company to experiment as an alternative content provider, starting on a modest scale in 2006. Since then, its programme has grown every season with more than 18 million tickets sold to date, and its tenth anniversary season being celebrated this year.
Met opera stars serve as hosts for each of the Live in HD series, conducting live interviews with cast, crew, and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features. The worldwide HD audience is given an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world’s great houses.
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.
Each of these entertaining operas is a glorious production that will be screened exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, including: Gateway Nouveau and Gateway Commercial in Durban; V&A Waterfront Nouveau in Cape Town; Ster-Kinekor Somerset Mall in Somerset West and Garden Route Mall in George; Rosebank Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Bedford Centre in Johannesburg; and at Brooklyn Nouveau in Pretoria.
For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit or Download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to make bookings. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For information, call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).
The Met: Live in HD 2015-16 Schedule
The season opens on 24 October 2015 with Verdi’s Il Trovatore followed by his Otello on 14 November. The season continues with Wagner’s Tannhäuser (28 November), Berg’s Lulu (12 December), a special encore of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (09 January 2016),Les Pêcheurs de Perles by Bizet (06 February), Puccini’s Turandot (20 February), Manon Lescaut (26 March) and Madama Butterfly(23 April), Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (07 May) and Elektra by R. Strauss (28 May).
IL TROVATORE – Verdi  (releases on 24 October 2015)
Soprano Anna Netrebko’s dramatic and vocal skills are on full display in her next new role at the Met—Leonora, the Verdi heroine who sacrifices her own life for the love of a gypsy troubadour. Tenor Yonghoon Lee sings the ill-fated Manrico, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is his rival, and mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick is the mysterious gypsy with the troubled past. Marco Armiliato conducts Sir David McVicar’s Goya-inspired production.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 10mins)
OTELLO – Verdi  (releases on 14 November 2015)
Verdi’s masterful Otello, inspired by Shakespeare’s play and matching it in tragic intensity, is directed by Bartlett Sher, who probes the Moor’s dramatic downfall with an outstanding cast: tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko plays the doomed Otello; new soprano star Sonya Yoncheva sings Desdemona, Otello’s innocent wife and victim; and baritone Željko Lučić plays the evil Iago, who masterminds Otello’s demise. Dynamic maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 30mins)
TANNHÄUSER  – Wagner  (releases on 28 November 2015)
James Levine conducts Wagner’s early masterpiece in its first return to the Met stage in more than a decade. Today’s leading Wagnerian tenor, Johan Botha, takes on the daunting title role of the young knight caught between true love and passion. Eva-Maria Westbroek is Elisabeth, adding another Wagner heroine to her Met repertoire after her acclaimed Sieglinde in the “Ring” a few seasons ago. On the heels of his recent triumph in Parsifal, Peter Mattei sings Wolfram, and Michelle DeYoung is the love goddess, Venus.
(Approximate running time:  4hrs, 35mins)
LULU – Berg  (Releases on 12 December 2015)
Acclaimed artist and director William Kentridge (The Nose) applies his unique theatrical vision to Berg’s notorious femme fatale who shatters lives, including her own. Musically, the masterful score is in the sure hands of Met Music Director James Levine. Soprano Marlis Petersen has excited audiences around the world with her portrayal of the tour-de-force title role, a wild journey of love, obsession, and death. Susan Graham joins a winning cast, including Daniel Brenna and Johan Reuter.
(Approximate running time:  4hrs, 30mins)
THE MAGIC FLUTE Special Encore – Mozart (releases on 09 January 2016)
In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Live in HD series, there will be a special encore showing of the first in-theatre event from 2006.  The groundbreaking broadcast that launched the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series to movie theaters, The Magic Flute enchanted opera lovers from around the world with the whimsical humour and breathtaking puppetry of Julie Taymor’s hit production, presented in a shortened English-language version. Under the baton of Maestro James Levine, a winning ensemble cast – including Nathan Gunn, Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklósa, and René Pape – brings fresh life to Mozart’s timeless fairy tale.
(Approximate running time:  1hr, 55mins)
LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES – Bizet  (releases on 06 February 2016)
Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing set in the Far East returns to the Met stage for the first time in 100 years. Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Her suitors are tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who sing the lilting duet “Au fond du temple saint,” which opera fans know and adore. Director Penny Woolcock explores the timeless themes of pure love, betrayal, and vengeance in a production that vividly creates an undersea world on the stage of the Met. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda brings his romantic flair to the lush score from the composer of Carmen.
(Approximate running time:  2hrs, 55mins)
TURANDOT – Puccini  (releases on 20 February 2016)
Nina Stemme stars in the title role of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand. Tenor Marco Berti is Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her love. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 35mins)
MANON LESCAUT – Puccini  (releases on 26 March 2016)
The Met stage ignites when soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann join forces in Puccini’s obsessive love story. Opolais sings the title role of the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress, while Kaufmann is the dashing student who desperately woos her. Director Richard Eyre places the action in occupied France in a film noir setting. ‘Desperate passion’ is the phrase Puccini himself used to describe the opera that confirmed his position as the pre-eminent Italian opera composer of his day. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the stirring score.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 35mins)
MADAMA BUTTERFLY – Puccini  (releases on 23 April 2016)
Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. One of the world’s foremost Butterflies, sopranos Kristine Opolais stars in the title role. Tenor Roberto Alagna sings Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly’s heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 40mins)
ROBERTO DEVEREUX – Donizetti  (releases on 07 May 2016)
Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky takes on the extraordinary challenge of singing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens in the course of a single season, a rare feat made famous by Beverly Sills—and not attempted on a New York stage since. In this climactic opera of the trilogy, she plays Queen Elizabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves, Roberto Devereux. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini. As with the earlier Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, the production is by Sir David McVicar, who with this staging completes an enormously ambitious directorial accomplishment.
(Approximate running time:  3hrs, 30mins)
ELEKTRA – R. Strauss  (releases on 28 May 2016)
Director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme—unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner—who portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra’s fearsome mother, Klytämnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass-baritone Eric Owens are Elektra’s troubled siblings. Chéreau’s musical collaborator Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Strauss’s mighty take on Greek myth.
(Approximate running time:  2hrs, 10mins)

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