Contemporary Masterpiece 'The Tempest' makes Debut on Met Live

10.31.12

Tempest-1
The baritone Simon Keenlyside plays Prospero, the marooned former duke of Milan, who now rules the island with sorcery, alongside the spirit Ariel, played by coloratura soprano Audrey Luna.

A groundbreaking contemporary masterpiece will make its debut on The Met: Live in HD, with the new Metropolitan Opera production of Thomas Adès’ 2004 work, “The Tempest,” which brings William Shakespeare’s classic play to colorful life.

Composer Adès conducts the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his own work, with baritone Simon Keenlyside starring as Prospero. Director Robert Lepage has recreated the interior of the 18th century La Scala Milan opera house in this inventive staging. “The Tempest” retains the magical and human elements of Shakespeare’s story and features a new libretto adapted from the master playwright’s legendary text.

The New Yorker called the opera “a masterpiece of airy beauty and eerie power,” while the Wall Street Journal called the production “magical in every respect.”

The cast features gifted singers in the opera’s numerous major roles. Keenlyside plays Prospero, the marooned former duke of Milan, who now rules the island with sorcery, alongside the air spirit Ariel, played by coloratura soprano Audrey Luna. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard plays Prospero’s daughter Miranda, who falls in love with the captive Ferdinand, sung by tenor Alek Shrader. Alan Oke is the enslaved Caliban, bitter after being enslaved instead of ruling the island he used to occupy alone.

“At its London premiere I thought ‘The Tempest’ one of the most inspired, audacious and personal operas to have come along in years. I feel this even more strongly after the Met’s fantastical production, which offers a superb cast, headed by the charismatic baritone Simon Keenlyside in the role he created in London,” said Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times. “Adès … drew a textured, glittered and suspenseful account of his opera from the great Met orchestra.”

Adès’ “The Tempest” will screen live from the Metropolitan Opera stage at 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Potsdam’s Roxy Theater. There will be an encore screening at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. The opera will be performed in English. The approximate running time is three hours.

The 2012-13 season of The Met: Live in HD is sponsored in the North Country by SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and J.S. Cinemas. All productions will be shown live worldwide on Saturdays. There will also be encore presentations offered on Sundays locally. For complete information on the season in store, visit www.metopera.org/hdlive.

In The Met: Live in HD, robotic cameras, strategically placed around and behind the stage, capture the beauty and power of live performance from striking angles, and heighten attention to both performance and production. Intermission features and English subtitles bring the stories to life.

Tickets are on sale now. Prices are the lowest available in the nation: $18 for an adult, $15 for senior citizens, $12 for students and $9 for youth age 18 and under.

Tickets are available by calling the Community Performance Series Box Office at (315) 267-2277, or visiting the Roxy Theater or Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam or the CPS Box Office in the lobby of Sara M. Snell Music Theater. You can also reserve tickets online by visiting www.cpspotsdam.org or www2.potsdam.edu/cps/eventpgs/methd.html.

For more information on the 2012-13 The Met: Live in HD season, visit www.metopera.org.

To learn more about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and its award-winning opera program, visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.