Met Live's 'Enchanted Island' Fuses Shakespeare & Baroque Music

01.05.12

Enchanted-Island-scene
Surrounded by mermaids, Plácido Domingo is the sea god Neptune in “The Enchanted Island.”

The Met: Live in HD will present “The Enchanted Island,” an opera that fuses a Shakespeare-inspired plot with music by a variety of Baroque composers, in a fitting kick-off to the New Year, on Jan. 21.

“The Enchanted Island” had its world premiere on the Metropolitan Opera stage on New Year’s Eve. Inspired by the musical pastiches and masques of the 18th century, Jeremy Sams devised and wrote the work with a story drawn from Shakespeare and arias and ensembles by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau and others.

In one extraordinary new work, lovers of Baroque opera have it all: the world’s best singers, glorious music of the Baroque masters, and a story drawn from Shakespeare. In “The Enchanted Island,” the lovers from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are shipwrecked on his other-worldly island of “The Tempest.”

Eminent conductor William Christie leads an all-star cast, with David Daniels as Prospero and Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax playing the formidable foes, Plácido Domingo as Neptune, Danielle de Niese as Ariel and Luca Pisaroni as Caliban. Lisette Oropesa and Anthony Roth Costanzo play Miranda and Ferdinand. The dazzling production is directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch.

The New York Times called the work “fanciful, clever and touching.” The Associated Press said “The Enchanted Island” is “the best opera Handel and Vivaldi never wrote.”

“The Enchanted Island” will screen live at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Potsdam’s Roxy Theater. In addition, there will be an encore transmission on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.

The opera will be performed in English. The approximate running time is three hours, 25 minutes, with intermission breaks.

In the North Country, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and J.S. Cinemas sponsor the 2011-12 season of The Met: Live in HD. Music-lovers and novices alike can watch the staging live from the Metropolitan stage in New York City, where high-definition cameras capture the action and the dramatic music is presented in surround sound, with English subtitles.

The Metropolitan Opera’s The Met: Live in HD series has won both Peabody and Emmy Awards, and sold more than 2.6 million tickets last season, expanding to 1,600 theaters in 54 countries.

Ticket prices for the series 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.

For more information on the 2011-12 The Met: Live in HD season, visit the Metropolitan Opera website at http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/liveinhd/LiveinHD.aspx

To learn more about The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, 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, and is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2011.