Opera screenings in HD, Dolby sound open tomorrow at CCP

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Opera fans and those who are curious to try out the art form will now be able to watch shows staged by New York City’s Metropolitan Opera (Met) without flying to the USA.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines and the Met, will be holding screenings of the Met’s latest productions in high-definition video and full Dolby sound at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.

English subtitles will be available for all the screenings. The series opens tomorrow with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” featuring Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with heroic Radames, played by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina. “Aida” runs at 3 p.m. and

8 p.m.

Other scheduled screenings, all with 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows, of Met productions for this year include “Rigoletto” on April 16, also by Verdi, where his tragedy of love, betrayal and revenge is given a modern setting: The staging transplants court jester Rigoletto (now a bartender), his daughter Gilda, and the Duke of Mantua (now as a Frank Sinatra-like playboy) to Las Vegas in the 1960s.

Next is “L’Elisir D’Amore” (The Elixir of Love) on May 28, a comedy opera by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti where peasant Nemorino tries to woo landowner Adina with a potion bought from quack doctor Dulcamara.

On July 9, the series will screen “Maria Stuarda,” a tragic opera about the life of the titular Queen of Scots by Donizetti, based on Andrea Maffei’s translation of Friedrich Schiller’s play “Maria Stuart.” (Dulaang UP staged both English and Tagalog versions of the play in 2009.)

The series ends on Aug. 20 with an opera sung in English, composer Thomas Adès’ “The Tempest” which is based on William Shakespeare’s fantasy play where sorcerer Prospero exacts revenge on his brother Antonio, while his daughter falls in love with the son of one of his enemies.

The Met stages up to four different rotating opera productions each week. It has had a program in place for broadcasting live via satellite some of its performances to movie theaters since 2006. Its Live in HD series of shows is broadcast to more than 1,500 theaters in 60 countries worldwide. Using technology to reach audiences is not novel to the Met, as it has broadcast regularly on radio since 1931 and on television since 1977.

Screenings to be held at the CCP will not be live and are from the Met’s 2012-2013 season. The screenings are full-length operas that range from as short as two hours to as long as four hours and will include intermissions.

Tickets are at P500 for each opera; subscription tickets of P1,000 are for all five operas. Students get 50-percent discount for both single opera tickets and subscription tickets. Call 8323704, 8321125 loc. 1409.

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