Since the recent death of old King Hamlet, Denmark has been adjusting to the new regime of Claudius, the late king’s brother, and preparing for an anticipated conflict with Norway. On the battlements of the royal castle at Elsinore, the sentries are on edge – and not just because of the threat of war. Twice now, a spectral figure resembling the old king has appeared to them on their nightly watch. Meanwhile, young Prince Hamlet remains in deep mourning for his father, his grief compounded by disgust at the speedy remarriage of his mother, Gertrude, to his uncle, Claudius – a union that Hamlet considers incestuous. But even more anguish is in store when Hamlet discovers the truth about his father’s death – and finds himself cast in the role of avenger.
Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 pm
Millepied, Robbins, Balanchine: Dance in Cinema
A dance in cinema production Millepied, Robbins, Balanchine from the Palais Garnier, Opera de Paris, 2015. A dance in cinema production conducted by Maxime Pascal and composed by Nico Muhly, Sergei Prokofiev and Piotr Ilytch Tchaïkovski. Choreography by Benjamin Millepied, Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine respectively. Featuring the Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet with the Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris.
Total Running Time: 85 min
Benjamin Millepied pays tribute to his masters, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, two truly great choreographers, both of Russian origin, who led the American School, and dance in general, to rarely attained heights.
Millepied has created a ballet that presents both the company and his overall project for dance at the Paris Opera. The result of an artistic collaboration with composer Nico Muhly, this highly contemporary creation also seeks to highlight the excellence of classical technique and its significance for dance today.
The Paris Opera Ballet is all the richer for the inclusion of Opus19/The Dreamer in its repertoire. This elegant piece, imagined by Jerome Robbins in 1979, is a variation for two dancers to Sergei Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto, portraying the daydream of a young man and his unreal counterpart.
The revival of George Balanchine Thème et Variations, to music by Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky, offers another facet of dance from across the Atlantic. This classical and virtuoso group ballet, one of the repertoire's most demanding, also pays tribute to the Imperial Ballet of old Russia and its most famous master: Marius Petipa.
Thursday, September 15th at 6:30 pm
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata from the Baden-Baden Festival House, 2015. A lyric drama in 3 parts by Giuseppe Verdi with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and directed by Rolando Villlazón. Featuring Olga Peretyatko as Violetta Valéry and Atalla Ayan as Alfredo Germont.
Opera in 3 acts; Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Total Running Time: 140 min
Star tenor and director Rolando Villazón has staged probably Verdi’s best known masterpiece in colourful, lively and emotion-packed form at the Festspielhaus in Baden Baden, so he made for “an enthusiastic reception for the premiere” (Stuttgarter Zeitung)! Villazón’s signature, both as singer and director, is unmistakable. He made his international breakthrough as Alfredo Germont and now, 10 years later, the Mexican-born singer has produced a Traviata full of energy, attention to detail and even a hint of melancholy. Villazón chooses an unusual approach by relocating the action of the great and tragic love affair between Alfredo and the courtesan Violetta to the colourful and noisy world of the circus. Olga Peretyatko as Violetta delivers “a fantastic portrait of the title role wavering between adolescent joie de vivre, mature insight and anguish” (Stuttgarter Zeitung). Her partner is the young Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan as the jealous Alfredo, who delivers a “beguiling interpretation with a dark, warm timbre and rich top notes” (Stuttgarter Zeitung). Simone Piazzolla as Alfredo’s strict father Giorgio Germont adds fine vocal lines to provide a strong sense of “Italianità” on stage (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). Directing the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble is the young Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado.
Thursday, September 29th at 6:30 pm
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio from the Salzburg Festival, 2015. A lyric drama in two parts by Ludwig van Beethoven with libretto by Joseph Sonnleithne, Stephan von Breuning and Georg Friedrich Treitschke after Jean-Nicolaus Bouilly’s libretto Léonore ou L’amour conjugal (1798). Conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, directed by Claus Guth, featuring Olga Bezsmertna as Marzelline and Norbert Ernst as Jaquino with the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
Opera in 2 acts; Sung in German with English subtitles.
Total Running Time: 175 min
Spain, eighteenth century. In a prison, Marzelline, daughter of the jailer, Rocco, rejects the attentions of her father's assistant, Jacquino, who hopes to marry her. Her heart is set instead on the new errand boy, Fidelio. The latter, a hardworking lad, arrives with provisions and dispatches and is distressed by Marzelline's interest in him, especially since it has the blessing of Rocco. Fidelio is in fact Leonore, a noblewoman of Seville who has come to the jail disguised as a boy to find her husband, Florestan, a political prisoner languishing somewhere in chains.
Thursday, October 13th at 6:30 pm
I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona 2016. A lyric drama in two parts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Conducted by Riccardo Frizza, directed by Vincent Boussard. Featuring Joyce DiDonato as Romeo and Patrizia Ciofi as Giuletta with the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Opera in 2 acts; Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Total Running Time: 170 min
Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 pm
The famous story of Hamlet and Ophélie is played out between the opposite poles of real and feigned madness, love and revenge. After the murder of his father, Hamlet opposes the marriage of his mother and his uncle, at the expense of his beloved and himself.
When Ambroise Thomas chose Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the subject of his new opera, France had been under the spell of the English bard for many years, and Ophélie had inspired many romantic artists. The librettists, Carré and Barbier, distilled a straightforward story from Shakespeare’s abundant characters and situations, which, although it was clearly far removed from the original, inspired Thomas to write a coherent score that demonstrated his mastery of musical atmosphere.
Opera in 5 acts; Sung in French with English Subtitles.
Total Running Time: 167 min
Directed for the stage by Dmitri Tcherniakov, this exceptional program combines all the talents of the Paris Opera and offers an opera and a ballet in a single evening: Tchaikovsky originally intended Iolanta and The Nutcracker to be staged together. However, since their debut performance at Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre in 1892, they have been presented separately.
The composer found inspiration for his opera in Danish playwright Henrik Hertz’s work recounting the romantic story of Iolanta, the blind daughter of King René. Protected by her father in his Provençal château, the princess ultimately regains her sight before marrying the gallant knight Vaudémont.
The Nutcracker is based on a tale by Hoffmann adapted by Alexandre Dumas. This “fairy-tale ballet” recounts the adventures of young Clara one Christmas night, during which the nutcracker she has been given leads her into a magical world.
In collaboration with stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov and conduc- tor Alain Altinoglu, three choreographers - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Edouard Lock and Arthur Pita - will each work on a specific passage of the ballet. The role of Iolanta will be sung by Sonya Yoncheva and the Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet will perform The Nutcracker.
Like a two-sided mirror reflecting the dreams of a composer who took refuge in the realms of the imaginary, the Paris Opera is reviving the original diptych. Alain Altinoglu conducts and Dmitri Tcherniakov stages this production that symbolizes the link between opera and ballet.
Total Running Time: 255 min
Thursday, November 10th at 6:30 pm
Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 pm
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
At a period when the influence of the Ottoman Empire on its Austrian neighbor lent a certain Turkish flavor to Viennese life, Mozart drew upon Turkish exoticism to create a playful tale of capture and escape, exploring the humanist values of tolerance and fidelity in love and celebrating human goodness.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail was written at the order of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II. For source material, Mozart turned to a popular farce of his day about two pairs of European lovers, one noble and the other their servants, who are trying to escape from the harem of a Turkish pasha and his amusingly sleazy overseer.
Opera in 3 acts; Sung in German with English Subtitles.
Samson et Dalila
Lightning streaks through the skies as Dalila declares her love to Samson in one of the finest arias of romantic opera. An enchanting yet treacherous beauty… When the thunder at last rumbles, Dalila betrays Samson and offers him up to his enemies. Based on a violent and erotic biblical story, Saint-Saëns’s opera – composed in 1877, much to Liszt’s insistence – would not be performed at the Palais Garnier until fifteen years later. This first Parisian performance in 1892 included the hitherto unperformed “Dance Of The Priestesses”.
Nevertheless, it became one of the most performed French operas in the world, together with Faust and Carmen. Conducted by Philippe Jordan, this new production brings back a repertoire masterpiece that has not been performed at the Paris Opera for twenty-five years. Ever sensational as a femme fatale, Anita Rachvelishvili plays the murderous Priestess in a production staged by Damiano Michieletto.
Total Running Time: 170 min
Opera in 3 acts; Sung in French with English Subtitles.
Thursday, December 29th at 6:30 pm
Starring Anita Rachvelishvili
& Aleksandrs Antonenko
Thursday, January 12th at 6:30 pm
Giacomo Puccini's Tosca is melodrama at its purest, a festival of lush melodies and dramatic outbursts that remains one of this composer's most popular works to this day. It is also a genuine "action opera," a realistic crime story, complete with torture, betrayal, murder, sex and suicide. And in the production from the Zurich Opera presented here, it is a gripping, heart-stopping psychosexual study of three tragically and fatally interwoven figures.
Total Running Time: 125 min
Opera in 3 acts; Sung in Italian with English Subtitles.
Thursday, January 26th at 6:30 pm
Pricing for special presentation series
General Adult Admission $14.00 • Seniors $12.00