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“Norma” Kicks off Met’s Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series

Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role and Joseph Calleja as Pollione in Bellini's "Norma." Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Written by Contributor

Experience the Metropolitan Opera LIVE at a movie theater near you.
I saw Bellini’s opera, Norma, live from the renowned Metropolitan Opera stage in New York City – but didn’t have to leave L.A. to do it. The first of ten live transmissions of The Met’s 2017-18 season did not disappoint. Norma aired October 7 and was part of the Met’s Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series.

Bellini’s masterpiece stars Sondra Radvanovsky as the Druid priestess Norma and Joyce DiDonato as her rival, Adalgisa. The two bel canto sopranos were glorious in their arias and duets. A real treat for bel canto fans! Filling out the cast, tenor Joseph Calleja is Pollione, Norma’s unfaithful lover. These three magnificent opera stars also sang a powerful trio. Conducted by Carlo Rizzi, Bellini’s lush score fit perfectly into the new production, created by Sir David McVicar, which set the action deep in a Druid forest where nature and ancient ritual reign.

Radvanovsky offered magnificent singing in a deeply felt performance … DiDonato responded to the heated emotional temperature by literally flinging herself into it. —Washington Post

Partnering with Fathom Events, the series brings New York City’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera to movie theater audiences nationwide. We viewed Norma at the AMC 18 Del Amo and were not disappointed in the HD quality of the venue. In addition, the plush seating and delicious meals available nearby, treated us to a cultural feast for the senses.

During the intermission, we went backstage where of lovely and enciente host, Susanna Phillips (herself singing Musette in another Met opera production, La Boheme) queried Sondra Radvanovsky as she came off stage about the challenging role of Norma. Phillips also interviewed Joyce DiDonato and Joseph Calleja, getting their takes on this opera, one of Bellini’s masterpieces.

Touring behind the scenes during intermission allowed the audience to see what really happens at the grand opera house. All these experiences are exclusive features to the Live in HD series and added exponentially to the opera.

The Met: Live in HD allows audiences around the country to experience the magic of the opera and the best-of-the-best in operatic talent from around the world,” Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “There is nothing quite like seeing a beautiful opera performed live on stage at the renowned Metropolitan Opera. Our long-standing partnership with the Met continues to draw hundreds of thousands of fans, and we are thrilled to help bring these incredible productions to the big screen.”

Now in its 12th season, The Met: Live in HD 2017-18 season features ten transmissions, including five new productions, two of which are Met premieres.  Featuring new talent as well as seasoned veterans, each event is broadcast live on a Saturday with two Wednesday encore showings. Tickets for The Met: Live in HD 2017-18 season can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the operas in more than 650 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).

For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Written by Kim Foster

The Met Live in HD 2017-18 season schedule is as follows (casting subject to change):

NORMA (Bellini) – New production

Saturday, October 7, 2017 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT
Encore: Wednesday, October 11 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

The season opens with a new production of Bellini’s bel canto tragedy Norma, starring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, which she has sung to acclaim at the Met in 2013, as well as at the Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Lyric Opera of Chicago—making her one of the world’s leading interpreters of the iconic title character. Joyce DiDonato co-stars as Norma’s colleague and rival, Adalgisa, opposite Joseph Calleja as Pollione and Matthew Rose as Oroveso. Carlo Rizzi conducts and Sir David McVicar directs the new production. 


Saturday, October 14, 2017 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, October 18 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts Tony Award®–winner Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s masterpiece, Die Zauberflöte. Golda Schultz makes her Met debut as Pamina with Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Charles Castronovo as the fairy tale prince Tamino, Markus Werba as the bird-catching Papageno, Christian Van Horn as Sprecher, and René Pape as Sarastro. The holiday presentation of The Magic Flute, an abridged staging sung in English for families, was the first Live in HD performance to be transmitted. This is the first time the full-length German opera will be seen in the series.

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (Thomas Adès) – Met premiere

Saturday, November 18, 2017 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, November 29 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

The Exterminating Angel has its Met premiere this season, conducted by the composer, Thomas Adès. The 2016 opera, co-commissioned by the Met and sung in English, is based on the screenplay by Luis Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza for the acclaimed 1962 Buñuel film. Directed by the librettist Tom Cairns, the ensemble cast features Audrey Luna as Leticia Maynar; Amanda Echalaz as Lucia de Nobile; Sally Matthews as Silvia de Ávila and Sophie Bevan as Beatrizboth in Met debuts; Alice Coote as Leonora Palma; Christine Rice as Blanca Delgado; Iestyn Davies as Francisco de Ávila; Joseph Kaiser as Edundo de Nobile; Frédéric Antoun in his Met debut as Raúl Yebenes; David Portillo as Edmundo; David Adam Moore in his Met debut as Col. Álvaro Gómez; Rod Gilfry as Alberto Roc; Kevin Burdette as Señor Russell; Christian Van Horn as Julio; and John Tomlinson as Dr. Carlos Conde. The Exterminating Angel is a co-commission and co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Royal Danish Theatre; and Salzburg Festival, where the production premiered in 2016.

TOSCA (Puccini) – New production

Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, January 31 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

James Levine conducts a new staging of Puccini’s dramatic tragedy, directed by Sir David McVicarSonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Grigolo star as the heroine Tosca and her lover Cavaradossi, with Bryn Terfel as the villainous Scarpia. 

L’ELISIR D’AMORE (Donizetti)

Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 12:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. CT/ 10:00 a.m. MT/ 9:00 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, February 14 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

Donizetti’s comic gem L’Elisir d’Amore, staged by Bartlett Sher, stars Pretty Yende as the spirited Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Davide Luciano makes his Met debut as the role of Adina’s arrogant fiancé, Belcore and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo sings the role of the magic potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara. Domingo Hindoyan makes his company debut conducting.

LA BOHÈME (Puccini) 

Saturday, February 24, 2018 – 12:30 p.m. ET/ 11:30 a.m. CT/ 10:30 a.m. MT/ 9:30 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, February 28 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

An exciting young cast stars in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of La Bohème, the most-performed opera in Met history. Sonya Yoncheva stars as Mimì opposite Michael Fabiano as the passionate writer Rodolfo. Susanna Phillips reprises the role of the flirtatious Musetta and Lucas Meachem sings the role of her lover, the painter Marcello. The cast also features Alexey Lavrov and Matthew Roseas Rodolfo and Marcello’s friends Schaunard and Colline and Paul Plishka as Benoit and Alcindoro in this performance, led by Marco Armiliato.

SEMIRAMIDE (Rossini) – First time in HD      

Saturday, March 10, 2018 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT
Encore: Wednesday, March 14 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

Angela Meade makes her Met role debut as the title character in Rossini’s Semiramide, which has not been seen at the Met in 25 years. The opera will be conducted by Maurizio Benini and features Elizabeth DeShong as the Commander of the Assyrian army Arsace, Javier Camarena as an Indian king Idreno, Ildar Abdrazakov as the prince Assur, and Ryan Speedo Green as the high priest Oroe.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE (Mozart) – New production

Saturday, March 31, 2018 – 12:55 p.m. ET/ 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT
Encore: Wednesday, April 4 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

Phelim McDermott returns to the Met staging Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte, led by David Robertson. Set in the 1950s on Coney Island, the cast features Amanda Majeski as the conflicted Fiordiligi; Serena Malfi as her sister, Dorabella; Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara as their feisty maid, Despina; Ben Bliss and Adam Plachetka as the sisters’ fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; and Christopher Maltman as the cynical Don Alfonso. Così fan tutte is a co-production with the English National Opera.

LUISA MILLER (Verdi) – First time in HD

Saturday, April 14, 2018 – 12:30 p.m. ET/ 11:30 a.m. CT/ 10:30 a.m. MT/ 9:30 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, April 18 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

James Levine conducts a revival of Luisa Miller, which has not been seen at the Met since 2006. The opera stars Sonya Yoncheva as a peasant girl Luisa opposite Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo in Verdi’s tragedy about a young woman who sacrifices her own happiness in an attempt to save her father’s life. The cast also features Plácido Domingo as Luisa’s father Miller, with Olesya Petrova as Federica, and Alexander Vinogradov in his Met debut and Dmitry Belosselskiy as Walter and Wurm respectively, the ruthless men determined to tear Luisa and Rodolfo apart.

CENDRILLON (Massenet) – Met premiere

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – 12:55 p.m. ET / 11:55 a.m. CT/ 10:55 a.m. MT/ 9:55 a.m. PT 
Encore: Wednesday, May 2 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. local time

Massenet’s enchanting opera Cendrillon, based on Cinderella, premieres at the Met conducted by Bertrand de Billy and directed by Laurent Pelly, whose Met credits include staging Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment and Massenet’s Manon. Joyce DiDonato adds another role to her Met repertory as the title character, a role she has sung to acclaim at the Grand Teatre del Liceu, Santa Fe Opera, and Royal Opera, Covent Garden. The cast also stars Alice Coote as Prince Charmant, Stephanie Blythe as the evil stepmother Madame de la Haltière, Kathleen Kim as the Fée, and Laurent Naouri as Pandolfe. Cendrillon is produced in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels; and Opéra de Lille. This production was first performed at The Santa Fe Opera.

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