Live at the Met summer series to present Armida

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will screen Gioachino Rossini’s Armida as part of its Live at the Met Summer Encore Series of Operas on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“We’re very excited to be presenting encore broadcasts of six of the Metropolitan Opera’s most highly acclaimed Live in HD transmissions this summer,” says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. “These productions offer a great way for opera buffs to relive some of the Met’s best-loved productions from the past few seasons. They also provide a great way for people unfamiliar with opera to give the genre a try.”

The mythical story of a sorceress who enthralls men in her island prison, Armida has inspired operatic settings by a multitude of composers, including Gluck, Haydn and Dvor’k. Renee Fleming stars in the notoriously difficult title role of Gioachino Rossini’s version, opposite no fewer than five tenors.

The New York Times calls the role “a tour de force for a soprano who can combine alluring long-spun lyrical singing with dazzling, sometimes demonic, coloratura flights.” And with Fleming, says the Times, “the company has the right star in place.”

Director Mary Zimmerman describes the work as a “buried treasure, a box of jewels a fanciful and magical tale with an epic, enchanted quality and a tremendous visual element.” The production also stars Lawrence Brownlee, Bruce Ford, Barry Banks and Kobie van Rensburg. Riccardo Frizza conducts.

Live at the Met live opera broadcasts and Summer Encores screenings are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. Support for the series also comes from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County.

Tickets to the Live at the Met Summer Encores Series operas are $15 and are available in advance by calling or visiting the Box Office at 679-1891 Tuesday Friday, 1-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at The Series continues with Verdi’s La Traviata on July 18; Puccini’s Turandot on July 25; and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia on Aug. 8.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit