Live at the Met

The Fredonia Opera House will screen one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most popular and beautiful operas, La Traviata, as part of its Live at the Met Summer Encore Series of operas on Thursday, July 18, 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,” said Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. “These productions offer a 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.”

In this production of La Traviata, acclaimed French soprano Natalie Dessay made her Met role debut as Violetta, the fallen woman who sacrifices her last chance for love. Matthew Polenzani co-stars as Alfredo, a young man from a good family who is willing to risk everything for Violetta. Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father, who disapproves of Violetta’s lifestyle but is moved by her plight.

Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Verdi’s romantic tragedy, one of the most-loved operas of all time, in Willy Decker’s highly theatrical and very contemporary production, a hit when it premiered at the Met in 2010. His production places the action entirely within a curved, bright-gray wall that looks like an arena. To the side a gigantic clock ticks off the diminishing minutes of Violetta’s life.

The New York Times calls the production “an enormous success. And before she uttered a note, Ms. Dessay, who had originally intended to be an actress, made a wrenching impression as the fatally ill courtesan.”

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 716-679-1891 Tuesday Friday, 1-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org. The Series continues with 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 www.fredopera.org.