‘Met Live’ Season Continues with Handel’s “Agrippina”
FREDONIA – Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high definition (HD) opera transmissions to theaters around the world, continues its 2019-20 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center on Sat., Feb. 29, at 1 p.m., with George Frideric Handel’s Agrippina.
Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome receives its first Met performances, with star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina and Harry Bicket conducting.
Originally set in Rome, late in the reign of the Emperor Claudius (d. 54 C.E.), Sir David McVicar’s staging ingeniously reframes the action of this black comedy to the current day – an era in which sly posturing and sometimes-questionable tactics continue to drive political discourse.
The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s son and future emperor, Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary emperor, Claudius. As in all of the Handel’s operas, supreme vocal virtuosity is expected and required to express the drama, nowhere more on display than in Agrippina’s climactic fury aria “Pensieri, voi mi tormentate.”
The opera runs three hours, 45 minutes with one intermission. Please be aware that this production, although containing no nudity, includes some suggestive adult content which may not be suitable for young audiences.
Live at the Met telecasts are now shown in more than 2,000 theaters in 73 countries across six continents, making the Met the only arts institution with an ongoing global art series of this scale. The Met was the first arts company to experiment with this type of broadcast, beginning on a modest scale in 2006 and growing every season since then, with more than 27 million tickets sold to date.
Met Opera stars serve as hosts for the series, conducting live interviews with cast members, crew and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features; altogether, the worldwide audience is given an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world’s great houses.
Individual tickets to each of the operas in the season are $20, ($18 Opera House members, $10 students). A flexible subscription of eight tickets which can be used however you want – one at a time to eight different operas, all at once for eight people, or anything in between – is available for $142. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online anytime at http://www.fredopera.org.
The Live at the Met Series is underwritten with support from Daniel S. Kaufman and Timothy W. Beaver.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.fredopera.org.