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Met Museum Kicks Off 2013-14 Chamber Opera Performances

CHAMBER OPERA AT THE MET IN 2013-14:

· Two World Premieres, One a Metropolitan Museum Commission

· Settings Including Egyptian, Arms & Armor, and Medieval Galleries

· Alarm Will Sound, Gotham Chamber Opera, NYPHIL BIENNIAL, Salzburg Marionette Theatre

· Composers Kate Soper & Nigel Maister, Lembit Beecher, Claudio Monteverdi, HK Gruber

Met Museum Presents offers a unique series of chamber operas this season, including an early Baroque set piece, two world premieres, and A Pig Tale presented in settings around the Museum. The two world-premiere works are the first operas ever to have their premieres at the Met Museum. One of them--I Was Here I Was I by Kate Soper and Nigel Maister, performed by Alarm Will Sound-is a commission of the Museum and inspired by one of its most iconic galleries, The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing. And the other-I Have No Stories To Tell You by Lembit Beecher, performed by Gotham Chamber Opera-is part of a unique double-bill presented in galleries of arms and armor and medieval art. The New York Philharmonic continues its collaboration with the Museum with the presentation of HK Gruber's Gloria-A Pig Tale, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, that is part of its new NY PHIL BIENNIAL. And the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, a Met audience favorite, returns with two new productions-The Ring Cycle and Alice in Wonderland-in its 100th anniversary season.

Friday, December 13, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Salzburg Marionette Theatre

The Ring Cycle, Abridged

This two-hour version of the Ring of the Nibelung set in the present day, is the first production to music by Wagner in the Salzburg Marionette Theatre's history. This 2012 production, which features two live actors with the marionettes, is performed to the classic Decca recording of Sir Georg Solti leading the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna State Opera Chorus, and a cast including Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Kirsten Flagstad, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

"We didn't want to do anything to belittle Wagner," said director Brunner in a Deutsche Welle English feature report (see the YouTube video), "but I do think the Ring is an excellent piece to perform with marionettes. Giants appear in the piece, so do dwarves, mythical figures, dragons, and snakes. You can depict all of them much better with puppets than with real people." The Salzburg Marionette Theatre is taking the production on a world tour this season, culminating with three months in the U.S.

For the past 100 years, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre has been renowned for its compelling drama-and-music presentations utilizing the remarkably lifelike movements of its elaborately costumed, two-foot tall, string-manipulated puppets, and lavish sets. "Through the space of a performance," said the New York Times, "they manage virtually without interruption what is denied to performers of flesh and blood: the leap to the realm of pure idea, where thought and expression are one." The Salzburg Marionettes perform to recordings of 18th- and 19th-century operas made by the world's leading orchestras and singers. The company was founded by Anton Aicher; his granddaughter, Gretl Aicher, was the Theatre's recent artistic director until her death in March 2012. The company employs about 12 full-time puppeteers, all of whom have spent years developing their technique. The company has its own costume department, a carpentry department, and a puppet studio where the puppets are made. www.marionetten.at

These programs are made possible by the Brodsky Family Foundation.

Tickets: $45

Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

New, just added: Sunday, December 15, 2013, at noon in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Sunday, December 15, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Salzburg Marionette Theatre

Alice in Wonderland

This production of Lewis Carroll's timeless classic Alice in Wonderland features a newly recorded soundtrack voiced by actors in English, with 19th-century English folk songs performed on violin and piano.

These programs are made possible by the Brodsky Family Foundation.

Tickets: $60 for adults, $30 for children

Wednesday & Thursday, February 26 & 27, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court and the Medieval Sculpture Hall

Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. HD Transmission in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Gotham Chamber Opera

Neal Goren, Conductor

Robin Guarino, Director

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Claudio Monteverdi

I Have No Stories to Tell You by Lembit Beecher-World premiere

This double-bill program by New York's acclaimed Gotham Chamber Opera, conducted by Artistic Director Neal Goren, presents a 17th-century battle set piece and a brand new work, each presented in a Metropolitan Museum gallery. Gotham Chamber Opera composer-in-residence Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch respond to Monteverdi's 1624 depiction of fierce battle set during the First Crusade, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, by focusing on the after-effects of war. Their 30-minute opera, I Have No Stories to Tell You, a commission by Gotham Chamber Opera for performance in the Medieval Sculpture Hall, depicts a photojournalist's return home after an extended assignment in the Middle East. She is haunted by her experiences and reluctant to discuss them with her husband, who no longer understands her. The glimpses of her life that we see over the course of a year depict her struggles and a relationship driven to the brink. Scored for a period instrument ensemble and inspired by interviews with soldiers and army psychologists, I Have No Stories to Tell You explores the effects of war on one's identity and sense of home. www.gothamchamberopera.org

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda will be presented in the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court. The audience will then proceed to the adjacent Medieval Sculpture Hall for the performance of I Have No Stories to Tell You. Featured singers will be mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton and baritone Craig Verm. Both productions are directed by Robin Guarino.

Instruments from the Metropolitan Museum's Musical Instruments collection will be used in the performance.

A live HD transmission of the first performance will take place in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

These programs are made possible in part by Mr. and Mrs. Ronald J. Ulrich.

Tickets for performances: $175

Tickets for HD simulcast: $15

Thursday, May 29, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium


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