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Metropolitan Opera Presents TOSCA, CARMEN, et al. in '10 Summer Series

The Metropolitan Opera announced plans for a series of free outdoor events this summer: operatic recitals that will take place in parks throughout the city and encore screenings of the Met's popular HD shows in Lincoln Center Plaza.

The Met's Summer Recital Series, launched last year and again presented in collaboration with City Parks Foundation, features six free concerts in all five boroughs July 12-29. No tickets are required. The opening recital kicks off at Central Park SummerStage at 8:00 pm with acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn joined by rising opera stars Susanna Phillips (soprano) and Michael Fabiano (tenor). They will be accompanied by pianists Julie Gunn and JoNathan Kelly. Following the SummerStage program on July 12, subsequent performances of the Met's Summer Recital Series will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m., through July 29. The series continues with recitals featuring Monica Yunus, Phillips, Fabiano, Matthew Plenk, and Donovan Singletary, with performances that will take place in Crotona Park (Bronx), Queens Bridge Park (Queens), Jackie Robinson Park (Manhattan), Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn), and Tappen Park (Staten Island). All recitals are approximately one hour, with the exception of the Brooklyn concert, which is 90 minutes.

"City Parks Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Metropolitan Opera again this year to bring the Met's Summer Recital Series to audiences throughout New York City," said David Rivel, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. "City Parks Foundation has a long history of bringing free performances right into neighborhood parks, and this series will only further connect people with their park through the arts."

The Met's Summer Recital Series is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Kate D. Levin, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

"The Metropolitan Opera's Summer Recital Series and the Summer HD Festival demonstrate the institution's extraordinary commitment to broadening access and building diverse cultural audiences," said Commissioner Levin. "This summer's program of concerts in all five boroughs, and screenings at Lincoln Center, will offer all New Yorkers a unique chance to hear some of the most dynamic performers working in opera today."

"The Metropolitan Opera's annual concert series in New York City's parks is one of the most beloved summertime traditions in the city," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "I would like to thank the Met and City Parks Foundation for continuing to bring world-class performances to free and unique outdoor settings in neighborhood parks. Once again, this year's program is sure to inspire a whole new generation of opera lovers."

The popular Summer HD Festival returns for a second year, featuring screenings, on consecutive nights, of ten acclaimed productions from the Met's Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Live in HD series, including three new productions from the 2009-10 season: Puccini's Tosca, starring Karita Mattila and Marcelo Álvarez; Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, starring Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja; and Bizet's Carmen, starring Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna. Tosca opens the season on Saturday, August 28, and Carmen closes the season on Monday, September 6. Met Music Director James Levine conducts two of the HD productions. Last summer, more than 40,000 people attended the first Summer HD Festival.

"We are delighted to share our artists and our operas with the public throughout New York this summer," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb.

The Met's Summer HD Festival is made possible by the Neubauer Family Foundation and by Macy's and Bloomingdale's.

The Met: Live in HD, produced in association with PBS and, is made possible by a generous grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation.

The Met's Summer Recital Series

Monday, July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm: Central Park SummerStage

Nathan Gunn, baritone

Susanna Phillips, soprano

Michael Fabiano, tenor

JoNathan Kelly/Julie Gunn, pianists

Thursday, July 15, 2010, 7:00 pm: Crotona Park, Bronx

Monica Yunus, soprano

Matthew Plenk, tenor

Donovan Singletary, bass-baritone

JoNathan Kelly, pianist

Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 7:00 pm: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn

Susanna Phillips, soprano

Michael Fabiano, tenor

JoNathan Kelly, pianist

Thursday, July 22, 2010, 7:00 pm: Tappen Park, Staten Island

Monica Yunus, soprano

Matthew Plenk, tenor

Donovan Singletary, bass-baritone

JoNathan Kelly, pianist

Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 7:00 pm: Queens Bridge Park, Queens

Monica Yunus, soprano

Matthew Plenk, tenor

Donovan Singletary, bass-baritone

JoNathan Kelly, pianist

Thursday, July 29, 2010, 7:00 pm: Jackie Robinson Park, Manhattan

Monica Yunus, soprano

Matthew Plenk, tenor

Donovan Singletary, bass-baritone

JoNathan Kelly, pianist

All recitals are free and no tickets are required. For additional information, please call (212) 362-6000 or visit the Met website at

The Met's Summer HD Festival Schedule

Start times range from 7:15 pm to 8:00 pm.

Saturday, August 28, 8:00pm: TOSCA- Karita Mattila stars in Luc Bondy's new production of Puccini's Tosca, with Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi and George Gagnidze as Scarpia. Joseph Colaneri conducts. Approximate running time: 120 minutes.

Sunday, August 29, 8:00pm: THE MAGIC FLUTE-James Levine conducts Mozart's The Magic Flute, in an abridged, English-language production by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor. Starring Ying Huang as Pamina, Erika Miklósa as the Queen of the Night, Matthew Polenzani as Tamino, Nathan Gunn as Papageno, and René Pape as Sarastro. Approximate running time: 113 minutes.

Monday, August 30, 7:15pm: DER ROSENKAVALIER-A stellar cast led by Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, and Christine Schäfer is conducted by Edo de Waart. Eric Cutler is the Italian Singer, and Kristinn Sigmundsson sings the role of Baron Ochs. Approximate running time: 195 minutes.

Tuesday, August 31, 7:45pm: DOCTOR ATOMIC-John Adams's powerful work stars Gerald Finley as J. Robert Oppenheimer. Alan Gilbert conducts this production by Penny Woolcock. Approximate running time: 120 minutes.

Wednesday, September 1, 7:45pm: LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN- James Levine conducts Bartlett Sher's new production of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, with Anna Netrebko as Antonia, Joseph Calleja as Hoffmann, and Alan Held as the four villains. Kathleen Kim sings Olympia, Ekaterina Gubanova is Giulietta, and Kate Lindsey is Nicklausse. Approximate running time: 160 minutes.

Thursday, September 2, 8:00pm: LA BOHÈME- Franco Zeffirelli's classic production of Puccini's La Bohème features Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì, Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo, Ainhoa Arteta as Musetta, and Ludovic Tézier as Marcello. Nicola Luisotti conducts. Approximate running time: 130 minutes.

Friday, September 3, 8:00pm: HANSEL AND GRETEL- Humperdinck's masterpiece stars Christine Schäfer as Gretel, Alice Coote as Hansel, and Philip Langridge as the Witch, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Approximate running time: 112 minutes.

Saturday, September 4, 8:00pm: TURANDOT- Franco Zeffirelli's spectacular production of Puccini's last opera stars Maria Guleghina as Turandot, Marina Poplavskaya as Liù, Marcello Giordani as Calàf, and Samuel Ramey as Timur. Andris Nelsons conducts. Approximate running time: 120 minutes.

Sunday, September 5, 8:00pm: AIDA- Daniele Gatti conducts a cast of powerful voices in Verdi's Aida. Violeta Urmana sings the title role, Dolora Zajick returns in one of her most acclaimed portrayals as Amneris, Johan Botha is Radamès, and Carlo Guelfi sings Amonasro. Approximate running time: 150 minutes.

Monday, September 6, 7:45pm: CARMEN- Bizet's masterpiece stars Elina Garanca as Carmen and Roberto Alagna as Don José, in an acclaimed new production by director Richard Eyre. Barbara Frittoli sings Micaëla, and Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings Escamillo. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts. Approximate running time: 168 minutes.

All HD screenings are free and no tickets are required; seating is on a first-come basis. There are no rain dates.

Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of  initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company's repertory. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world.

The Met's 2010-11 season, opening on September 27, will feature seven new productions, including two company premieres (John Adams's Nixon in China and Rossini's Le Comte Ory), as well as Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, the first two installments of a new production of Wagner's epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, conducted by James Levine and directed by Robert Lepage. Also featured will be new productions of three repertory classics- Boris Godunov conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Peter Stein, Don Carlo conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Nicholas Hytner, and La Traviata conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Willy Decker. John Adams makes his Met conducting debut with Nixon in China, with Peter Sellars making his Met directorial debut. Maurizio Benini conducts Le Comte Ory, with Bartlett Sher directing his third production at the Met, following his recent successful stagings of IL Barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

Building on its 79-year radio broadcast history-currently heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network-the Met now uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to attract new audiences and reach millions of opera fans around the world.

The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Met: Live in HD series returns for its fifth season in 2010-11 with eleven transmissions, beginning with the new production of Das Rheingold on October 9. The series continues with Boris Godunov (October 23), Don Pasquale (November 13), Don Carlo (December 11), La Fanciulla del West (January 8), Iphigénie en Tauride (February 26), Lucia di Lammermoor (March 19), Le Comte Ory (April 9), Capriccio (April 23), Il Trovatore (April 30), and Die Walküre (May 14). The Live in HD performances began airing on PBS in March 2008, and 13 HD performances are now available on DVD. The Magic Flute (the inaugural HD transmission, from December 2006) was released by the Met and is available at the Met Opera Shop. In addition, three classic Met performances conducted by James Levine have been released by the Met: Otello, with Jon Vickers and Renata Scotto (1978); Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, with Tatiana Troyanos and Plácido Domingo in the first part of the double bill and Teresa Stratas, Domingo, and Sherrill Milnes in the second (1978); and Lulu with Julia Migenes and Evelyn Lear (1980).

Continuing its use of electronic media to reach a global audience, the Metropolitan Opera introduced Met Player in the 2008-09 season, a new subscription service that makes much of the company's extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public for the first time online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. The service currently offers more than 200 historic audio recordings and almost 100 full-length opera videos, including 28 of the company's acclaimed The Met: Live in HD transmissions, known for their extraordinary sound and picture quality. New content, including HD productions and archival broadcasts, are added monthly.

Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Radio is a subscription-based audio entertainment service broadcasting an unprecedented number of live performances each week throughout the Met's entire season, as well as rare historical performances, newly restored and remastered, spanning the Met's 79-year broadcast history.

In addition to providing audio recordings through the Met on Rhapsody on-demand service, the Met also presents free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the opera season with support from RealNetworks®.

The Met audience development initiatives include Open House Dress Rehearsals, which are free and open to the public; the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, which exhibits contemporary visual art; the  successful Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program; and an annual Holiday Presentation for families.

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs through the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. Their programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to a revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.


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