The MET Opera Announces Free Outdoor Events Line-up And NYC Locations

The MET Opera Announces Free Outdoor Events Line-up And NYC Locations

The Metropolitan Opera announced plans for its free outdoor events this summer, which will take place in the Lincoln Center Plaza and in parks throughout New York City. In a brand new initiative, the Met's Summer HD Festival will feature screenings of ten productions from the Met's Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Live in HD series in Lincoln Center Plaza on consecutive nights, beginning Saturday, August 29. The series opens with Laurent Pelly's acclaimed production of La Fille du Régiment, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, and closes with Anthony Minghella's staging of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, featuring Patricia Racette and Marcello Giordani, on Labor Day. Three of the HD productions to be shown are conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. The Met's Summer HD Festival is sponsored by Bank of America with additional support from the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

The Met's Summer Recital Series, presented in collaboration with City Parks Foundation, includes six concerts in all five boroughs from July 13 through August 14. The opening recital kicks off at Central Park SummerStage at 8:00 pm with baritone Paulo Szot, joined by rising opera stars Lisette Oropesa, soprano, and Alek Shrader, tenor, and pianist Vlad Iftinca. Szot, currently starring in South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater, will make his Metropolitan Opera debut next season in William Kentridge's new production of Shostakovich's The Nose.

"For more than 40 years, the Met has presented free summer events in the city, a record that makes us proud," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. "We thank Bank of America and the Guild for helping to increase the public's access to the Met with our new Summer HD Festival."

In addition to Fille (August 29) and Butterfly (September 7), the Met's Summer HD Festival will include HD presentations of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna (August 30); Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin starring Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky (August 31); Verdi's Macbeth with Maria Guleghina and ?eljko Lu?i?, conducted by Levine (September 1); Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia with Joyce DiDonato and Flórez (September 2); Britten's Peter Grimes starring Anthony Dean Griffey and Racette (September 3); La Bohème featuring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas (September 4); Orfeo ed Euridice featuring Stephanie Blythe and Danielle De Niese, with Levine conducting (September 5); and Puccini's Il Trittico, which consists of three one-act operas, also conducted by Levine (September 6).

All screenings are free with no tickets required; 2800 seats will be available each night on a first-come, first served basis. There are no rain dates. Screening start times range from 7:30pm to 8:00pm.

The Met's Summer Recital Series

Following the SummerStage program on July 13, subsequent performances of the Met's Summer Recital Series will take place on Friday evenings from July 17 to August 14 at 7:00 pm. Performers will include sopranos Joyce El-Khoury and Ashley Emerson, baritone John Moore, and bass Keith Miller, accompanied by Iftinca. The city park venues are Crotona Park (Bronx), Queensbridge Park (Queens), East River Park (Manhattan), Coffey Park (Brooklyn), and Tappen Park (Staten Island). Actor/conductor Damon Gupton, a Juilliard graduate, will host several of the parks concerts.

"City Parks Foundation is thrilled to help bring the Met's Summer Recital Series to new audiences throughout New York City," says 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 & Recreation, Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

"The Met's Summer Recital Series and the Summer HD Festival are two more examples of the Metropolitan Opera's commitment to broadening access and building 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 in New York City's parks is a summertime tradition stretching over 40 years," said Commissioner Benepe. "I would like to thank the Met and City Parks Foundation for bringing world-class performances to free and unique outdoor settings in neighborhood parks across the city. This year's program is sure to be music to the ears of a whole new generation of opera lovers."

Monday, July 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm: Central Park SummerStage

Paulo Szot, baritone

Lisette Oropesa, soprano

Alek Shrader, tenor

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Friday, July 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm: Crotona Park (Bronx)

John Moore, baritone

Ashley Emerson, soprano

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Damon Gupton, host

Friday, July 24, 2009 at 7:00 pm: Queensbridge Park (Queens)

John Moore, baritone

Ashley Emerson, soprano

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Damon Gupton, host

Friday, July 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm: East River Park (Manhattan)

Joyce El-Khoury, soprano

Keith Miller, bass

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Francois Battiste, host

Friday, August 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm: Tappan Park (Staten Island)

Joyce El-Khoury, soprano

Keith Miller, bass

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Damon Gupton, host

Friday, August 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM: Coffey Park (Brooklyn)

Joyce El-Khoury, soprano

Keith Miller, bass

Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Damon Gupton, host

All recitals are free and no tickets are required, except for the performance at SummerStage. For information on how to obtain free SummerStage tickets, please check the Met website at www.metopera.org/parks beginning June 1. For additional information, please call (212) 362-6000. There will be no rain dates for these performances.

NY1 is the official media sponsor for the Met's Summer HD Festival and the Summer Recital Series.

The Met's 2009 Summer HD Festival Schedule
Start times range from 7:30pm to 8:00pm.

Saturday. August 29, 8:00pm: LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT - Donizetti's comic opera La Fille du Régiment stars Natalie Dessay as Marie, Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio, Felicity Palmer as the Marquise of Berkenfield, Alessandro Corbelli as Sulpice, and Marian Seldes in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Marco Armiliato conducts. Approximate running time: 140 minutes.

Sunday, August 30, 7:30pm: ROMÉO ET JULIETTE - Plácido Domingo conducts Gounod's Roméo et Juliette starring Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna as the star-crossed lovers, Isabel Leonard as Stéphano, Nathan Gunn as Mercutio, and Robert Lloyd as Frère Laurent. Approximate running time: 175 minutes.

Monday, August 31, 7:45pm: EUGENE ONEGIN - Valery Gergiev conducts Tchaikovsky's most beloved opera, Eugene Onegin, with Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role opposite Renée Fleming as Tatiana, with tenor Ramón Vargas as Lenski. Approximate running time: 160 minutes.

Tuesday, September 1, 8:00pm: MACBETH - Met Music Director James Levine conducts Verdi's Macbeth, featuring Maria Guleghina as Lady Macbeth, ?eljko Lu?i? as Macbeth, Dimitri Pittas as Macduff, and John Relyea as Banquo. Approximate running time: 145 minutes.

Wednesday, September 2, 7:45pm: IL BarbierE DI SIVIGLIA - Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia, in a production by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, features Joyce DiDonato as Rosina, Juan Diego Flórez as Count Almaviva, Peter Mattei as Figaro, John Del Carlo as Dr. Bartolo, and John Relyea as Don Basilio. Maurizio Benini conducts. Approximate running time: 165 minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 7:45pm: PETER GRIMES - Anthony Dean Griffey sings the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes, with Patricia Racette as Ellen Orford and Anthony Michaels-Moore as Balstrode. Donald Runnicles conducts. Approximate running time: 150 minutes.

Friday, September 4, 8:00pm: LA BOHÈME - Franco Zeffirelli's production of Puccini's La Bohème features Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì, Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo, Ainhoa Arteta as Musetta, Ludovic Tézier as Marcello, Quinn Kelsey as Schaunard, Oren Gradus as Colline, and Paul Plishka in the dual roles of Benoit and Alcindoro. Nicola Luisotti conducts. Approximate running time: 130 minutes.

Saturday, September 5, 8:00pm: ORFEO ED EURIDICE - Mark Morris's production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, stars Stephanie Blythe as Orfeo with Danielle De Niese as Euridice. Heidi Grant Murphy is Amor. James Levine conducts. Approximate running time: 100 minutes.

Sunday, September 6, 7:30pm: IL TRITTICO - James Levine conducts Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien's production of Puccini's Il Trittico, which consists of three one-act operas: Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. In Il Tabarro, the three principal characters caught in a deadly love triangle are portrayed by Maria Guleghina, Salvatore Licitra, and Juan Pons. Barbara Frittoli is the young nun Angelica, with Stephanie Blythe as the Princess in Suor Angelica, and the comedy Gianni Schicchi features Alessandro Corbelli in the title role. Approximate running time: 170 minutes.

Monday, September 7, 8:00pm: MADAMA BUTTERFLY - Academy Award-winning film director Anthony Minghella's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly stars Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San, Marcello Giordani as Pinkerton, Dwayne Croft as Sharpless, and Maria Zifchak as Suzuki. Patrick Summers conducts. Approximate running time: 145 minutes.

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