Get ready to enjoy eleven Metropolitan operas “live,” from approximately eighth-Row-Center. You’ll be doing it with millions of enthusiastic others in movie houses around the globe.
Yes, it’s that marvelous time again to experience Met productions—in thrilling close-up—without the cumbersome commute to Manhattan; without the parking fees; without the tremendous expense of comparable (and even not so comparable) seats. It all is ours to delight in, at the White Plains City Center 15 Cinema De Lux and the New Rochelle Regal New Roc City 18 movie complexes.
In White Plains the reserved seats are virtually sold out for all 11 matinee performances, but try there for their non-reserved seating which is still available. You’ll certainly succeed getting tickets for the “Encore” showings on subsequent Wednesday evenings.
Tickets in New Rochelle seem to be more readily available since the theater sells only on non-reserved basis. You can buy tickets ahead or take your chances, because the house is flexible, opening a third theater when called for.
At first, when the ticket line formed in White Plains, early in the morning on the initial sales day, it looked as though the economy had put a damper on attendance. Contrary to patterns of seasons past, only a sparse 25 or so patrons lined up. But the management informed me that by 3 p.m., most reserved seats had been sold. Even a bad economic situation can’t keep a true opera buff down!
And why not? Everyone agrees that this exciting idea of the Met’s Peter Gelb is a true gift for opera lovers. Many people living in the “metropolitan” NY region attend both at the actual Met at Lincoln Center and at their local cineplexes. Who can resist tickets that range from $18 to $27?
You are going to be experiencing the world’s greatest singers in inspired productions, all backed by the superb Metropolitan orchestra lead by illustrious conductors. Even the intermissions entertain with fascinating interviews and enlightening backstage information.
The productions you see in HD on the huge movie screen are taking place at the precise moment they are being performed at the opera house. They are flashed across to us in Westchester and around the planet via satellite transmission. Thus there is absolutely no editing involved. If a singer faults, you hear it; if scenery falls apart, you see it. It’s as though you are in the opera house bodily. Enjoy!
Here is the line-up for the 2011-12 season:
- Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Oct. 15. Encore: Nov. 2.
- Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Oct. 29. Encore: Nov. 16.
- Wagner’s Siegfried. Nov. 5. Encore: not yet determined.
- Glass’ Satyagraha. Nov. 19. Encore: Dec. 7.
- Handel’s Rodelinda. Dec. 3. Encore: Jan. 4.
- Gounod’s Faust. Dec. 10. Encore: Jan. 11.
- Baroque Master’s The Enchanted Island. Jan. 21. Encore: Feb. 8.
- Wagner’s Goetterdaemmerung. Feb. 11. Encore: not yet determined.
- Verdi’s Ernani. Feb. 25. Encore: March 14.
- Massenet’s Manon. April 7. Encore: April 25.
- Verdi’s La Traviata. April 14. Encore: May 2.
Here some comments from neighbors of yours who have attended before:
Ruth Stein of Scarsdale thinks the HD movies are “fabulous.” She explained that she now finds it difficult to get to the city with all the difficulties that presents. “I am especially grateful that the low cost of the HD’s give me the opportunity to see operas I might never have gone to, therefore expanding my knowledge of the whole field.”
Naomi Lipman of Scarsdale said this: “When people ask whether it is better or worse than being right in the house, I answer that it is neither. It’s a different, equally wonderful opera experience.”
Lorna Adler of Valhalla described the operatic HD experience also as “different,” but she continued “ that in some ways it is even better than in the house. The interviews with the stars and backstage information make you feel you are really into it! And the nominal price and ready availability make it better from the sociological point of view, too. It exposes opera easily to people who may never have seen an opera before, giving them a new music appreciation experience.”
Dr. Ronee Bank of Scarsdale said: “I choose operas for the singers, so my husband and I pick specific HD offerings that we are not willing to pay for in our subscription seats at the actual house. Frankly at the $27 price, I can feel free to walk out if it turns out to be a performance I really don’t care for!”