Four extraordinary singers star in Verdi’s Ernani airing on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 17 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will broadcast the opera at 12:30 p.m. that day, with a primetime encore broadcast Thursday, June 21 at 8:30 p.m.
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Based on Victor Hugo’s revolutionary play, Ernani involves three men–two noble, and one a bandit–who attempt to out-maneuver one another for the hand of the beautiful Elvira. Marco Armiliato conducts Verdi’s thrilling drama of passion, power, and honor, which is seen in Pier Luigi Samaritani’s lavish production.
American soprano Angela Meade, whose victory in the Met’s National Council Auditions was chronicled in the 2008 documentary film The Audition, takes the role of the noblewoman Elvira in her first Great Performances at the Met appearance. She made an acclaimed Met debut as Elvira in the 2007-08 revival of Ernani, filling in at the last minute for an ailing Sondra Radvanovsky.
Marcello Giordani, star of the Great Performances at the Met broadcasts of Turandot, La Damnation de Faust, Simon Boccanegra, and La Fanciulla del West, sings the title role of the noble bandit who loves Elvira.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky adds a new role to his distinguished repertory as Don Carlo, a royal suitor for Elvira’s hand. This is Hvorostovsky’s sixth Verdi role in his Met repertory, joining the title character in Simon Boccanegra, Germont in La Traviata (a role he repeats on Great Performances at the Met later this season), Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, and di Luna in Il Trovatore.
Ferruccio Furlanetto is de Silva, a wealthy relative with his own designs on Elvira. De Silva is the second of three roles Furlanetto sings at the Met this season. The versatile artist first sang de Silva at the Met in the 2007-08 revival of Ernani.
Maestro Armiliato’s numerous Met appearances have included a variety of Verdi works, from the early Attila to the repertory staples Aida, Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore. Earlier this season, he led the Met premiere of Anna Bolena, seen on Great Performances at the Met.
Ernani was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 25 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1700 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 54 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.
Of Ernani, Ronald Blum of Associated Press declared, “There is an argument for Verdi the way it used to be, especially when a rare soprano like Angela Meade commands the night… For pure singing, she is one vocal thrill after another.” Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times enthused, “Mr. Furlanetto’s strong, dark, textured voice filled Verdi’s lines with burnished sound and arching lyricism. Hvorostovsky shaped floating phrases with mellifluous, honeyed sound.” The New Yorker observed, “Marcello Giordani…sings with full-throated vitality.”
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts the transmission. Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast.
Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.
For the Met, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.