Natalie Dessay’s moon-kissed fingernails are all aglow as she “walks the walk” of Vincenzo Bellini’s quintessential character Amina, perhaps the most renowned woman sleepwalker in opera history, in Zimmerman’s production of the 1831 classic La Sonnambula, Latin for “The Somnambulist.” The production will air on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Saturday, July 11 at Noon on PBS HD (check local listings) and is rated TV-PG.
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The sixth of Bellini’s professional operas, La Sonnambula is set in a tiny village on the Swiss Alps. Mary Zimmerman’s present-day version, however, is set in a rehearsal space where the actors are staging a production of La Sonnambula set in the Swiss Alps. The story begins as the village is preparing for the wedding of Amina, played by Dessay, and Elvino, played by Juan Diego Flórez (Dessay and Florez just returned from their sensational run together in La Fille du Régiment at opera houses around the world). Themes of jealousy, mistaken identity, and innocence prevail, as Bellini’s sleepwalking beauty is put to the ultimate test to prove her undying love for her betrothed to the hauntingly mysterious music of Bellini and libretto by Felice Romani.
Great Performances At the Met: La Sonnambula is the eighth of 11 productions airing this season on the series. The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers.
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs. 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.