Anna Netrebko leads a starry cast in Verdi’s Il Trovatore on the season premiere of Great Performances at the Met Friday, January 22 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and repeated Sunday, January 24 at 12 p.m. (check local listings).
Soprano Anna Netrebko appears in her highly anticipated Met role debut as Leonora, the tortured heroine who sacrifices her own life for the love of the Gypsy troubadour. Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Count di Luna, Yonghoon Lee is Manrico in his Met role debut as the title character, Dolora Zajick sings her signature role of the gypsy Azucena, and Štefan Kocán is Ferrando. Marco Armiliato conducts Sir David McVicar’s Goya-inspired production.
When the production debuted earlier this season, The New York Times observed, “Ms. Netrebko sounded wonderful, singing with plush, penetrating sound and affecting character.”
The Financial Times wrote about the dramatic circumstances behind the scenes. “The performance on Friday was dominated, triumphantly, by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 52, who returned to the romantically evil, nobly melodic stances of il Conte di Luna. Back in June, he announced that he had suffered a brain tumor and would undergo treatment in London. Yet here he was…looking vital, singing heroically and acting with unexpected degrees of expressive intensity. When he made his entrance, the house erupted. Even the conductor applauded. The baritone beamed, clutched his heart and took a bow. Three hours later, at his curtain call, the orchestra showered him with white roses.”
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham hosts the broadcast.
Il Trovatore was originally seen live in movie theaters on October 3, 2015, as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in over 70 countries around the world. The Live in HD series has reached a record-breaking 18 million viewers since its inception in 2006.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.
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As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company’s repertory. The Met’s 2015-16 season features six new productions shown Live in HD, including Verdi’s Otello, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Bartlett Sher; Berg’s Lulu, conducted by Lothar Koenigs and directed by acclaimed visual artist William Kentridge; Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers), conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Penny Woolcock; Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Sir Richard Eyre; Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, conducted by Maurizio Benini and directed by Sir David McVicar; and Strauss’s Elektra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Patrice Chéreau.
Building on its 85-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, celebrates its tenth season in 2015-16 with ten live transmissions. Met Opera on Demand, a subscription service, makes selections from the company’s extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season and the Met offers free live audio streaming of performances on its website once a week during the opera season.