Gluck’s rarely performed masterpiece, Iphigénie en Tauride, starring Susan Graham, Plácido Domingo and Paul Groves, will air on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Sunday, May 29 at 12 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Patrick Summers conducts the revival of the Metropolitan Opera’s much-lauded production by Stephen Wadsworth. The program was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 26, 2011 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1500 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 46 countries around the world.
Prior to the premiere of the production in 2007, which also featured Graham, Domingo, and Groves, the Met hadn’t performed Gluck’s final opera since 1917. The title role of Iphigénie en Tauride is a touchstone role for Graham, who has performed it with great success at the Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Teatro Real de Madrid. Domingo added the role of Iphigénie’s long-lost brother Oreste to his extensive repertoire for the 2007 premiere of Wadsworth’s production and earned excellent reviews for his performance in what has traditionally been considered a baritone role. Groves reprises his Pylade, which he has sung at leading opera houses in Madrid, Paris, London, Chicago, and San Francisco. Maestro Summers, who has conducted a diverse range of works at the Met ranging from Salome to Rodelinda, also conducts the Met’s revival of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor this season. The cast also features Gordon Hawkins as the Scythian king Thoas and Julie Boulianne as the goddess Diane.
Iphigénie en Tauride (“Iphigenia in Tauris”), based on the Greek myth about a priestess facing the aftermath of her family’s violent history, is often considered the culmination of Gluck’s life ambition to achieve a perfect union of music and drama. Reviewing the current revival, the New York Times critic called it “An impassioned revival… (which) confirms that there is no reason for this radiant opera not to be a repertory staple,” praising the singers and “the Met orchestra’s warmly powerful, propulsive performance.”
Wadsworth’s production features sets by Thomas Lynch, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Neil Peter Jampo.
Great Performances at the Met: Iphigénie en Tauride was directed for the live HD transmission by Barbara Willis Sweete and hosted by soprano Natalie Dessay. Jay David Saks is the music producer. The performance is sung in French with English subtitles.Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, public television viewers and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding for Great Performances at the Met: Iphigénie en Tauride is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and Joseph A. Wilson.
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.