Starting Monday, May 7, The Met will present worldwide movie theater screenings of Robert Lepage’s new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, along with Wagner’s Dream, a new documentary chronicling the creation of the new staging. The doc includes footage relating to the creation and implementation of the costly and controversial "machine," the high-tech piece of stagecraft for the new productions, so enormous that the Met stage—already one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world—had to be reinforced underneath with three 65 foot steel girders just to accommodate the machine's 45 tons.
The series, which is a worldwide first, will begin May 7 with a screening of the documentary, directed by filmmaker Susan Froemke, and continue on May 9 with Das Rheingold, the first opera in the cycle. To order tickets or get more information on screening times and locations, please visit The Met.
Angela Meade's victory in the Met's National Council Auditions was chronicled in the 2008 documentary film The Audition, and she subsequently became a Met star when she took over the role of Elvira in Ernani after the lead soprano fell unexpectedly ill. She reprises the role in Saturday's broadcast. The Associated Press described her appearance as "among the top moments of the Met season.” And the New York Times agreed: "Ms. Meade showed what this uncommonly gifted rising artist is capable of … her voice is plush and penetrating, though the power comes effortlessly from the body and richness of her sound." Saturday's performance marks Meade's first Live in HD appearance, and it comes just four years after her professional debut.
American audiences will have the chance to glimpse the Bolshoi's facelift in all its glory when Tchaikovsky's “The Sleeping Beauty” is broadcast live to theaters this weekend. It's also a great opportunity to check out the moves of dancer David Hallberg on the Bolshoi stage: Hallberg is dancing his first season with the company as the only American dancer in history to be asked to join the Bolshoi as a principal dancer. The performance will be broadcast live Sunday, November 20, at 10 am and again at 1:30 pm with a special additional encore screening on Tuesday, November 22, at 6:30 pm (all local times). Atlanta area theaters screening the broadcast include Merchant's Walk, Hollywood 24 at North I-85, AMC Southlake Pavilion 24, North Point 8, and AMC Discover Mills 18. For more information or to purchase tickets visit Fathom.
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Some are even requesting to be removed from his popular newsletter:
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Hey guys, Kim's a person too. She has real problems too, like being short and Psoriasis even if she is terrible at acting and marriage and being tall. Plus, the real Kim is much easier on the eyes than Tyler Perry dressed in drag like Kim. Yeesh.
“Understudy Jay Hunter Morris Soars as 'Siegfried' in Met's Ring Cycle” blared the headline in The New York Post on Friday after tenor Gary Lehman called in sick a few days before opening night and understudy Morris stepped into the role at the last minute.
Morris isn't completely unknown to Met-goers: he's sung several roles on that stage, having made his debut there in 2007. But Siegfried is his very first starring role at the Met, and everyone's buzzing about his unexpectedly masterful performance in the marathon six-hour opera. (His star-power doesn't come as a complete surprise to many Atlantans, however: Morris sang memorably in several Atlanta Opera productions, as Canio in Pagliacci in 2006 and as Erik in The Flying Dutchman in 2009).
"Dance for Reel" takes place on Tuesday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Road Presentation Room, 1390 Oxford Road, on Emory’s campus. The program is free and open to the public.
The season kicks off with Anna Netrebko taking on the punishing lead role in Donizetti's Anna Bolena. Wagner's Ring Cycle continues, there's some Philip Glass and Handel, and a Faust and a Manon, so it should be a fascinating and varied season, in spite of the Met general manager Peter Gelb's continued quest to strike all the popular, lush, and expertly-executed Zeffirelli sets and replace them with blank walls, chain-link fences, and piles of bricks. (We still remember The New York Times review of last year's new Traviata, in which the writer remarked—without irony—that the production received "surprisingly little booing.”)
And best wishes to Maestro James Levine for a speedy recovery: His presence and expertise at the podium will certainly be missed during his temporary absence by those of us attending the broadcasts, but perhaps most of all during this fall's Siegfried: Those who attended last year's productions of Rheingold and Walküre assumed it would be a journey we'd complete with Levine.
Anyway, Creative Loafing will be covering it all again this year, so we hope you'll join us on the journey. Use the comment sections to make observations you'd like to share or to shriek at us when we get something wrong. That's what it's there for. Check out the broadcasts at local theaters Perimeter Pointe, Buckhead Fork and Screen, and Chamblee Hollywood 24. For a complete schedule and list of theaters, visit the Met.
One of the trilogy's most stunning and memorable images (there are many) is of the entire company crammed into a shallow display case at the opening of the first piece Körper. It's somewhat emblematic of the trilogy as a whole: frightening, uncomfortable, pessimistic, with connotations of the human body's history of being measured, weighed, classified. There are flashes of humor and absurdity in Waltz's trilogy, but it's this disturbing and troubling tone which seems most persistent and memorable. Later we see orderlies lifting and hauling their human subjects by grabbing fistfuls of loose skin. Dancers rattle off the current market prices of organs and surgical procedures, taping price tags to parts of their bodies. Dancers are squeezed and water dribbles out of their orifices. This is not the body beautiful: far from it, it's the body with all its liquids, solids, entrails. Bodies are shown in all their weird permutations, abilities, limitations, their vulnerability to violence, their fragility but also their disturbing tenaciousness. We do see the body's capacity for emotion, but mostly in the form of panic, fear, loss, grief, confusion.
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