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Live opera on the silver screen

The second season of "Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition" will kick off worldwide Saturday, Dec. 15, with the first of the Met's eight live opera transmissions, Gounod's "Roméo et Juliette" with Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna, conducted by Plácido Domingo.

The Met's series is expanding in 2008 to eight live operas presented in more than 600 movie theaters, arts centers, and universities in 13 different countries. Organizers expect the total worldwide audience to reach 1 million for the entire series.

Tinseltown at 651 Medford Center, Medford, has been chosen as one of those venues. "Roméo et Juliette" will be shown there at 10 a.m. At 9:40 a.m., prior to the show, Rogue Opera's Artistic Director Willene Gunn will host a discussion about the opera in the theater. Doors and box office will open at 9:30 a.m.

Building on its 76-year-old international radio broadcast history — heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network — the Met now uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to attract new audiences and reach millions of opera fans around the world.

The Met's live HD transmissions subsequently air on PBS, and a selection of these performances will be available on DVD.

Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition continues as follows:

  • 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1: Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" the Met's holiday entertainment offering with Christine Schäfer and Alice Coote in a new English-language production by Richard Jones with intriguing new staging. The Brothers Grimm fairy tale features a sophisticated score conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
  • 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12: Verdi's "Macbeth" with Maria Guleghina, directed by Adrian Noble and conducted by Met music director James Levine. The composer's longstanding affinity for Shakespeare is explored in the Met's new production.
  • 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16: Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" with Karita Mattila and Marcello Giordani, and conducted by Levine. The opera tells the story of the magnetic attraction between two young lovers.
  • 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 15: Britten's "Peter Grimes" with Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette in a new production directed by John Doyle and conducted by Donald Runnicles. A haunting theatrical journey that features what may be 20th century opera's most impressive tenor role.
  • 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22: Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" with Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner and conducted by Levine. One of world's most celebrated Wagnerian sopranos and the leading Tristan of our time are featured in this revival.
  • 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5: Puccini's "La Bohème" with Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas in a Franco Zeffirelli production conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
  • 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26: Donizetti's "La Fille du Régiment" directed by Laurent Pelly and conducted by Marco Armiliato with Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Flórez, and four-time Tony Award-winning Zoe Caldwell.

Tickets for shows at Tinseltown are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and, $15 for children. For tickets, contact Tinseltown at 770-1141.

Opening night of the Metropolitan Opera House, when it first opened its doors on Sept. 16, 1966, at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. - Metropolitan Opera