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'The Met: Live in HD' lives on!

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It’s a surreal feeling to go to the opera on a Saturday morning, settling in for three or four or five enchanted hours of high drama, art, and culture while many people are barely blinking awake. But for Central Coast opera diehards, it seems there’s no better way to start (make that spend the better part of) the day. Over the past year, the Met: Live in HD series, featuring high-definition simulcasts from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, has brought some of the greatest opera classics to the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. Since they’re broadcast live from New York, some of these masterpieces start as early as 9 a.m. for those of us on the West Coast, but that’s all part of the fun.

RHODELINDA: - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • RHODELINDA:

The Met: Live series made its Central Coast debut in the fall of 2011 with Der Ring des Nibelungen, the first of Wagner’s Ring cycle, and continued through the year with works such as Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, John Adams’ Nixon in China, and, most recently, Saragraha, Phillip Glass’ opera about Mahatma Ghandi’s early life in South Africa.

As the series continues into the New Year, here are a few upcoming shows to look forward to:

• Handel’s Rhodelinda screens Sunday, January 8 at 2 p.m. Renée Fleming returns to deliver the title performance, and Harry Bicket conducts.

• Gounod’s Faust plays Sunday, January 15 at 2 p.m. Jonas Kaufmann is Faust, René Pape is the devil, and Marina Poplovskaya is Marguerite, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

• The Enchanted Island, featuring music by Handel, Rameau, Vivaldi, and others, screens Saturday, January 21 at 9:55 p.m. William Christie conducts this new yet Baroque-inspired creation, in which the characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream are shipwrecked on the dreamy island of The Tempest.

• Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, the dramatic climax of the Met’s Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage, screens Saturday, February 11 at 9 a.m.

General admission is $25; students with ID pay $10. Visit operaslo.org for more.

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