A trip to the big city isn’t the only way to enjoy opera live, thanks to the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” (High Definition) series at the Newport Performing Arts Center (PAC). The 10-opera series is presented by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA).
The 15th season of the opera begins with a reminder presentation on October 16 at 2 pm of “Boris Godunov”, the story of a tortured tsar caught between ambition and paranoia.
Other operas continue until June 2022 and are:
• On October 23 at 9:55 am, live in HD, the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”.
• 11 Dec. 2 p.m., “Eurydice”, reminder presentation.
• January 22, 2022, 2 pm, “Cinderella”, abbreviated English reminder presentation, a shorter program aimed at families and young people.
• January 29, 9:55 am, live in HD, “Rigoletto”.
• March 26, 9:00 am Live in HD, “Don Carlos”.
• April 2, 2 p.m., reminder presentation, “Ariadne auf Naxos”.
• May 14, 2 p.m., reminder presentation, “Turandot”.
• May 21, 9:55 am, Live in HD, “Lucia di Lammermoor”.
• June 11, 2 p.m., reminder presentation, “Hamlet”.
Jason Holland, executive director of OCCA, noted that operas listed as encore performances are recorded live in HD and then broadcast at a later date. Those listed as “live” are just that – displayed as they are performed.
The New York Metropolitan Opera series features high-definition live cinema broadcasts in HD with 5.1 surround sound and 80 speakers, and additional acoustic support for the Meyer Sound Constellation system.
The programs are presented on a giant screen on the PAC stage. Holland said the Silverman Theater screen was lowered last week to make sure everything was okay, and that it spans about two floors vertically.
“HD is the best thing to see something live,” Holland said, adding that surround sound contributes to the experience. “Sharing the Met Opera with this sensory experience is exciting.”
He said the seats are by general admission, which means participants are not allocated seats but can sit wherever they want, allowing them to deviate from their neighbors as they wish.
Noting that opera is a very expensive art form to produce and maintain, Holland said, “For an organization like the Met, making performances accessible to theaters across the country is a great asset. The scale of production is so impressive, and the quality of what they produce is overwhelming. “
In recent years, OCCA has also presented live national theater offerings. Although none have been booked so far this year, Holland said they are monitoring new offerings, including Broadway shows, as they become available. And as theaters reopen, he expects more National Theater Live HD to be offered.
Longtime Newport resident Paul Brookhyser is a strong supporter of “The Met: Live in HD”, along with his wife, Evelyn. He looked forward to the performances for the coming season and said, “You have the best seat in the house in Newport – nowhere in the PAC is there a bad seat for these shows, and you get some close-ups. individuals on stage as they play. He added that the presentations included interviews with performers during intermission or a glimpse of the “phenomenal” set changes made behind the scenes.
“It’s like watching a ballet,” he said of the change of scenery.
The opera is now family-owned, with Brookhyser’s daughter Erica an accomplished opera singer as well as a voice over artist. Brookhyser said he was not interested in opera until Erica got involved in this art form.
Brookhyser said that another advantage of “The Met: Live in HD” is that subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen, rather than as surtitles at the top, making them easier to read while taking advantage of what is happening.
He said Newport’s opera season attracts a constant audience and he looks forward to the opening performance, “Boris Godunov”, which he described as “one of the best operas in the world, with lots of costumes and instruments. I wouldn’t miss this one, “he said.
Tickets cost $ 22 each; a subscription of 10 for the 2021-2022 programs is $ 175. Ticket prices for Met and OCCA members are $ 20 per program or a 10 membership for $ 145. For seniors, individual tickets are $ 19 or a subscription from $ 10 to $ 145.
Children’s tickets are $ 10 and student tickets are $ 12 each, with a subscription of 10 2021-22 tickets at $ 80.
Tickets are available at the PAC box office. Season tickets can be purchased until the first performance on October 16.
The ticket office is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the PAC. Masks are mandatory when visiting the ticket office. For more information visit www.coastarts.org or call 541-265-2787.
The PAC operates under COVID pandemic protocols – everyone present must be fully immunized. Those who cannot be fully immunized, including children under 12, must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the start of the performance. This is required as a condition of entry.
In addition, according to City of Newport and State mandates and OCCA policy, face masks are required from everyone inside the building, regardless of vaccination status, except when ‘they eat or drink “actively” in designated areas. OCCA staff and volunteers will check vaccination cards and face masks.
The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series is made possible by a grant from its founding sponsor, the Neubauer Family Foundation. Digital media for The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Met: Live in HD” series is supported by Rolex, and HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers, the US luxury home builder.