New York Met stars on cinema screen

IT looks as if whatever the dispute was over regarding the Cineworld chain screening the New York Metropolitan Opera’s live high definition relays in this country has been settled.

With Puccini’s wild-west opera La Fanciulla del West at Sheffield Cineworld last Saturday and, a month earlier, Verdi’s Don Carlo, we have had the last two Saturday matinees scheduled for relay by the Met.

So what else can we look forward to?

Next up on February 12 is John Adams’ best-known opera, Nixon in China, conducted by the composer himself and directed by Peter Sellars with Janis Kelly in the cast and James Maddalena as Nixon.

On February 26 it is Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo as Oreste, a baritone role, occasionally sung by a tenor – which guise will the great man be in?

Another starry duo, Natalie Dessay and Joseph Calleja, are on duty on March 19 for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

April 9 sees Rossini’s Le Comte Ory with the in-vogue bel canto tenor Juan Diego Flóres in the title role and vying with Joyce DiDonato (in a trouser role) for the hand of Diana Damrau.

An even more famous lady, Renée Fleming, takes to the stage on April 23 in Richard Strauss’ autumnal opera Capriccio. Sarah Connolly is also in the cast and Andrew Davies is the conductor.

The following week, April 30, it is the blood and thunder of Verdi’s Il Trovatore in a David McVicar production conducted by James Levine and, on paper, a remarkable cast: Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Alvarez and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Finally, Levine is again the conductor on May 14 for Wagner’s Die Walküre in a new production that sees last Saturday’s ‘Girl of the Golden West,’ Deborah Voigt, returning as Brünnhilde with Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel elsewhere.

Except for Die Walküre, which begins one hour earlier, all the operas get underway in New York at 1pm, which means a 6pm start at Cineworld.