The Met's production of "Adriana Lecouvreur" is a collaboration with the Royal Opera House of London. Soprano Anna Netrebko performs the lead role.
It's January — a new month, a new year. And, we're in the midst of a glorious snow season. Now is a good time for some indoor adventuring. In fact, it's a great time for decadent storytelling, replete with sumptuous costumes, extravagant gestures and soaring vocal acrobatics.
I mean, really, 'tis the season for opera. And the Taos Opera Guild is serving it up in spades, especially for those aged 17 and under.
In case it has escaped your attention, the Taos Center for the Arts has collaborated with the New York Metropolitan Opera to air The Met: Live in HD broadcasts in our own Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
This is live world-class opera in the comfort of our own town. Better still, the Taos Opera Guild offers morning breakfast talks prior to each broadcast at Doc Martin's Restaurant in the historic Taos Inn, 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
Join the Taos Opera Guild Saturday (Jan. 12) from 9-10:30 a.m. for a free talk by Anne Stillman on the opera "Adriana Lecouvreur." The talk takes place at Doc Martin's where everyone can buy breakfast on their own dime and enjoy casual conversation in a relaxed atmosphere with other opera aficionados. Then, after the talk, walk on over to the TCA to watch the New York Metropolitan Opera's live performance of "Adriana Lecouvreur," which starts at 11 a.m. and runs for three hours and 33 minutes with two intermissions.
Stillman, a Taos Opera Guild board member, is giving the breakfast talk. Stillman spoke with me about the real-life character of Lecouvreur who inspired this opera composed by Francesco Cilea with an Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti. The opera is based on the 1849 play by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé which debuted in 1902 in Milan, Italy.
"Adriana Lecouvreur was a huge celebrity in the 1700s to 1730s in Paris, France," Stillman said. "She was an accomplished actress, the most popular actress of her time. She died under mysterious circumstances in the prime of her life. She was like a tabloid celebrity. Everyone knew about her. She was performing at the French National Theater. She was a star of the age of Versailles … She was a lover of Voltaire. She was a well-spoken, intelligent, thoughtful woman of very humble origins."
The Met's production of "Adriana Lecouvreur" is a collaboration with the Royal Opera House of London, which previously debuted the opera in 2010. The Met will be using costuming, sets and props from the Royal Opera. Soprano Anna Netrebko performs the lead role. Let me say, again, this is world-class production, folks, a feast for all the senses.
"Opera is such a combination of all the arts -- visual, audio, narrative, music -- it has a grandness to it," Stillman said. "This opera is classic Italian romantic tragedy. There's jealousy, rivalry, deceit. This is going to be a sumptuous recreation of Paris in the 1730s … You can just sit down and get lost in a sweep of events and historical perspective."
For reservations to the preview breakfast, call Doc Martin's at (575) 758-2233 by Friday (Jan. 11).
Tickets for The Met: Live in HD broadcast of "Adriana Lecouvreur" are $25, $20 for Taos Center for the Arts members, and free for youth age 17 and under thanks to Taos Opera Guild. They may be purchased in advance by calling (575) 758-2052. Tickets will also be available at the box office, which opens 45 minutes before the screening begins.
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