|Joseph Calleja & Anna Netrebko|
Jacques Offenbach became rich and famous as a composer of operettas full of witty topical references and irresistible tunes that would come to signify everything glitzy about 19th-century Paris. But as he neared the end of his life, he craved more: acceptance as a “serious” composer. He decided to write an opera and chose the fantastical and often enigmatic stories of German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann as his material.
In bringing his vision of Hoffmann to the stage, director Bartlett Sher (director of the Broadway musicals The Light In The Piazza and South Pacific, as well as the Met’s own recent Le Comte Ory) found inspiration in the life and works of author Franz Kafka—another German Jew, living in Prague. In both E.T.A. Hoffmann and Kafka’s work, sinister, shadowy powers haunt the lead characters. And in each of Hoffmann’s tales that make up the opera’s three acts, the protagonist tries to break into what seems to be a closed world. The character’s dilemma is the same as Kafka’s and Offenbach’s, Sher explains: “It’s a matter of how an artist can feel accepted and rejected at the same time.”
Rising tenor Joseph Calleja portrays that artist, taking on Offenbach’s tour-de-force title role for the first time in his career. Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim, and Ekaterina Gubanova star as the women he loves and loses, and Alan Held sings the four villains. Collaborating with Sher on the design are Michael Yeargan (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), and James F. Ingalls (lighting), with choreography by Dou Dou Huang. James Levine conducts.
So bring a friend. Share the experience. And come see a production that Anthony Tomassini of The New York Times described as "a musically gratifying and vividly theatrical staging of a haunting and, in its way, profound work,” when The Grand presents the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Hi Def encore of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena on Wednesday, June 13th at 6 pm.
Tickets are $17 for General Admission and $8 for Youth 12 and under. Call The Grand box office for tickets, or purchase online at www.grandonline.org.
The Grand is pleased to present high-definition productions of The New York Metropolitan Opera. Be the first to get tickets for the 2012/13 season by purchasing your tickets at The Grand. Tickets go on sale to MET Members on Friday August 24th at 9:00am, Grand Members on Friday August 31st at 9:00am and General Public on Tuesday September 4th at 9:00am. The season opens with Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore starring Anna Netrebko on October 13th at 1pm.
A full schedule can be found online at www.grandonline.org. Or find The Grand on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Grand-Auditorium/112755987339.