Performance transmitted “live” to FLC campus from New York’s Metropolitan Opera
DURANGO, Colo. – The Met: Live in HD, presented by the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College in partnership with The Metropolitan Opera, continues its 2016-2017 season Saturday, Dec. 10 with a new production – Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin.
L’Amour de Loin will be broadcast live in high definition from New York’s Metropolitan Opera in the Vallecito Room of the Fort Lewis College Student Union beginning at 10:55 a.m. Run time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
A breakthrough in 21st-century opera, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin has its Metropolitan premiere on Dec. 1, 2016 in a new production by Robert Lepage, and is said to glow with the transcendental power of love.
Since its world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2000, L’Amour de Loin has earned a place among the most acclaimed stage works of the 21st century. The opera won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Musical Composition in 2003 and has been performed in Paris, London, Santa Fe, Helsinki, Aspen, Darmstadt, and more.
L’Amour de Loin (“Love from Afar”) explores the archetypal themes of love and death that are opera’s lifeblood. But Saariaho, who was born in Helsinki in 1952, brings a unique sensibility to this material through her enchanting musical language.
“When I started to write this piece, I had to draw on all the musical resources I had used up until then, and all my experience,” she noted in a news release. “I felt that I needed to stretch my music in different directions.”
Conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, who has known Saariaho since both were students at the Sibelius Academy, has memorably characterized her style as music that “vibrates in colors.”
L’Amour de Loin transpires in a medieval setting and distills its narrative down to a minimalist plot that focuses on the inner lives of its protagonists. Saariaho discovered the kernel for the opera’s story in the figure of Jaufré Rudel, one of the earliest troubadours, who lived in the first half of the 12th century. Only a handful of his poems have survived, and little is known for certain about him beyond that he was a prince of Aquitaine in the southwest of France. But the tales that circulated posthumously about his exploits made Jaufré popular with later aficionados of the art of courtly love, and 19th-century poets like Robert Browning took a fresh interest in him.
Like Wagner’s Tannhäuser, another historically obscure troubadour transformed into a vivid operatic protagonist, Jaufré at the beginning of L’Amour de Loin has become dissatisfied with a life of hedonism and sensual pleasures. He imagines an ideal love and then learns from an unnamed Pilgrim that the woman Jaufré believes he can only conjure through his art in fact exists, across the sea, in the distant Levant. She is Clémence, Countess of Tripoli.
The Pilgrim – an androgynous role written for mezzo-soprano, literally mediating between the heroine’s soprano range and Jaufré’s brooding baritone – acts as go-between, traveling between East and West. He initially disturbs and then intrigues Clémence with his account of a distant lover who sings her unparalleled praises. Though he has never been at sea, Jaufré decides to undertake the journey over the vast Mediterranean distance himself, accompanied by the Pilgrim. It is a voyage fraught with fear and doubt, while Clémence too worries about the role she should play when they finally meet. Jaufré’s dark night of angst has made him fatally ill by the time he arrives in Tripoli. Together, he and Clémence proclaim the reality of their love as he lies dying in her embrace.
At the Met, the lovers will be portrayed by soprano Susanna Phillips and bass-baritone Eric Owens, with mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford singing the role of the Pilgrim.
The “magic” of The Met: Live in HD events is that they are delivered 100 percent live via satellite. Audiences throughout the world experience the production at the same time as the audience sitting in the Metropolitan Opera itself. Additionally, between acts, the Live in HD viewers are treated to backstage interviews and other features the “in person” audiences never see.
The Met Live in HD series will feature seven additional performances over the 2016-2017 season:
- Jan. 7, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – Nabucco (Verdi)
- Jan. 21, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – Romeo et Juliette (New Production) (Gounod)
- Feb. 25, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – Rusalka (Dvorak)
- Mar. 11, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – La Traviata (Verdi)
- Mar. 25, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – Idomeneo (Mozart)
- Apr. 22, 2017, 10:55 a.m. – Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
- May 13, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – Der Rosenkavalier (New Production) (R. Strauss)
Since the Live in HD series launched in 2006, more than 17 million tickets have been sold to opera lovers worldwide. The Met: Live in HD is now seen in more than 2,000 theaters in 70 countries.
Advance tickets for individual screenings of The Met: Live in HD($20-$23 plus service fee) are available on-line atwww.durangoconcerts.com or by calling 970.247.7657, or at the Ticket Office inside the Durango Welcome Center at 8th St. and Main Ave. in Downtown Durango. All sales final.
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season in 2016-2017, the Community Concert Hall is a not-for-profit, multi-use performance venue located on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Its ability to bring a diverse spectrum of shows to Southwest Colorado is made possible through a partnership with the college, a state-supported, independent institution of higher education, and through financial and in-kind contributions from generous members of the community.