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London —Feb 2, 2007
City Screen follows up the December 30th blockbuster ‘cinecast’ of The Magic Flute with more live opera to be broadcast in HD from the Metropolitan Opera
CITY SCREEN, the UK’s leading independent cinema circuit, is pleased to announce the continuation of its partnership with “Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD.” CITY SCREEN will expand its UK ‘cinecasts’ of the Met’s groundbreaking initiative to include the last three opera performances in the series, each to be transmitted LIVE via satellite from the US in High-Definition (HD).
“Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD” launched on December 30 with the Met’s English-language version of The Magic Flute. The historic performance reached a global audience of nearly 30,000 people and a total audience capacity of over 90 percent. The series continues in the UK on February 24th with Eugene Onegin, March 24th with The Barber of Seville, and April 28th with Il Trittico. The first of the trio will play nationwide at ten Picturehouse sites, with the following two operas each playing nationwide at twelve Picturehouse sites. For more information visit: http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/metropolitan_opera.
“This is an historic moment for us,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager. “We’re harnessing digital technology to make the spectacle of live grand opera more broadly available. It’s part of the Met’s new efforts to propel opera back into the mainstream.”
City Screen Head of Digital Development Marc John added: “There is clearly a strong demand for live events as the cinema business migrates to the use of digital technology, and our audiences couldn’t be happier with the new forms of entertainment we are now able to offer via live satellite broadcasting.”
Eugene Onegin (Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
The sensational Renée Fleming performs the role of Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for the first time at the Met. Dimitri Hvorostovsky sings the title role, with Ramón Vargas as Lenski. The Met’s principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev conducts. Saturday, February 24, doors open at 6pm for 6.30pm show.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (Gioachino Rossini): New Production
This new production of Rossini’s comic opera is staged by theater director Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing!). The Met’s all-star cast includes tenor Juan Diego Flórez as the Count Almaviva, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Rosina, and baritone Peter Mattei is the title role of Figaro. John Relyea performs Don Basilio, and John Del Carlo performs Doctor Bartolo. Maurizio Benini conducts. Saturday, March 24, doors open at 6pm for 6.30pm show.
Il Trittico (Giacomo Puccini): New Production
Award-winning theater director Jack O’Brien (The Times They Are A-Changin’, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) directs Puccini’s Il Trittico (consisting of the three one-act operas Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi). The casts include: Maria Guleghina as Giorgetta, Salvatore Licitra as Luigi, and Juan Pons as Michele in Il Tabarro; Barbara Frittoli as Suor Angelica and Stephanie Blythe as the Princess in Suor Angelica; and Olga Mykytenko as Lauretta, Massimo Giordano as Rinuccio, and Alessandro Corbelli in the title role of Gianni Schicchi. Met Music Director James Levine conducts. Saturday, April 28, doors open at 6pm for 6.30pm show.
These exclusive engagements mark the continuation of City Screen’s drive to offer an innovative range of alternative programming in the era of ‘digital cinema’, following the installation of a state-of-the-art satellite network across the entire Picturehouse circuit in October 2006. The company enjoyed a considerable success with its debut ‘cinecast’: Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball - beamed live from London’s Royal Albert Hall on 14th October 2006 to packed houses.
About the Met
Under the leadership of new General Manager Peter Gelb, the Met has launched many initiatives to connect the company with a larger audience. They include: a first-ever free open house that offered the public an opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of Madama Butterfly; an extensive transit advertising campaign in New York City during the month of September; $15 tickets (formerly $26) in the Family Circle section; the new Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program that offers 200 orchestra seats deeply discounted to $20 for weekday performances; a first-time free open house of The Magic Flute for public school students; the new Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met exhibiting contemporary art; a groundbreaking commissioning program in partnership with the Lincoln Center Theater that provides renowned composers and playwrights the resources to create and develop new works at the Met and Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater; and dynamic new content on the web site, the house program, and the radio broadcasts. The Met recently announced the use of advanced distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to attract new audiences and reach millions of opera fans around the world. In addition to “Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD,” the Met launched “Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius,” a 24-hour satellite radio channel broadcasting live and rare historical performances. The Met presents free live streaming of performances from its website once every week with support from RealNetworks®.
About City Screen Limited:
City Screen is the owner and operator of
Picturehouse Cinemas, Britain’s largest circuit of independent cinemas. Formed
in 1989 to challenge the multiplex model, City Screen provides cinemas in city
centre locations to serve local communities and offer a diverse choice of films
and events. City Screen runs 20 cinemas and programmes a further 39
independently operated venues, drawing on over 20 years’ experience in
tailoring diverse and commercially successful content spanning arthouse,
independent, classic, world and Hollywood cinema. City Screen prides itself on
being at the forefront of digital cinema and other business and technological
developments. These have included live cinecasts of filmmaker Q&As, comedy,
music, and productions from the New York Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House
and the National Theatre, broadcast to audiences throughout the UK.
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