Watch Friday, January 16, 2015 at 9pm on WMHT TV.
Mozart's elegant masterpiece of marital discord Le Nozze di Figaro is conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and staged by Richard Eyre.
Eyre's staging of the opera, in which the romantic bonds of two couples are tested over the course of one eventful day, is set in a stately manor in 1930s Seville. Ildar Abdrazakov, star of Prince Igor (also seen on Great Performances at the Met) and an acclaimed Figaro at the Met in the past, sings the title role. The cast also includes Marlis Petersen as Figaro's quick-witted bride-to-be, Susanna; Peter Mattei in one of his most acclaimed roles as Count Almaviva; Amanda Majeski in her Met debut as Almaviva's wife, the long-suffering Countess; and Isabel Leonard as the boisterous page Cherubino. Eyre’s Met credits include the 2009 hit production of Carmen and last season's Werther, both broadcast on Great Performances at the Met.
The Wall Street Journal found this new production of Le Nozze di Figaro to be "A swiftly paced, playful evening… Eyre skillfully built the comic ensembles to climaxes that made you laugh out loud… A happy Marriage at the Met." New York Magazine raved, "A ravishing, intricately wrought evening of music, humor and emotional depth… An evening like this is the strongest argument for the continued vigor of the Met."
A continuation of five characters' stories, including Figaro, the Count and Countess, Bartolo, and Don Basilio, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (though written several decades earlier) is the sequel to Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which will be coming up on Great Performances at the Met. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard stars in both productions, as Cherubino in Figaro and Rosina, the future countess, in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
One of the most popular operas of all time, Mozart's Figaro features music that has been used in countless movies and advertisements, including Trading Places, The King's Speech, and The Shawshank Redemption.
Soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast.
Le Nozze di Figaro was originally seen live in movie theaters on October 18 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 69 countries around the world. The transmission reached a record-breaking 16 million viewers.