Met Opera screenings provide convenient access to world-renowned performances

Posted on Oct 6 2017 - 8:00am by Holly Hicks

The Oxford Commons Cinema Grill will host live screenings of shows from the Metropolitan Opera House for a limited time beginning this Saturday, giving the Oxford community a chance to view performances from the world-renowned opera company.

The Met, located in New York City, has hosted some of the world’s greatest opera talents since its opening in 1883, and it continues to be the largest classical music organization in North America. The company initially began performing its featured shows, such as “Carmen” and “Lohengrin,” in Italian. The Met later focused on German performances, such as “Aida” and “Faust,” before it finally began performing in English, with some exceptions.

Kate Meacham, marketing director at the Gertrude C. Ford Center, said the live screenings of these shows are a great alternative to traveling all the way to New York to experience these shows in person.

“Opera does not tour,” Meacham said. “It can be hard to catch an opportunity to attend an opera show, especially from the Metropolitan Theatre. The great thing about opera is that when audiences are able to see one show, they get this desire to want to attend more.”

The Met features some of the world’s most celebrated voices in opera and is known as a premier venue for international composers and singers. Performers from all over the world refer to the Met as a home for their creative expression.

“Ever since I was in high school, I have always wanted to see an authentic performance from the Met,” senior UM Choir member Delon Blackman said. “I have never had a real opportunity to go to New York to see one of the shows myself.”

Blackman said the Met has influenced his own singing and that these Grammy-winning performances draw more culture into the Oxford community.

“Being from the coast of Mississippi, New Orleans is one of the closest cities we can travel to in order to find performances of true quality,” Blackman said. “The fact that the Metropolitan Opera is going to be playing live at Malco gives me an opportunity to finally be able to experience something different in my home state.”

The live screenings will feature “Norma,” “Die Zauberflote” and “The Exterminating Angel.” The Met’s performances will be shown on Saturdays, each beginning at 11:55 a.m.

“Norma” (Oct. 7) — Norma is a leader in ancient Gaul who has begun to fall in love with a Roman enemy. This powerful woman finds herself in a battle between hearts while she projects the storyline through the powerful vocals and agile singing techniques.

“Die Zauberflote” (Oct. 14) — Translated from German as “The Magic Flute,” this opera is one of Mozart’s most cherished and legendary works. Full of imagination, love and danger, “Die Zauberflote” follows the quest of Prince Tamino to rescue Princess Pamina from captivity under the high priest, Sarastro. This show features both singing and spoken dialogue.

“The Exterminating Angel” (Nov. 18) — This opera is a surrealist fantasy about a dinner party where the guests are unable to leave. It is full of adventure and satire, and it was praised by The New York Times at its 2016 Salzburg Festival as “inventive and audacious.”