FRYEBURG — The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series will return to the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center for the 2014-15 season on Saturday, Oct. 11. The live simulcast’s crisp HD picture and enveloping surround sound inside Fryeburg Academy’s state-of-the-art theater creates an experience that will make you feel like you’re actually watching the performance at New York City’s famed opera house.
1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11: Macbeth – Star soprano Anna Netrebko delivers her searing portrayal of Lady Macbeth, the mad and murderous mate of Zeljko Lucic’s doomed Macbeth, for the first time at the Met. Adrian Noble’s chilling production of Verdi’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy also stars Joseph Calleja as the noble Macduff and Rene Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts. Approximate runtime 3:13
1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18: Le Nozze di Figaro – Met Music Director James Levine conducts a spirited new production of Mozart’s masterpiece, directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in a 19th-century manor house in Seville, but during the gilded age of the late 1920s. Dashing bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov leads the cast in the title role of the clever servant, opposite Marlis Petersen as his bridge, Susanna, Peter Mattei as the philandering Count they work for, Marina Poplavskaya as the long-suffering Countess, and Isabel Leonard as the libidinous pageboy Cherubino. Approximate runtime 3:52
1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1: Carmen – Richard Eyre’s mesmerizing production of Bizet’s steamy melodrama returns with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress. Aleksandrs Antonenko plays her desperate lover, the soldier Don José, and Ildar Abdrazakov is the swaggering bullfighter, Escamillo, who comes between them. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the irresistible score, which features one beloved and instantly recognizable melody after another. Approximate runtime 3:38
1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22: Il Barbiere di Siviglia – The Met’s effervescent production of Rossini’s classic comedy – featuring some of the most instantly recognizable melodies in all of opera – stars Isabel Leonard as the feisty Rosina, Lawrence Brownlee as her conspiring flame, and Christopher Maltman as the endlessly resourceful and charming barber, himself. Michele Mariotti conducts the vivid and tuneful score. Approximate runtime 3:25
2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – James Levine returns to one of his signature Wagner works conducting this epic comedy—back at the Met for the first time in eight years—about a group of Renaissance “master singers” whose song contest unites a city. Johan Reuter, Johan Botha, and Annette Dasch lead the superb international cast in this charming and magisterial celebration of the power of music and art. Approximate runtime 6:00
Joe De Vito, opera enthusiast and recently retired member of the Fryeburg Academy English Department, will return to deliver his always informative and entertaining opera workshops for this season’s Live in HD broadcasts. De Vito has been studying the stories and music of operas for several decades and approaches the workshops as an opportunity to share some of what he’s learned with others who enjoy music and the stage. De Vito’s workshops will be held at 3 p.m. at the Eastman Arts Center on the Thursday prior to the Saturday performance. The format is very informal and the content includes a synopsis of the opera’s plot, some biographical background of the composer and the composition. The bulk of the lecture is spent listening to musical selections from the opera. No prior knowledge is needed to attend this series. Workshops are free and open to the public. A donation in any amount helps maintain the Arts Center.
Season passes, which get you into all 10 performances for the price of nine, are available until Oct. 11. Single tickets are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $18 for students. Order online at www.fryeburgacademy.org/tickets or call 207-935-9232. The LHE/PAC is at 18 Bradley Street.