Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m. – RIGOLETTO: Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer’s acclaimed production, the talk of the opera world when it premiered in 2013, sets the action of Verdi’s masterpiece in the neon-lit world of 1960s Las Vegas. In this bold new vision Piotr Beczala is the Duke, a popular entertainer and casino owner; Željko Lu?i? sings Rigoletto, a comedian and the Duke’s sidekick; and Diana Damrau is Rigoletto’s innocent daughter, Gilda. Štefan Kocán sings the assassin-for-hire Sparafucile and Oksana Volkova makes her Met debut as his seductive sister, Maddalena. Rising conductor Michele Mariotti leads the Verdi masterwork, which features one of the most famous arias in all of opera, “La donna è mobile.”

Wednesday, July 9 at 7 p.m. – OTELLO: In Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s towering tragedy, Renée Fleming gives a captivating performance as the innocent Desdemona, a role long considered one of her calling cards. As the title hero, Johan Botha delivers an imposing portrayal of a proud warrior brought down by jealousy, and Falk Struckmann is thrilling as the villainous Iago.

Wednesday, July 23 at 7 p.m. – THE ENCHANTED ISLAND: A contemporary take on the 18th-century genre of the pastiche, this delightful Baroque fantasy brings together more than 30 of the greatest arias and ensembles by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Purcell, and other composers, with a new English libretto by Jeremy Sams, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The four young lovers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream find themselves shipwrecked on Prospero’s island from The Tempest, leading to a tortuous web of comic and dramatic romantic entanglements. The all-star cast is headed by David Daniels as Prospero, Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax, Danielle de Niese as Ariel, Luca Pisaroni as Caliban, and the legendary Plácido Domingo as Neptune. William Christie conducts this dazzling world-premiere production by director Phelim McDermott (Satyagraha).

Wednesday, July 30 at 7 p.m. – LA RONDINE: Puccini’s achingly beautiful score conveys the plight of Magda (the “swallow” of the title), who unexpectedly finds true love with the handsome young Ruggero. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, who portray Puccini’s star-crossed lovers, were praised by the Associated Press for “a vocal synchronicity and an emotional electricity that keeps an international audience riveted.” Nicolas Joël’s production of this rarely performed opera features elegant art-deco sets.

Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. – LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST: Puccini’s musical vision of the American West is vividly brought to life in the Met’s atmospheric production. Deborah Voigt is Minnie, the “girl of the golden west” and owner of a bar in a Californian mining camp. Marcello Giordani sings Dick Johnson, the bandit-turned-lover hunted by the cynical sheriff Jack Rance (Lucio Gallo), who wants Minnie for himself. Complete with whiskey-drinking cowboys, gunplay, a poker game, and a snowstorm, La Fanciulla del West is Puccini at his most colorful. Nicola Luisotti conducts the work.

Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. – ROMEO AND JULIETTE: The world’s most famous love story comes to operatic life with Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna as the star-crossed young couple. Gounod’s ultra-sensual Shakespeare interpretation also features Nathan Gunn as Mercutio and Isabel Leonard, in her Met debut, as Stéphano. Plácido Domingo is on the podium.

The Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center is at 18 Bradley Street. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. Order online at www.fryeburgacademy.org/tickets or call the box office at 207-935-9232.


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