Anna Netrebko & Matthew Polenzani Star In Donizetti’s Comic Gem L’Elisir d’Amore
on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS
Deborah Voigt hosts broadcast of Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher’s production
Star soprano Anna Netrebko takes center stage as Adina, the irresistible heroine of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love), on Great Performances at the Met Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Matthew Polenzani (Alfredo in last season’s La Traviata on Great Performances at the Met) is seen in his Met role debut as the lovelorn peasant Nemorino, who wins Adina’s heart with the help of a mysterious “elixir of love” that bears a suspicious resemblance to French wine.
Although L’Elisir d’Amore is one of the most popular comic operas in the repertory, this production marks the first time it has been performed on a Met’s opening night.
Bartlett Sher (Tony Award-winning stage director of South Pacific) has directed three previous productions at the Met: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (2006), Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (2009), and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory (2011).
The broadcast preserves Anna Netrebko’s Met role debut as Adina, though she sang a portion of the opera in a 2006 Met gala and has performed the role to acclaim at the Mariinsky Theatre, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Netrebko opened the Met’s 2011-12 season with a celebrated performance in the fiery title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and returned in the spring as the title character in a new production of Massenet’s Manon, both on Great Performances at the Met.
Charismatic baritone Mariusz Kwiecien sings Belcore, Nemorino’s swaggering rival, and Ambrogio Maestri is the potion-peddling traveling salesman Doctor Dulcamara. Conductor Maurizio Benini made his Met debut leading L’Elisir d’Amore in 1998 and also directed a 2009 revival of the opera.
“A handsome and insightful new staging…Anna Netrebko’s singing is feisty and earthy one moment, poignant and shimmering the next,” reported Anthony Tommasini of the The New York Times in reviewing this production.
“Anna Netrebko was lovely to listen to and riveting to watch, as always,” enthused Mike Silverman of Associated Press who found Matthew Polenzani’s “show-stopping aria, ‘Una furtiva lagrima,’ especially winning.”
L’Elisir d’Amore was originally seen live in movie theaters on October 13 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, Vivian Milstein, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.
Visit Great Performances online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.
In 2012, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.
About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company’s repertory. The Met’s 2012-13 season features seven new productions, including Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini; the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by the composer; Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, directed by David Alden and conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi; the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, directed by David McVicar and conducted by Benini; Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Michael Mayer in his Met debut and conducted by Michele Mariotti; Wagner’s Parsifal, directed by François Girard in his Met debut and conducted by Daniele Gatti; and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, also directed by David McVicar and conducted by Harry Bicket.
Building on its 81-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, returns for its seventh season in 2012-13. Met Player, a subscription service makes much of its extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public for the first time online, and in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season, as well; the Met on Rhapsody on-demand service offers audio recordings; and the Met presents free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the opera season.
The Met has launched several audience development initiatives, including Open House dress rehearsals, a popular rush ticket program, Gallery Met, and an annual Holiday Series presentation for families. For more information, please visit: www.metopera.org.