Great Performances at the Met: Ernani

Air date: 06/17/2012

Verdi’s Ernani with Angela Meade, Marcello Giordani,  Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 17 at 12 p.m. on PBS

Marco Armiliato conducts Pier Luigi Samaratini’s colorful production which will air at 12:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN in New York and repeated Thursday, June 21 at 8:30 p.m.


Four extraordinary singers star in Verdi’s Ernani airing on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 17 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will broadcast the opera at 12:30 p.m. that day, with a primetime encore broadcast Thursday, June 21 at 8:30 p.m.

Based on Victor Hugo’s revolutionary play, Ernani involves three men–two noble, and one a bandit–who attempt to out-maneuver one another for the hand of the beautiful Elvira. Marco Armiliato conducts Verdi’s thrilling drama of passion, power, and honor, which is seen in Pier Luigi Samaritani’s lavish production.

American soprano Angela Meade, whose victory in the Met’s National Council Auditions was chronicled in the 2008 documentary film The Audition, takes the role of the noblewoman Elvira in her first Great Performances at the Met appearance. She made an acclaimed Met debut as Elvira in the 2007-08 revival of Ernani, filling in at the last minute for an ailing Sondra Radvanovsky.

Marcello Giordani, star of the Great Performances at the Met broadcasts of Turandot, La Damnation de Faust, Simon Boccanegra, and La Fanciulla del West, sings the title role of the noble bandit who loves Elvira.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky adds a new role to his distinguished repertory as Don Carlo, a royal suitor for Elvira’s hand. This is Hvorostovsky’s sixth Verdi role in his Met repertory, joining the title character in Simon Boccanegra, Germont in La Traviata (a role he repeats on Great Performances at the Met later this season), Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, and di Luna in Il Trovatore.

Ferruccio Furlanetto is de Silva, a wealthy relative with his own designs on Elvira. De Silva is the second of three roles Furlanetto sings at the Met this season. The versatile artist first sang de Silva at the Met in the 2007-08 revival of Ernani.

Maestro Armiliato’s numerous Met appearances have included a variety of Verdi works, from the early Attila to the repertory staples Aida, Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore. Earlier this season, he led the Met premiere of Anna Bolena, seen on Great Performances at the Met.

Ernani was originally seen live in movie theaters on February 25 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1700 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 54 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 nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.

Of Ernani, Ronald Blum of Associated Press declared, “There is an argument for Verdi the way it used to be, especially when a rare soprano like Angela Meade commands the night… For pure singing, she is one vocal thrill after another.” Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times enthused, “Mr. Furlanetto’s strong, dark, textured voice filled Verdi’s lines with burnished sound and arching lyricism.  Hvorostovsky shaped floating phrases with mellifluous, honeyed sound.” The New Yorker observed, “Marcello Giordani…sings with full-throated vitality.”

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts the transmission. Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast.

Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.

For the Met, 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 for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.


About WNET

New York’s WNET is America’s flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces 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, Noah Comprende 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 the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.


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 has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world. The Met’s 2011-12 season features seven new productions, including: the world premiere of The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche with an original libretto by Jeremy Sams set to the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, and others; the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena directed by David McVicar; and the final two installments of Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Maestro Levine. The first complete performances of the new Ring cycle are scheduled for April and May 2012. The season also features new productions of three repertory classics by outstanding directors—Mozart’s Don Giovanni by Michael Grandage, Gounod’s Faust by Des McAnuff, and Massenet’s Manon by Laurent Pelly.

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 sixth season in 2011-12. The series of 11 transmissions begins October 15 with Anna Bolena and ends with La Traviata on April 14. The Met recently introduced Met Player, a new subscription service that 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:






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