Metropolitan Opera: Film Forum

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Since 2006 the Met's Live in High Definition transmissions have been bringing the company's performances to a vast global audience. And in 2008 _09, the series expands.

At the end of La Fille du R_giment, the reunited lovers join the chorus for a final "Salut _ la France!" On April 26, right before the curtain came down on the Met's hit production of Donizetti's opera, people in France got to see it: thanks to The Met: Live in High Definition.

By the end of the 2007 _08 season, France was one of 17 countries to carry the Live in HD series. Local New York audiences had their pick of over a dozen venues where they could experience the groundbreaking high-definition transmissions. Nearly 900,000 people across the globe saw the HD productions which even made it to cruise ships on the high seas. And next season, the series will expand: when the curtain goes up on 2008 _09, the HD transmissions will reach up to 800 venues worldwide and feature 11 transmissions (up from eight in the 2007 _08 season).

Live in HD kicks off with the Met's Opening Night Gala starring Ren_e Fleming on September 22 (shown in North America only) and spans the entire season, through May 2009, offering selections from the full Met repertoire.

The new season promises more of the thrill and excitement that has made The Met: Live in HD a runaway success since its inception in December 2006. Veteran directors such as Gary Halvorson, Barbara Wills Sweete, and Brian Large bring the audience into the action using exhilarating camerawork and state-of-the-art technology.

Hosted by Met stars like Ren_e Fleming, Natalie Dessay, and Susan Graham (who is slated to emcee the Opening Night Gala), these spectacles go far beyond the performance itself and provide a look behind the scenes, with dynamic live interviews with the cast and crew and a variety of other features. Who can forget Karita Mattila doing a split: not once, but twice!: in her live interview with Ren_e Fleming during Manon Lescaut? Or technical director Joe Clark talking Susan Graham through a time-lapse video of a massive Tristan und Isolde set change? The HD series provides an unprecedented look at the Met, both onstage and backstage: from a lesson in how to make desserts for an onstage food fight in Hansel and Gretel to an interview with the children's chorus in La Boheme.

On October 11, Mattila will reprise her unforgettable turn in the title role of Strauss's Salome. Among the other highlights of the upcoming season are five new productions, including the much anticipated Met premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic. Adams's opera is a story of creativity converging with science: making it an uncannily appropriate work for a series that marries high art and modern technology.

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