The series begins on December 2 at 3 p.m. and December 3 at 7:30 p.m. with Verdi's Aida, in the lavish staging by Franco Zeffirelli that opened La Scala's 2006-07 season last December. (The performance presented was the only one to be completed with the planned original cast, of course: the Radames, Roberto Alagna, famously stormed off the stage during the second performance. Soprano Violeta Urmana sings the title role, with mezzo Ildikó Komlosi as Amneris; Riccardo Chailly conducts La Scala's orchestra, chorus and ballet company.)
The season's further presentations at Symphony Space include:
- January 16 at 3 p.m. and January 27 at 3 p.m. -
Wagner's Tristan und Isolde from La Scala
The production that opens the house's 2007-08 season on December 7. A staging directed by Patrice Chéreau, with Daniel Barenboim conducting; starring are Ian Storey (Tristan), Waltraud Meier (Isolde), Michelle DeYoung (Brangäne) and Matti Salminen (King Marke).
- February 13 at 7:30 p.m. and February 17 at 3 p.m. -
Verdi's La traviata from La Scala
A new production by director Liliana Cavani from July 2007, with Angela Gheorghiu (Violetta), Ram‹n Vargas (Alfredo Germont), Roberto Frontali (Giorgio Germont) and Lorin Maazel on the podium.
- March 16 at 3 p.m. and March 20 at 7:30 p.m. -
Donizetti's Maria Stuarda from La Scala
Mary, Queen of Scots (Mariella Devia) and Elizabeth I of England (Anna Caterina Antonacci) have a bel canto showdown. Antonino Fogliani conducts; the production (which opens at La Scala itself on January 15, 2008) is directed, designed and costumed by Pier Luigi Pizzi.
- March 31 at 7:30 p.m. and April 6 at 3 p.m. -
Verdi's La forza del destino from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Running this November 25 to December 2 in Florence, Nicolas Joël's staging of Verdi's potboiler stars Violeta Urmana (Donna Leonora), Marcello Giordani (Don Alvaro), Carlo Guelfi (Don Carlos di Vargas) and Julia Gertseva (Preziosilla). Zubin Mehta conducts.
- May 18 at 3 p.m. and May 19 at 7:30 p.m. -
Puccini's Il Trittico from La Scala
Luca Ronconi's production of Puccini's trilogy, running on La Scala's stage from March 6 to April 2, features Riccardo Chailly on the podium once again. Il tabarro features Juan Pons (Michele), Miro Dvorski (Luigi) and Paoletta Marrocu (Giorgetta); Barbara Frittoli takes the title role in Suor Angelica, with Marjana Lipovsek as her cruel aunt; Gianni Schicchi stars Leo Nucci as the titular rogue, with Nino Machaidze and Stefano Secco as the young lovers and Cinzia De Mola as the conniving Aunt Zita.
- June 8 at 3 p.m. and June 12 at 7:30 p.m. -
Puccini's La Rondine from the Teatro La Fenice, Venice
This new staging, directed by Graham Vick, opens La Fenice's 2008 operatic season on January 26. Carlo Rizzi conducts the historic house's orchestra and chorus, plus a cast headed by Fiorenza Cedolins (Magda) and Massimo Giordano (Ruggero).
For information on and tickets for the Symphony Space showings of opera from La Scala, visit www.symphonyspace.org/series/124.
Approximately 60 cinemas throughout the US are participating in the "Cinema alla Scala" program this season; more are being added periodically. A list of all participating is available at www.emergingpictures.com/opera_venues.htm. Since each venue can schedule its opera showings independently, contact the individual cinemas for dates and times for each presentation.