Those who can't get to New York to hear Les Arts Flos live — or who want a preview, or who want to see the fully-staged production — can see and hear Il Sant' Alessio for free, online, next Thursday, October 18. The Normandy branch of the television channel France 3 will transmit that evening's performance of the work, live from the Théâtre de Caen, on its website, normandie.france.fr.
Les Arts Florissants, which is supported by the local government of Caen and the region of Basse-Normandie, is presenting the modern staged premiere of the opera in three performances Oct. 16-20. The production by director Benjamin Lazar features costumes taken from 17th-century designs, scenery based on engravings of the era, Baroque gesture and even period lighting. (Yes, that means candles.)
France 3 Normandy's webcast begins at 19h45 Central European Time (1:45 pm US Eastern Time / 1745h GMT/UTC) with an introductory program (in French only). The performance itself begins at 20h00 Central European Time (2:00 pm US Eastern time / 1800h GMT/UTC). The intermission feature is expected to run about 20 minutes.
The transmission can be accessed at the page http://normandie.france3.fr/emissions/34686015-fr.php (alternatively, click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/2k7qj7); there should also be a link from the television station's homepage, http://normandie.france3.fr.
For those unable to watch or listen in real time, the transmission will remain available in streaming audio-video on demand at the same page for 24 hours only, from midnight to midnight French time (6 pm US Eastern time Thursday, Oct. 18 to Friday, Oct. 19 / 2200h to 2200h GMT/UTC).
Following Sant' Alessio's premiere run in Caen, Christie and Les Arts Florissants present the work in semi-staged form at London's Barbican Centre (Oct. 24) and then at Lincoln Center. The fully-staged production subsequently appears at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris (Nov. 21-24), the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy (Jan 24-30) and the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg (Feb. 14-16).