Last year's inaugural series of live transmissions was wildly successful; consequently, the program has been considerably expanded. There will be eight operas included in the 2007-08 series, up from six last season. National CineMedia has tripled the number of U.S. theaters offering the simulcasts this year to well over 300, and in Canada, Cineplex Odeon (which cited the opera presentations as having a considerable positive influence on its bottom line) has more than doubled its participating venues from Quebec to British Columbia. (Empire Theatres is offering the broadcasts at eight movie houses in the Maritime Provinces.).
Other countries with participating theaters include Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. (As of today, only Denmark, the Netherlands and Great Britain have a list of venues ready.)
Many, though not all, of the participating cinemas will offer weeknight encore presentations of the operas in addition to the live transmissions.
As with last season, PBS will televise all eight Met broadcasts subsequent to their theatrical showings, and EMI Classics will release five of this season's simulcasts on DVD.
Tickets to the presentations are on sale — to Metropolitan Opera members only — for the North American venues; sales open to the general public on November 9. In the U.S., tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for children. To view the list of participating venues, visit www.metopera.org/hdlive and scroll down to the "Locations & Tickets" box in the left column.
The schedule for the Met 2007-08 simulcasts — all of Saturday matinees — is below. (Locations and times for the encore presentations can be found via the links on the metopera.org/hdlive page.)
- December 15: Gounod's Rom_o et Juliette, starring Roberto Alagna and Anna Netrebko and conducted by Plšcido Domingo.
- January 1: Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, starring Christine Sch‹fer and Alice Coote (with tenor Philip Langridge as the Witch) in a new English-language production by Richard Jones conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
- January 12: Verdi's Macbeth, in a new production by Adrian Noble starring Lado Ataneli and Maria Guleghina, with company music director James Levine on the podium.
- February 16: Puccini's Manon Lescaut, starring Karita Mattila and Marcello Giordani and conducted by Levine.
- March 15: Britten's Peter Grimes, starring Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette in a new production directed by John Doyle and conducted by Donald Runnicles.
- March 22: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, starring Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner with Levine conducting.
- April 5: Puccini's La Bohme, with Angela Gheorghiu and Ram‹n Vargas starring in the Franco Zeffirelli production, conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
- April 26: Donizetti's La Fille du r_giment, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Fl‹rez in a new production directed by Laurent Pelly and conducted by Marco Armiliato.