Met Opera opens this week’s online presentations with Puccini’s ‘Manon Lescaut’

Every day whilst the Opera House is closed, the Metropolitan Opera streams a different presentation from the past 14 years of the company’s Live in HD cinema transmissions. Available to view on the Met website at 7.30 pm EDT, each performance is available for a period of 23 hours, until 6:30 pm EDT the following day. 

The first offering from the Metropolitan Opera archives this week is a performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, first broadcast on February 16, 2008.

In contrast to Massenet’s five-act 1882 French opera Manon, Giacomo Puccini’s interpretation of the story of Manon Lescaut is a four-act opera in Italian, written between 1889 and 1892. With a libretto by Luigi Illica, Marco Praga and Domenico Oliva, it was also based on Abbé Prévost’s 1731 novel Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux, et de Manon Lescaut, relating the story of the innocent country girl, Manon, who falls in love with the Chevalier des Grieux, before having her head turned by the wealth of the ageing Parisian, Geronte. She deserts des Grieux for Geronte, and becomes the toast of Paris, but her love of luxury ultimately leads to her conviction for theft and she’s sent to a penal colony in Louisiana where she dies. The opera premiered at Teatro Regio, Turin, in 1893.

This production stars Finnish soprano Karita Mattila in the title role, with Marcello Giordani as des Grieux and Dale Travis as Geronte.

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus are led by James Levine in this transmission which streams at 7.30 EDT today.

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SFJAZZ streams All-Star Latin Jazz Concert with John Santos

This week’s Fridays At Five session from SFJAZZ features John Santos, with his acclaimed sextet and a line-up of special star guests, in an exclusive one-time broadcast of Santos’ 60th birthday celebration, recorded live at SFJAZZ on November 1, 2015.

Fridays At Five is a membership-based online series – for SFJAZZ members and digital members – established by SFJAZZ to support musicians in need during the current pandemic, and to keep SFJAZZ alive for the future. Each event features real-time chats with artists, jazz fans, and SFJAZZ Members, and becoming a digital member is easy, costing just $5 a month (or $60 a year).

Santos is joined in this celebratory concert by an illustrious roll-call of guests, including Santana trombonist Jeff Cressman, violinist Anthony Blea, vocalist Destani Wolf and timbales legend Orestes Vilató – salsa pioneer and member of the Fania Allstars, and who helped found Santos’ GRAMMY-nominated Machete Ensemble.

San Francisco born, Santos was raised surrounded by the music of his Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean family, and has played an important role in the expansion of Latin jazz in the Bay Area . Master percussionist, historian, producer, composer, vocalist, lecturer and instructor, he is an integral part of the SFJAZZ family. He performed at the very first Jazz in the City festival of 1983, and as one of the first Resident Artistic Directors of SFJAZZ, he was there when the SFJAZZ Center opened in 2013.

Acknowledged as one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world, Santos is a seven-time GRAMMY-nominated percussionist, and a US Artists Fontanals Fellow. He is widely respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians in his field and was a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He is currently part of the faculty at the California Conservatory of Jazz in Berkeley, Laney College in Oakland and the College of San Mateo. He has conducted workshops, lectures and clinics in the US, Latin America and Europe, at institutions which include the Smithsonian, the Adventures in Music program of the San Francisco Symphony, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, at UCLA, Yale and Stanford.

John has performed and/or recorded with legendary masters such as Dizzy Gillespie – who describes him as “…… one of the best. He knows our music and everything that puts it together”, with Chucho Valdes and Zakir Hussain. He’s also the founder and director of the internationally renowned – and GRAMMY-nominated – Machete Ensemble with whom he released nine CDs.

In addition to appearing in this week’s Fridays at Five session, John Santos will also be celebrating the release of his new album Art of the Descarga, which will be released this Friday, August 7, on Smithsonian Folkways Records.

For this broadcast, Tip Jar donations will be split 50/50 between the featured artists and SFJAZZ.

The SFJAZZ All-Star Latin Jazz Concert, with John Santos, takes place on Friday, August 7, at 5.00 pm PT, 7.00 pm New Orleans, 8.00 pm New York City, 8.00 pm Puerto Rico, 1.00 am London and 2.00 am Paris (both August 8). Remember to sign up and login at least 30 to 45 minutes prior to the broadcast by visiting the SFJAZZ website.

Information sourced from:

SFJAZZ program notes

John Santos’ website