Met Opera launches new ‘Live in HD’ series with Cherubini’s ‘Medea’

Sondra Radvanovsky as Medea and Matthew Polenzani as Giasone in Cherubini’s ‘Medea’ Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

The Metropolitan Opera opens its new season of Live in HD award-winning cinema simulcasts with a highly acclaimed production of Cherubini’s rarely-performed masterpiece, Medea

A company premiere, this production stars Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, and according to the Observer, she is “… a revelation…“ bringing “… emotional intensity and depth” to the role. New York Magazine writes: “Medea is the Sondra Radvanovsky show”.

The role of Medea’s husband, Giasone (Jason the Argonaut), is taken by tenor Matthew Polenzani whom the New York Times describes as “… breezily arrogant as the fickle Giasone … “. The San Francisco Chronicle writes of his having “A wonderfully fresh and robust voice, with clarion top notes and a gift for sweet phrasing …”.

The role of Glauce, princess of Corinth who is set to marry Giasone, is sung by soprano Janai Brugger, bass Michele Pertusi is her father, Creonte King of Corinth, and soprano Ekaterina Gubanova is Neris, Medea’s confidante.

Sondra Radvanovsky as Medea and Matthew Polenzani as Giasone in Cherubini’s “Medea.” Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

This “… eye-catching new production” (Wall Street Journal) is both directed and designed by David McVicar, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus is led by Carlo Rizzi, one of the world’s leading operatic conductors, Artistic Director of Opera Rara and Conductor Laureate of Welsh National Opera.

Medea, the ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides was first produced in 431 BC. This Met Opera production, based on the Euripides tragedy and the myth of Jason and Medea, was composed by Luigi Cherubini in 1797 to a libretto by François-Benoît Hoffman. It tells of the mythical sorceress Medea who is forced by her father to leave Corinth because she has killed her brother. She returns to Corinth to seek revenge on the husband, Giasone, who has spurned her in favor of the princess Glauce. A devastating series of events follows as Medea poisons Glauce and, emerging from a nearby temple where she, Neris and her children have been sheltering, Medea murders the children in a desperate attempt of retribution against Giasone. In a final curse, she sets the temple on fire, with thunder and lightning filling the sky as the terrified local people flee the scene.

Costumes for Medea have been designed by Doey Lüthi, the Lighting Director is Paule Constable, S Katy Tucker is the Projection Designer and the Movement Director is Jo Meredith.

For more information about Medea, please visit the Metropolitan Opera website, where tickets for performances at the opera house can also be bought.

A scene from Cherubini’s ‘Medea’ with Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, Michele Pertusi as Creonte, and Janai Brugger (in white dress) as Glauce. Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

Medea is sung in Italian, with Met titles in English, German, Spanish and Italian. The live cinema transmission begins at 12:55PM ET on Saturday, October 22nd. To find your local theatre, visit this link. The transmission will be hosted by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role of Cherubini’s ‘Medea’ Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

For those who do not have access to a participating cinema, the Met has created a streaming platform The Met: Live at Home, which allows audiences to watch the Met’s acclaimed series of simulcasts from any device in the comfort of their homes. The 2022–23 season of transmissions includes ten productions, including company premieres, new productions, and classic repertory favorites, all featuring opera’s finest stars. The Met: Live at Home is available only in select areas around the world where The Met: Live in HD is not available. The Met: Live at Home events are available to watch live and for a seven-day on-demand period following. Visit The Met: Live at Home website to check eligibility and to buy tickets.

Information sourced from:

Metropolitan Opera Program notes


Artists’ websites:

Sondra Radvanovsky

Matthew Polenzani

Carlo Rizzi

ArtsPreview home page

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