British composer Thomas Adès makes his company debut at the Met in New York this autumn when he conducts eight performances of his 3-act opera The Tempest, in a new production by Robert Lepage – and you can see it performed live in HD at a cinema near you.
Since its Covent Garden premiere in 2004 The Tempest, which has been widely praised as a modern masterpiece, has been performed over 50 times across the world. The Tempest is a co-production with L’Opéra du Québec.
Lepage’s production recreates the interior of 18th Century La Scala - a creaking, old opera house, including the hidden workings underneath the stage - where Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, practices his otherworldly arts.
Simon Keenlyside sings Prospero, as he did to critical acclaim in the opera’s world première, and Toby Spence, also in the original Covent Garden production, sings Antonio. Other Brits joining Adès in New York include Alan Oke in the role of Caliban, and Iestyn Davies – who made his Met debut last season in Rodelinda – as Trinculo.
“The Tempest is an extraordinary, exquisite composition,” Lepage says. “The opera captures the magic of Shakespeare’s last play. It is a box full of magic tricks, which makes it a gift for me and for the designers.”
The libretto, by Meredith Oakes, is based on Shakespeare. Adès, who will conduct all the performances, describes Lepage’s staging as ‘brilliant and imaginative’, and perhaps unusually, he sees a close link between the music and the production.
Last season, Live in HD transmissions were seen by approximately 3 million opera lovers worldwide and this year will be transmitted to more than 1,900 theatres in 64 countries around the world, including 126 cinemas in the UK.
The Tempest will be transmitted live in HD on Saturday, November 10 at 5.55pm at Everyman Cinema Hampstead, Holly Bush Vale, Hampstead (details: 0871 906 9060, www.everymancinema.com), Odeon Barnet, Great North Road, Barnet (details: 0871 224 4007, www.odeon.co.uk), and the Phoenix East Finchley, High Road, East Finchley (details: 020 8444 6789, www.phoenixcinema.co.uk). Metopera.org/uk