Playbillarts, 20 Jul 2007
By Matthew Westphal
Anthony Minghella's Butterfly, Robert Lepage's Ring Cycle to Feature in Future Met Opera High-Definition Simulcasts
The Metropolitan Opera's new deal to release DVDs wasn't the only news to come out this week about the company's popular movie-theater simulcasts. The Associated Press reported yesterday that two of the Met's best-known productions — one already seen (and acclaimed), the other hotly anticipated — are included in the high-definition broadcast programs planned for upcoming seasons.

General manager Peter Gelb told the AP that the Met's celebrated Anthony Minghella staging of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, which opened the 2006-07 season (and Gelb's tenure) with a mighty splash, will be one of the 2008-09 season's simulcasts. Cristina Gallardo-Domâs and Marcello Giordani will return to the roles of Butterfly and Pinkerton, and Houston Grand Opera music director Patrick Summers will conduct.

The other production Gelb said would be simulcast into movie theaters is the Met's new Wagner Ring cycle currently being developed by Canadian theater visionary Robert Lepage. Deborah Voigt will sing her first complete Brünnhildes in the Lepage Ring, which begins in the 2010-11 season with the full tetralogy presented in 2011-12. Bryn Terfel will play Wotan, with Ben Heppner as Siegfried and Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund. Met music director James Levine is scheduled to conduct. The Met will present its current Ring production, by Otto Schenk and Gunther Schneider-Siemssen, once more, during the 2008-09 season, before retiring it.

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