The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live high-definition cinema simulcasts, begins its 17th season exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau cinemas. The first production, which releases on Saturday, 24 November 2023, is Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, a Met premiere in a new production by Ivo van Hove, starring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean.
The 2023–24 Live in HD season features two additional Met company premieres, Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X and Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, the company’s first opera in Spanish in nearly a century (pictured above); new productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s La Forza del Destino; and revivals of Verdi’s Nabucco, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Puccini’s La Rondine, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
“With The Met: Live in HD productions screening in our cinemas, local audiences can experience some of the world’s best-loved opera productions in a near-live situation, from The Met’s opulent stage to our big screens,” says Lynne Wylie, chief marketing officer at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.
The Met: Live in HD audiences will have the opportunity to watch the major Met-debut performance of Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero in La Rondine, as well as performances by two returning Met stars: soprano Lise Davidsen as Leonora in a new production of La Forza del Destino; soprano Angel Blue as Magda in La Rondine and Micaëla in Carmen, alongside mezzo soprano Aigul Akhmetshina in the title role and tenor Piotr Beczała as Don José. Soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor Benjamin Bernheim perform as the star-crossed lovers of Roméo et Juliette, in which Bernheim will also be making his first Live in HD appearance.
Bookings are now open, with each production limited to four shows only.
The Met: Live in HD 2023 – 2024 season at a glance
The new Live in HD season begins on 24 November with Dead Man Walking and continues with X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (from 15 December), Florencia en el Amazonas (05 January 2024), Nabucco (02 February), Carmen (01 March), La Forza del Destino (05 April), Roméo et Juliette (17 May), La Rondine (07 June), and Madama Butterfly (05 July).
Jake Heggie / Libretto by Terrence McNally
Dead Man Walking | Screening dates: 24, 25, 26, 28 November 2023 (195 minutes)
American composer Jake Heggie’s compelling masterpiece, the most widely performed new opera of the last 20 years, arrives in cinemas in a haunting new production by Ivo van Hove. Based on Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir about her fight for the soul of a condemned murderer, Dead Man Walking matches the high drama of its subject with Heggie’s beautiful and poignant music and a brilliant libretto by Tony and Emmy Award–winner Terrence McNally. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin takes the podium, with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato starring as Sister Helen. The outstanding cast also features bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as the death-row inmate Joseph De Rocher, soprano Latonia Moore as Sister Rose, and legendary mezzo-soprano Susan Graham – who sang Helen Prejean in the opera’s 2000 premiere – as De Rocher’s mother.
Anthony Davis / Libretto by Thulani Davis
X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X | Screening dates: 15, 16, 17, 19 December 2023 (205 minutes)
Anthony Davis’s groundbreaking and influential opera, which premiered in 1986, arrives at the Met at long last. Theatre luminary and Tony-nominated director of Slave Play Robert O’Hara oversees a potent new staging that imagines Malcolm as an everyman whose story transcends time and space. An exceptional cast of breakout artists and young Met stars enliven the operatic retelling of the civil rights leader’s life. Baritone Will Liverman, who triumphed in the Met premiere of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, is Malcolm, alongside soprano Leah Hawkins as his mother, Louise; mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis as his sister Ella; bass-baritone Michael Sumuel as his brother Reginald; and tenor Victor Ryan Robertson as Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. Kazem Abdullah conducts the newly revised score, which provides a layered, jazz-inflected setting for the esteemed writer Thulani Davis’s libretto.
Florencia en el Amazonas | Screening dates: 5, 6, 7, 9 January 2024 (155 minutes)
Inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez, Mexican composer Daniel Catán’s 1996 opera tells the enchanting story of a Brazilian opera diva who returns to her homeland to perform at the legendary opera house of Manaus—and to search for her lost lover, who has vanished into the jungle. The Met premiere stars soprano Ailyn Pérez as Florencia Grimaldi, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to lead a spellbinding new production by Mary Zimmerman that brings the mysterious and magical realm of the Amazon to the Met stage. A distinguished ensemble of artists portray the diva’s fellow travellers on the river boat to Manaus, including soprano Gabriella Reyes as the journalist Rosalba, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as the ship’s captain, baritone Mattia Olivieri as his enigmatic first mate, tenor Mario Chang as the captain’s nephew Arcadio, and mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera and baritone Michael Chioldi as the feuding couple Paula and Álvaro.
Nabucco | Screening dates: 2, 3, 4, 6 February 2024 (190 minutes)
Ancient Babylon comes to life in this classic Met staging of biblical proportions. Baritone George Gagnidze stars as the imperious King Nabucco, alongside soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, reprising her thrilling turn as his vengeful daughter Abigaille. Mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova and tenor SeokJong Baek are Fenena and Ismaele, whose love transcends politics, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy repeats his celebrated portrayal of the high priest Zaccaria. Daniele Callegari conducts Verdi’s exhilarating early masterpiece, which features the ultimate showcase for the great Met Chorus, the moving “Va, pensiero.”
Carmen | Screening dates: 1, 2, 3, 5 March 2024 (225 minutes)
Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell brings a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gender violence, abusive labour structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score.
La Forza del Destino | Screening dates: 5, 6, 7, 9 April 2024 (265 minutes)
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Verdi’s grand tale of ill-fated love, deadly vendettas, and family strife, with stellar soprano Lise Davidsen as the noble Leonora, one of the repertory’s most tormented – and thrilling – heroines. Director Mariusz Treliński delivers the company’s first new Forza in nearly 30 years, setting the scene in a contemporary world and making extensive use of the Met’s turntable to represent the unstoppable advance of destiny that drives the opera’s chain of calamitous events. The distinguished cast also features tenor Brian Jagde as Leonora’s forbidden beloved, Don Alvaro; baritone Igor Golovatenko as her vengeful brother, Don Carlo; bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Fra Melitone; and bass Soloman Howard as both Leonora’s father and Padre Guardiano.
Roméo et Juliette | Screening dates: 17, 18, 19, 21 May 2024 (215 minutes)
Two singers at the height of their powers – radiant soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor sensation Benjamin Bernheim – come together as the star-crossed lovers in Gounod’s sumptuous Shakespeare adaptation, with Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to conduct one of the repertoire’s most romantic scores. Bartlett Sher’s elegant staging also features baritone Will Liverman and tenor Frederick Ballentine as the arch-rivals Mercutio and Tybalt, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as the mischievous pageboy Stéphano, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker as Frère Laurent.
La Rondine | Screening dates: 7, 8, 9, 11 June 2024 (170 minutes)
Puccini’s bittersweet love story returns to cinemas, with soprano Angel Blue starring as the French courtesan Magda, opposite tenor Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero, an idealistic young man who offers her an alternative to her life of excess. Maestro Speranza Scappucci conducts Nicolas Joël’s Art Deco–inspired staging, which transports audiences from the heart of Parisian nightlife to a dreamy vision of the French Riviera. Soprano Emily Pogorelc and tenor Bekhzod Davronov complete the sterling cast as Lisette and Prunier.
Madama Butterfly | Screening dates: 5, 6, 7, 9 July 2024 (195 minutes)
Extraordinary soprano Asmik Grigorian tackles the demanding role of Cio-Cio-San, the loyal geisha at the heart of Puccini’s devastating tragedy. Tenor Jonathan Tetelman stars as the callous American naval officer Pinkerton, whose betrayal destroys her. Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong reprises the role of the steadfast maid Suzuki, and baritone Lucas Meachem is the American consul Sharpless. Acclaimed maestro Xian Zhang takes the podium to conduct Anthony Minghella’s vivid production.
What: The Met: Live in HD
Where and when: From 24 November 2023 to 9 July 2024 at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau cinemas