The Met: Live in HD announces sixth season line-up for Albert Lea

Published 9:00 am Sunday, September 30, 2018

For 11 Saturdays, and thanks to technology, the opera is coming back to Albert Lea.

The sixth season in Albert Lea includes showings of classic and recent operas as well as a pre-recorded holiday opera. Coordinator Eileen Nelson Ness said the season includes several good operas for first-timers to enjoy.

For the newbie: ‘Aida’

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“I think for people who either haven’t been to too many operas or haven’t ever tried operas, I would think that ‘Aida,’ the opening one, of course is a big grand opera,” Nelson Ness said.

For one, the cast is huge: hundreds of people. And for another, there are live animals on stage.

Set in ancient Egypt, “Aida” follows three protagonists in a love story that explores the conflict between personal desires and public responsibility. “Aida” starts at 11:55 a.m. Oct 6 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For the biblically inclined: ‘Samson et Dalila’

“Samson et Dalila” is based on the Bible’s Old Testament story about revolution and temptation. Samson, gifted an incredible strength by God, is devoted to leading the Hebrews in a revolt against their captors the Philistines. However, the Philistines have a plan of their own: to use Dalila’s beauty to seduce Samson into telling her the secret of his superhuman strength. “Samson et Dalila” starts at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For the California dreamers: ‘La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West)’

Ever seen an opera about the American gold rush? Look no further. Saloon owner Minnie fends off advances from miners and the sheriff, falling for a stranger who is not what he appears. Complete with a bandit hunt, the wild west has arrived. “La Fanciulla del West” starts at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For the Alfred Hitchcock fans: ‘Marnie’

If you like your operas to get psychological, this new opera is your go-to. Based on Winston Graham’s book by the same name and adapted into a Hitchcock movie in 1964, “Marnie” follows a young woman who embezzles and changes identities, moving from one employer to another until her habits catch up with her. “Marnie” starts at 11:55 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For a refresher: ‘La Traviata’

“La Traviata” is one of a handful of operas returning this season. A dying courtesan wrestles with the reality of her illness and her desire to be loved. Filled with emotional conflict and misunderstandings, “La Traviata” starts at 11:55 a.m. Dec. 15 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

For the holiday feels: ‘The Magic Flute’

Prince Tamino falls in love with a picture of the Queen of the Night’s daughter, who is enslaved.  When the queen asks Tamino to rescue her daughter, Tamino is given a magic flute and his companion, the birdcatcher Papageno, is given silver bells. The pair is appointed three spirits to guide them. The opera follows Tamino and Papageno’s journey to save the princess.

“The Magic Flute” starts at 1 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. This show has special ticket pricing.

For a real-life story: ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’

This opera tells the story of a real-life French actress who blew 18th century audiences away with her performances and passion. “Adriana Lecouvreur” starts at 11:55 a.m. Jan. 12 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

For the Dra. Ma.: ‘Carmen’

Gypsy Carmen enthalls the men of her Spanish village, telling them love is free and obeys no rules. Don Jose at first pays her no attention, but falls prey to her charms. At each crux in their relationship, Jose and Carmen pull apart and draw together again. Jealousies and famous music ensue. “Carmen” starts at 11:55 a.m. Feb. 2 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

For a laugh: ‘La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment)’

Nelson Ness said comedy opera “La Fille du Regiment” would be a good one for someone new to the opera. Marie is the adopted daughter of a regiment of French soldiers after being orphaned as a child. She confesses to them a love for Tonio, a Tyrolean who once saved her life but who is the enemy of the regiment. Prepare for parenthood reveals, arranged marriages and the triumph of young love. “La Fille du Regiment” starts at 11:55 a.m. March 2 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For the seasoned: ‘Die Walkure’

“That is probably a little heavy for new people, but the music — people would recognize the music, and just even to go listen to the music I think would be fantastic,” Nelson Ness said.

Siegmund hopes to rescue Sieglinde from a loveless marriage to her husband, who is related to Siegmund’s enemies. Defying the wishes of their father, the god Wotan — Siegmund and the Valkyrie Brunnhilde problem-solve. “Die Walkure” starts at 11:55 a.m. March 30 at the  Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

For the history buff: ‘Dialogues des Carmelites’

At the birth of the French Revolution, protagonist Blanche joins a convent as a place of refuge after being frightened by a mob. As tension builds in France, Blanche and a sister at the convent, Constance, discuss their fear and understanding of death. As the opera continues, the convent’s nuns face mounting hostility from the outside. “Dialogues des Carmelites” starts at 11:55 a.m. May 11 at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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