Met Opera Series
Tickets for general admission seating for the 2015-2016 season are now available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased individually online through The Jefferson Center (www.jeffcenter.org) or at the door one hour prior to performance. Ticket prices are:
- $18 Met Members, Opera Roanoke Subscribers and Senior Citizens
- $20 Adult
- Free Students (with current valid school ID) and Children
Email with special seating requirements or call 540-857-6492. Special arrangements must be made by 5:00 PM on the Thursday prior to the performance on Saturday. For all performances, doors open one hour before show time.
Performances are held in Whitman Theater in the Business Science Building.
Parking is available in parking lot 15 on the North Campus. Click here for a campus map.
Please turn cell phones and electronic devices off during performances.
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The new season of the Met's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world features ten presentations.
Verdi's Il Trovatore
October 3, 2015; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time is 2:45)
Verdi's turbulent tragedy of four characters caught in a web of family ties, politics, and love is a mainstay of the operatic repertory. The score is as melodic as it is energetic, with infectious tunes that are not easily forgotten. The vigorous music accompanies a dark and disturbing tale that revels in many of the most extreme expressions of Romanticism, including violent shifts in tone, unlikely coincidences, and characters who are impelled by raw emotion rather than cool logic.
October 17, 2015; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time is 2:57)
Often cited as Italian opera's greatest tragedy, Otello is a miraculous union of music and drama, a masterpiece as profound philosophically as it is thrilling theatrically. Shakespeare's tale of an outsider, a great hero who can't control his jealousy, was carefully molded by the librettist Arrigo Boito into a taut and powerful opera text. Otello almost wasn't written: following the success of Aida and his setting of the Requiem mass in the early 1870s, Verdi considered himself retired, and it took Boito and publisher Giulio Ricordi several years to persuade him to take on a major new work.
October 31, 2015; 12:00 PM (Approx. run time is 4:20)
Tannhäuser takes place in and around Wartburg Castle, in Thuringia in central Germany, and in the mythical grotto of Venus, the goddess of love. Wartburg was the setting of a—possibly legendary—13th-century song contest as well as the home of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (1207–1231), wife of the Landgrave of Thuringia. It would later become associated with Martin Luther, who translated the New Testament from Greek into German there. The pagan–Christian dichotomy expressed in the twofold setting is central to the opera's dramatic core.
November 21, 2015; 12:30 PM (Approx. run time is 4:14)
One of the most important—not to mention notorious—stage works of the 20th century, Lulu is the drama of a young woman who sexually and emotionally dominates a wide range of willing victims, both male and female. Herself a victim of society, she seems to embody all the frightening aspects of the human condition, a combination of primal instinct and distinctly modern amorality. Berg's score employs the twelve-tone technique pioneered by his teacher Arnold Schoenberg but in a keenly dramatic way that makes it accessible to all kinds of audiences. Berg died before completing Act III of the opera, and Lulu was first performed as a fragment. Efforts to finish the score based on Berg's notes were hindered by his widow and only realized, after her death, by the Austrian composer Friedrich Cerha, in 1977.
Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles
January 16, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 2:29)
Few operas can match the sheer lyric beauty of Bizet's youthful The Pearl Fishers. Critics at the time were not in favor of it but the audience was swept up in the ravishing score tinged with the allure of a mythical South Asian setting. The drama itself remains within the conventional standards of the day, with a love triangle complicated by the true friendship of the two men involved in it. Although not performed frequently, the opera successfully stands on its own when appreciated for its unique atmosphere, rather than compared to the composer's later masterpiece, Carmen, or held up to modern notions of dramatic plausibility.
January 30, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 3:15)
Puccini's final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera's final scene upon Puccini's sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano's contribution and led the world premiere.
Puccini's Manon Lescaut
March 5, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 3:08)
Few operas have surpassed Manon Lescaut in the depiction of the urgency of young love. The French tale of a beautiful young woman destroyed by her conflicting needs for love and luxury had already inspired Massenet's Manon (1884), a relatively new and immensely popular work at the time of Manon Lescaut's premiere. Puccini made the story his own and infused it with a new level of frank emotion and a flood of melody. The opera was his first great success, leading George Bernard Shaw to name him "the successor to Verdi."
Puccini's Madama Butterfly
April 2, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 3:18)
The title character of Madama Butterfly - a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage - is one of the defining roles in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini's score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.
Donizetti's Roberto Devereux
April 16, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 3:05)
The opera's story was inspired by a historical incident—the execution for treason of Robert Devereux, the favorite of Queen Elizabeth I—but, as in many works of the time, history is used merely as a springboard from which the operatic imagination can soar. Roberto Devereux mirrors the successful structure of the earlier Lucia di Lammermoor: a first act that lays out the issues at stake and introduces the musical language; a second act fashioned as a single dramatic arc; and three intense shorter scenes for the final act.
April 30, 2016; 12:55 PM (Approx. run time 1:45)
Shortly after conquering the opera world with his scandalous masterpiece Salome, Richard Strauss turned to Hugo von Hofmannsthal's recent adaptation of Sophocles's Electra for his next project. The resulting opera is an intense and still-startling work that unites the commanding impact of Greek tragedy with the unsettling insights of early-20th-century Freudian psychology. The drama unfolds in a single act of rare vocal and orchestral power.
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