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Opera broadcasts from La Scala, Barcelona returning to local cinemas

November 20, 2009 |  1:48 pm

Lascala Now that the Metropolitan Opera no longer has the monopoly on opera broadcasts to cinemas, fans can look forward to a greater variety of productions from outside the Peter Gelb Ministry of Music.

Starting Dec. 7, Laemmle Theaters in Southern California will screen broadcasts of opera productions from Milan's La Scala and Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu. The season of programs, which runs through July 1 and includes six productions, features such vocal luminaries as Plácido Domingo, Diana Damrau, Jonas Kaufmann, Ben Heppner and Erwin Schrott.

The participating Laemmle cinemas are: the Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, Town Center 5 in Encino and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. This will be the second year that Laemmle Theaters has participated in the opera broadcasts, which are organized by Emerging Pictures.

Kicking off the series on Dec. 7 will be a live broadcast of La Scala's opening night production of Bizet's "Carmen," conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and starring  Kaufmann, Schrott, Anita Rachvelishvili and Adriana Damato. The live broadcast begins at 9 a.m., with a rebroadcast at 4:30 p.m.

Verdi’s "Il Trovatore" is next, with a live broadcast from the Gran Teatre del Liceu on Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. (A rebroadcast will play at 4:30 p.m.)

The remainder of the series runs from April to July.

Mozart’s "The Abduction from the Seraglio," starring Damrau, will be broadcast on April 21 from Barcelona; La Scala's production of Verdi’s "Simon Boccanegra," featuring Domingo, is set for April 29; Wagner’s "Das Rheingold," starring René Pape and conducted by Barenboim, will be broadcast May 26 from La Scala; and Gran Teatre del Liceu's production of Tchaikovsky’s "The Queen of Spades," starring Heppner, is set for July 1.

All transmissions will be in high definition. General admission is $25.

-- David Ng

Photo: La Scala in Milan. Credit: Agence France Presse