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‘L’Elisir d’ Amore’ season opener for Met Live in HD this Saturday in Potsdam

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POTSDAM — The 2012-13 season of The Met: Live in HD will kick off on Saturday with a new production of Donizetti’s comic gem, “L’Elisir d’Amore,” starring Anna Netrebko in her second consecutive Met opening night.

Star soprano Netrebko takes center stage as Adina, the irresistible heroine of the first-ever comedy to open the Live in HD season. Matthew Polenzani, who played Alfredo in last season’s “La Traviata,” is Nemorino, the simple villager who wins Adina’s heart with the help of a mysterious “elixir of love” that bears a suspicious resemblance to French wine.

The new production of “L’Elisir d’Amore,” by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, opened the Met’s 2012-13 season to critical acclaim. Charismatic baritone Mariusz Kwiecien sings Belcore, Nemorino’s swaggering rival, and Ambrogio Maestri is the potion-peddling traveling salesman Doctor Dulcamara. Italian conductor Maurizio Benini leads the performance, which features one of the most famous tenor arias in all of opera, “Una furtiva lagrima.”

Anthony Tommasini from the New York Times called the production “a handsome and insightful new staging,” adding that “Anna Netrebko’s singing is feisty and earthy one moment, poignant and shimmering the next.”

“What better way to kick off the season than with a tuneful, humane comedy that sends the audience out of the opera house smiling?” said Mike Silverman of the Associated Press. “Anna Netrebko was lovely to listen to and riveting to watch, as always. Matthew Polenzani was the triumph of the evening.”

Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” will screen live from the Metropolitan Opera stage at 12:55 p.m. Saturday at Potsdam’s Roxy Theater. There will be an encore screening at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. The opera will be performed in Italian, with English subtitles. The approximate running time is three hours, including one intermission.

The 2012-13 season of The Met: Live in HD is sponsored in the North Country by SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and J.S. Cinemas. The seventh season of the series will send live transmissions from the Metropolitan Opera stage to silver screens in 1,900 theaters in 60 countries around the world.

All productions will be shown live worldwide on Saturdays. For complete information on the season, visit www.metopera.org/hdlive.

In The Met: Live in HD, robotic cameras, strategically placed around and behind the stage, capture the beauty and power of live performance from striking angles. Intermission features and English subtitles bring the stories to life.

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