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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 13, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 33
European opera productions hit Seattle Cinema
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European opera productions hit Seattle Cinema

by Rod Parke - SGN A&E Writer

Starting next Wednesday, Columbia City Cinema will be showing current productions from famous European opera houses (and London's Globe Theatre). They will show at 4 p.m. ($15) and at 7 p.m. ($20) Wednesdays on the dates shown below. Actually, the screenings will be shown a block down across the street from the Cinema at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center (3515 S. Alaska St.). Columbia City manager Paul said, "We wanted to price it a little lower but we are the exclusive Seattle franchisee and the price is mandated by the distributor." This is still cheaper than the Met Live in HD shows, and a whole lot less expensive than going to the opera house! And the opening, Aida, is FREE!

Parking is available in the diamond lot ($3); free parking (after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends) at the Hasegawa Building (to the north of diamond lot), at Burdick's (4700 Rainier Ave.), and at Seeds of Life (4728 Rainier Ave.).

These screenings are not, of course, live (unlike the Met's Live in HD shows on Saturday mornings), but they are filmed in front of a live audience. So, you are seeing the "real thing" rather than a carefully edited version. Thus, much of the original excitement of the live performance is captured.

Below are the casts for the operas at Columbia City Cinema:

August 18: FREE KICKOFF EVENT Aida, Verdi, La Scala, 157 minutes, one intermission - Director Zefferelli: Chailly, cond; Urmana, Alagna (who famously walked out during a subsequent performance!)

August 25: Otello, Verdi, Salzburg Festival, 142 min, one intermission - Muti, cond; Antonenko, Poplavskaya, Alvarez (same performance available on DVD; as Desdemona; Poplavskaya is terrific in all ways!)

September 1: La Traviata, Verdi, La Scala, 133 min, one intermission - Maazel, cond; Gheorghiu, Vargas

September 8: Norma, Bellini, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, 159 min, 1 intermission - Pido, cond; Dessi, Armiliato, Aldrich

September 15: Love's Labour's Lost, Shakespeare, The Globe Theatre, 169 min - Director: Dominic Cromgoole

September 22: Tosca, Puccini, Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Italy, 110 minutes, one intermission - Boemi, cond; Dessi, Armiliato

September 29: Così fan Tutte, Mozart, Royal Opera House, London, 150 min, 1 intermission - Hengelbrock, cond; Bengtsson, Adamonyte, Breslik, Begout

For photos and more info about each of these productions, visit the FTP site http://files.emergingpictures.com using the username download and the password external.

How many of us get a chance to see opera at the world's most famous opera houses, like the above Aida at La Scala in Milan? I for one will not miss this opportunity.

Rod Parke can be reached at rmp62@columbia.edu.

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