Opera season has arrived in Summit County, as the National Repertory Orchestra and Colorado Mountain College join to bring the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD broadcasts to the High Country starting Saturday, Oct. 13.
Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love," featuring Anna Netrebko as the heroine, Adina, will open the third season of local broadcasts at 10:55 a.m. on Oct. 13 in the Finkel Auditorium at CMC Breckenridge, 107 Denison Placer Rd.
"The broadcasts are streamed live from the Metropolitan Opera performance in New York via satellite directly to the Finkel Auditorium," said Cecile L. Forsberg, artistic and operations director for the National Repertory Orchestra, which launched the program with CMC in 2010. "These live broadcasts from the Met are done worldwide. They include the visual performance, live music, intermission and interviews with the artists during the intermission."
Instrumental in the program's initiation was Breckenridge resident David Pessel. For years, Pessel dreamt of bringing live opera to Summit County. When it became obvious that performances of local live operas would not be financially feasible, Pessel contacted the National Repertory Orchestra, which suggested revisiting the idea of rebroadcasting the Met's Live in HD program if a venue and equipment sponsor could be found.
Working with his prior contacts at the Met and a third party provider, BY Experience, Pessel secured a not-for-profit contract hosted jointly by the orchestra and CMC, which had just installed the Finkel Auditorium. Alton Scales, then CEO, established the college as the ongoing host, with support from the CMC Foundation, Phyllis Martinez as local coordinator and a group of local donors and opera enthusiasts.
CMC purchased and installed a high resolution Epson projector with a long-throw zoom lens, dual outdoor satellite receivers and acoustical wall panels. As a result, the screen is visible from all seats and the acoustics are very good. The NRO provided administrative support and a fundraiser to help launch the program.
As an opera enthusiast, I have been pleased to assist in this endeavor, joined by Kathleen and John Bahde and other volunteers, in addition to David Askeland and CMC staff, to ensure that each HD broadcast is well-received and that patrons receive a warm welcome and find seats of their choosing.
In addition to the opera broadcasts, which include top-notch stage productions and cast, the camaraderie and interactive discussions over snacks and beverages during intermission contribute to an uplifting experience every time. Join us for a full season of opera, as we transport you from Summit County to the Metropolitan Opera in New York and back again.