Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! finds a cultural season kicking off | SummitDaily.com

Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! finds a cultural season kicking off

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

Seasons on the Summit range from skiing, boarding, biking, golfing, boating, fishing, shoulder and mud — to opera?

Yep, opera.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 11, kicks off the Metropolitan Opera Live season with high-definition viewing at the Breckenridge campus of Colorado Mountain College.

The high-quality video and audio streaming of the Met Opera Live in HD season starts with Verdi's "Macbeth," conducted by Fabio Luisi, and begins at 10:55 a.m., local time with a prologue starting at 10:30 in the Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium.

Locally, this is a joint sponsorship in its third season with the National Repertory Orchestra, CMC and the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.

The first of 10 shows, the season premier stars Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, and her performances are causing a sensation in New York City.

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One of opera's reigning prima donnas, Netrebko recalled the skeptical reactions greeting her decision to take on singing the dark and demanding role of Lady Macbeth in Verdi's opera, the 43-year-old told the New York Times.

"I never saw so many googly eyes in my life," she said. "Even those who were close to me and knew me said, 'No way, no, you're crazy, you cannot do that,'" she said. "Of course, it's crazy. I am not a dramatic soprano."

Other stars highlighting this season include Renée Fleming, Johan Botha, Vittorio Grigolo, Juan Diego Flórez and Marcelo Álvarez.

The Met offerings became possible here with the purchase of new equipment and the completion of needed renovations, which cost some $30,000, and were funded by CMC and private donations and support of the NRO, explains Breckenridge resident — and musician — Elmer Koneman, a retired physician and a longtime opera buff.

Elmer's love for the opera started with "La Boheme at Central City in 1953 on a joint date with a fraternity brother," he says. "I've attended hundreds of operas — nationally and internationally — since."

His favorite composer is Richard Wagner.

Elmer, who lives in Silver Shekel with wife Doris, has attended operatic performances at the Met about "a half dozen times," starting in "1959 at the old opera house with the 'yellow curtain.'"

Attendance at the Breckenridge CMC campus shows continues to climb.

"Audience numbers have grown from 30-40 up to 60-70, with 110 attending the performance of Rigoletto," Elmer notes.

"CMC has substantially invested in the installation of the satellite disks, the purchase of quality projection and sound equipment, and renovations in the auditorium leading to high-quality visual and sound effects," he adds. "Those who have attended have been quite impressed with our ability to be directly connected with the New York Met Opera and its HD broadcasts."

Each opera will also feature a prologue and epilogue by locals Tim Pare and Cecile Forsberg.

Cecile is the artistic and operations director for the popular NRO.

"The tantalizing love triangles, unexpected murder, sneaking deceits and unforgettable music and stories are sure to delight everyone from the first-time concertgoer to opera community veterans," says Cecile of the Met Live in HD programming.

"We couldn't be more lucky to have art of this caliber available to us in Breckenridge at affordable ticket prices in the intimate venue of the Finkel Auditorium," says Cecile.

"World-renowned performers and musicians are literally at your fingertips. The Met does an extraordinary job of bringing our Breckenridge audience into the New York theater with backstage views of the insurmountable set changes and one-on-one artist interviews," she adds.

Operas range from three to four hours, including one or two intermissions. Admission prices are $20 for adults 18 and older, $16 for seniors 65 and older and $10 for students.

Here's the remaining Met Live in HD slate:

— "Le Nozze di Figaro" (Mozart), Oct. 25, 10:55 a.m. Conductor James Levine

— "Carmen" (Bizet), Nov. 1, 10:55 a.m. Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado

— "The Marriage of Figaro" (Rossini), Nov. 22, 10:55 a.m.

— "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (Wagner), Dec. 13, 10 a.m. Conductor James Levine

— "The Merry Widow" (Lehár), Jan. 17, 10:55 a.m. Conductor Andrew Davis

— "Les Contes d'Hoffman" (Offenbach), Jan. 31, 12:55 a.m. Conductor Yves Abel

— "Iolanta"/"Bluebeard's Castle" (Tchaikovsky/Bartók), Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m. Conductor Valery Gergiev

— "La Donna del Lago" (Rossini) Met premiere, March 14, 10:55 a.m. Conductor Michele Mariotti

— "Cavalleria Rusticana"/"Pagliacci" (Mascagni/Leoncavallo), April 25, 10:30 a.m. Conductor Fabio Luisi

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com