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Spring is in the arias

Published on March 6, 2018 12:00PM

Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role in “Cendrillon,” with Alice Coote as Prince Charming

Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role in “Cendrillon,” with Alice Coote as Prince Charming

Matthew Polenzani and Pretty Yende in”L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love)”

Matthew Polenzani and Pretty Yende in”L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love)”

Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s “Luisa Miller”

Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s “Luisa Miller”

March and April will bring a host of opera gems to the big screen in Newport, as the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the 2017-18 season of The Met Opera Live in HD.

Spring screenings begin this Saturday, March 10, with “Semiramide,” Rossini’s masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks, making its first Met appearance in nearly 25 years, with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov and Ryan Speedo Green complete a stellar cast. Hosted by North Coast Opera Lovers, the screening begins at 10 am at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

Next up, on Saturday, March 17, is Bartlett Sher’s production of “L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love),” a charming tale with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met as the feisty Adina, opposite Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing “Una furtiva lagrima.” Domingo Hindoyan conducts the production, which is hosted by Gloria Hutchins. The screening will begin at 9 am.

On Saturday, March 31, audiences can enjoy Mozart’s opera buffa “Così fan Tutte,” which translates roughly as “Women are Like That.” A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision, set in a carnival-esque environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island. Christopher Maltman stars as Don Alfonso, with Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara as Despina, alongside Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. David Robertson conducts in a screening that will start at 10 am.

Plácido Domingo adds yet another role to his legendary Met career in the rarely performed Verdi gem “Luisa Miller,” which will grace the Newport screen on Saturday, April 14. Conducted by Bertrand de Billy, this heart-wrenching tragedy of fatherly love stars Sonya Yoncheva in the title role opposite Piotr Beczała in the first Met performances of the opera in more than 10 years.

Hosted by Dorothy Black Crow, the screening will begin at 9:30 am.

The spring offerings will conclude on Saturday, April 28, with a screening of “Cendrillon,” Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story, enjoying its first-ever performance at the Met. Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote as Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the fairy godmother and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production, with the screening hosted by Catherine Rickbone and starting at 10 am.

General admission tickets are $21 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets are available at coastarts.org, at the PAC box office, 777 W. Olive Street, or by calling 541-265-2787.

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