Proctors CEO Philip Morris didn’t have a map right in front of him, but he figured that Schenectady was about halfway between Lake George and Cooperstown; which puts it right in the middle of opera country.
While venues in Lake George and Cooperstown perform live opera, Proctors will offer movie versions, showing performances from the La Scala Opera in Italy on its new screen in the GE Theatre once a month beginning Friday night at 7:30.
“Between Glimmerglass in Cooperstown and the Lake George Opera, there are a lot of opera fans in the Capital Region,” said Morris. “Those operas are always done very well, and now opera fans in our area will be able to see the finest opera in the world. We think this is a great idea, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to show off our new theater and hopefully create more opera fans in the area.”
Friday’s opera on the 56-foot-high and 34-foot-wide screen in the GE Theatre will be Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” which was performed by a national touring group doing the Tim Rice-Elton John adaptation at Proctors in November 2006. Morris got a sneak preview of the La Scala version last week and was bowled over by what he saw.
“Listening to the sound system in our new theater is spectacular, and the high definition broadcast was just terrific,” said Morris. “We just watched it and everyone was impressed as hell. It’s a wonderful experience that totally turns you on. You don’t want to leave.”
The seven operas on Proctors’ schedule through the month of June will be shows filmed in from Florence, Milan and Venice. Along with Verdi’s “Aida,” works by Donizetti, Puccini and Wagner will also be screened.
“The shows are all from the current season, and they’ll probably be performances that were filmed a few weeks or months ago,” said Morris. “It’s not done in documentary style. It’s definitely done acknowledging the medium. It’s shot knowing that somebody will be watching on the big screen. There are closeups that are very intimate, and there are other times when the camera is far away and gives you a very picturesque view of the performance. There’s also different angles. From what I saw, it looks like there are four or five cameras at work.”
Outside of this Friday’s debut and a second date in March, each opera will be seen on the third Friday of each month. A subsequent matinee performance will usually be offered each Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m., following its initial Friday viewing. Tickets are $20, and each of the operas will be presented with English subtitles.
Proctors isn’t the only local venue offering opera performances. Regal Cinema in Crossgates Mall occasionally offers performances by the Metropolitan Opera from New York.
For more information, contact the Proctors’ box office at 346-6204 or visit the Web site at www.proctors.org.
“Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi, recorded at La Scala, Milan — 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Tuesday, ”
“Tristan and Isolde” by Richard Wagner, recorded at La Scala, Milan — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and 2 p.m. Feb. 26.
“La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi, recorded at La Scala, Milan — 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 2 p.m. March 25.
“Maria Stuarda” by Gaetano Donizetti, recorded at La Scala, Milan — 7:30 p.m. March 28 and 2 p.m. April 1.
“La Forza Del Destino” by Giuseppe Verdi, recorded at Teatro del Maggio Musicale, Florence — 7:30 p.m, April 18 and 2 p.m April 29.
“Trittico” by Giacomo Puccini, recorded at La Scala, Milan — 7:30 p.m. May 16 and 2 p.m. May 20.
“La Rondine” by Giacmo Puccini, recorded at Teatro La Venice — 7:30 p.m., June 20, and 2 p.m., June 24.
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Categories: Life and Arts