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Met Opera series to present 'The Tempest' today

Nov. 09, 2012 @ 11:45 PM

A magical storm at sea brings shipwrecked survivors to a remote island at the beginning of "The Tempest." But this is only the beginning of this magical opera.

"The Tempest" by opera composer Thomas Ades will be simulcast in the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD Series at 12:55 p.m. today, Nov. 10. The opera will be shown in four theaters in West Virginia: Cinemark at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville; Great Escape in Nitro; Hollywood Stadium 12 in Granville/Morgantown; and Greenbrier Valley Theater in Lewisburg, as well as Cinemark in Ashland.

Thomas Ades (Born March 1, 1971 in London, England) is considered the leading British opera composer today and has been compared to the late Benjamin Britten. "The Tempest," Ades's second opera, premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on Feb. 10, 2004.

The libretto by Meredith Oakes (Born 1946) departs freely from the language of the 1611 play by William Shakespeare. Creative Director Robert Lepage sets the story in a recreation of the interior of Milan's 18th century La Scala opera house.

British baritone Simon Keenlyside will sing the role of Prospero, the ousted Duke of Milan who is well versed in the art of magic. Keenlyside sang the original Prospero in the London premiers.

"A highlight is the spirit Ariel, whose high soprano vocal acrobatics shimmer at every turn in the opera." Ariel, a spirit in Prospero's captivity, will be sung by Audrey Luna.

Tenor Alan Oke will sing the role of Caliban, a monster in Prospero's captivity. In the Sante Fe Opera production of this opera, a young tenor whom I coached at Indiana University sang the role of Caliban. The role was to be sung from a pool of water on stage. This was a particular challenge since nearly every movement made by this young man sent water spilling into the orchestra pit.

Tenor William Burden will be the King of Naples, and tenor Alek Shrader will sing the role of his son Ferdinand.

"The Tempest," an opera in three acts, will be conducted by the composer himself, Thomas Ades. An encore performance will be shown Nov. 28.

Larry Stickler is a professor of music at Marshall University.