Sensual and passionate, Saint-Saëns’s opera ‘Samson et Dalila’ is on the tasty menu as the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre presents another season of Live at the Met: in HD. (submitted)

Sensual and passionate, Saint-Saëns’s opera ‘Samson et Dalila’ is on the tasty menu as the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre presents another season of Live at the Met: in HD. (submitted)

VIDEO: New Met season at Cowichan Theatre features a great mix of new and old

We've got bodice rippers, hilarious comedies, and enough fire and brimstone to please any opera lover

The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre’s 2018-19 Met Opera season is almost here.

Connect with opera fans from around the globe with the Met Opera Live in HD series.

Highly anticipated performances will be broadcast from the big stage in New York City using the centre’s new Vivitek, 18Lumen, state-of-the-art, smartek, HD projector.

Spend your Saturday mornings (Hey! These are LIVE from NYC!) with what the promotional material calls “some of the greatest operatic voices in the world performing beloved works from the titans of opera in a stunning cinematic experience.”

In other words, it’s LARGER THAN LIFE. It has to be. It’s opera, after all.

Individual tickets are adult $28, senior $26, eyeGO $5 or you can Compose Your Own Series and Save.

The full season ticket package of 10 shows (from Oct. 6 – May 11) allows you to save $4 per show and receive two free guest passes to a Met Opera Live in HD performance of your choice.

Purchase five or more operas and save $2.50 per show plus receive one guest pass to an opera performance of your choice. If you want only three, you can still save $1 per show plus receive one guest pass.

Series tickets are only available through the Ticket Centre in person or by phone at 250-748-7529.

What’s on the menu?

The season officially opens Saturday, Oct. 6 at 9:55 a.m. with Aida.

This opera is on everybody’s Top 10 list, featuring wonderful music, a romantic story, and exciting sets from ancient Egypt. Anna Netrebko is the luscious slave girl, Aida.

And, the tenor lead, in this case Aleksandrs Antonenko, has to be ready to fly high in his famous aria, ‘Celeste Aida’, almost before his feet have warmed to the stage.

I’m including a video for online readers showing Franco Corelli singing this famous selection. Corelli was notorious for holding his high notes so long sometimes that bored conductors yawned or started winding their watches!

From there, it just gets better, right to the end where a three-level view brings this passionate extravaganza to a close.

Next up, on Oct. 20, is the Saint-Saëns’s sensual Samson et Dalila. Then, on Nov. 10, it’s the world premiere of Marnie, by Nico Muhly, with a libretto by Nicholas Wright.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, you’ll be ready to bust through those saloon doors for Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West.

By Jan. 5, 2019, opera lovers will have an outlet for the tears caused by post-holiday bills as another huge favourite, La Traviata, takes to the screen, followed closely, on Jan. 12 by Adriana Lecouvrer.

Bizet’s Carmen – the opera everybody knows – is unleashed on Feb. 9. Tempt your Valentine with this tunefest, followed by a champagne brunch in some select spot and she’ll love your imaginative alternative to a box of chocolates.

The hilarious La Fille du Regiment by Donizetti opens a new month on March 2, while Wagner’s fire-breathing Die Walkure slams a lid on it on March 30. If you’ve never heard the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ sung full-out by a top Met Wagner specialist, take note that it’s likely to blow the roof right off the building! Also: the Wagner starts at 9 a.m. because the Maestro wrote looonnng.

The live broadcast season ends on Saturday, May 11, with a real, five-hankerchief tragedy: the haunting Dialogue des Carmelites by Francis Poulenc. One of my personal favourites, this is also a long, convoluted story but the ending is worth waiting three hours to hear.

Cowichan Valley Citizen