MET simulcast 'Hoffmann' tells tales of romance

Opera, a beloved art form to musicians and high society, has been given a bad name in the past, most likely by the under-exposed population who do not know how to appreciate it.

With the Live in HD Metropolitan Opera Simulcasts, more and more people from around the world are experiencing opera for the first time.

Mercyhurst College is one of the few fortunate colleges in the world to have live Met simulcasts on campus.

Opera is a beloved art form that presents the best of the best. Opera combines live instrumental and vocal music, dance, lighting, costumes, sets, makeup, acting and great stories often based on great literature of our past. Together, great composers and amazing librettists have been able to create an art form unsurpassed in complexity and beauty.

The fourth Met Opera Live in HD simulcast of the 2009-10 season will take place Saturday, Dec. 19, at 1 p.m. The Met simulcast will show one of Offenbach’s best works, the three-act opera, “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”

The opera’s French libretto was written by Jules Barbier and represents a fictional story based on the life of influential 19th-century German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann. In its simplest plot summary, the opera tells the tales of Hoffmann’s romances with different women, including a mechanical doll, a courtesan and a singer. describes Offenbach’s fictionalized take on the life and loves of the German romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann “as a fascinating psychological journey.”

This new production of “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” was staged by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher. This will be his second new production at the Met. The opera was beautifully cast with singers such as Kathleen Kim, Ekaterina Gubanova, Kate Lindsey, Alan Held and world-known famous soprano Anna Netrebko. Hoffmann will be played by tenor Joseph Calleja.

Conductor James Levine will be returning to the stage after an injury kept him from conducting the last simulcast.