This past Saturday, the D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) simulcasted another opera from the 2010-11 Metropolitan Opera season.
“Le Comte Ory,” set in 12th century France, is an opera based on the lust of love and the measures that one will go to obtain it.
Premiering at the Paris Opera in 1828, the opera’s music was composed by the world renown Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with the libretto written by Eugene Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson.
The opera’s plot revolves around a young Count Ory, a clever bachelor who knows what he wants, and the recipient of his affection: a charming countess named Adele.
The Count of Formoutiers and most of the men, except for Ory, have left for the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades, leaving their women to fend for themselves in the castle.
Taking advantage of this good fortune, Ory conceives a plan to disguise himself as a hermit, acting like a priest to hear people’s confessions and offer them advice.
Suspicious of his plan, the count’s tutor goes searching for reinforcements to solve this mysterious identity of the “hermit.”
Unaware of his true identity, the count’s page Isolier confesses his love for the countess and tells of his plan to disguise himself as a pilgrim. Ory then plans to implement this himself.
Not long after, Ory is overjoyed to hear that his beloved countess, stricken with melancholy, is coming to pay him a visit. She expects to be advised by a priest.
During her confession, Ory advises her to take a lover as it is the only remedy to melancholy.
The countess reveals that she already has someone she is quite smitten with, who is ironically the count’s page, Isolier.
The count persuades her that this would be an inappropriate match and, thankful for his advice, the countess invites him to stay in the castle.
This plan ends abruptly when the count’s true identity is unmasked by the tutor to everyone’s horror.
At the close of Act 1, the count is determined to stage another assault on the countess and the castle prior to the crusader’s return in two days time.
In Act 2, the count and his men take on yet another disguise, this time as nuns “being pursued by the count himself” in order to gain admittance into the castle.
While in the castle, the count struggles to mask his passion towards the countess.
Aware of his master’s intentions, Isolier seeks revenge by disguising himself as the countess in her chamber when the count comes to seduce her.
The opera concludes with the crusader’s arrival home and Count Ory’s rapid departure from the castle.
This particular cast of “Le Comte Ory” includes Juan Diego Florez as Count Ory, Diana Damrau as Countess Adele, Joyce DiDonato as Isolier and Michele Pertusi as the tutor.
The opportunity that MET simulcasts provide students with allows them to immerse themselves in another aspect of the liberal arts through cultural immersion and discovery in the opera – a conglomeration of live music, theater and dance.
MET simulcasts are held in the PAC throughout the school year.
The next simulcast to air is Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m. Admission for students is $15 with a Mercyhurst ID.