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Culture in Cinema Series at Amherst Theater
by Jan Jezioro
Two Giselles, two operas, and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Amherst Theater
The new “Culture in Cinema” series of HD broadcasts at the Amherst Theater (3500 Main Street in the University Plaza) got off to a lively start last month. The live, opening night simulcast of the stunning new production of Die Walküre from the Teatro alla Scala, presented with English subtitles, was well attended, and the movie theater audience enjoyed the added benefit of not having to deal with the large crowd of unruly protesters outside the event in Milan.
The Bolshoi Theatre’s Nutcracker offered local balletomanes the opportunity to enjoy the legendary Moscow ballet troupe, as they performed the work live, while the taped, live performance of Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labour’s Lost gave theater-goers the rare experience of enjoying an uncut version of the play from Shakespeare’s Globe, the theater built in 1999 on the site of the original Globe in London.
On Wednesday, January 19 at 2:30pm, the ballet-in-cinema series continues with a live HD simulcast performance of Adolphe Adam’s Giselle by the Royal Ballet from the Royal Opera House in London, featuring principal dancers Marianela Nuñez and Rupert Pennefather. Ballet lovers will also have the rare opportunity to compare two current, top productions of Giselle, when the Bolshoi’s Class Concert and Giselle is simulcast live from Moscow, on Sunday, January 23 at 11am.
Live simulcast opera returns on Thursday, January 20, at 2pm (encore presentation on January 26 at 7pm) when conductor Daniel Harding leads a performance of Mario Martone’s La Scala production of the most popular double bill in the opera repertoire: Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, starring Salvatore Licitra as Turiddu, and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, starring José Cura as Canio, in the role made famous by Luciano Pavarotti, along with Luciana D’Intino, and Oksana Dyka.
The Philadelphia Orchestra makes its live, HD simulcast debut on the series Friday, January 21 at 2pm, when guest conductor Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, takes the podium for the orchestra’s premiere of the Concerto for Oboe, by the contemporary American composer Christopher Rouse, featuring Richard Woodhams, principal oboe, as soloist. Gilbert also conducts the same piece with which he began his New York Philharmonic tenure in 2009, EXPO by the contemporary Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg, whom the Los Angeles Times called “a musical wild man, a kinetic composer who is both a harmonically sophisticated and flamboyant noisemaker.” The concert concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, known as the Pastoral, for its dramatically effective depiction of the Viennese countryside.
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