New York City operas to be broadcast at Rockford’s ShowPlace 16

Edith C. Webster

Watching the Metropolitan Opera at a local movie theater isn’t the same as experiencing the world-famous company live in New York City.

But on the other hand, you probably couldn’t enjoy a tub of buttered popcorn while attending a performance at the legendary opera house, as you will be able to do when “Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD” opens at Rockford’s ShowPlace 16.

The eight performances open with “Romeo et Juliette,” conducted by Placido Domingo, at noon Saturday. Running time is 3 hours, 30 minutes, and there will be an intermission.

A worldwide audience of 1 million is expected to see the transmissions of live Met performances at more than 600 theaters, arts centers and universities, making the remote audience larger than the number who will attend in person, Met General Manager Peter Gelb noted in a news release promoting the series.

With star performers and a mix of new and classic productions, this series should appeal to people who think they may not have a taste for opera, Gelb said.

“Opera, when it’s working at its best musically and theatrically, appeals to a very broad audience of music and theater lovers. The stories are timeless, and audiences enjoy and appreciate the genius of these composers and their ability to stir emotions.”

The schedule

“Romeo et Juliette,” noon Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” noon Tuesday, Jan. 1; encore 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6.

Verdi’s “Macbeth,” 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13.

Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut,” noon Saturday, Feb. 16; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17.

Britten’s “Peter Grimes,” 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16.

Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

Puccini’s “La Boheme,” 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6.

Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment,” 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27.