The Mountain Times

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Paramount announces The Met: Live in HD

Expanded cinematic technology to bring state-of-the-art exhibitions to Vt. audience

RUTLAND - The Paramount Theatre recently announced that its 10-month project to bring live in HD productions, The Metropolitan Opera among others, to south-central Vermont audiences has arrived! The installation of the 4-tiered HD exhibition technology is an exciting development for the region.

Executive Director Bruce Bouchard commented, "This will  be a complex and challenging project with a number of moving parts requiring weeks of execution and  coordination. We are absolutely delighted to have yet another set of entertainment tools in our box of tools to offer a wide audience."  He continued, "With the completion of the installation of the receiver, reception dishes on the roof, a re-designed and enhanced sound system (including surround sound), a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line 10,000 lumens projector and all of the attendant wiring to pull it all together, we will able to run advance tests of the opera and film technology."
This project is being supported by a recent grant of $30,000 from the Vermont Arts Council. The Paramount Theatre was one of 12 to receive grants supporting art and cultural activities in seven Vermont counties.

SIMULCASTS
The centerpiece of our new opportunities is without question the addition of 10 broadcast live in HD from The Metropolitan Opera as part of our 2013/2014 Paramount performance season. The Met: Live in HD is a series of live opera performances transmitted in high-definition video via satellite from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to select venues, primarily movie theaters, in the United States and other parts of the world.

The first transmission was a condensed English-language version of Mozart's The Magic Flute on Dec. 30, 2006. Conceived and executed by the incoming General Manager, Peter Gelb in early 2006, The Met: Live in HD has seen a rapid expansion in eight years to over 1,700 screens across the globe.

This landmark, vibrant program has generated $47 million in new income for the Met (50% of the box office at the sponsoring venues goes to the Met). Tom Galley, chief operations and technology officer of National CineMedia, describes the experience by saying: "This Metropolitan Opera series is a unique opportunity for people to experience world-class opera in their local community, plus the movie theatre environment and affordable ticket price make these events something that the entire family can enjoy. If you've never had the pleasure of attending a live opera performance before, this is the perfect opportunity to see why this magical art form has captured audiences' imaginations for generations." 

An additional feature of these broadcasts which has enjoyed wide popularity is the filmed "backstage life" component, between acts during a performance. Interviews are conducted, in real time, with singers, designers, directors, technicians and members of the Metropolitan Opera administration. All broadcasts feature subtitles for viewers.

SCHEDULE
Wednesday, Aug. 21 - Tickets for 'The Met: Live in HD' go on sale to the general public. Saturday, Oct. 5 at 12:55 p.m. - The 2013/2014 Metropolitan Opera Live in HD Season will premiere at the Paramount Theatre with a broadcast of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The full season of The Met: Live in HD broadcasts can be found at www.mountaintimes.info or www.ParamountLive.org.

Wednesday, Aug. 21 - Tickets for 'The Met: Live in HD' go on sale to the general public.
The full season of The Met: Live in HD broadcasts can be found at www.mountaintimes.info or www.ParamountLive.org.

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SCHEDULE
Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin October 5, 2013, 12:55 pm ET  
Kwiecien star as the lovestruck Tatiana and the imperious Onegin in Tchaikovsky's fateful Anna Netrebko and Mariusz romance. Deborah Warner's new production, set in the late 19th century, moves episodically from farmhouse to ballroom, with a powerful snowstorm providing the dramatic setting for the finale. Piotr Beczala is Lenski, Onegin's friend turned rival. Russian maestro Valery Gergiev conducts. Note:  Due to health concerns, Ms Warner has withdrawn. Acclaimed actor and director, Fiona Shaw will assume direction.  Production credit remains with Ms Warner.

Shostakovich's The Nose  October 26, 2013, 12:55 pm ET   William Kentridge stormed the Met with his inventive production of Shostakovich's opera, which dazzled opera and art lovers alike in its inaugural run in 2010. Now Paulo Szot reprises his acclaimed performance of a bureaucrat, whose satirical misadventures in search of his missing nose are based on Gogol's comic story. Valery Gergiev conducts.

Puccini's Tosca  November 9, 2013, 12:55 pm ET Puccini's timeless verismo score is well served by an exceptional cast, led by Patricia Racette in the title role of the jealous diva, opposite Roberto Alagna as her lover, Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze is the villainous Scarpia.

Verdi's Falstaff   Encore Broadcast date:  Saturday, December 21st, 12:55PM    An undisputed master of Falstaff, Music Director James Levine conducts Verdi's opera for the first time at the Met since 2005. Robert Carsen's production-the first new Met Falstaff since 1964-is set in the English countryside in the mid-20th century. Ambrogio Maestri (last season's Dulcamara in the Opening Night production of L'Elisir d'Amore) sings the title role of the brilliant and blustery Sir John Falstaff, opposite a marvelous ensemble that includes Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Lisette Oropesa, and Franco Vassallo.

Dvořák's Rusalka   February 8, 2014, 12:55 pm ET   The great Renée Fleming returns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting "Song to the Moon" in Dvorák's soulful fairy-tale opera. Tenor Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Prince, Dolora Zajick is Ježibaba, and dynamic young maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium.

Borodin's Prince Igor  Saturday, March 1, 2014  Special Note:  12 pm ET  Borodin's defining Russian epic, famous for its Polovtsian Dances, comes to the Met for the first time in nearly 100 years. Dmitri Tcherniakov's new production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, with the founding of the Russian nation as the backdrop. Star bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov takes on the monumental title role, with Gianandrea Noseda conducting.

Massenet's Werther   March 15, 2014, 12:55 pm ET   Two of opera's greatest artists-Jonas Kaufmann and Elīna Garanča-appear together for the first time at the Met in Massenet's sublime adaptation of Goethe's revolutionary and tragic romance. It is directed and designed by Richard Eyre and Rob Howell, the same team that created the Met's recent hit production of Carmen. Rising young maestro Alain Altinoglu conducts.

Puccini's La Bohème   April 5, 2014, 12:55 pm ET   Puccini's moving story of young love is the most performed opera in Met history-and with good reason. Anita Hartig stars as the frail Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli's classic production, with Vittorio Grigolo as her passionate lover, Rodolfo.

Mozart's Così fan tutte   April 26, 2014, 12:55 pm ET   Music Director James Levine makes his long-awaited return to the Metpodium to conduct Mozart's beloved opera about testing the ties of love. The cast is filled with youthful Met stars: Susanna Phillips and Isabel Leonard are the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, Matthew Polenzani and Rodion Pogossov are their lovers, with Danielle de Niese as the scheming Despina.

Rossini's La Cenerentola Encore Broadcast: Sunday, May 18th 12:55 A peerless pair of Rossini virtuosos joins forces in La Cenerentola-a vocal tour de force for mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, singing her first Met performances of the Cinderella title role, and the high-flying tenor Juan Diego Flórez, as her Prince Charming. Alessandro Corbelli and Luca Pisaroni complete the cast, with Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leading the effervescent score.

LIVE IN HD FROM THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF GREAT BRITAIN and ADDITIONAL EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES
The Paramount made the carefully considered decision to first roll out The Met: Live in HD first, get it running smoothly and then add the NATIONAL THEATRE - LIVE IN HD in early 2014. Future announcements will be out to bring this second LIVE IN HD series into being.  The enhanced technology does give us an opportunity to re-brand and re-focus the BIG FLICKS AT THE PARAMOUNT Series.  Our Season is very full beginning in September and we will roll-out the new BIG FLICKS offerings: Classic Films, Independents, Documentaries and Rock and Roll concerts as time and availability allows.  Future opportunities with digital programming are endless, with new content coming on line seemingly every few weeks.  We will investigate these opportunities carefully to make ultimate use of our new exhibition technology.  For the summer of 2014 we plan to have a 12-week schedule of film, HD offerings and sports Monday through Thursday nights all summer. 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, FOOTBALL and WORLD CUP SOCCOR
Details are being finalized to bring, as allowed in our schedule, Major League Post-Season Baseball, Sunday NFL Football and the World Cup of Soccer in the summer of 2014. These broadcasts will be free of charge to the public.  Further detailed information will be released as schedules are finalized.

FUNDING FOR THE LIVE IN HD INITIATIVE and ENHANCED EXHIBITION
Major generous funding has been provided for the LIVE IN HD and ENHANCED EXHIBITION capabilities by The City of Rutland, the Vermont Arts Council, Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Johnson Family Foundation.  The extended campaign is on-going to create a sustainable fund for this programming, to address expanded marketing, additional projectionists and the enhanced sound design.  The full list of contributors to this critical fund will be exhibited on the screen at all of the various offerings in this major new initiative at The Paramount.  Participation inquiries may be directed to Bruce Bouchard at bruce@paramountvt.org.
Bruce Bouchard concluded, "Back in 2009 when we introduced the BIG FLICKS at the PARAMOUNT Series (and at the VSO residencies) I was asked by countless people to please add THE MET OPERA: LIVE IN HD.  At the time I did not think it was possible……ever.  With the growth and fascination for this utterly unique offering - not just statewide but nationally, the possibility came into focus and the plan was vetted (by the Paramount board AND The Metropolitan Opera) and put in motion and an extensive fundraising campaign was launched. I truly never thought that the outpouring of support and interest and commitment would be enthusiastic and substantial."  "Ten months after the first conversations about the possibility of this happening…….we are installed, tested and ready to bring The Met Opera, enhanced film programming and shortly down the road, professional sports to the greater south central audiences."

The Paramount Theatre, a registered 501-c3 not for profit organization, is currently in its 13th season of bringing world class entertainment to central Vermont.