Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

August 30, 2013

Ten operas in series broadcast at State

TRAVERSE CITY — Judy and Sheldon Levin didn't have to think about which of the 10 operas they wanted to see on the upcoming season of "The Met: Live in HD" at the State Theatre.

"We're seeing all 10," said Judy Levin, who got to buy the couple's tickets early as a member of The Metropolitan Opera Association.

Tickets for the series go on sale to the general public today. Judy Trentham, State Theatre box office manager, expects to see more sellouts than in seasons past, thanks in part to a lineup that includes the romantic and tragic audience favorite, "La Boheme," April 5.

"Initially, we had a lot of sellouts and we don’t have as many now," Trentham said. "But we still have several hundred people attend the operas.They are equally as enthusiastic today as they were in November of the 2007-08 season."

The marathon events are transmitted live in high definition from New York's Lincoln Center to more than 1,900 theaters in 64 countries. Subtitles now are translated into nine languages including English.

Trentham said State Theatre people come from as far away as Northport and Manistee to see the Saturday afternoon productions, which include interviews with cast members, crews and production teams and behind-the-scenes peeks at areas like sets and costumes.

Levin said she and her husband, who live in Leelanau County, typically make a day of the live transmissions. They buy sandwiches and drinks at the State to tide them over and take advantage of a long intermission to stretch their legs with a walk downtown. The couple, who have seen operas in Russia, Mexico and elsewhere around the world, read the Met's Opera News and study the libretto before each opera.

"When I was in school I was an opera major and a theater minor, so for me this is a dream come true to have The Metropolitan Opera live in Traverse City and to go on a Saturday and see it in HD," Judy Levin said. "And my husband, who was not an opera fan before, is a huge opera fan now.

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