Donizetti’s Anna Bolena kicks off “The Met: Live in HD” series at the Galaxy Cinemas at Eagle Landing.

Thrilling opera season comes to the big screen

The Metropolitan Opera is coming to Galaxy Cinemas Chilliwack via satellite in high-definition.

The Metropolitan Opera is coming to Galaxy Cinemas Chilliwack via satellite in high-definition.

It’s the sixth season Cineplex Entertainment has a full season of thrilling performances with its The Met: Live in HD in cinemas across Canada.

But it’s the first time in Chilliwack, said Jay Haraga, general manager of Galaxy Cinemas at Eagle Landing.

They’ll be performing live from New York City as part of Cineplex’s Front Row Centre Events. The program was rolled out in major urban markets first, and is now making its way to smaller communities with a strong interest in the arts.

“We’re excited to be bringing this series to Chilliwack,” he said.

“That’s part of the mystique, offering an experience as if you’re there in New York City.”

The entire 2010-11 season is on offer at Galaxy with 11 performances transmitted to the big screen.

The series kicks off with Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, a Met premiere production on Oct. 15.

Soprano Anna Netrebko opens the season with her portrayal of the ill-fated queen driven insane by her unfaithful king. She sings one of opera’s greatest scenes depicting madness in this production by David McVicar. Ekaterina Gubanova is her rival, Jane Seymour, Ildar Abdrazakov sings Henry VIII, and Marco Armiliato conducts.

“The sound quality is really crisp,” Haraga told The Progress, describing the state-of-the-art 5.1 digital surround sound.

“We’ve tested it and it almost feels like a stadium type experience.”

The feedback they received from patrons who experienced the relatively new technology was that it was the next best thing to actually being there in person.

“We’re expecting some good things from this,” Haraga said. “We welcome everyone to come out to the first one.”

They’re offering a variety of ticket packages for those patrons who may want to see several performances. Refreshments will be served at the first one on Oct. 15.

“We are delighted to once again offer The Met: Live in HD as this series is extremely popular with our guests,” said Cineplex entertainment VP Pat Marshall.

For the first year ever, guests can buy their tickets from the comfort of home, online at www.cineplex.com/events. Here is the schedule of Met productions which will be shown at 9:55 or 9 a.m.

Donizetti’s Anna Bolena – Oct. 15, 9:55 a.m.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni – Oct. 29, 9:55 a.m.

Wagner’s Siegfried – Nov. 5, at 9 p.m.

Glass’s Satyagraha – Nov. 19 at 9:55 a.m.

Handel’s Rodelinda – Dec. 3 at 9:30 a.m.

Gounod’s Faust – Dec. 10 at 9:55 a.m.

Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau’s The Enchanted Island – Jan. 21 at 9:55 a.m.

Wagner’s Götterdämmerung – Feb. 11 at 12 p.m.

Massenet’s Manon – April 7 at 9 a.m.

Verdi’s La Traviata – April 14 at 9:55 a.m.

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