The Enchanted Island - A World Premiere at the Met

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
January 21, 2012
David Daniels and Joyce DiDonato in The Enchanted Island (The Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Placido Domingo as Neptune. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Paul Appleby as Demetrius, Layla Claire as Helena, Elliot Madore as Lysander and Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Layla Claire as Helena and Luca Pisaroni as Caliban in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Layla Claire as Helena and Luca Pisaroni as Caliban. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Anthony Roth Costanzo as Ferdinand (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) David Daniels as Prospero in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) David Daniels as Prospero and Danielle de Niese as Ariel in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) David Daniels as Prospero and Luca Pisaroni as Caliban in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Danielle de Niese as Ariel in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Danielle de Niese as Ariel. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Danielle de Niese as Ariel in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia and Layla Claire as Helena in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax, Placido Domingo as Neptune, and David Daniels as Prospero in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Placido Domingo as Neptune in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Placido Domingo as Neptune, David Daniels as Prospero, Luca Pisaroni as Caliban and Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Lisette Oropesa as Miranda in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Lisette Oropesa as Miranda and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Ferdinand in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Luca Pisaroni as Caliban. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) Luca Pisaroni as Caliban in "The Enchanted Island." (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene from "The Enchanted Island" with Luca Pisaroni as Caliban. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) A scene in "The Enchanted Island" with Danielle de Niese as Ariel, Paul Appleby as Demetrius, Layla Claire as Helena, Elliot Madore as Lysander and Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

St. Paul, Minn. — I like opera. I truly do. I tend not to get very excited about it, although for each opera performed at the Met, I tend to get excited about something.

The Enchanted Island gives me many reasons to be excited, and I hope to pass some of my enthusiasm your way.

Receiving its broadcast premiere this Saturday, The Enchanted Island began its Met run on December 31, 2011.

The Met Opera rarely performs a "pastiche", and that's exactly what director, writer and composer Jeremy Sams created.

Sams chose some of the best operatic moments from the Baroque era and created a libretto to suit the music. Handel, Rameau and Vivaldi are featured prominently.

His inspiration began with an idea from Met General Manager Peter Gelb, who said, "Imagine taking the hidden gems from a century of music, and turning them into one opera. Oh, and it has to be in English."

The libretto also blends literary works of Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest).

Placido Domingo loved the idea so much he asked for a part in the show. Sams, in turn, created Domingo's role of "Neptune."

I think it'll be an interesting production by the Met; I'm looking forward to hearing some of the best Baroque operatic moments performed by an amazing cast.

Hear The Enchanted Island Saturday, January 21 at noon central on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.

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