The Met Opera Live scheduled for Del Oro show in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

The Met Opera Live scheduled for Del Oro show in Grass Valley

John Deaderick
Column

Giaochino Rossini's Semiramide is the latest offering of The Met Opera Live in HD. Sierra Theaters presents the performance Saturday at Grass Valley's Del Oro Theatre.

This is the first Semiramide at the Met in 25 years. The opera's scarcity on programs has nothing to do with its qualities, which are numerous, but are due to the scheduling preference for Rossini's comedies, particularly Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L'Italiana in Algeri. This hasn't always been the case. In Rossini's lifetime, it was the tragedies his public clamored for.

Set in Iraq, excuse me, ancient Babylon (same geography), the story tells of a beautiful but manipulative and murderous queen. Based on a novel by Voltaire, the libretto is replete with supernatural omens and more than a hint of the Oedipus myth. The score is Rossiniesque in the extreme: memorable melodies, bouncy and ever-moving rhythmic energy, and extraordinarily difficult vocalisms, Queen Semiramide's signature aria, "Bel raggio lusinghier," might well be beyond the reach of many a skilled soprano.

The current Met production presents the opulent spectacle one expects from Grand Opera. Packed with a huge chorus and exotic locales, this one has visual as well as auditory treats. Bel canto specialist Angela Meade sings the title role, supported by Ildar Azrazakov as would be husband Assur and Elizabeth DeShong as Arsace, the love interest with an Oedipal twist. Full of color and mythic grandeur as well as sumptuous and athletic singing, this one should be great fun.

John Deaderick is a local theatre artist and the author of Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis, available at Amazon.com.

Know & Go

Who: The Del Oro Theatre

What: The Metropolitan Opera, LIVE in HD — Semiramide

When: 9:55 a.m. Saturday

Where: The Del Oro Theatre, 165 Mill Street, Grass Valley

Tickets: $22 Adults, $20 Seniors, $18 Children 12 and under & students with ID; Available online at http://www.sierratheaters.com or at the Del Oro Box Office

Info: http://Www.sierratheaters.com, 530-477-1100