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Met Opera launches series of six live broadcasts to movie theaters


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The Metropolitan Opera's most recent initiative designed to broaden opera's public appeal kicks in Saturday when the company will launch launches a series of six performances to be broadcast live via satellite into selected movie theaters across the nation.

Only movie theaters in the United States and Canada equipped with digital high-definition projection systems and Dolby digital surround sound were chosen to screen the performances as they are broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

The series will begin with an abridged, family-oriented, English-language version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." James Levine conducts a production by Julie Taymor that stars Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Nathan Gunn, Erika Mikosa and Rene Pape.

The remaining Met operas to be shown in theaters are Bellini's "I Puritani," Jan. 6; the world premiere production of Tan Dun's "The First Emperor," Jan. 13; Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," Feb. 24; and new productions of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," March 24, and Puccini's "Il Trittico," April 28.

All six operas also will be broadcast live in the U.S. on "Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius," the Met's new 24-hour satellite radio channel. Recorded versions of the performances also will air on PBS' "Great Performances" series, beginning with "Magic Flute" in January. In addition, the matinee performances will be carried by Chicago fine arts radio station WFMT-FM 98.7 as part of its weekly Met broadcast series.

Tickets for the movie theater screenings are $18 for adults, $15 for children. More information is available at http://www.metoperafamily.org/hdlive.

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(c) 2006, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.

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