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December 9   -   The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho discusses her opera “L’Amour de Loin” on NPR. Its premiere production at the Metropolitan Opera will air this Saturday on “Live From the Met in HD” and on Wisconsin Public Radio

By Jacob Stockinger This Saturday will see the “Live From The Met in HD” transmission to area cinemas of the popular 2002 opera “L’Amour de Loin ” by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (below, in a photo by Maarit Kytoharju). The show starts at 11:55 a.m. at the Point Cinema in Madison’s far west side and the Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie . The running time is three hours with an intermission. (It will also be broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Radio starting at 1 p.m.) It will be sung in French with English supertitles. Based on the real-life 12th-century French prince and troubadour Jaufré de Rudel, the opera will be the first one by a women composer to be done by the Metropolitan Opera in 113 years. It must also be a landmark for Finland, since both the composer and the acclaimed conductor, Susanna Mälkki (below, in a photo by The New York Times ), are Finnish. Maliki is making her Met debut. And the cast sounds terrific: Bass-baritone Eric Own (below left, in a photo by Ken Howard) plays the troubadour. Susanna Phillips (below right) plays his love Clémence, who hails from what is now Lebanon. It sounds like the production, by French-Canadian theater director Robert Lepage – who worked with the Cirque du Soleil and did the Met’s recent controversial “Ring” cycle by Richard Wagner, is appealing on several scores. (You can hear Robert Lepage and Kaija Saariaho discuss the production briefly in a YouTube video at the bottom.) Here is a link to more information about the opera and cast at the Met’s website: The appeal has been added by a story that Jeff Lunden did for National Public Radio or NPR. It is good background for seeing and hearing the production. Here is a link. You can read the summary in print, and you can hear the longer broadcast version – which The Ear recommends — with the voices of the composer and others, by clicking on the big red button on the top left: Do you know the opera “L’Amour de Loin”? Have you seen or heard it already? Whether you saw a previous Metropolitan Opera production or this one, let us know what you think of the opera as new music and a fetching love story. Will it “have legs” and survive long into the future? The Ear wants to hear. Tagged: Arts , baritone , bass , Broadcast , choral music , Cirque du Soleil , Classical music , debut , Early music , English , ERIC OWENS , female , Finland , Finnish , France , French , Jacob Stockinger , Jaufre de Rudel , Jofre de Rudel , Kaija Saariaho , L'Amour de Loin" , Lebanon , live broadcast , Live From The Met in HD , Madison , Marcus Theatres , Met , Metropolitan Opera , Music , New York City , New York Times , NPR , opera , Orchestra , Palace Cinema , Point Cinema , premiere , Radio , Robert Lepage , Sun Prairie , supertitles , surtitles , Susanna Malkki , Susanna Phillips , symphony , The New York Times , The Ring , troubedour , United States , University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music , University of Wisconsin–Madison , vocal music , Wagner , Wisconsin , wisconsin public radio , woman , women , YouTube

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