If you go
What: Opening night “Icicle Creek Presents The Met: Live in HD”
Where: Snowy Owl Theater, Leavenworth
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 5
Tickets: $35 includes dessert buffet
Information: 548-6347, icicle.org
“The Met: Live in HD” season
“Eugene Onegin” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. Oct. 5
Tchaikovsky’s interpretation of the classic Pushkin novel about a St. Petersburg dandy that explores the deadly inhumanity of social convention.
“The Nose” 9:55 a.m. Oct. 26
A Russian bureaucrat awakes one morning to learn that his nose has assumed the form of a domineering officer who steadfastly outdoes him by gaining a higher role in the bureaucracy.
“Tosca” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. Nov. 9
A dramatic tale of murder, lust and political intrigue.
“Falstaff” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. Dec. 14
Adapted from three Shakespeare plays, “Falstaff” is a lyric comedy about an aging knight and his fathomless appetites.
“Rusalka” 9:55 a.m. Feb. 8
A water nymph yearns to love the prince but tragedy ensues and they are damned in this darkly sensual fairy tale.
“Prince Igor” 9:55 a.m. March 1
A retelling of the campaign of a Russian prince against the invasion of Polovtsian tribes in 1185.
“Werther” 9:55 a.m. March 15
A tragic romance about the brooding poet Werther and his unattainable love, Charlotte.
“La Boheme” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. April 5
A tale of emotional truth and charming camaraderie surrounding the writer Rodolfo and Mimi in 1830s Paris.
“Cosi Fan Tutte” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. April 26
A wry story of two young men who place a bet on fidelity and put the women they love to the test with deception and seduction.
“Cenerentola” 9:55 a.m., 7 p.m. May 10
An operatic take on the classic fairy tale “Cinderella.”
Source: Icicle Creek Center for the Arts
Opening night: $35
9:55 a.m. screenings: $20
7 p.m. screenings: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and youth
Pick 6: $120
Season pass: $200
The best seats at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House are nearly 3,000 miles away, in a barn just outside of Leavenworth.
Starting Oct. 5, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts will screen all 10 operas of the Met’s 2013-14 season live through a direct satellite feed to the Snowy Owl Theater.
As thousands of opera-goers stroll into the Met for the season premiere of “Eugene Onegin,” at 1 p.m., the Snowy Owl Theater will swing open its doors for the post-breakfast crowd at 10 a.m. — some dressed in gowns and blazers, some in jeans and flannel.
On a 17-by-10 foot screen, locals will watch tears fall down young Tatiana’s face when Onegin rejects her. The floor will tremor with the bass of gunshots as Onegin faces his once-friend and rival in a fateful duel. When Onegin finally realizes his love for Tatiana years later, subtitles will translate the Russian opera on screen as he finds out she’s had a change of heart.
“In this space, the experience will be very similar to what you would feel — and I say feel, not just hear — in a movie theater,” said Cameron Sherman, technical services manager of the Snowy Owl, after a test run of the new series last week. “It will be like sitting front and center with the opera singers right in front of you.”
The idea to bring the Met to the area began in Wenatchee several years ago. A now-defunct opera guild asked the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee and Sun Basin Theatres, which owns Gateway and Liberty cinemas, about screening the series. The famous opera house will only contract with theaters that have high-end digital equipment, including surround sound and a dual satellite system, which neither venue could afford at the time. To retrofit the PAC alone would have cost upwards of $150,000.
Philanthropist Harriet Bullitt got wind of the effort, and insisted that the equipment be incorporated into the design of the Snowy Owl Theater. The $5 million venue opened last spring.
“They don’t tell you how big your theater has to be, or what to charge for tickets but you have to buy equipment that suits your space,” Bullitt said. “It’s pretty pricey, but we installed it with the belief that it would work, and here it is.”
In addition to the equipment, the Met also requires theaters to broadcast their Saturday matinees live from New York, which is why opera at The Snowy Owl begins at 9:55 a.m. Icicle Creek will also replay six of the most popular shows at 7 p.m.
“I’m going to be there at 10 a.m.,” Bullitt said. “I’m going to get up and get dressed up to go to breakfast. Instead of church, it will be the opera.”
Bullitt said she first fell in love with opera with her granddaughter, whom she’d take to the Seattle Opera occasionally. She still holds season tickets. She believes there will be a good turnout of local opera fans used to commuting to Seattle. About 25 other theaters throughout the state broadcast “The Met: Live in HD,” although east of the Cascades, the only other venues are in Spokane and Kennewick.
“Even if the stories are strange, you see the humanity in them,” she said. “The great operas of today have been great since the day they were made. The Met is as good as you can get.”