Met Opera Live in HD

Met Opera Live in HD

Sat, 10/15/2011 - 12:55pm - 4:00pm

Presents "Anna Bolena" at Tinseltown, Henrietta Staduim 18, Eastview Mall 13 and Webster 12.

The Metropolitan Opera will present eleven theater presentations this season. Metropolitan Opera Live in HD kicks off Saturday, October 15 at  12:55 p.m. with Gaetano Donizetti's Anna Bolena. The opera is sung in Italian with Met Titles in English. Order your tickets at or at the theater of your choice.

The radio broadcast season of the Met Opera begins December 3rd at 1 p.m. on Classical 91.5. But you can hear opera every Saturday afternoon on WXXI-FM. Currently we're running the San Francisco Opera, which ends October 15. The Houston Grand Opera picks up where the SF Opera broadcasts left off with Strauss' Ariadne Auf Naxos on Saturday, October 22.

Anna Bolena Libretto:

Act I
England, 1536. At Richmond Castle, courtiers discuss the state of royal affairs: Queen Anne’s star is sinking since King Henry VIII has fallen in love with another woman. Jane Seymour, Anne’s confidante and lady-in-waiting, appears, followed by the queen, who admits to Jane that she is troubled. Anne asks her page Smeton to sing a song to cheer everyone. His words remind her of the happiness of her first love, which she gave up to marry the king.

Alone in her bedchamber, Jane—who is in fact the king’s new lover—is conscious-stricken about her betrayal. Henry appears and passionately declares his love, promising Jane marriage and glory. She is disturbed by his threats about Anne’s future,but realizes that it is too late for her to turn back.

Anne’s brother, Lord Rochefort, is surprised to meet Lord Richard Percy, the queen’s former lover, in Richmond Park. Percy, who has been called back from exile by the king, has heard of Anne’s distress and asks about her. Rochefort answers evasively. Percy admits that his own life has been miserable since he and Anne have been apart. The king arrives with a hunting party, followed by Anne and her ladies-in-waiting. He coolly greets his wife, then tells Percy that he has the queen to thank for his pardon. In fact, he has arranged Percy’s return as a trap for Anne and is grimly amused at their emotion and embarrassment as they greet each other. He orders one of his officers to spy on the couple.

Smeton, who is in love with the queen, is on his way to her apartments to return a miniature portrait of her that he had stolen. He hides when Anne appears with Rochefort, who persuades his sister to admit Percy. Percy enters and declares his continuing love. Anne admits that the king hates her, but she remains firm and pleads with Percy to find another woman worthy of his affection. Just as he draws his sword and threatens to kill himself, Henry bursts in. Smeton proclaims the queen’s innocence, and in the process the furious king seizes the miniature, providing him with welcome proof of his wife’s seeming infidelity. Anne, Percy, and Smeton are arrested.

Act II
Anne has been imprisoned in her London apartments. Jane arrives to tell her that she can avoid execution by pleading guilty and confessing her love for Percy, thereby allowing the king to remarry. Anne refuses, cursing the woman who will be her successor. Jane admits that she is that woman. Shocked, Anne dismisses her, but then gives in to Jane’s desperate pleading, insisting that it is the king, not her, who is to blame.

Smeton has falsely testified to being the queen’s lover, believing that his confession would save Anne’s life, but in fact he has sealed her fate. Anne and Percy are brought before the council. Anne tells the king that she is ready to die but begs him to spare her the humiliation of a trial. In the following confrontation, Percy claims that he and Anne were married before she became the king’s wife. Even though he thinks this is a lie, Henry triumphantly replies that another, worthier woman will ascend the throne. Percy and Anne are led away. Jane pleads with Henry for Anne’s life, but he dismisses her. News arrives of the council’s verdict: The royal marriage is dissolved, and Anne and her accomplices are to be executed.

Anne is in a state of delirium. She imagines herself on her wedding day, then recalls her girlhood love for Percy. Her fellow prisoners are brought in, and Smeton blames himself for having caused Anne’s impending death. When bells and cannon fire are heard, announcing the king’s new marriage, Anne suddenly comes to her senses. She furiously curses the royal couple and goes off to face her execution.