The Met: Live in HD Kicks Off on Saturday, October 10 at Empire Theatres with
a New Production of Puccini's Tosca - Tickets for 2009-10 Season On Sale Now

HALIFAX, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - Tickets for the fourth season of The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera's popular, award-winning series of live transmissions in movie theaters around the world, are now on sale at select Empire Theatres locations in Atlantic Canada. The 2009-10 season, featuring nine live opera transmissions, kicks off on Saturday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m. AT with a new production of Puccini's Tosca starring Karita Mattila. The production, directed by Luc Bondy in his house debut and conducted by Met Music Director James Levine, features Marcelo alvarez and George Gagnidze in the other leading roles.

More than 900 theaters in 42 countries around the world are participating in The Met: Live in HD this season. A record number of more than 1.8 million Live in HD tickets were sold last season.

Four other new productions are featured in the series, including Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann starring Joseph Calleja in the title role, with Anna Netrebko and Alan Held; Bizet's Carmen starring Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna; Natalie Dessay and Simon Keenlyside in Thomas's Hamlet; and Rossini's Armida starring Renée Fleming. The HD season also includes Verdi's Aida with Violeta Urmana, Dolora Zajick, and Johan Botha; Maria Guleghina and Marcello Giordani in Puccini's Turandot; Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier with Fleming and Susan Graham; and Verdi's Simon Boccanegra starring Placido Domingo, singing the title role for the first time at the Met. James Levine leads four of the HD transmissions. Complete casting and details of the season's Live in HD performances follows below.

All nine high-definition productions will be shown live worldwide on Saturdays through May 1 with an additional Saturday Encore presentation for each. Tickets are available online and at participating theatre box offices. For complete details visit www.empiretheatres.com/met.

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation. Bloomberg L.P. is the global corporate sponsor of The Met: Live in HD. The HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder(R).

The Met: Live in HD has expanded its distribution in the 2009-10 season to include 42 countries. New countries joining the Live in HD network this season include Bulgaria, Chile, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Uruguay. The Met: Live in HD returns in the following locations: Argentina (Fundacion Beethoven), Australia (presented by Sharmill Films), Austria (presented by ClasArt), Belgium (Kinepolis), Brazil (Movie MBZ), Colombia (Cine Colombia), Costa Rica (Centro Cultural), Croatia (presented by Aero Films), the Czech Republic (presented by Aero Films), Denmark (Nordisk Film Biografer); Estonia (Forum Cinemas), Finland (Finnkino), France (presented by CielEcran), Germany (presented by ClasArt), Hungary (presented by Aero Films), Iceland (Sam Films), Ireland (presented by Opera Ireland), Japan (Shochiku), Latvia (Forum Cinemas), Luxembourg (Utopia), Mexico (Auditorio Nacional), the Netherlands (Pathé, CineMec Ede, and Foroxity Film Arena), New Zealand (Rialto Distribution), Norway (Bergen Kino, Oslo Kino and Tromso Film Festival), Peru (Radio Filharmonia), Poland (Arthur Rubenstein Philharmonic and Aero Films), Romania (presented by Aero Films), Sweden (FHP Sweden), Switzerland (CielEcran), South Africa (Ster Kinekor Theatres), the United Kingdom (City Screen/Picturehouse), and several UK independent movie theaters and performing arts organizations.

    
    Met Live in HD Locations

    NB - Fredericton - Empire Studio 10 Regent Mall
    NB - Moncton - Empire 8 Trinity Drive
    NB - Saint John - Empire Studio 10
    NL - St. John's - Empire Studio 12
    NS - Dartmouth - Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing
    NS - Halifax - Empire 8 Park Lane
    NS - New Glasgow - Empire Studio 7
    NS - New Minas - Empire 7 Cinemas
    NS - Sydney - Empire Studio 10
    PE - Charlottetown - Empire Studio 8

    The Met: Live in HD 2009-10 Season

    Saturday, October 10, 2009 TOSCA (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore
    October 31 - A new production of Puccini's Tosca by Luc Bondy in his
    house debut, starring Karita Mattila in her first performance of the
    title role outside her native Finland, and Marcelo alvarez as
    Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze sings the role of Scarpia. James Levine
    conducts.
    HD host: Susan Graham NEW PRODUCTION

    Saturday, October 24, 2009 AIDA (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore
    November 31 - Daniele Gatti returns for the first time in 14 years to
    conduct a cast of powerful voices in Verdi's Aida. Violeta Urmana sings
    the title role, while Dolora Zajick returns in one of her most acclaimed
    portrayals as the Egyptian princess Amneris. Johan Botha is Radamès and
    Carlo Guelfi sings Amonasro. HD host: Renee Fleming

    Saturday, November 7, 2009 TURANDOT (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore
    December 5 - Franco Zeffirelli's classic production of Puccini's Turandot
    features the Met role debuts of Maria Guleghina in the title role,
    Marcello Giordani as Calàf, Samuel Ramey as Timur, and Marina
    Poplavskaya as Liù. Conductor Andris Nelsons makes his Met debut.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009 LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN (2:00 p.m. AT /
    2:30 p.m. NL) Encore January 23 - Bartlett Sher, whose staging of
    Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia was a hit two seasons ago, returns to
    direct his second Met production: Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann,
    conducted by James Levine. Joseph Calleja stars as Hoffmann, with Anna
    Netrebko as Antonia, Ekaterina Gubanova as Giulietta, Kate Lindsey as
    Nicklausse, Kathleen Kim as Olympia, and Alan Held as the four villains.
    NEW PRODUCTION

    Saturday, January 9, 2010 DER ROSENKAVALIER (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL)
    Encore March 6 - James Levine conducts a stellar cast led by Renée
    Fleming as the Marschallin and Susan Graham as Octavian. Eric Cutler is
    the Italian Singer, Kristinn Sigmundsson sings the role of Baron Ochs,
    and Christine Schäfer is Sophie. HD host: Placido Domingo

    Saturday, January 16, 2010 CARMEN (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore
    March 13 - The new Carmen, starring Elina Garanca, who sang the title
    role of La Cenerentola at the Met last spring to great acclaim, will also
    feature the debuts of director Richard Eyre and conductor Yannick
    Nézet-Séguin. Roberto Alagna is the soldier Don José, Barbara Frittoli
    is Micaëla, and Mariusz Kwiecien is the bullfighter Escamillo. HD host:
    Renée Fleming
    NEW PRODUCTION

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 SIMON BOCCANEGRA (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL)
    Encore March 20 - Four decades into a legendary Met career, Placido
    Domingo makes history by singing the baritone title role of Verdi's
    Simon Boccanegra, conducted by James Levine. Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello
    Giordani, and James Morris co-star. HD host: Renée Fleming

    Saturday, March 27, 2010 HAMLET (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore
    April 24 - Last performed at the Met in 1897, Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet
    will be seen in a new production by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser,
    conducted by Louis Langrée and starring Simon Keenlyside in the title
    role and Natalie Dessay as Ophélie. With Jennifer Larmore as Gertrude,
    Toby Spence as Laërtes and James Morris as Claudius. HD host: Renée
    Fleming
    NEW PRODUCTION

    Saturday, May 1, 2010 ARMIDA (2:00 p.m. AT / 2:30 p.m. NL) Encore May 22
    - The season's final new production features Renée Fleming in Rossini's
    bel canto tour de force Armida, directed by Mary Zimmerman and conducted
    by Riccardo Frizza. Also starring Lawrence Brownlee, Bruce Ford, José
    Manuel Zapata, Barry Banks, and Kobie van Rensburg. HD host: Deborah
    Voigt
    NEW PRODUCTION
    

The Live in HD series was recently honored with a prestigious 2008 Peabody Award for its "vividly designed, smartly annotated productions of Hansel and Gretel, Doctor Atomic, Peter Grimes and other operas. The Met used state-of-the-art digital technology to reinvent presentation of a classic art form."

The Met won a special Emmy Award in January 2009 for "advancing technology through ongoing, live, global transmission of high-definition programming to movie theaters."

About Empire Theatres Limited

Empire Theatres Limited with its corporate headquarters in Stellarton, NS and regional offices in Halifax, NS, Toronto, ON and Calgary, AB, is a 100% owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited. Empire Theatres owns and operates 50 theatres, with 374 screens across Canada (including one IMAX Theatre in Halifax) from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Empire Theatres is Canada's second largest and fastest growing film exhibition company providing an exciting out-of-home entertainment experience including traditional film exhibition as well as other content using its digital and satellite capabilities.

With approximately 2,500 employees, Empire Theatres provides excellent employment opportunities for the youth of Canada in an exciting and energetic industry.

SOURCE Empire Theatres Limited

For further information: For further information: Dean Leland, Vice President, Media & Studio Relations, Empire Theatres Limited - Halifax, Office: (902) 876-4844, Cell: (902)-448-4358, dean.leland@empiretheatres.com; Lee Abrahamian, Metropolitan Opera, Office: (212) 870-7457, labrahamian@metopera.org; Peter Clark, Metropolitan Opera, Office: (212) 870-7457, pclark@metopera.org; Charlie Siedenburg, Metropolitan Opera, Office: (212) 870-7457, csiedenburg@metopera.org

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