Live Broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera to Debut at Yale

Starting this fall, the Yale University community will have the unique opportunity to view the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts on campus free of charge through a gift from Frederick Iseman, Yale College alumnus of the Class of 1974. This generous gift will fund Yale’s access to the twelve operas scheduled for live transmission during 2010–2011, as well as the installation of new sound and projection technology in Sprague Hall, where the performances will be shown. Additionally, Mr. Iseman’s gift will enable area high school students to experience the Met’s performances by providing 200 tickets for the Live in HD series presented at the Branford 12 movie theater. Ticket distribution to the high schools will be administered through the Music in Schools program at Yale School of Music.

The Met @ Yale: the Iseman Broadcasts of The Met Live in HD season will begin on October 9 with Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the first production in the Met’s widely anticipated new Ring Cycle. Succeeding broadcasts will include five other new productions: Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (October 23), Verdi’s Don Carlo (December 11), Adams’s Nixon in China (February 12), Rossini’s Le Comte Ory (April 9), and the second installment in the new Ring Cycle, Die Walküre (May 14). Further transmissions will bring works by Verdi, Strauss, Puccini, Gluck and Donizetti to Yale and to audiences worldwide. Nine former students of the Yale School of Music are among the singers performing in the twelve operas being simulcast this year.

More information about the operas scheduled for broadcast during the 2010–2011 season of The Met: Live in HD is available online at 2010-11 Live in HD Season.

Members of the Yale community with current ID can learn more about The Met @ Yale: the Iseman Broadcasts of The Met Live in HD online at the Yale School of Music web site or 203 432-4158.

The Met launched its high-definition broadcasts of select Saturday afternoon performances in movie theaters nationwide in 2006 through the vision of general manager Peter Gelb. The Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series has grown steadily and is currently seen in more than 1,500 theaters in 46 countries across six continents. “The Met’s live HD transmissions have significantly changed the way people think about opera,” Gelb said. “I’m delighted that we will now be able to make a direct contribution to the education and entertainment of Yale’s students and faculty.”

Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of the Yale School of Music, expects an enthusiastic response to the Met @ Yale Iseman Broadcasts in Sprague Hall. “The Metropolitan Opera is a living cultural treasure and nothing can compare with the excitement of seeing its performances in real time,” he said. “We are truly fortunate to have Frederick Iseman’s support of this new venture and the additional learning opportunities, even beyond these broadcasts, that the new technology will make possible in the future.”

“Yale counts Frederick Iseman as one of its most generous benefactors and we are deeply grateful for his unflagging commitment to the University,” said Yale President Richard C. Levin. “The Iseman Broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera will be a wonderful addition to the rich tapestry of performances in our theaters and concert halls and an unparalleled opportunity for our students and faculty to experience world-class opera without leaving New Haven.”

Mr. Iseman is chair and CEO of CI Capital Partners, LLC, which he co-founded in 1993. He is a member of numerous organizations that reflect his interests in the arts and globalization, and serves as a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera, the Municipal Art Society, Carnegie Hall, and the White Nights Foundation of the Mariinsky Opera Theatre of St. Petersburg, Russia. Mr. Iseman’s previous gifts to Yale include support for the Genocide Studies Program in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and endowment of the directorship of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, a position held since 2002 by Ernesto Zedillo ’81 Ph.D., former president of Mexico. In May 2009, Yale renamed its premier “black box” theater as the Frederick Iseman Theater in recognition of his leadership support. Mr. Iseman was recently honored by the School of Music with a Cultural Leadership Citation recognizing his extraordinary contributions to opera and to the artistic life of Yale University.

Mr. Iseman first conceived of the idea to present The Met: Live in HD on the Yale campus for students and faculty two years ago, and he worked closely with staff at both institutions to make it possible. Reflecting on his latest gift to Yale, Mr. Iseman commented:

“My seduction by opera began at Yale. The Met graciously gave this uncredentialed student reviewer from the now defunct Yale Revue critic’s seats on the aisle. Don Giovanni, Rosenkavalier, Cavalleria Rusticana, Manon Lescaut, Pavarotti and Birgit Nilsson all ignited my interest in an art form that, at its best, is overwhelming and takes one out of oneself.

“Sitting in a Met Opera board meeting watching a preview of the HD-TV season, I decided that I wanted every Yale student to experience what I had had and that the technology now permitted. Characteristically, Rick Levin, Inge Reichenbach, Robert Blocker and James Bundy jumped on it. Peter Gelb, Head of the Met, worked ferociously for two years to get this done.

“I think that with the audio-visual renovation we are putting in place at the Music School we can do the Met at Yale and much much more. Sprague Hall can now do an entire recorded Wagner Ring cycle run overnight, a complete series of Orpheus, Don Juan, and Faust-based operas, or an opera film festival. Dean Robert Blocker’s imagination is running wild and it is great fun to be his partner in this creative adventure. I look forward to the Yale campus being drenched in great beamed-in opera performances. The fun has just begun.”

More information about the operas scheduled for broadcast during the 2010–2011 season of The Met: Live in HD is available at http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/broadcast/hd_events_next.aspx.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345