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December 4, 2009

La Scala's season-opening "Carmen" to air live at cinemas, including the Charles

Dec. 7 is a bid deal every year in Milan, for that's when La Scala, the famed opera house, opens its season. This is one of the most paparazzi-laden nights on the Continent, when everyone who is anyone turns out.

Time was when the rest of us could only see the pictures of the glitzy arrivals and wonder what it must be like inside the elegant opera house with all those celebs crawling around. Now, you, too, can get in on the action, and at a fraction of the ticket prices over there. The series of HD opera transmissions presented by Emerging Pictures includes a live broadcast of Monday's La Scala opening -- a new production of Bizet's "Carmen."

The cast includes Anita Rachvelishvili (your guess is as good as mine) in the title role and the two of the

buzziest male stars in opera right now, Jonas Kaufmann as Don Jose and Erwin Schrott as Escamillo. (The indefatigable Opera Chic reports that Kaufmann missed Friday's dress rehearsal due to an indisposition, but is expected to come through on Monday. You'll find some sneak-peek photos on that site.) Daniel Barenboim conducts. The production is by Emma Dante.

Locally, "Carmen" will be simulcast at noon Monday at The Charles, where another live simulcast will be shown Dec. 22 -- "Il Trovatore" from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:32 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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