Soprano Renee Fleming, and the rest of the cast, appears in the Metropolitan Opera’s “The Hours,” the new production to be simulcast live at Port Angeles’ Naval Elks Ballroom this Saturday. (photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera)

Soprano Renee Fleming, and the rest of the cast, appears in the Metropolitan Opera’s “The Hours,” the new production to be simulcast live at Port Angeles’ Naval Elks Ballroom this Saturday. (photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera)

New York City to Port Angeles: Opera to premiere Saturday morning

By Diane Urbani de la Paz

for Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — “The Hours” makes a trip through time: into three women’s lives, in different decades, all in a single day. Each woman connects with the others — through song and high drama — in this brand-new opera to be simulcast this Saturday on the big screen at the Naval Elks Ballroom in Port Angeles.

The Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts, in partnership with Ghostlight Productions, is hosting this latest in “The Met: Live in HD,” a series of lavish productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Three divas appear in this world premiere: soprano Renee Fleming, Broadway star Kelli O’Hara and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who portrays Virginia Woolf.

“The Hours,” simulcast as it is being performed live at the Met, will begin at 9:55 a.m. Saturday at the ballroom, 131 E. First St. Tickets are available at the door, and refreshments will be available during the show, which will be presented on a 25- by 15-foot movie screen.

“Seeing an opera like this,” with fellow music lovers, “is a very moving experience,” said Kyle LeMaire, executive director of the Juan de Fuca Foundation (JFFA). Along with Ghostlight, JFFA will bring eight more live opera simulcasts to Port Angeles between now and June.

Even as they’re separated by decades and borders, the women of “The Hours” are all grappling with their inner demons and their roles in society. This story was first told in Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel; then came the movie starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Phillips and Nicole Kidman.

Opera has the power to tell this story in a uniquely stirring way, Fleming told PBS Newshour on Nov. 22, the day “The Hours” opened.

“Taking three different periods and putting them together … opera can do this,” Fleming said, “because it’s the music that connects everything.”

“The Hours” visits Woolf in a London suburb in 1923, as she prepares to pen her next novel; then counterpart Laura (O’Hara) in 1949 Los Angeles, and finally Clarissa (Fleming) as she plans a party in New York City in 1999. The women contemplate their lives as friends, lovers, mothers, artists – for whom ordinary acts such as buying flowers for the table can bring up larger questions about their lives.

“Every single person who’s in this opera has a really interesting role and a tale to tell. And the stories are relevant,” Fleming said.

Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor of the Met’s orchestra, told PBS Newshour that he sees “The Hours” bringing more people into the opera experience – “not just because we want to have more people in our seats, but because we believe in the mission of opera, that is, to convey these messages and collectively have a cathartic experience that can give us hope.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Townsend.

More in Entertainment

STEVE MULLENSKY/FOR PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Denver Smyth and wife Marianne, both with Western Red Brewery in Poulsbo, purge the Rubys Are Forever ale of air before the start of the 17th Strange Brew Fest in Port Townsend on Friday and Saturday at the American Legion Hall in downtown. There are 26 breweries from around western Washington that will be serving their own unique versions of strange brews.
Strange Brew afoot in Port Townsend

Denver Smyth and wife Marianne, both with Western Red Brewery in Poulsbo,… Continue reading

Great Backyard Bird Count aims to help track migratory patterns

Workshop to prepare potential participants slated for Saturday

The Watcher by Terry Grasteit
Red theme for First Friday Art Walk

“You need art to have heart,” said Renne Emiko Brock,… Continue reading

Artist Showcase opens at Northwind Art Jeanette Best Gallery

Northwind Art is presenting the Showcase Gallery for 2023.… Continue reading

Music, painting, drama among Peninsula entertainment this weekend

Renaissance music, a Celtic concert, drama painting and sewing are among activities… Continue reading

Super Bee topic for Saturday lecture

Jim Ulrich will present “Super Bee” from 11 a.m. to… Continue reading

Future of oceans lecture set

Rebecca Mostow will present “Hybrid in a Haystack: Hybrid… Continue reading

Most Read