Met to Offer Live Opera in HD in Theaters

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City will begin providing live HD-quality presentations of six upcoming productions at designated motion picture theaters throughout North America and Europe, starting this Saturday, Dec. 30.

A handful of movie theaters in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway and Denmark will be equipped to provide full-screen HD images and surround sound audio of each opera production from the Met in Lincoln Center. Specific theater locations and ticket prices are listed at the Met's Web site.

The HD broadcasts will be presented live, starting at 1:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. GMT). The opera lineup includes:

• "The Magic Flute," Dec. 30 -- an abridged 100-minute version of Mozart's opera sung in English.

• "I Puritani," Jan. 6 -- featuring a current opera sensation, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko ("Audrey Hepburn with a voice," according to one critic).

• "The First Emperor," Jan. 13 -- the world premiere broadcast of Chinese composer Tan Dun's epic opera.

• "Eugene Onegin," Feb. 24 -- American soprano Renée Fleming joins Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky for this broadcast of Tchaikovsky's sweeping epic.

• "The Barber of Seville," March 24 -- the instantly familiar music of Rossini's masterwork featured in cartoons, commercials and TV shows, is presented in its original form.

• "Il Trittico," April 28 -- Jealousy, murder, suicide, religious rapture, intrigue and young love -- Puccini's triple-bill of one-act operas.