Coming Attractions: Culture Vulture’s November Picks

By Helen Epstein

November high technology standout: The MET's production of Turandot in HD

November 's high technology standout: The MET's production of Turandot in HD

1) Nov 2: This Monday’s free concert at Jordan Hall celebrates Eastern European composers and players. The unusual musical line-up includes the Haydn Piano Trio in E minor, the Boston premiere of Kati Agócs’s “Awakening Galatea,” Bacewicz’s “Suite for Two Violins,” and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Opus 81. Performance starts at 8 p.m.

2) Nov 3: Pianist Sergey Schepkin takes on Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II” at the Edward Pickman Concert Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA. Box office opens at 6 p.m; performance is at 7:30 p.m. (Longy has no advance ticket sales).

3) Nov 7 and 11: I go to the AMC in Burlington, MA, but you can catch the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts LIVE on a weekend afternoon or in rerun Wednesday evenings at 6:30 at malls and select theaters all over New England. (Go to the Metropolitan Opera website to find a site near you). This month’s offering is director Franco Zeffirelli’s staging of Puccini’s last opera, “Turandot,” which shows at 1 p.m., with an encore screening on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m. The expected running time: 3 hours 21 minutes, 2 intermissions

Get there early to find a good seat and be prepared to sit for three hours or more. The real-time schedule of performance and half-hour intermissions in New York is worth it. The camera brings you closer to the performers than you would be in the opera house itself; the sound is excellent; and the singers know that they have to work on their acting!

Clear subtitles make a huge difference in the opera experience for me, even though I’ve seen some of these old chestnuts several times. Bring along some snacks and don’t be upset by the smell of popcorn around you. Opera was once the most popular performance form going!!

Helen Epstein’s book of profiles of celebrated musicians “Music Talks” is being republished by the Authors Guild Back-in-Print series and will be available in November.

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