The Met’s Thaïs is broadcast in HD at select movie theaters world wide on December 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm ET

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Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson star in the Metropolitan Opera’s first new production of Jules Massenet’s “Thaïs.” in 30 years. The rarely performed opera opened at the Met on Monday, Dec. 8. It is featured on The Met: Live in HD series that simulcasts the matinee performance. High definition cameras capture this live Met premiere from 11 angles for audiences in more than 440 theatres across the U.S.

Set in Hellenistic Egypt, Thaïs is the story of an ascetic monk, (Hampson), who convinces the beautiful courtesan Thaïs (Fleming) to dedicate her life to God, only to find himself tormented by his attraction to her. Jesús López-Cobos conducts the sensuous and melodic score, with tenor Michael Schade as Thaïs’s lover, Nicias.

All three singers are performing their roles for the first time at the Met. The production originated at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and is directed by John Cox.

Read New York Times article about Thaïs:
“1894 Diva Act Seeks Its Day in 2008” by PETER G. DAVIS

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson