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Cinema Nouveau presents 2014 / 15 Met: Live in HD opera season, including five new productions




“Tchaikovsky’s music for Iolanta is wistful, tremulous and full of yearning, qualities Ms. Netrebko communicates through her bittersweet singing. Yet flashes of vocal intensity, a Netrebko hallmark, come through when Iolanta tells of her increasing confusion. Ms. Michael brings a strong, bright voice and visceral intensity to Judith. There were overwhelming passages in Mr. Gergiev’s account of this astonishing Bartok score, with its Expressionist angst and Debussy-like lushness. He brought out rustic, folkloric elements in the music that seemed fresh.” — The New York Times

The next production in the current Met: Live in HD series to be screened in South Africa, is an exciting double-bill – the first-ever Met performance of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle performed in its original Hungarian. These two operas release on the big screen on Saturday, 21 March, at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas countrywide for limited screenings.

Acclaimed Polish film director Mariusz Treliński makes his highly anticipated Met debut with an exciting new production, inspired by classic noir films of the 1940s, which brings together two rarely performed one-acts: Tchaikovsky’s lyrical fairy tale Iolanta, about the psychological awakening of a blind princess, and Bartók’s harrowing Bluebeard’s Castle, in which newlywed Judith must open seven locked doors to discover the full depths of her husband’s dark secrets. Valery Gergiev conducts the double bill, which is a co-production with Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera.

On the heels of her triumphant Met performances in Eugene Onegin, soprano Anna Netrebko takes on the role of another Tchaikovsky heroine in the first opera of this intriguing double-bill, consisting of an enchanting fairy tale in Iolanta,followed by a psychological thriller, Bluebeard’s Castle.

Netrebko stars as the beautiful blind girl who experiences love for the first time in Iolanta, with Piotr Beczala and Aleksei Markov as Vaudémont and Robert, the two rivals for her love. It also stars Alexei Tanovitski as King René, Iolanta’s father, and Azerbaijani baritone Elchin Azizov in his Met debut as the physician Ibn-Hakia.

Nadja Michael sings the central role of Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, the unwitting victim of the diabolical Bluebeard, her mysterious and menacing new husband, played by Mikhail Petrenko.


In recent years, the heroine Iolanta has become one of Anna Netrebko’s most acclaimed roles, and this season’s Met performances will be her first North American performances of the role. She has sung Iolanta in Baden-Baden, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and in St. Petersburg for the opening of the new Mariinsky Opera House, and this summer will sing the role in London, Lucerne, Copenhagen, and Monte Carlo. Iolanta is Netrebko’s second Tchaikovsky role with the company; she opened the 2013-14 season as Tatiana in his Eugene Onegin. The Russian soprano made her company debut in 2002 as Natasha in the Met premiere of Prokofiev’sWar and Peace and has since sung 15 more roles at the Met, including starring roles in the recent new production premieres of Donizetti’s Anna BolenaDon Pasquale, and L’Elisir d’Amore and Massenet’s Manon. Earlier this season, she made an acclaimed Met role debut as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth.

Polish tenor Piotr Beczala opened the Met’s 2013-14 season as Lenski in Eugene Onegin, opposite Netrebko, and returned last winter to sing the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka. This season marks his first North American performances of Count Tristan Vaudémont, a role he has previously sung at the Salzburg Festival and Baden-Baden Festival. He made his Met debut in 2006 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto and has since sung the title character in Gounod’s Faust; the Chevalier des Grieux in the new production premiere of Manon; Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor; Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème; and Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

Aleksei Markov has previously sung the role of Robert at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and the Teatro Real in Madrid.  He made his Met debut as Andrei Bolkonsky in Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 2007 and has since returned to the house as Marcello inLa Bohème, Valentin in Faust, Tomsky in Tchaikovksy’s Queen of Spades, di Luna in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and Shchelkalov in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov.  Markov currently sings Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata and later this spring will sing Count Anckarström in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera.

Russian bass Alexei Tanovitski has previously sung the role of René at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. He made his Met debut as Frate in Don Carlo in 2010 and sang Gremin in the new production premiere of Eugene Onegin last season opposite Netrebko and Beczala. He has recently sung Ivan Khovansky in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchinaat the Mariinsky Theatre and Ramfis in Verdi’s Aida at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.

Elchin Azizov has previously sung the role of Ibn-Hakia at the Theatre an der Wien and the Bolshoi Theatre, where he is a resident artist. He has recently sung a number of roles with the Bolshoi, including Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, the title role in Borodin’s Prince Igor, Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen, and Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo. Earlier this season he made his debut with the Montreal Opera in the title role of Verdi’s Nabucco.

Bluebeard’s Castle

Nadja Michael has previously sung the role of Judith at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. The German soprano made her Met debut as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in 2012. One of her best-known roles is Strauss’s Salome, which she has sung in leading opera houses around the world, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; San Francisco Opera; and La Scala.  This season she has also sung Emilia Marty in Janácek’s The Makropulos Affair at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Salome in São Paulo, and a concert with the Polish National Opera.

Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko made his Met debut in the 2002 company premiere of War and Peace, singing the roles of Marshal Davout, Bolkonsky’s Valet, and Tikhon. His other roles with the company have included Prince Galitsky in last season’s new production premiere of Prince Igor, Pistola in Verdi’s Falstaff, Hunding in Wagner’s Die Walküre, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, and Pimen in the new production premiere of Boris Godunov.

Valery Gergiev has conducted more than 100 Met performances in a varied repertory, including the company premieres of Prokofiev’s The Gambler and War and Peace; Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa; and Shostakovich’s The Nose. He made his Met debut in 1994 leading a new production of Verdi’s Otello and also conducted new production premieres of The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin, Salome, and Boris Godunov. Gergiev is the general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, the artistic director of St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival, and the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Mariusz Treliński, artistic director of Warsaw’s Polish National Opera, makes his Met debut this season with this new production. The Polish film, theater, and opera director made his opera debut in 1999 with an acclaimed production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Polish National Opera and has since directed at the Mariinsky Theatre, Welsh National Opera, the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and Teatro Comunale in Bologna.

“Both operas are fairy tales with a tint of fantasy, and such stories usually have a deeper level,” says director Treliński. “The thing that fascinated me about these stories was that both looked at the situation of women in the shadow of a very strong, dominant male figure.”

In the case of Iolantathis dynamic is represented by the mythical King René, who keeps his beautiful blind daughter under lock and key, sheltering her so completely from the outside world that she remains unaware that she suffers from blindness, the concept of sight never having been explained to her. In Bluebeard’s Castlethe heroine, Judith, seeks out the mysterious Bluebeard, willfully entering into a charged relationship with a man who may or may not be a murderer. The outcomes of each story are markedly different.

Iolanta ends with the girl freeing herself from her possessive father. She experiences great love with her prince—it’s a classic happy ending,” Treliński explains. “In Bluebeard’s Castlethe situation is exactly the opposite. Judith abandons her family, her fiancé, her peaceful existence to come to a suspicious, deadly place. Why would one give up all that is dear and beautiful to enter into such a strange relationship with such a dark figure? What kind of force pushes us to such a confrontation? For me, it is about the intricacies of human sexuality.”

Thrillingly staged by Mariusz Trelinski… [he] and his chief designers — Boris Kudlicka (sets) and Bartek Macias (video) — float free from the plot into a poetic realm infused with feeling, menace, magic. Both operas make poetic use of video in a way I’ve rarely seen on the opera stage. And both had superlative casts. Netrebko’s blooming soprano and dignity — even in a billowy white nightgown — humanized the princess. Piotr Beczala’s tenor gleamed as Vaudemont, who lights up her life.” — Bloomberg

The 14 February matinee performance of the opera was filmed for transmission into cinemas worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 2 000 movie theatres in 70 countries around the world.

The exclusive intermission interviews, hosted by Joyce DiDonato, include:

  • Live backstage interview with star soprano Anna Netrebko about singing the title role in the Met’s premiere performances ofIolanta;
  • Met General Manager Peter Gelb leads a discussion between acclaimed Polish film and opera director Mariusz Trelinski and the stars of Bluebeard’s Castle; and
  • A preview of the next transmission in the series, La Donna del Lago (releases in SA on 11 April), including an interview with tenor Juan Diego Flórez.

Each of The Met: Live in HD operas is a glorious production that will be screened exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, including: Gateway Nouveau, Durban; V&A Waterfront Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Blue Route in Cape Town; Ster-Kinekor Garden Route in George; Rosebank Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Bedford View in Johannesburg; and at Brooklyn Nouveau, Pretoria.

The double-bill of Iolanta / Bluebeard’s Castle releases on Saturday, 21 March for limited screenings till 02 April. The running time of this production is approx. 3hrs 39mins, with one intermission between the two operas.

For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit or, You can also download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to make bookings. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For queries, call Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).

Watch the trailer here:

Hi-res images can be downloaded at: 

The Met: Live in HD, the Met’s award-winning series of live transmissions to movie theaters around the world, has expanded its worldwide distribution to more than 2 000 theatres in 70 countries this season, the largest global audience the initiative has ever reached.  The series has sold more than 17 million tickets since its inception in 2006. Their release onto the big screen affords South African lovers of opera the unique opportunity to become part of the ‘live’ audience to appreciate these breathtaking performances.

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Review: Movies @ Suncoast – Deadpool 2



If you are a lover of Durban and you hear of the word ‘Suncoast’, you would automatically be thinking: Casino and Entertainment World – well, if it was only ‘Casino’… then good job!

BUT it’s not all about the casino or the restaurants… it’s also about the movies, which brings us to the point of this post where we review Deadpool 2 at Suncoast’s Cinecentre.

FUN FACT: Cinecentre is part of the Avalon Group which is South Africa’s largest and oldest independent Cinema Exhibition and Entertainment Company – they have been a pioneer of importing Bollywood movies to South Africa for over 70 years.


DP 2’s elaborate anti-marketing campaign has been simply brilliant by bashing popular pop-culture while also making fun of itself.  Ryan Reynolds, who plays both DP and Juggernaut, has once again pulled out all the stops to
deliver an entertaining and hysterically funny anti-hero flick that will appeal to all DP 1 fans.

Storyline: This blockbuster brings together X-Force, Bill Skarsgard, Terry Crews and Brad Pitt (who’s out of sight), a team of misfit hero’s on a mission to save a troubled mutant boy (Russell “Rusty” Collins) from a time traveling cyborg (Cable), played by Josh Brolin, who lugs around a beast of a gun and other advanced weaponry. But it doesn’t end as you may think.

The movies ability to break down the fourth wall without skipping a beat is what makes this film special. This brilliant idea that DP knows he is a fictional character living in a comic book universe could even be expanded upon in future installments, and hopefully it will be. All DP’s literal back breaking and head splitting weirdness mixed with a kind of super consciousness of his own reality should keep all die hard comic book movie fans coming back time and again.

Expect some rib-tickling one-liners, plenty of trash talking and loads of action. DP 2 scores and solid 8 out of 10, so book your tickets now at CINECENTRE!

Suncost Casino and Entertainment World

Centrally located at the northern end of Durban‘s Golden Mile, Suncoast is always a hub of activity. Not only a great spot to visit if you are a local but for tourists to our beautiful city as well. Currently under construction, we found that parking was a mission and running across the lot in the rain not very pleasant, but this is our only negative about our Suncoast experience. On a good note, a little birdie says that part of the new building will be undercover parking – which we think is fantastic!

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Granada Square outdoor movie night this April 30th




Looking for some fun family bonding time, or a romantic couple’s night out? Then a night under the stars with popcorn in hand and a popular family movie is just the event for you!

Granada Square will be hosting its very first outdoor movie night on Monday, 30th April, 2018 at 18h30 – the day before the public holiday!

Take your blankets and cushions along, unwind and enjoy the comedy drama, We Bought a Zoo (2011).

This American family comedy-drama follows the story of a widowed father (Matt Damon) who decides to start a new life with his two children. He buys a house that is home to a struggling zoo in need of renovation and together with the current staff, they take on the challenge of restoring the zoo to its former glory and reopening to the public

Book now through web tickets at a cost of R50 for adults and R25 for children under 12. Under 3’s are free.
Popcorn will be included in the ticket price.
Tickets are limited, so book now!

Movie goers to please note that this event is weather dependent. In the case of rain, a new date will be scheduled.

For more information visit

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REVIEW: Tomb Raider at Suncoast’s Cine Centre



There’s just something so electric about going to the movies at Suncoast Casino. With all the lights and vibrant shops & restaurants, you’re immediately transported to a magical place that can only be felt in reality!

We were recently invited to experience the new Tomb Raider movie at Suncoast Casino, and boy were we in for a treat!

Arriving at Suncoast, we made our way to the food court to grab a bite before the movie. Even though there were renovations taking place, it didn’t dampen the atmosphere as Suncoast was still jam-packed full of families and couples alike.

After our quick dinner for two, we headed towards the CincCentre to finally watch the movie I had been dying to watch, Tomb Raider! As a little girl, I grew up playing the Tomb Raider games, and of course, was beyond excited to watch the all new take on the movie franchise.

We queued for our popcorn & drinks which was a breeze.
I loved how Suncoast’s CineCentre give you extra packets of popcorn spice in case you needed it later on in the movie!

After making our way to our seats, we were ready and excited for the movie to begin. Our movie was in 3D and we came prepared, with pre-purchased 3D glasses from a previous movie. So if you’re buying a pair, be sure to keep it somewhere safe for the next time!

My take on the Tomb Raider movie?

I thought it was an incredible, fresh new take on the franchise and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Check out the trailer:

Book your next Suncoast movie here

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