Around France

Opera Night in Uzès: Il Trovatore

Night at the Opera in Uzès

If you’ve attended an HD production of the Metropolitan Opera in your local theatre, you know how good it is. You have the best seats to hear and see the performance without paying the big bucks to be in Lincoln Center. If you live in or visit another country with an HD opera production, there’s another dimension to the experience. Join me for the opera in Uzès.

Opera in Uzès

This weekend “Il Trovatore” played at the Cinema in Uzes. It was the second opera I’ve seen here. Last year, when Mon Fils was visiting, we saw “Carmen.” I missed him!

il trovadore


Anna Netrebko, the heroine Leonora who sacrifices her life for the love of the troubadour, was superb, as was Yonghoon Lee, who played the role of Manrico.

2015-10-05_14-22-57But it was Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna who won our hearts. Before the beginning of the Met season, Hvorostovsky announced he had a brain tumor. He was never expected to perform again. Despite the seriousness of his illness, he was on stage for a most magnificent portrayal of the Count. The closeups of his face, which cameras the HD audience captured, showed he knew millions of viewers were watching. For a few seconds, he seemed to step out of his role to acknowledge the loud applause from the live viewers at the Met. You didn’t have to be there in person to feel the love and admiration.

The other dimension

The night’s experience for those attending in New York may have been wonderful; however, it couldn’t have been as interesting as in Uzès. The funky, retro cinema was packed with enthusiastic opera lovers and lots of champagne!



It is France! 

Like last year, it seemed a bit bizarre.  An Italian opera performed live in New York, broadcast live at a cinema in Uzes — with French subtitles —

Serving sushi!

Sushi at the Cinema in Uzes

Here’s a review of last year’s performance of “Carmen” and more views of the Uzès movie house.


The opera and cast of Carmen

When last I heard music from “Carmen” I was in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Carolina Master Choral of the Grand Strand, as a fund-raiser, hosted a professional opera singer who performed a few of the most famous arias.

This “live” version of “Carmen,”  in HD from the Met,  was broadcast in the only cinema in Uzes. As I watched the performance, I remembered other times when I heard the music from “Carmen.” I also thought of the millions of people worldwide attending the HD event and me at their local theaters. Isn’t technology amazing!??

People who have seen an HD version of the Met operas have said how wonderful it is. Now that I’ve been to one myself, I have to agree. It’s the next best thing to sit in Lincoln Center.


The Cinema in Uzes

The only theater in Uzès is on a narrow street that runs into the town’s main “rue”. From the outside, the building looks like a theater straight out of a Woody Allen film.

Cinema in Uzes, France

The inside isn’t much different.

 Except at this cinema are “do-it-yourself” popcorn machines and bizarre candy machines.

Popcorn maker for

Popcorn maker for “vanilla” flavored popcorn and another machine for “salted” popcorn.


Candy machine at Cinema in Uzes


Most interesting is that you can order a meal served during intermission.


Cinema - goers enjoying a meal at intermission of Carmen

Cinema-goers enjoying a meal at intermission of Carmen

The menu

Cheese and fruit plate

Cheese and fruit plate


Serving up soup and salad

Serving up soup and salad

Wine, beer, champagne, and other drinks of your liking, of course.

The cinema bar

The cinema bar

Love Carmen! Love the Cinema!

The Met performance of “Carmen” was a unique experience. Now that I know that meals and drinks are available for most nightly theater shows, I know I’ll be back! If you’re in Uzès, the Cinema is a place to check out. There are several films with English subtitles each week. Or, if you’re trying to learn French, going to a show with French subtitles is an interesting way to practice reading the language.



4 replies »

  1. I love the Met in HD productions….and I thought this one was wonderful. Brilliant concept…if the people won’t come to the Met, the Met will come to the people!

    I’ve been to the Met a couple of times and it is a thrill…just being there as much as the performance. I love when the HD starts off with the audience getting settled…adds to the feeling of being there.

    • It really does feel almost like being there, Paula. And how lucky we are that we can enjoy the Met all the way in Uzes. Hoping that I can make more of the performances this year. Thanks for the note!

  2. Deborah you have captured the essence of the Opera experience in the theater of Uzes. It is so wonderful to be up close and see the facial expressions and then at intermission to get the performers to tell about their work and this performance make going to the live opera seem a distant reality with this form of presentation. As usual the pictures of the performance and the food as well as the town area were expressed perfectly–GREAT JOB!!

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