“The Met: Live in HD,” the Metropolitan Opera’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions into movie theaters around the world, will expand in its fifth season to 1500 theaters, while adding Egypt, Portugal, and Spain to its network of now 46 participating countries.

The new season also will feature 12 live transmissions, the most so far in a single season. It will begin Saturday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. with the Met’s new production of “Das Rheingold,” directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by James Levine. Tickets are on sale for the series at its Midcoast venue, the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

“Our live transmissions have made grand opera more accessible and popular,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager and executive producer of the live transmissions. Gelb recently spoke at the Strand, hosted by the Farnsworth Art Museum.

“They have helped to make it possible for opera to continue to flourish in a difficult economic time,” said Gelb.

“The Met: Live in HD” uses on-screen subtitles for all transmissions, in seven languages including English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. All 12 high-definition productions will be shown live worldwide on Saturdays through May 14, with some venues, including the Strand, showing encore performances.

Season tickets to “The Met: Live in HD” transmissions at the Strand Theatre are $297, and individual seats are $27. Encore performances will take place Tuesdays at 1 p.m., 10 days after the live performance. Encore tickets are $23, general admission. For More information on “The Met Live in HD” at the Strand Theatre or to purchase tickets, call the box office, 594-0070, weekdays between noon and 4 p.m. or visit rocklandstrand.com.

The season will open with the new production of “Das Rheingold,” the first of the season’s two installments of Wagner’s epic “Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs)” starring Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in his first American appearance as Wotan. The production features Stephanie Blythe and Eric Owens in other leading roles. The Ring’s second installment, “Die Walküre,” will close season on May 14 with Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde and Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund, both in Met role debuts.

In addition to “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walküre,” the upcoming season of “Live in HD” features four other new productions: Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” (Oct. 23) starring René Pape, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and conducted by Valery Gergiev; Verdi’s “Don Carlo” (Dec. 11) with Roberto Alagna in the title role, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Nicholas Hytner; John Adams’s “Nixon in China” (Feb. 12), with Adams conducting his own work, directed by Peter Sellars and starring James Maddalena as Nixon; and Bartlett Sher’s new production of Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory” (April 9), starring Juan Diego Flórez and conducted by Maurizio Benini.

Maestro Levine will conduct two other revivals in the series: Donizetti’s comedy “Don Pasquale” (Nov. 13) starring Anna Netrebko as Norina; and Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” (April 30), with Sondra Radvanovsky and Marcelo Álvarez. Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” (Jan. 8), starring Deborah Voigt in the title role, Marcello Giordani as Dick Johnson and conducted by Nicola Luisotti, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opera’s world premiere at the Met.

“The Met: Live in HD” series also includes three of the world’s best-known singers in highly acclaimed roles from recent seasons: Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo in Gluck’s “Iphigénie en Tauride” (Feb. 26); Natalie Dessay as the mad heroine in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” (March 19); and Renée Fleming as the Countess in Strauss’s “Capriccio,” adding a new role to her Met repertory (April 23). Patrick Summers conducts both “Iphigénie en Tauride” and “Lucia di Lammermoor,” and Andrew Davis leads “Capriccio.”

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.