The Met's visually extravagant production returned for its second season. Richard Croft once again is Gandhi in Philip Glass's unforgettable opera, which the Washington Post calls "a profound and beautiful work of theatre."
Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili gives a dynamic performance as Bizet’s iconic gypsy, the woman who lives by her own rules. Aleksandrs Antonenko is Don José, the soldier who falls under her spell, and Ildar Abdrazakov plays Escamillo, the swaggering bullfighter who takes Carmen away from Don José—an action that seals Carmen’s tragic fate. Anita Hartig is Micaëla, and Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Richard Eyre’s hit production, set in 1930s Spain.
Berlioz’s epic masterpiece retells the magnificent saga of the aftermath of the Trojan War and the exploits of Aeneas. Rising tenor Bryan Hymel, in his Met debut, stars as the hero charged by the gods with the founding of the city of Rome. Susan Graham is Dido, Queen of Carthage, who becomes Aeneas’s lover, and Deborah Voigt sings Cassandra, the Trojan princess whose warnings about the impending destruction of Troy go unheeded. Francesca Zambello’s atmospheric production, featuring choreography by Doug Varone, is led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi.
Verdi’s IL TROVATORE again storms the Met stage in a star-studded, anvil-wielding cast , including Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Marcelo Álvarez sings Manrico, the troubadour of the title. The story is well-known already: The gypsy Azucena has harbored a grudge for thirty years, but she is about to have revenge at last. Meanwhile, her son Manrico is in love with Leonora, but so is his arch-enemy, the Count Di Luna. A pot-boiler, where every tune is a hit.
Joyce DiDonato gives a sensational performance as Mary, Queen of Scots, in Donizetti’s bel canto drama, opposite Elza van den Heever as Queen Elizabeth. This Live in HD presentation of David McVicar’s acclaimed 2012 production also stars Matthew Polenzani as Leicester, the man caught between the rival queens. Maurizio Benini conducts.
The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera, 8 December 2012.
Music Director James Levine conducts his first new Met production after a two-year absence: Robert Carsen’s hit staging of Verdi’s great human comedy. Ambrogio Maestri is an ideal Falstaff, leading an extraordinary ensemble cast of veteran and up-and-coming Met stars, including Angela Meade (Alice), Stephanie Blythe (Mistress Quickly), Franco Vasallo (Ford), and Jennifer Johnson Cano (Meg). Lisette Oropesa and Paolo Fanale are the young lovers, Nannetta and Fenton.
The stakes could not be higher as visionary director Robert Lepage, the world's greatest singers, and the Metropolitan Opera tackle Wagner's Ring cycle. An intimate look at the enormous theatrical and musical challenges of staging opera's most monumental work, the film chronicles the quest to fulfill Wagner's dream of a perfect Ring.
New tenor star Vittorio Grigolo takes on the title role in Offenbach’s fantastical opera, giving a tour-de-force performance as the tortured poet unlucky in love. He is joined by a trio of leading ladies: Erin Morley sings the mechanical doll Olympia, Hibla Gerzmava is the fragile Antonia, and Christine Rice sings Giulietta, the Venetian courtesan. Bartlett Sher’s colorful production, seen here in its second Live in HD presentation, also stars Thomas Hampson as the sinister Four Villains and Kate Lindsey as Niklausse, Hoffmann’s friend and muse. Yves Abel conducts.
Live performance Oct. 29, 2011. Fabio Luisi conducting Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Stage director Michael Grandage.
Live performance from the Metropolitan Opera, March 1, 2014.
Renée Fleming stars in the title role of one of Handel’s greatest dramas, seen in Stephen Wadsworth’s 2004 Met premiere production. Rodelinda is faced with an impossible dilemma: With her husband Bertarido believed dead, she either has to marry the despised Grimoaldo (the elegant Joseph Kaiser), who has usurped her husband’s throne, or see him murder her son. But Bertarido (leading countertenor Andreas Scholl) is alive and eventually reclaims both throne and wife—and makes peace with his enemies. Stephanie Blythe is marvelous as Eduige, Bertarido’s sister, who is betrothed to Grimoaldo but turns against him. Baroque authority Harry Bicket conducts.
The Met assembled an ideal cast for François Girard’s acclaimed new production of Wagner’s final masterpiece: Jonas Kaufmann in the title role of the fool “made wise by compassion”, René Pape as Gurnemanz, the veteran Knight of the Grail, Katarina Dalayman as Kundry, Peter Mattei is Amfortas, the anguished ruler of the Grail’s kingdom, and Evgeny Nikitin sings the evil magician Klingsor.
Renée Fleming is Countess Madeleine, the beautiful, enigmatic woman at the center of Strauss’s sophisticated “Conversation Piece for Music.” She is being courted by two men: Joseph Kaiser sings the composer, Flamand, and Russell Braun is Olivier, the poet. The stellar cast also includes Peter Rose as the theater director La Roche, Sarah Connolly as the actress Clairon, and Morten Frank Larsen as the Countess’s brother. John Cox’s elegant production places the action in the 1920s. Andrew Davis conducts.
In Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s towering tragedy, Renée Fleming gives a captivating performance as the innocent Desdemona, a role long considered one of her calling cards. Johan Botha as the title hero delivers an imposing portrayal of a proud warrior brought down by jealousy, and Falk Struckmann is thrilling as the villainous Iago. James Morris sings Lodovico. Elijah Moshinsky’s production is conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles, the title character in Dvořák’s sumptuously melodic Rusalka. The story of the opera, which is about a water spirit’s tragic romance with a human prince, is drawn from several folktale sources including Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Star conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a cast that also includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince whom Rusalka yearns to love; Dolora Zajick as the cackling swamp witch Ježibaba; Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess, Rusalka’s rival; and John Relyea as Rusalka’s father, the Water Sprite.
Luc Bondy’s dramatic production of Puccini’s operatic thriller stars Patricia Racette in the title role of the jealous diva, opposite Roberto Alagna as her lover, Cavaradossi, the painter whose political ideals lead them both into tragedy. George Gagnidze is Scarpia, the villainous chief of police who wants Tosca for himself. Riccardo Frizza leads the Met’s musical forces in this powerful verismo score.
Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann brings aching intensity and vocal charisma to the tortured title hero of Massenet’s Goethe adaptation. Sophie Koch, in her Met debut, is an appealing and elegant Charlotte, the object of Werther’s passionate affection that will lead to tragedy. Lisette Oropesa as Sophie, David Bižić as Albert, and Jonathan Summers as Le Bailli co-star. Richard Eyre’s atmospheric production is conducted by rising maestro Alain Altinoglu.
Star soprano Anna Netrebko scored a triumph in Laurent Pelly’s acclaimed 2012 production, singing the title heroine for the first time at the Met. Manon’s story—from innocent country girl to celebrated courtesan to destitute prisoner—is one of the great tragic tales in literature and music, and this performance brings out all of its colors, as seen through Massenet’s masterful score, from the comedic beginning to the heart-wrenching finale. Piotr Bezcala is des Grieux, Manon’s lover, who decides to become a priest when she leaves him, but ultimately is reunited with her, only to lose her again. Paulo Szot sings Lescaut, and Fabio Luisi conducts the Met Orchestra and Chorus.
Star soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation with her riveting performance as the malevolent Lady Macbeth, the central character in Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She is joined by Željko Lučić, who brings dramatic intensity and vocal authority to the title role of the honest general driven to murder and deceit by his ambitious wife. The great René Pape is Banquo and Joseph Calleja gives a moving performance as Macduff. Adrian Noble’s powerful production provides an ideal setting for this dark drama, which is masterfully presided over by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi.
The Metropolitan Opera and PBS have joined forces to create a new series of live opera performances.