SAMSON ET DALILA : Saint-Saens
Elder; Garanca, Alagna, Naouri, Azizov, Belosselskiy
OAD SID.18390106 / Encore SID.19200535
SUMMER ENCORE – Opening Night of 2018-2019 Season
When mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and tenor Roberto Alagna joined forces for a new production of Carmen at the Met, the results were electrifying. Now this star duo reunites for another sensual French opera when they open the season in the title roles of Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic Samson et Dalila. Darko Tresnjak, who won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical in 2014 for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, makes his Met debut directing a vivid, seductive staging, featuring a monumental setting for the last-act Temple of Dagon, where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies. Sir Mark Elder conducts the first new Met production of the work in 20 years.
Production a gift of the Gramma Fisher Foundation, Marshalltown, Iowa, and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, PhD. and Oscar Tang
Additional funding from The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Endowment Fund and William R. Miller”
Original Air Date: 09/25/2018
Gaffigan; Car, Blue, Grigolo, Dupuis, Luciano, Rose, Maxwell
Puccini’s timeless masterpiece of love and loss features two casts of young stars. Sopranos Nicole Car (in her highly anticipated Met debut) and Ailyn Pérez share the role of the ill-fated Mimì, opposite tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Michael Fabiano as the ardent poet Rodolfo. After a celebrated Met debut as Mimì in 2017, Angel Blue returns as the spitfire Musetta, and Etienne Dupuis (in his Met debut) and Lucas Meachem share the role of Marcello. James Gaffigan conducts.
Original Air Date: 11/08/2018
Rizzi; Meade, Fabiano, Van Horn, Check
The spectacular Robert Carsen production returns to the Met for the first time since 2000, with bass-baritone Christian Van Horn as the diabolical title character, tenor Michael Fabiano as Faust, and soprano Angela Meade as Margherita. Mefistofele is the celebrated and only completed opera by Arrigo Boito—who famously collaborated with Verdi on the libretti for Otello and Falstaff. Production co-owned by the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera; Production a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Julian H. Robertson, Jr. and Mrs. and Mrs. Wilmer J. Thomas, Jr.; Additional funding by the Rose and Robert Edelman Foundation, Inc.
Original Air Date: 10/25/2018
Rizzi; Radvanovsky, Calleja, Koch, Carfizzi
Met favorite Sondra Radvanovsky and rising star Jennifer Rowley share the title role of the volatile diva at the heart of Puccini’s operatic thriller. Joseph Calleja brings his stylish tenor to the role of Cavaradossi, and Wolfgang Koch and Claudio Sgura share the role of the nefarious police chief Scarpia. Carlo Rizzi conducts Sir David McVicar’s resplendent production. Production a gift of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr; The Paiko Foundation; and Dr. Elena Prokupets, in memory of her late husband, Rudy Prokupets Major funding from Rolex Revival a gift of NPD Group, Inc.
Original Air Date: 12/15/2018
Nézet-Séguin; Damrau, Flórez, Kelsey
Live in HD SID.19240535
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Michael Mayer’s richly textured new production, featuring a dazzling 19th-century setting that changes with the seasons. Soprano Diana Damrau plays the tragic heroine, Violetta, and tenor Juan Diego Flórez returns to the Met for the first time since 2015 to sing the role of Alfredo, Violetta’s hapless lover. Baritone Quinn Kelsey is Alfredo’s father, Germont, who destroys their love. Later performances feature Anita Hartig, Stephen Costello, Artur Ruciński, and Plácido Domingo.
REVIEW: The Met Turns the Tragedy of ‘Traviata’ Into Dull Disney Schmaltz By James Jorden • 12/05/18 – Well, you have to give the Met credit for accomplishing a feat no other opera company in the world could—or should. At Tuesday’s gala new production of La Traviata, the company managed to downgrade Verdi’s masterpiece of musical drama to a kitschy Disney musical. The prime culprit in this act of artistic vandalism is director Michael Mayer, who seems to have no handle at all on this classic tale of a courtesan inspired by true love to make the most profound sacrifice. In the great duet in the second act, for example, when the penitent Violetta confronts Germont, the morally outraged father of her lover, the singers circled listlessly around a bed that hogged center stage through all three acts. observer.com/2018/12/the-met-la-traviata-opera-tragedy-disney-schmaltz/
Review: ‘La Traviata’ Opens a New Era at the Met Opera By Anthony Tommasini Dec. 5, 2018 ….”To begin his tenure as the company’s music director, Mr. Nézet-Séguin led an uncommonly fine rendition of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” in a new staging by Michael Mayer that stars the soprano Diana Damrau and the tenor Juan Diego Flórez. And in a rare gesture of respect and good will, the Met’s musicians joined Mr. Nézet-Séguin on stage for a bow after the show.
Original Air Date: 12/08/2018
de Billy; Wagner, Blythe, Álvarez, Gagnidze, Muraro, Opolais, McKay, Blythe, Mkhitaryan, Blythe, Ayan, Domingo, Muraro
MOD Audio SID.19250535
Original Air Date: 11/10/2018
Spano; Leonard, Kelly, Graves, Davies, Maltman
Live in HDMOD Video SID.19260535
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST:Puccini
Original Air Date: 10/04/2018
Armiliato; Westbroek, Eyvazov, Bosi, Lucic, Simpson, Rose, Gradus
Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings Puccini’s gun-slinging heroine in this romantic epic of the Wild West, with the heralded return of tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the role of the outlaw she loves. Tenor Yusif Eyvazov also sings some performances. Baritone Željko Lučić is the vigilante sheriff Jack Rance, and Marco Armiliato conducts.
Original Air Date: 12/31/2018
Noseda; Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Beczala, Bosi, Maestri, Muraro
Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role. Drama Queen (Article by William Berger) On New Year’s Eve, Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur returns to the Met with soprano Anna Netrebko in the touchstone title role. She teams up with tenor Piotr Beczała as her lover, Maurizio—a brilliant pairing of stars fresh off a joint triumph in performances of Adriana in Vienna. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili rounds out the all-star principal trio, and maestro Gianandrea Noseda is on the podium. Sir David McVicar’s new staging—the Met’s first new production of the work in more than half a century—embraces Cilea’s glamorous 18th-century Parisian setting but also mines for deeper artistic significance in an opera that is often underestimated. (William Berger) Co-Production of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Wiener Staatsoper; San Francisco Opera; and L’Opéra National de Paris Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund
PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE:Debussy
Original Air Date: 01/19/2019
Nézet-Séguin; Leonard, Lemieux, Appleby, Ketelsen, Furlanetto
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, conducts five performance of Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy’s mysterious meditation on love and betrayal, January 15–31, 2019. The classic production by Sir Jonathan Miller returns to the Met for the first time since the 2010–11 season, and the cast features three young Met stars at the heart of a passionate love triangle: Isabel Leonard as Mélisande, Paul Appleby as Pelléas, and Kyle Ketelsen as Golaud. Ferruccio Furlanetto sings the role of Arkel and Marie-Nicole Lemieux makes her Met debut as Geneviève. Derrick Inouye conducts the January 31 performance.
Original Air Date: 01/17/2019
Langrée; Phillips, Margaine, Alagna, Simpson
Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera’s ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenors Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Omer Meir Wellber and Louis Langrée share conducting duties for Sir Richard Eyre’s powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere.
IOLANTA / BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE:Tchaikovsky/Bartók
Original Air Date: 02/09/2019
Nanasi; Yoncheva, Polenzani, Markov, Azizov, Kowaljow, Denoke, Finley
Mariusz Treliński’s haunting production of the pairing of Tchaikovsky’s and Bartók’s one-act operas makes its first return to the stage since its Met premiere in the 2014–15 season. Soprano Sonya Yoncheva—following her triumphant 2017–18 performances as Tosca—is the blind princess, Iolanta, who discovers love for the first time, opposite tenor Matthew Polenzani as the dashing knight Vaudémont. In Bartók’s chilling Bluebeard’s Castle, baritone Gerald Finley is the menacing Bluebeard, and soprano Angela Denoke is his initially unsuspecting new wife. Henrik Nánási conducts. Co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera Production a gift of Ambassador and Mrs. Nicholas F. Taubman; Additional funding from Mrs. Veronica Atkins; Dr. Magdalena Berenyi, in memory of Dr. Kalman Berenyi; and the National Endowment for the Arts
LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT:Donizetti
Original Air Date: 03/02/2019
Mazzola; Yende, Blythe, Camarena, Corbelli, Muraro
Live in HD SID.19359996
Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis … Pour mon âme,” with its nine high Cs. Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trade off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. And in an exciting piece of casting, stage and screen icon Kathleen Turner makes her Met debut in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Enrique Mazzola conducts. A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna
Original Air Date: 03/16/2019
Farnes; Schultz, Pérez, Lemieux, Johnson Cano, Demuro, Maestri, Rodríguez
Baritone Ambrogio Maestri brings his larger-than-life portrayal of the title role back for the first time since his Met role debut in the 2013–14 season. Robert Carsen’s insightful production—which moves the action to postwar England in the 1950s—features an exceptional cast that includes soprano Ailyn Pérez as Alice Ford and soprano Golda Schultz as Nannetta.
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO:Mozart
Original Air Date: 04/20/2019
Koenigs; Fang, van den Heever, DiDonato, Murrihy, Polenzani, Van Horn
Mozart’s opera of ancient Rome, La Clemenza di Tito, returned to the Met starring Matthew Polenzani in the title role of the Roman emperor Tito, with Elza van den Heeveras the vengeful Vitellia, who plots his assassination. Joyce DiDonato sings the trouser role of Sesto, Tito’s most devoted friend, who is also in love with Vitellia. The trio of leading artists is reunited at the Met after their acclaimed performances together in the company’s new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda in 2013. Emily D’Angelo and Ying Fang sing the roles of thelovers Annio and Servilia, Sesto’s friend and sister, respectively, andChristian Van Horn portrays the captain of the Praetorian Guard, Publio. Lothar Koenigs conducts all six performances of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s 1984 staging, which ran March 30 through April 20, 2019.
Original Air Date: 10/02/2018
Luisotti; Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Antonenko, Kelsey, Belosselskiy, Green
In what should be a highlight of the new season, soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, going toe-to-toe with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Later in the season, a second star-studded cast takes over, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Dolora Zajick as the leading ladies.Tenors Aleksandrs Antonenko and Yonghoon Lee alternate as Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti and Plácido Domingo take the podium for the Met’s monumental production. Production a gift of Mrs. Donald D. Harrington Revival a gift of Viking Cruises
Original Air Date: 01/12/2019
Noseda; Netrebko, Rachvelishvili, Beczala, Bosi, Maestri, Muraro
Live in HD SID.19369991
Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role. Drama Queen (Article by William Berger) “On New Year’s Eve, Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur returns to the Met with soprano Anna Netrebko in the touchstone title role. She teams up with tenor Piotr Beczała as her lover, Maurizio—a brilliant pairing of stars fresh off a joint triumph in performances of Adriana in Vienna. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili rounds out the all-star principal trio, and maestro Gianandrea Noseda is on the podium. Sir David McVicar’s new staging—the Met’s first new production of the work in more than half a century—embraces Cilea’s glamorous 18th-century Parisian setting but also mines for deeper artistic significance in an opera that is often underestimated.” (William Berger) Co-Production of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Wiener Staatsoper; San Francisco Opera; and L’Opéra National de Paris Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund
Original Air Date: 05/01/2019
Luisotti; Feola, Zaharia, Hymel, Gagnidze, Ivashchenko
Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo, Francesco Demuro, Matthew Polenzani, and Stephen Costello share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.
DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES:Poulenc
Original Air Date: 05/11/2019
Nézet-Séguin; Leonard, Pieczonka, Morley, Cargill, Mattila, Portillo, Croft
Live in HD SID.19370535
Original Air Date: 03/14/2019
Jordan; Harmer, Barton, Cargill, Ernst, Siegel, Grimsley, Konieczny, Groissböck, Belosselskiy
Wagner’s visionary initial installment of the Ring Cycle depicts the original sin of the theft of the sacred golden treasure, the vanity of the gods, the greed of the Nibelungen, the fratricide of the giants, and the building of Valhalla. Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley and baritone Michael Volle share the role of Wotan, the conflicted lord of the gods. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton sings her first Wagner role at the Met as Wotan’s embattled wife, Fricka. In collaboration with Ex Machina
Original Air Date: 03/30/2019
Jordan; Goerke, Westbroek, Barton, Skelton, Grimsley, Groissböck
Live in HD SID.19380534
In what is expected to be a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke, in her MET role debut, plays Brünnhilde, Wotan’s willful warrior daughter, who loses her immortality in opera’s most famous act of filial defiance. Tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek play the incestuous twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. Greer Grimsley sings Wotan. Philippe Jordan conducts.
Original Air Date: 04/13/2019
Jordan; Goerke, Morley, Cargill, Vinke, Siegel, Volle, Konieczny, Belosselskiy
Review: In the Met’s ‘Siegfried,’ Singers Transcend the Staging – By Joshua Barone April 14, 2019
Pity the opera directors who decide to stage Wagner’s “Ring” — for in doing so they have to figure out what to do with “Siegfried.” The third installment of Wagner’s epic, which returned to the Metropolitan Opera in Robert Lepage’s tech-happy production on Saturday, has tripped up even the smartest of “Ring” directors. Blame the source material: a title role both tedious and impractically difficult; a repetitive libretto sitting somewhere between coming-of-age adventure and dark comedy; a singing dragon. Mr. Lepage’s staging doesn’t do much to help the problems baked into “Siegfried,” a weak spot of the “Ring” that lacks the breakneck pace of “Das Rheingold,” the heart-rending humanity of “Die Walküre” or the textbook-perfect tragedy of “Götterdämmerung.” What it does help, however, is the problem of the 45-ton machine so central to his production as its primary set piece. Instead of relying on the unreliable behemoth to be as kinetic as in the earlier “Ring” operas, Mr. Lepage here treats the machine as more of a canvas for Pedro Pires’s impressive projections. Three-dimensional, interactive videos create the illusion of leaves rustling beneath Siegfried’s feet, of a pond’s surface being truly reflective.
But good singers can lift a subpar staging. In this “Siegfried,” they transcend it. Stefan Vinke is making his Met debut in the titular heldentenor role, armed with insouciant high notes and a bright smile. His heroism occasionally veers into howling, and the strain in his voice doesn’t always befit a boyish naïf who knows no fear. (He shares the run with Andreas Schager, who is capable of breezing through the role’s most challenging passages with the shocking ease of Siegfried wrangling a bear.) But Mr. Vinke is a pleasure to watch; he leans into the opera’s comedy — and his character’s ignorance, which often comes off as idiocy. As the scheming Mime, who takes in the orphaned Siegfried in the hope of using the boy’s strength to gain the ring, Gerhard Siegel infused his tenor with venom. Mime’s brother, Alberich, who in “Das Rheingold” commits the original sin of the “Ring,” only returns in “Siegfried” for brief moments in Act II. But those scenes were among the most memorable on Saturday. That’s because Alberich is sung by Tomasz Konieczny, who is also making his Met debut and continues to stand out even among extraordinary colleagues. His resonant bass ricochets off the planks of the machine as he imbues Alberich with dignified authority. His confrontation with Wotan — presented in “Siegfried” as the Wanderer, dressed like a Gandalf of the Wild West and performed by Michael Volle — is a high point of the opera. Or, rather, low: They are both booming basses, equally mighty in a way that illustrates, with only music, how alike these antipodal characters may be.
If women seem absent, it’s because there are so few: the whistle-high Erin Morley as the Woodbird; the solemn Karen Cargill as Erda; and, of course, the fiery soprano Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde. It’s remarkable that anyone in this cast was singing so well in a matinee that began at 11:30 a.m. But Ms. Goerke also had to feign sleep onstage for nearly 20 minutes before letting out a resounding “Heil dir, Sonne!” that penetrated through swelling fortes in the orchestra, crisp and controlled under the baton of Philippe Jordan. Ms. Goerke’s vigor only grew in a crescendo toward all-out majesty in the final scene, a courtship with Mr. Vinke that ended with their leaping into love and matching high C’s. For this climax of old-fashioned operatic thrills, they weren’t even standing on the machine — as if they existed outside Mr. Lepage’s production entirely. @NYTimes
Jordan; Goerke, Haller, Schuster, Schager, Nikitin, Konieczny, Owens
Original Air Date: 04/27/2019 SID.19380746
The opening night performance in the conclusion of the 2019 revival of the LePage RING CYCLE.
NYTimes Review (Tommasini) – In a role that can easily make Siegfried seem like some rowdy, clueless, clunky youth, he conveyed genuine romantic longing for Brünnhilde (the soprano Christine Goerke at her best). And during the long stretch of the story at the hall of powerful Gibichung family, when Siegfried — under the spell of a potion that makes him forget Brünnhilde and fall for Gutrune (the gleaming soprano Edith Haller, in her Met debut) — Mr. Schager’s vulnerable Siegfried often seems poignantly confused, with flashes of memory when he appears to know something is not right. Until a dream-come-true Siegfried arrives, Mr. Schager will do just fine. Jacqueline Woodson Transformed Children’s Literature. Now She’s Writing for Herself. The bass-baritone Eric Owens made a prideful, calculating and vocally formidable Hagen. And, once again, the conductor Philippe Jordan is proving the hero of the Met’s “Ring.” He led an inexorably unfolding and incisive account of the score, drawing velvety string sound and blazing yet never blaring crescendos from the Met Orchestra, which has seldom sounded finer. Ms. Goerke was magnificent. With unfailing energy, fearless abandon and gleaming sound, she was a mesmerizing Brünnhilde. She caught all the mood shifts of this volatile character, one moment coming across like a smitten young lover, the next a betrayed and embittered woman, a former Valkyrie warrior who by the end, in a self-immolating act of transcendence, brings down the entire edifice of the gods.