With the current season of The Met continuing until May 12 and its last 2011-12 “Live in HD” telecast April 14, general manager Peter Gelb is already finished planning for the year ahead, and has announced the 2012-13 season. At the same time he announced the schedule of transmissions for next season, which include two premieres, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (January 19, 2013) and Thomas Adès The Tempest on (November 10, 2012). A rundown of all the new productions and premieres, casts, conductor and creative teams follows at the end of this report.
Remaining in the 2011-12 Season of Live in HD Telecasts are:
Manon (April 7, 2012)
La Traviata (April 14, 2012
There are twelve Live in HD offerings for 2012-13.
L’Elisir d’Amore (October 13, 2012)
Otello (October 27,2012)
The Tempest (November 10, 2012)
La Clemenza di Tito (December 1, 2012)
Un Ballo in Maschera (December 8, 2012)
Aida (December 15, 2012)
Les Troyens (January 5, 2013)
Maria Stuarda (January 19, 2013)
Rigoletto (February 16, 2013)
Parsifal (March 2, 2013)
Francesca da Rimini (March 16, 2013)
Giulio Cesare (April 27, 2013)
Looking forward to The Met: Live in HD 2012-13
The enormously successful Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series of live transmissions into movie theaters, which enters its seventh season in 2012-13, currently reaches more than 1,700 theaters in 54 countries. In the Berkshires they may be viewed at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, the Beacon Cinemas in Pittsfield and at the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown.
The Met launched its groundbreaking series in 2006 and quickly became the world’s leading alternative cinema content provider. More than 9.6 million tickets have been sold since the series’ inception. Close to 3 million tickets are expected to be sold in the current season alone.
31 Operas to be staged in coming year, 12 to be telecast
The 2012-13 telecasts offer a microcosm of the entire Met season. Overall, the Met’s Season has 21 Revivals, and 7 New Productions of which 2 are premieres. For Wagner’s bicentennial, the Met presents a new Parsifal, directed by François Girard and conducted by Daniele Gatti, and three complete Ring cycles conducted by Fabio Luisi.
You will notice an abundance of works by Verdi and Wagner, popular composers to begin with, but they are even more strongly represented, in celebration of their 200th birthdays. Their classic works showcase the world’s greatest singers, conductors, and directors. Then there are also seven new productions—two of them Met premieres—and 21 revivals, including three complete Ring cycles.
Twelve of the season’s Saturday matinees will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s increasingly popular, award-winning Live in HD series.
In chronological order, the new productions begin on September 24, opening night of the season, with a staging of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher, conducted by Maurizio Benini, and starring Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani. L’Elisir d’Amore will be Netrebko’s second consecutive Met opening night, following last September’s Anna Bolena.
The Tempest Premieres
On October 23, Thomas Adès will conduct the Met premiere of his opera The Tempest, the highly regarded new work that received its world premiere in 2004 at London’s Royal Opera House.
It will be directed by Robert Lepage and star Simon Keenlyside as Prospero.
Fabio Luisi to Conduct
Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the first of the season’s two new Verdi productions, a staging of Un Ballo in Maschera directed by David Alden, starring Karita Mattila, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, opening on November 8.
This season’s New Year’s Eve gala will be the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, the second in the composer’s trio of historical operas on Tudor queens. The production is by David McVicar, who directed last season’s Met premiere of the first work in the trilogy, Anna Bolena, and who will stage Roberto Devereux in a future season. Maestro Benini conducts Joyce DiDonato as the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, opposite Elza van den Heever in her Met debut as Elizabeth I.
On January 28, conductor Michele Mariotti, who makes his Met debut this season, leads the premiere of a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer in his Met debut and starring Željko Lučić, Diana Damrau, and Piotr Beczala.
Acclaimed French-Canadian director François Girard makes his Met debut with a new staging of Wagner’s Parsifal on February 15, with Daniele Gatti conducting Jonas Kaufmann in his Met role debut as the title character. The cast also includes Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, and René Pape.
On April 4, McVicar premieres his second new production of the season, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, in a staging that won acclaim when it premiered at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005. David Daniels stars as Caesar, opposite Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, with Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducting.
The 2012-13 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “We’re staying true to our course of renewing the core repertoire, while also introducing works new to the Met,” said Gelb. “We remain dedicated to upholding the Met’s tradition of high musical standards through our casting of the finest singers in the world.”
Tickets for the 2012-13 Live in HD Season on sale in September
Tickets for the 12 transmissions in the 2012-13 Live in HD season will go on sale in September in the U.S. and Canada, with Met Members offered priority before tickets are made available to the general public. International ticket sales dates and details on ordering tickets for the 2012-13 Live in HD series vary from country to country and will be announced separately by individual distributors.
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, the Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline and Paul G. Desmarais Sr.
Within months of their initial live transmissions, the Live in HD programs are shown on PBS. The PBS series, Great Performances at the Met, is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Casting News – Major Met Debuts
Notable Met debuts this season, in chronological order, include Italian conductor Michele Mariotti (September 28) leading Carmen; Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio as Leonora in Il Trovatore (September 29); English composer Thomas Adès, conducting his opera The Tempest (October 23); American tenor Alek Shrader as Ferdinand in The Tempest (October 23); English soprano Lucy Crowe as Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito (November 16); Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role of Aida (November 23); English bass David Soar as Masetto in Don Giovanni (November 28); South African soprano Elza van den Heever as Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda (December 31); Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais as Magda in La Rondine (January 11); Italian bass-baritone Nicola Ulivieri as The Tutor in Le Comte Ory (January 17); Belarusian mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova as Maddalena in Rigoletto (January 28); Russian soprano Ekaterina Scherbachenko as Micaëla in Carmen (February 9); American tenor Andrew Richards as Don José in Carmen (February 9); Russian tenor Alexey Dolgov as Cassio in Otello (March 11); Austrian soprano Martina Serafin as Sieglinde in Die Walküre (April 13); Italian bass Enrico Giuseppe Iori as Sparafucile in Rigoletto (April 13); and Swedish tenor Lars Cleveman in the title role of Siegfried (April 20).
Met Role Debuts
Many of the world’s greatest singers will add important new roles to their Met repertories in this season’s revivals. Among the most notable Met role debuts are (in chronological order): Iréne Theorin in the title role and Hibla Gerzmava as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot; Kate Royal as Micaëla and Yonghoon Lee as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen; Angela Meade as Leonora, Stephanie Blythe as Azucena, and Franco Vassallo and Alexey Markov as di Luna in Verdi’s Il Trovatore; Krassimira Stoyanova as Desdemona, José Cura in the title role, and Thomas Hampson as Iago in Verdi’s Otello; Mojca Erdmann as Susanna, Maija Kovalevska as the Countess, and Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; Ildar Abdrazakov in the title roles of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni; Barbara Frittoli as Vitellia, Elīna Garanča as Sesto, and Giuseppe Filianoti in the title role of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito; Susan Graham as Dido and Marcello Giordani as Aeneas in Berlioz’s Les Troyens; Nino Machaidze as Countess Adèle and Nathan Gunn as Raimbaud in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory; Ramón Vargas in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo; Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, opposite Marcello Giordani as Paolo; Diana Damrau as Violetta and Plácido Domingo as Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata; Piotr Beczala in the title role and John Relyea as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust; Mark Delavan and Greer Grimsley as Wotan in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen; and Isabel Leonard as Blanche de la Force and Patricia Racette as Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.
Acclaimed Portrayals Reprised
Many stars will reprise some of their most acclaimed roles from recent seasons, including (in chronological order): Maria Guleghina in the title role of Turandot; Anita Rachvelishvili in the title role of Carmen; Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora in Il Trovatore and Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo; Dolora Zajick as Azucena in Il Trovatore; Renée Fleming as Desdemona and Johan Botha in the title role of Otello; Olga Borodina as Amneris and Roberto Alagna as Radamès in Verdi’s Aida; Deborah Voigt as Cassandra in Les Troyens and Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen; Juan Diego Flórez in the title role of Le Comte Ory; Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rodrigo in Don Carlo; Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite in Faust; and Katarina Dalayman as Brünnhilde, Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried, and Eric Owens as Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
As previously announced, the Met’s Music Director James Levine will not conduct in the 2012-13 season, as he takes time to recover from surgery.
Many of the world’s leading conductors are part of the 2012-13 season. Fabio Luisi, who was appointed the Met’s Principal Conductor in September 2011, conducts the new production of Un Ballo in Maschera, three Ring cycles, revivals of Les Troyens and Aida, and a concert with the MET Orchestra on December 2 at Carnegie Hall. Michele Mariotti makes his Met debut conducting Carmen and returns later in the season for the new production premiere of Rigoletto. Two conductors who have rarely performed at the Met, Daniele Gatti and Lorin Maazel, return to lead Parsifal and Don Carlo, respectively. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his first Met performances of La Traviata, and Edward Gardner (Don Giovanni) and David Robertson (Le Nozze di Figaro) conduct their first Met Mozart performances.
Harry Bicket returns to lead a revival of La Clemenza di Tito and the new production premiere of Giulio Cesare. Semyon Bychkov leads Otello, which he conducted to acclaim in the 2007-08 season, and the October 14 MET Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall. Maurizio Benini conducts the opening night production of L’Elisir d’Amore, the Met premiere of Maria Stuarda, and a revival of Le Comte Ory. Alain Altinoglu, who conducted Faust last season, returns to lead Gounod’s opera again, and Louis Langrée adds an opera to his Met repertory with a revival of Dialogues des Carmélites. Marco Armiliato conducts Rigoletto and a rare revival of Francesca da Rimini. Yves Abel leads the family presentation of The Barber of Seville, Ion Marin returns to the Met to conduct La Rondine, and Plácido Domingo conducts some performances of Otello for the first time at the Met.
Repertory includes new Holiday version of The Barber of Seville
A new holiday presentation—an abridged two-hour version of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville—opens on December 18. Adapted by Bartlett Sher from his full-length hit production that opened at the Met in 2006, the opera will be performed with a new libretto in English by J.D. McClatchy. The family presentation will star Isabel Leonard as Rosina, 2008 National Council Auditions Winner Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva, Rodion Pogossov as Figaro, John Del Carlo as Dr. Bartolo and Jordan Bisch as Don Basilio. Yves Abel will conduct seven performances, including a weekday matinee; all performances will feature special reduced ticket prices. Previous Met holiday presentations have included an English-language adaptation of Julie Taymor’s production of The Magic Flute and Richard Jones’s production of Hansel and Gretel.
Background on the Repertory
The Met’s 2012-13 season will feature 21 revivals, including the new holiday presentation of The Barber of Seville and three complete Ring cycles.
Several works that have not been heard at the Met in some years will return to the repertory this season. Fabio Luisi will conduct Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens in the first revival of Francesca Zambello’s 2003 production. Marcello Giordani sings the role of the hero Aeneas, with Deborah Voigt as the cursed prophetess Cassandra and Susan Graham as Dido, the heartbroken queen of Carthage.
Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, in Piero Faggioni’s 1984 production, returns to the Met for the first time in more than 25 years. Marco Armiliato conducts Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role, opposite Marcello Giordani as Paolo and Mark Delavan as Gianciotto.
Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites will close the season, with Louis Langrée conducting John Dexter’s gripping production, last seen at the Met in 2003. The cast includes Isabel Leonard as Blanche de la Force, Patricia Racette as Madame Lidoine, and Felicity Palmer as Madame de Croissy.
Five Verdi revivals will help the Met commemorate the 200th anniversary of the great Italian composer’s birth. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of Aida, with debuting Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska and Hui He sharing the title role, Olga Borodina as Amneris, and Marco Berti and Roberto Alagna as Radamès.
Lorin Maazel returns to the Met to conduct Don Carlo, featuring Ramón Vargas in his first Met performances of the title role, with Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabeth de Valois, Anna Smirnova as Eboli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rodrigo, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II.
The towering masterpiece Otello returns to the repertory, with Johan Botha and José Cura sharing the demanding title role and Renée Fleming and Krassimira Stoyanova alternating as Desdemonda. Thomas Hampson and Falk Struckmann will make their Met role debuts as Iago, Otello’s disloyal ensign. Semyon Bychkov and Plácido Domingo conduct Verdi’s Shakespearean tragedy.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his first Met performances of La Traviata, with Diana Damrau and Saimir Pirgu in Met role debuts as Violetta and Alfredo. Plácido Domingo will add another role to his vast Met repertory as Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s disapproving father. Germont will be the second baritone role Domingo has sung at the Met, following his triumph in the title role of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra in the 2009-10 season.
David McVicar’s critically praised staging of Il Trovatore returns for 12 performances, all conducted by Daniele Callegari. The role of Leonora is shared by four sopranos: Carmen Giannattasio in her Met debut and Angela Meade in her house role debut, and Patricia Racette and Sondra Radvanovsky reprising their acclaimed portrayals heard in past Met seasons. Marco Berti sings the title role, opposite Franco Vassallo and Alexey Markov as di Luna and Dolora Zajick and Stephanie Blythe (in her Met role debut) as the gypsy Azucena.
Three Mozart revivals will be heard at the Met this season. La Clemenza di Tito’s three central roles are cast with stars making house role debuts. Barbara Frittoli sings Vitellia, Elīna Garanča is Sesto, and Giuseppe Filianoti takes the title role; Harry Bicket conducts.
Michael Grandage’s production of Don Giovanni returns, led by Edward Gardner and featuring a charismatic young cast in house role debuts. Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role, Erwin Schrott is Leporello, and Charles Castronovo is Don Ottavio; Susanna Phillips (Donna Anna), Emma Bell (Donna Elvira), and Ekaterina Siurina (Zerlina) are the women they love and lust after.
Abdrazakov also sings his first Met performances of the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, opposite Mojca Erdmann as Susanna, Maija Kovalevska as the Countess, and Gerald Finley as the Count. David Robertson conducts the opera for the first time at the Met.
Bizet’s repertory favorite Carmen will return for a run of 13 performances in Richard Eyre’s hit production, led by debuting conductor Michele Mariotti. Anita Rachvelishvili sings the title role opposite Yonghoon Lee and Andrew Richards as Don José; Kate Royal and Ekaterina Scherbachenko as Micaëla; and Kyle Ketelsen and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Escamillo.
Franco Zeffirelli’s spectacular production of Puccini’s Turandot returns, with Dan Ettinger conducting Maria Guleghina and Iréne Theorin as the cold-blooded princess and Hibla Gerzmava and Takesha Meshé Kizart as the slave girl Liù. Marco Berti, Marcello Giordani, and Walter Fraccaro share the role of Calàf, who risks his head to win Turandot’s hand, and James Morris and Samuel Ramey sing Timur.
Recent new productions of Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s La Rondine, and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory enter the repertory this season. Marina Poplavskaya reprises her acclaimed Marguerite in Des McAnuff’s staging of Faust, with Piotr Beczala singing the title character in his house role debut. Kristine Opolais makes her Met debut as Magda, the tragic heroine of La Rondine, with Giuseppe Filianoti as Ruggero, the man she loves. Juan Diego Flórez will reprise his tour-de-force performance as the rakish title character in Bartlett Sher’s production of Le Comte Ory; this season, the lonely countess he conspires to seduce will be sung by Nino Machaidze in a house role debut.
The year 2013 is also the bicentennial of Wagner’s birth. In addition to the new production of Parsifal, the Met will present three complete cycles of the composer’s epic masterwork, Der Ring des Nibelungen, in April and May, conducted by Fabio Luisi in Robert Lepage’s stunning, technologically advanced production. The casts include Deborah Voigt and Katarina Dalayman as Brünnhilde; Jay Hunter Morris and Lars Cleveman as Siegfried; Mark Delavan and Greer Grimsley as Wotan; Hans-Peter König as Fafner, Hunding, and Hagen; Stephanie Blythe as Fricka; Eric Owens as Alberich; Martina Serafin in her Met debut as Sieglinde; and Simon O’Neill as Siegmund. The cycles will be the 111th, 112th and 113th presented at the Met since the first cycle in the Western Hemisphere was performed at the house in 1889. The Ring cycle is made possible by a generous gift from Ann Ziff and the Ziff Family, in memory of William Ziff.
There will be an increase in ticket prices for the new season, averaging 4.2% on subscriptions and 7.6% on single tickets. Nearly 500 tickets in certain sections, including the orchestra, dress circle, balcony, and family circle, will decrease in price. The least expensive tickets will be priced at $20, a lower price than in past seasons. More than one-third of the Met’s seats will be available for less than $100.
Live Opening Night Screenings and Open Rehearsals
In keeping with a tradition begun on Opening Night in 2006, the September 24 premiere of L’Elisir d’Amore will be transmitted live to numerous large screens in Times Square and on Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. Attendance will be free at both locations; information on ticket distribution will be released at a later date.
The Met will continue its popular Open Rehearsal program, launched in 2006, which provides free dress rehearsal tickets to both students and members of the general public. The Open Rehearsals in the 2012-13 season will be L’Elisir d’Amore (September 20), Rigoletto (January 25), and La Traviata (March 11).
(* Met debut)
L’Elisir d’Amore – Gaetano Donizetti
Premiere: September 24
Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designed By: Jennifer Tipton
Cast: Anna Netrebko (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Mariusz Kwiecien (Belcore), Ambrogio Maestri/TBA (Doctor Dulcamara)
Live in HD: October 13
The season opens on September 24 with a new production of Donizetti’s comic gem L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini. Anna Netrebko, starring in her second consecutive Met opening night, makes her Met role debut as the beautiful landowner Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Mariusz Kwiecien sings Adina’s arrogant fiancé, Sergeant Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri will sing the role of the magic potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara. “L’Elisir d’Amore is kind of two operas at the same time,” Sher says. “It’s an opera that’s a great entertainment, and it’s an opera that has something else happening underneath. It’s informed by when in Italian history it was written—you can see the early stirrings of a cry for independence.”
The Tempest – Thomas Adès
Met Premiere – October 23
Conductor: Thomas Adès*
Libretto: Meredith Oakes
Production: Robert Lepage
Set Designer: Jasmine Catudal*
Costume Designer: Kym Barrett*
Lighting Designer: Michel Beaulieu*
Video Designer: David Leclerc*
Cast: Audrey Luna (Ariel), Isabel Leonard (Miranda), Iestyn Davies (Trinculo), Alek Shrader* (Ferdinand), Alan Oke (Caliban), William Burden (King of Naples), Toby Spence (Antonio), Simon Keenlyside (Prospero)
Live in HD: November 10
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, L’Opéra de Québec, and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna
In collaboration with Ex Machina
British composer Thomas Adès makes his company debut conducting the Met premiere of his opera The Tempest, which has been widely praised as a modern masterpiece. Robert Lepage’s innovative production recreates the interior of the La Scala opera house as the magical island venue for the otherworldly arts of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan. Simon Keenlyside sings Prospero, as he did to critical acclaim in the opera’s world premiere at Covent Garden. “The Tempest is an extraordinary, exquisite composition,” Lepage says. “The opera captures the magic of Shakespeare’s last play. It is a box full of magic tricks, which makes it a gift for me and for the designers.” The opera also stars Isabel Leonard as Prospero’s daughter, Miranda; Toby Spence as his brother, Antonio; Audrey Luna as the spirit Ariel; Iestyn Davies as the jester, Trinculo; Alek Shrader in his Met debut as the noble Ferdinand; Alan Oke as the monstrous Caliban; and William Burden as the King of Naples. The libretto, by Meredith Oakes, features new text set to the story of Shakespeare’s play.
Un Ballo in Maschera – Giuseppe Verdi
Premiere: November 8
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Steinberg*
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman*
Choreographer: Maxine Braham*
Cast: Karita Mattila (Amelia), Kathleen Kim (Oscar), Dolora Zajick/Stephanie Blythe (Ulrica), Marcelo Álvarez/Roberto De Biasio (Gustavo III), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Anckarström)
Live in HD: December 8
Verdi’s vivid drama of jealousy and vengeance returns to the Met in a new production by acclaimed opera director David Alden in his first Met appearance in more than 20 years. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which stars Karita Mattila in her Met role debut as Amelia, Marcelo Álvarez and Roberto De Biasio as Gustavo III, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Anckarström, Dolora Zajick and Stephanie Blythe as the fortuneteller Ulrica, and Kathleen Kim as the page Oscar. Alden, whose production is set in a dreamlike, early 20th-century Swedish environment, says that “Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s greatest and most brilliant scores, with a variety of different colors. It alternates between the light and the intensely melodramatic. Verdi pulls it all together with unbelievable theatrical energy. Ballo is theatrical dynamite.”
Maria Stuarda – Gaetano Donizetti
Premiere: December 31
Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: David McVicar
Set & Costume Designer: John MacFarlane
Lighting Designed By: Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer: Leah Hausman
Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever* (Elisabetta), Francesco Meli (Leicester), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Rose (Talbot)
Live in HD: January 19, 2013
David McVicar, who staged last season’s Met premiere of Anna Bolena, directs the company premiere of the second opera in Donizetti’s famous trilogy of operas about Tudor-era queens. “Donizetti’s three Tudor operas are very different in tone, mood, and musical content,” McVicar says. “With Maria Stuarda being a different kind of opera than last season’s Anna Bolena, which we presented with a great deal of historical accuracy, we’ve gone for a visual style which is freer. Rather than reflecting history, it reflects the romantic nature of this retelling of the story and the sweeping romantic nature of Donizetti’s music.” Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of the defiant Mary, Queen of Scots. South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s formidable rival, Queen Elizabeth I. Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Francesco Meli as the Earl of Leicester, Joshua Hopkins as Cecil, and Matthew Rose as Talbot.
Rigoletto – Giuseppe Verdi
Premiere: January 28, 2013
Conductor: Michele Mariotti/Marco Armiliato
Production: Michael Mayer*
Set Designer: Christine Jones*
Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty*
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams*
Choreographer: Steven Hoggett*
Cast: Diana Damrau/Lisette Oropesa (Gilda), Oksana Volkova*/Nancy Fabiola Herrera (Maddalena), Piotr Beczala/Vittorio Grigolo (Duke of Mantua), Željko Lučić/George Gagnidze (Rigoletto), Štefan Kocán/Enrico Giuseppe Iori* (Sparafucile)
Live in HD: February 16, 2013
Rising Italian conductor Michele Mariotti leads the new production premiere of Rigoletto, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer in his Met debut. Mayer’s approach transports the story from 16th-century Italy to Las Vegas in 1960, with a cast led by Željko Lučić in the title role, Diana Damrau as his daughter, Gilda, Piotr Beczala as the Duke of Mantua, Štefan Kocán as the assassin Sparafucile, and Oksana Volkova in her Met debut as Sparafucile’s seductive sister, Maddalena. “I’ve tried to imagine a recent world that captures the decadence of the Duke’s palace, where the participants are in pursuit of power, money, and beauty,” Mayer says. “Las Vegas in the ‘60s is such a world, where a kind of prankster energy could go bad—it’s the epitome of the kinds of events that happen in Rigoletto.” A second cast, conducted by Marco Armiliato, is led by Vittorio Grigolo, who made a heralded Met debut in September 2010 as Rodolfo in La Bohème, as the Duke of Mantua. George Gagnidze sings Rigoletto, Lisette Oropesa sings Gilda, Nancy Fabiola Herrera sings Maddalena, and Enrico Giuseppe Iori makes his Met debut as Sparafucile.
Parsifal – Richard Wagner
Premiere: February 15, 2013
Conductor: Daniele Gatti/Asher Fisch
Production: François Girard*
Set Designer: Michael Levine
Costume Designer: Thibault Vancraenenbroeck*
Lighting Designer: David Finn*
Video Designer: Peter Flaherty*
Choreographer: Carolyn Choa
Dramaturg: Serge Lamothe*
Cast: Katarina Dalayman (Kundry), Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal), Peter Mattei (Amfortas), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), René Pape (Gurnemanz)
Live in HD: March 2, 2013
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra National de Lyon, and the Canadian Opera Company
Jonas Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character in Parsifal, conducted by Daniele Gatti and directed by noted film and opera director François Girard in his Met debut. “Parsifal is not just an opera—it’s a mission. At the end of his life, Wagner was trying to reconcile all the aspects of his spirituality. It’s a sacred piece in the history of music,” Girard says. The cast also features Katarina Dalayman as Kundry, the mysterious woman who tempts Parsifal to betray his mission; Peter Mattei in his role debut as Amfortas, ruler of the Knights of the Holy Grail; René Pape in one of his greatest roles, the wise old knight Gurnemanz; and Evgeny Nikitin as the magician Klingsor.
Giulio Cesare – George Frideric Handel
Premiere: April 4, 2013
Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: David McVicar
Set Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George
Cast: Natalie Dessay (Cleopatra), Alice Coote (Sesto), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), David Daniels (Giulio Cesare), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Guido Loconsolo* (Achilla)
Live in HD: April 27, 2013
David McVicar’s second new production of the season is this dynamic staging of Giulio Cesare, a hit at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, which incorporates elements of Baroque theater and 19th-century British imperialism to illuminate the opera’s themes of love, war, and empire building. “Giulio Cesare is a kaleidoscope of an opera—a semi-comic, semi-tragic adventure story. You get romance, you get drama, you get moments of political wheeling-and-dealing, complex family relationships—as well as real emotion and tragedy,” McVicar says. “It’s a miracle, and it has enabled me to express everything I feel is important about opera.” David Daniels stars as Caesar, opposite Natalie Dessay in her Met role debut as the bewitching Cleopatra, Alice Coote as Sesto, Patricia Bardon as Cornelia, Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo, and Guido Loconsolo in his Met debut as Achilla.