Saturday, January 5 at 12:55 pm
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Michael Mayer’s richly textured new production, featuring
a dazzling 18th-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 in five seasons 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
World premiere: Venice, Teatro la Fenice, 1853. Verdi’s
La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved
operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of
Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his
most profound and heartfelt music. The title role of the “fallen woman” has captured
the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and
dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Violetta is considered a pinnacle of the soprano
Saturday, January 12 at 12:55 pm
Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, and Renata
Scotto, taking on—for the first time at the Met—the title role of the real-life French
actress who dazzled 18th-century audiences with her on-and offstage passion. The soprano
is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast
also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri. Gianandrea
Noseda conducts. Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica
of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where the Guardian
praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed … The spectacle guarantees a
good night out.”
World Premiere: Teatro Lirico, Milan, 1902.
Adriana Lecouvreur occupies a unique place in the repertory: largely dismissed by experts from its premiere
to the present day yet cherished by its fans for the dramatic possibilities provided
by the lead roles. The opera is a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing
lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle. 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.
Sunday, February 3 at 12:55 pm
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.
World premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1875. Bizet’s masterpiece of the gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules has had an
impact far beyond the opera house. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as
the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining female cultural
Carmen was a scandal at its premiere but soon after became a triumphal success and has remained
one of the most frequently staged operas in the world.
La Fille du Régiment
Sunday, March 3 at 12:55 pm
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,” 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. Enrique
World Premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1840. This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges.
The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot
and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy)
ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered
by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic
music to come across in an uninhibited way.
Sunday, March 31 at 12:00 noon
In what is expected to be a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke
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
World Premiere: Court Theater, Munich, 1870. The second opera in Wagner’s monumental
Die Walküre has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theater. Part
of this appeal lies in its focus on some of the
Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader
of the gods; his wife, Fricka; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde; and, above
all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde. These characters and others follow their
destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.
Dialogues des Carmélites
Saturday, May 11 at 12:00 noon
Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Poulenc’s devastating
story of faith and martyrdom. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role
of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met
as the Prioress.
World Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1957. One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century,
Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts.
The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic
Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer
her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality:
Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the
opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.