Sunday, October 20 at 12:55 pm (encore)
Two of opera’s most thrilling dramatic sopranos, Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme,
reprise their fierce portrayals of the title princess. Yannick Nézet-Séguin takes
the podium to conduct Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling production of Puccini’s final masterpiece,
which also features tenors Roberto Aronica and Marco Berti as Calàf, sopranos Eleonora
Buratto and Hibla Gerzmava as Liù, and bass-baritones James Morris and Nicolas Testé
World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1926.
Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based
on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual
score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably
Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing
the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco
Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world
premiere. Runtime aprox: 3:22
Sunday, October 27 at 12:55 pm (encore)
Exhilarating soprano Lisette Oropesa stars as the irresistible title character, the
tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life, in Laurent Pelly’s revealing
production. Tenor Michael Fabiano is the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate
love for Manon proves their undoing. Maurizio Benini conducts Massenet’s sensual score.
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London;
Teatro alla Scala, Milan; and Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.
Premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1884. A take on the quintessentially French tale of the beautiful young woman who is incapable
of forsaking both love and luxury, Massenet’s
Manon features one of the truly unforgettable, irresistible, and archetypal female characters
in opera. While the story is firmly set in class and gender issues of the past, the
character of Manon herself is timeless, convincing, and familiar. The opera has been
a success ever since its premiere, championed by a diverse roster of singers who have
cherished its dramatic opportunities, exalted style, and ravishing music.
Estimated running time 3 hrs 52 min
Sunday, November 10 at 12:55 pm (encore)
Leading sopranos Hui He and Ana María Martínez share the heartbreaking title role
of the doomed geisha, with tenors Piero Pretti and Andrea Carè as the American naval
officer who abandons her. The great Plácido Domingo makes his role debut as Sharpless,
alternating with Paulo Szot and Markus Brück. Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium
for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favorite.
World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1904. Met premiere: February 11, 1907
. The title character of
—a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting
American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage—is one of the defining roles
in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people
far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general
have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music
for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made
timeless. Estimated running time 3 hrs 12 min
Sunday, November 24 at 12:55 pm (encore)
Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’s masterpieces, following
the now-legendary Met staging of
Satyagraha. Star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is the title pharaoh, the revolutionary
ruler who transformed ancient Egypt, with the striking mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges
in her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti. To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic
music, McDermott has created an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company
of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts in her Met debut.
This production was originally created by English National Opera and LA Opera. In
collaboration with Improbable. Estimated running time 3 hrs 31 min
Saturday, January 11 at 12:55 pm
World Premiere: Staatsoper, Berlin, 1925. One of the emblematic achievements of the thriving artistic forces in Germany and
Austria during the brief period between world wars,
Wozzeck was a sensation and a scandal at its premiere. Remarkably, it has lost none of its
power to fascinate, shock, and engage audiences, and its status as one of the defining
musical works of the 20th century has not blunted its vitality..
Among the most visionary and influential composers of the 20th century, Alban Berg
(1885–1935) came of age amid an explosion of artistic and intellectual creativity
in Vienna. His vocal and instrumental writing merges the revolutionary techniques
of Arnold Schoenberg with the grandeur of such late Romantic composers as Gustav Mahler.
The libretto is Berg’s own close adaptation of the play
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner (1813–1837).
Berg did not specify a time or location for the opera. The background of Büchner’s
play has led to the assumption of Leipzig, Germany, circa 1821, as an appropriate
setting, but the work’s universal ideas far outweigh any forced attempt at historical
accuracy. William Kentridge’s new production updates the action to the period before
the First World War. Esitmated running time 1 hr 32 min
Porgy and Bess
Saturday, February 1 at 12:55 pm
One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30
years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on
the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak
of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved
Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic
cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles
and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves,
Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green. Estimated running time
3 hrs 40 min
Saturday, February 29 at 12:55 pm
Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome receives its first Met performances,
with star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina
and Harry Bicket conducting. Sir David McVicar’s production ingeniously reframes the
action of this black comedy about the abuse of power to “the present,” where it should
loudly resonate. The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s
son and future emperor Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor
Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary
emperor Claudius. Estimated running time 4 hrs 10 min
Der Fleigende Hollander
Sunday, March 22 at 12:55 pm (encore)
World premiere: Dresden, Court Opera, 1843. Der Fliegende Holländer
is the earliest of Wagner’s operatic creations to remain in the repertory. The two
lead roles represent archetypes to which the composer would return, in one form or
another, in most of his later works: the “otherworldly stranger” and the woman who
sacrifices herself for his salvation. The work’s unearthly ambience is impressive
but only one aspect of it: Both the world of nature and of the supernatural are magnificently
evoked in the score.
The opera is set on the Norwegian coast. The time of the action is not specified in
Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces
that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary
who reimagined every supposition about theater, Wagner insisted that words and music
were equals in his works. This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or
“total work of art,” combining music, poetry, architecture, painting, and other disciplines,
a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.
Estimated running time
2 hrs 19 min
Saturday, April 11 at 12:55
Soprano Anna Netrebko, whom the
New York Times hailed as “magnificent” when she made her role debut as Tosca in 2018, returns as
Puccini’s explosive diva, back by popular demand. Tenors Najmiddin Mavlyanov and Brian
Jagde alternate as the idealistic painter Cavaradossi, and baritones George Gagnidze
and Michael Volle complete the opera’s fatal love triangle as the sinister Scarpia.
Bertrand de Billy conducts Sir David McVicar’s stunning production.
Premiere: Teatro Costanzi, Rome, 1900. Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic
artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Critics, for their
part, have often had problems with
Tosca’s rather grungy subject matter, the directness and intensity of its score, and the
crowd-pleasing dramatic opportunities it provides for its lead roles. But these same
aspects have made
Tosca one of a handful of iconic works that seem to represent opera in the public imagination.
Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving
score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.
Estimated running time 2 hrs 57 min
Sturday, May 9 at 12:55
Soprano Diana Damrau, following her triumph as Violetta in last season’s new production
La Traviata, stars as the martyred Mary, Queen of Scots, in Donizetti’s bel canto showcase. Star
mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is her imperious rival Queen Elizabeth I, and the silken-voiced
tenor Stephen Costello is the noble Earl of Leicester. Maurizio Benini conducts Sir
David McVicar’s handsome production.
World Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1835. A searingly dramatic setting of Friedrich Schiller’s play about Mary, Queen of Scots,
and her political and personal rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I of England,
Maria Stuarda had a troubled genesis, despite its musical and theatrical brilliance, and only recently
achieved a place in the repertory. These two fearsome rivals embody different perceptions
of royalty, which were very much in direct conflict at that moment in time, and the
opera’s drama is true to history in a way the facts are not.
Estimated running time 2 hrs 46 min