New “Tristan” and “Guillaume Tell” plus Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin” on tap in Met’s 2016-17 season
Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb today announced the company’s 2016–17 season, one that will mark the company’s 50th year in residency at Lincoln Center. The anniversary season will offer 225 performances of 26 different operas, including six new productions and one work making its house premiere.
Gelb’s tradition of opening each season with a new production will hold on September 26, with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde staged by Mariusz Treliński. Soprano Nina Stemme will make her belated Met debut in her signature role of Isolde joined by tenor Stuart Skelton as Tristan, and with bass René Pape returning as King Mark. Sir Simon Rattle will conduct opening night, to be replaced by Asher Fisch in a run that continues through October 27.
Making its premiere at the Met on December 1 will be Kaija Saariaho’s spellbinding medieval romance L’Amour de Loin, in a new Robert Lepage co-production with L’Opéra de Québec. The excellent Saariaho interpreter, Susanna Mälkki, will make her Met debut as conductor, and the lead roles will be sung by soprano Susanna Phillips, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford (through December 29).
On October 18, Rossini’s Guillaume Tell will return to the Met after an 80-year absence in a new production. Baritone Gerald Finley, one of the finest performers on the opera scene, will sing the title role in Pierre Audi’s staging. Principal conductor Fabio Luisi will be in the pit for all performances, which conclude November 12, The cast will include soprano Marina Rebeka as Mathilde, tenor Bryan Hymel as Arnold (later replaced by John Osborn), and soprano Janai Brugger as Jemmy.
The New Year’s Eve gala performance will be the opening of Bartlett Sher’s new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. These performances, which will run through March 18, 2017, reunite tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Diana Damrau (later performances will be sung by Stephen Costello and Pretty Yende). Gianandrea Noseda conducts, and the staging makes its way to the Met via the Salzburg Festival and La Scala.
Soprano Kristine Opolais will sing the title role of Dvořák’s Rusalka, one of her specialties, in Mary Zimmerman’s new production that debuts February 2, 2017. Tenor Brandon Jovanovich, soprano Katarina Dalayman, and bass Eric Owens also star, and Sir Mark Elder conducts (through March 2). The series of new productions concludes April 13, with Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. James Levine is scheduled to conduct the performances, through May 9, leading soprano Renée Fleming as the Marschallin, mezzo Elīna Garanča as Octavian, soprano Erin Morley as Sophie, and bass Günther Groissböck as Baron Ochs. The production comes via Robert Carsen.
The repertory operas in the 2016-17 season range from Mozart to Janáček, and will bring back both older and recent popular and successful productions. Opening November 5 and running through the season to April 20 will be Verdi’s Aida, with sopranos Liudmyla Monastyrska, Latonia Moore, and Krassimira Stoyanova in the title role, tenors Marco Berti, Jorge de Léon (in his Met debut), and Riccardo Massi as Radames, and Amneris sung by mezzos Ekaterina Gubanova and Violeta Urmana.
Other Verdi productions returning to the stage will be Nabucco (December 12 – January 7), with James Levine scheduled to conduct and baritone Plácido Domingo in the lead (to be replaced by Željko Lučić); Michael Mayer’s winning Las Vegas production of Rigoletto, with Lučić, soprano Olga Peretyatko as Gilda, tenor Stephen Costello (later Joseph Calleja) as the Duke, and Pier Giorgio Morandi debuting in the pit (January 20 – April 27); Willy Decker’s production of La Traviata (February 24 – April 14), with Nicola Luisotti conducting soprano Sonya Yoncheva (then Carmen Giannattasio) as Violetta, tenors Michael Fabiano and Atalla Ayan (in his debut) as Alfredo, and baritones Thomas Hampson, George Petean, and Domingo, as Germont.
Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved production of Puccini’s La Bohème opens September 28 and runs through January 6. The various casts will include Yoncheva, Opolais, and Ailyn Pérez as Mimi, Phillips and Brigitta Kele (debuting) as Musetta, Dmytro Popov (debut), Piotr Beczala, and Fabiano as Rodolfo, and baritones David Bizic, Massimo Cavaletti, and Alessio Arduini as Marcello. The other Puccini opera on the schedule is the return of Richard Eyre’s current production of Manon Lescaut, running November 14 through December 10. Marco Armiliato will conduct the star-power cast of soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Marcelo Alvarez.
Bartlett Sher’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia returns on January 9 (through February 11), and the draw will certainly be the great baritone Peter Mattei as Figaro, with Yende as Rosina and tenors Javier Camarena and Dmitry Korchak as Count Almaviva. James Levine is in the pit for more Rossini, this time L’Italiana in Algeri (October 4 – 29), with mezzo Elizabeth DeShong in the title role, tenor René Barbera debuting as Lindoro, and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Mustafa.
Mezzo Sophie Koch sings the lead in Carmen, opening January 19, followed by Clementine Margaine in her Met debut. Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac will run from May 2–13, with Marco Armiliato conducting tenor Roberto Alagna and soprano Patricia Racette in the leads. Deborah Warner’s production of Eugene Onegin will star Netrebko and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (March 30 – April 22). Damrau will sing Elvira, with Camarena singing Arturo, in Bellini’s I Puritani (February 10–28). Tenor Vittorio Grigolo will open in the lead as Massenet’s Werther (February 16), later replaced by Jean-Francois Borras—sopranos Anna Christy and Isabel Leonard sing Sophie and Charlotte, respectively, and Edward Gardner will conduct.
There is a generous amount of Mozart set for the new season: baritone Simone Keenlyside is Don Giovanni starting September 27—the opera runs through May 11 and will also feature Ildar Abdrazakov and Mariusz Kwiecien, with first Luisi then Domingo conducting; the musically dazzling Idomeneo will run from March 6–25, Levine is scheduled to conduct, and starring house favorite, tenor Matthew Polenzani, with mezzo Alice Coote as Idamante, and Elza van den Heever as Elettra. The family version of Julie Taymor’s great Magic Flute will run from December 20 to January 5, with baritone Christoper Maltman as Papageno, sopranos Layla Claire and Brugger as Pamina, tenor Ben Bliss as Tamino, and sopranos Jessica Pratt (debut) and Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night.
Janáček’s intense and downbeat Jenufa will open October 28 and run through November 17. Olivier Tambosi’s production will star soprano Oksana Dyka in the title role, with tenors Daniel Brenna and Joseph Kaiser as Laca and Števa, and soprano Karita Mattila as Kostelnička.
Jürgen Flimm’s production of Fidelio will run from March 16 to April 8, with mezzo Adrianna Pieczonka as Leonore and tenor Klaus Florian Vogt as Florestan. The romantic opera era will be filled out with Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading Der Fliegende Hollander (April 25 – May 4); bass-baritone Michael Volle is the Dutchman, with soprano Amber Wagner as Senta, bass Franz-Josef Selig as Daland, and tenor Jay Hunter Morris as Erik.
Strauss’ Salome (December 6–28) will have soprano Catherine Naglestad in her Met debut, with tenor Gerhard Siegel as Herod and mezzo Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Herodias—Johannes Debus will make his debut in the pit.
Full details and tickets are available at metopera.org