Adès premiere, new “Norma” and “Tosca” productions in Met’s 2017-18 season
The Metropolitan Opera will open their 2017–18 season with the star power of soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in one of her leading roles as Norma, in Bellini’s bel canto masterwork. That September 25 opening performance will also premiere a new staging from Sir David McVicar. The production will feature mezzo Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa and tenor Joseph Calleja as Pollione, with Carlo Rizzi conducting, and will run through December 11. In later performances Marina Rebeka and Angela Meade will sing the title role, with Jamie Barton and Joseph Colaneri replacing DiDonato and Rizzi, respectively.
Norma will usher in a season with four other new productions and the substantial weight of Italianate operas, from the classical through romantic eras. The Met’s designated next music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will conduct two repertory productions during the season.
Premiering on the Metropolitan Opera House stage October 26 will be the North American premiere of Thomas Adès recent opera, The Exterminating Angel. Co-commissioned by the Met, this is a musical setting of the Luis Bunuel film in which a group of well-to-do cocktail party-goers find themselves mentally and physically unable to leave the host’s home. The large cast will include countertenor Iestyn Davies, mezzo Alice Coote, baritone Rod Gilfry, and bass John Tomlinson. Adès himself will be in the pit, and both the production and libretto come from Tom Cairns. The Exterminating Angel will run through November 21.
In what will be welcome for many opera fans–and a relief for those pained by Luc Bondy’s now-notorious rethinking of the opera–a new production of Tosca will open New Year’s Eve and run in stages through May 12, 2018. McVicar is also bringing this piece to the stage. Kristine Opolais will sing Tosca for the opening run, to be followed by Anna Netrebko, with Jonas Kaufmann and Marcelo Alvarez set for Cavaradossi, and Bryn Terfel, Michael Volle, and George Gagnidze as Scarpia This promises to be the highest profile event of the season for the Met. Andris Nelsons will open in the pit, then hand the baton to Gareth Morrell and Bertrand de Billy.
The always difficult to stage Così fan Tutte will come in a new co-production from the English National Opera by Phelim McDermott (March 15 through April 19). The cast will include Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka, and David Robertson will conduct.
Opening April 12 will be the final new production of the season, Massenet’s Cendrillon. Joyce DiDonato sings the lead in this collaboration with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, and Opera de Lille. Running through May 11, de Billy will lead a cast that includes Coote and Stephanie Blythe.
Nézet-Séguin will conduct revivals of Elektra (March 1–23) and Parsifal (February 5–27). Christine Goerke returns in the title for Patrice Chéreau’s production of Strauss’s visceral music drama, while the Wagner opera will feature Klaus Florian Vogt in the title role, with Evelyn Herlitzius making her house debut as Kundry, Peter Mattei as Amfortas, and René Pape as Gurnemanz.
James Levine is scheduled to conduct three operas, along with a four night run of Verdi’s Requiem (November 24 – December 2). September 27 through October 14 he will lead the revival of Julie Taymor’s beloved production of Die Zauberflöte; January 22 through February 15, he conducts Il Trovatore, with Maria Agresta as Leonora; and from March 29 to April 21 he will be in the pit for Verdi’s Luisa Miller, with Sonya Yoncheva in the title role and Placido Domingo opening as Miller.
In other notable productions: the double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, starring Roberto Alagna, will run January 8 though February 1; Franco Zeffirelli’s La Bohème returns October 2, with multiple performances through March 10, 2018; Oksana Dyka will sing Turandot and Alvarez will sing Calaf in Turandot (opening October 12 and running, with cast changes, through April 5); Bartlett Sher’s production of L’Elisir d’amore opens January 16, with Pretty Yende and Matthew Polenzani, and runs through February 17; November 2 sees the opening of the revival of Anthony Minghella’s Madama Butterfly, with Hui He (then Ermonela Jabo) as Cio-Cio-San running through March 16; Susan Graham returns as Hanna Glawari inThe Merry Widow (December 14 through January 11); From December 6 through January 19, audiences can enjoy the great Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by the important early music figure Harry Bicket, and starring Adam Plachetka as Figaro, Christiane Karg (making her Met debut) as Susanna, and Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Luca Pisaroni as the Countess and Count Almaviva.
And both Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute (Taymor’s abbreviated version) return as the Met’s holiday productions. The former opens December 18 and runs through January 6, while the latter can be seen November 25 through December 9.
Despite recent economic woes, ticket prices for the upcoming season will be the same as in the two previous seasons. Season tickets are currently available, at a discount, and single performance tickets will go on sale June 25.
For more details, and to order tickets, go to metopera.org, or call 212-362–6000.