Met’s 2024-25 season will bring new “Aida” and “Salome,” four contemporary operas

Thu Feb 22, 2024 at 1:00 pm
Gerald Finley and Julia Bullock star in John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2024-25 season. Photo: David Ruano / Liceu Opera Barcelona

The Metropolitan Opera will continue its expansion into contemporary opera in its 2024-2025 season, with four house premieres from composers of our time, and will refresh one of its most popular repertoire operas with a new production.

The Met’s upcoming season will open September 23 with Jeanine Tesori’s Grounded. The drama about an Air Force drone pilot premiered last fall at the Kennedy Center, and will star mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo and tenor Ben Bliss in a production by Michael Mayer. Met Opera artistic director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the opening night performance, later spelled by Steven Osgood before the run closes October 19.

Following Grounded will be operas from John Adams, Jake Heggie, and Osvaldo Golijov. Golijov’s  Ainadamar opens October 15. The opera has been awarded a Grammy, and portrays the life and assassination of poet Federico García Lorca, sung by mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack. Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya will make his Met debut in the pit, and the staging is from Brazilian director and choreographer Deborah Colker, also making a house debut.

Heggie’s Moby-Dick arrives March 3, 2025, to open the second half of the Met’s season. With a deep cast of tenor Brandon Jovanovich as Captain Ahab, tenor Stephen Costello as Greenhorn, baritone Peter Mattei as Starbuck, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as Queequeg, and soprano Janai Brugger as Pip, this 2010 opera will mark the Met debut of Leonard Foglia, responsible for the original production. Conductor Karen Kamensek will return to the pit for this run.

Wrapping up the season will be Adams’ 2022 Antony and Cleopatra, which opens May 12 and will drop the curtain on the house the night of June 7. Adams’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s play will star baritone Gerald Finley as Antony and soprano Julia Bullock as Cleopatra, following her upcoming house debut in Adams’ El Niño (April 23, 2024). The cast also features tenor Paul Appleby as Caesar and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Octavia. The staging by director Elkhanah Pulitzer (house debut) sets the story in Golden Age of Hollywood of the 1930s, and Adams himself will conduct.

There will be two new productions of repertory works. Aida, one of the most often performed operas in the Met’s history (it debuted at the original house in 1886), will open New Year’s Eve with a new production from Mayer, replacing the familiar Sonja Frisell-Gianni Quaranta 1988 staging. (This production was originally delayed by the pandemic closure.) Soprano Angel Blue will make her house role debut as Aida, and Nézet-Séguin will conduct a cast that also includes mezzo-soprano Judit Kutasi as Amneris (sharing the role with Elīna Garanča) and tenors Piotr Beczała and Brian Jagde will alternate as Radamés. Blue will be replaced in March by Christina Nilsson, making her Met debut.

The final new production of the season will be Strauss’ Salome, with soprano Elza van den Heever in the title role and Nézet-Séguin leading his own first performances of the opera. This staging from Claus Guth opens April 29, and Mattei returns to the house as Jochanaan. Tenors Gerhard Siegel and Chad Shelton will share the role of King Herod, with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung as his wife Herodias.

Revived in the new season will be Offenbach’s  Les Contes D’Hoffmann, with tenor Benjamin Bernheim as Hoffman, soprano Erin Morley as Olympia and soprano Pretty Yende as Antonia. Marco Armiliato conducts the run which opens September 24. The following night Tosca opens, with soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in the title role, tenor SeokJong Baek as Cavaradossi, and mainstay baritone George Gagnidze as Scarpia. Later in the season, sopranos Lise Davidsen and Sondra Radvanovsky, tenors Freddie De Tommaso (his debut) and Jagde, and baritones Quinn Kelsey and Bryn Terfel take turns in the roles. Conducting during the season will be shared by Armiliato and Xian Zhang.

There will be more Verdi, Puccini, and Strauss. Rigoletto and Il Trovatore return September 30 and October 26, respectively. Kelsey reprises his commanding performances as Rigoletto, with soprano Nadine Sierra as Gilda and tenor Stephen Costello as the Duke (Maurizio Benini conducts), and tenor Michael Fabiano stars as Manrico in Il Trovatore. Sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Angela Meade share the role of Leonora, and Daniele Callegari conducts.

Franco Zeffirelli’s popular production of La Bohème opens November 13 with multiple casts that feature sopranos Ailyn Pérez, Eleonora Buratto, Kristina Mkhitaryan, and Corinne Winters as Mimì and tenors Matthew Polenzani, Joseph Calleja, and Dmytro Popov as Rodolfo. The four conductors will be Nézet-Séguin, Kensho Watanabe, Alexander Soddy, and Riccardo Frizza. November 29 is the opening for Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten. Nézet-Séguin leads sopranos Elza van den Heever as the Empress, Lise Lindstrom as the Dyer’s Wife, and Nina Stemme as the Nurse, with baritone Michael Volle as Barak.

Simon McBurney’s brilliant production of Die Zauberflöte returns March 23, with Bliss and soprano Golda Schultz as Tamino and Pamina and baritone Thomas Oliemans and soprano Kathryn Lewek as Papageno and the Queen of the Night. Evan Rogister conducts. A week later, March 31, Richard Eyre’s staging of Le Nozze di Figaro opens, with conductor Joana Mallwitz making her debut. Bass-baritones Michael Sumuel and Luca Pisaroni alternate as Figaro, sopranos Olga Kulchynska and Rosa Feola sing Susanna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Jacquelyn Stucker (in her Met debut) sing the Countess, baritone Joshua Hopkins and bass-baritone Adam Plachetka trade off as the Count, and D’Angelo and mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa share Cherubino. Julia Taymor’s abridged The Magic Flute is again the holiday presentation, running from December 12 to January 4, with casting that includes Lewek, baritone Will Liverman as Papageno, tenor David Portillo as Tamino, and soprano Hera Hyesang Park as Pamina. Nimrod David Pfeffer and J. David Jackson conduct.

Rounding out the season will be Beethoven’s Fidelio, with Davidsen as Leonore and conductor Susanna Mälkki (opening March 4); Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia opens with baritone Davide Luciano as the lead (April 15) and conductor Giacomo Sagripanti making his debut; and Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades has the last opening night of the season, May 23, with Keri-Lynn Wilson conducting Yoncheva as Lisa, Jagde as Hermann, and mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana as the Countess.

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