Following her star turn in the season-opening production of Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera, Anna Netrebko – the "diva assoluta del mondo" (Opera News) – returns to Europe to reprise one of her most celebrated roles: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Having performed Mozart's heroine to rave reviews on tour with the Met and at the Salzburg Festival, Mariinsky Theatre, Vienna State Opera, and Covent Garden (the last of which prompted Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times to praise her "melting poignancy and gleaming power"), the superstar soprano takes her signature portrayal to Milan for her eagerly-anticipated debut at the Teatro alla Scala in a season-opening new production by Robert Carsen (Dec 7–23).
For her long-awaited first La Scala appearance, "the reigning new diva of the early 21st century" (Associated Press) graces a world-class cast that includes leading Mozart specialist Peter Mattei as Don Giovanni and star bass-baritone Bryn Terfel as his beleaguered servant Leporello. Daniel Barenboim, who collaborated with Netrebko on her bestselling 2010 Deutsche Grammophon album In the Still of Night, conducts the production. Don Giovanni's opening-night performance on December 7 will be transmitted in high definition to movie theaters worldwide, as part of Emerging Pictures' Opera in Cinema series.
The Milan performances come on the heels of Netrebko's unbridled success at the Met, where she opened the 2011-12 season in the title role of a new production – and the company premiere – of Donizetti's Anna Bolena. In headlining David McVicar's new staging, she became the face of the Met's season, her image appearing on billboards, buses, and subways all over New York City. On stage, meanwhile, the soprano consistently proved herself an "undisputed superstar" (New York Post); due to what the Associated Press styled her "mesmerizing stage presence" and "uniquely alluring vocal timbre," she "brought down the house" (New York Times). "Netrebko has a voice to die for," marveled the Daily News. "Her voice was sure and luminous throughout and at its most radiant in the dramatic outbursts," agreed the Huffington Post. "Her appeal is deceptively simple: when she sings, you don't want her to stop," confirmed the New York Observer.