The Metropolitan Opera will present its first-ever performances of Rossini's final comic opera, Le Comte Ory, in a production by Bartlett Sher premiering March 24.
Maurizio Benini conducts an exceptional cast of stars, led by Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato as Isolier. The rarely heard opera, in which a love-struck count resorts to trickery to seduce a lonely countess, will be transmitted to movie theaters in 46 countries through The Met: Live in HD on Saturday, April 9.
All three stars have appeared in Sher's acclaimed Met production of IL Barbiere di Siviglia; Damrau and Flórez sang in the 2006 new production premiere and DiDonato and Flórez starred in a 2007 Live in HD transmission of the opera. Le Comte Ory's hero is Flórez's seventh bel canto role at the Met. He has sung in La Cenerentola, L'Italiana in Algieri, Don Pasquale, and the new production premieres of both La Sonnambula and La Fille du Régiment, in which he caused a sensation in the starring role of Tonio. He debuted the role of Count Ory in 2003 at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy, in a production that was recorded and released by Deutsche Grammophon. Damrau has performed at the Met in a varied repertory encompassing stratospheric coloratura roles, such as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Mozart's Queen of the Night, as well as bel canto heroines, including the title characters in Lucia di Lammermoor and La Fille du Régiment. DiDonato has won praise for her singing and acting as Rosina in the Met's 2006-07 and 2009-10 season performances of Barbiere, as well as in the trouser roles of Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. Benini's extensive Met résumé includes the 2006 new production premiere of Sher's Barbiere, as well as revivals of L'Elisir d'Amore, Don Pasquale, and La Cenerentola. The production also stars Susanne Resmark in her Met debut as Ragonde; Stéphane Degout, who starred as Pélleas in this season's revival of Pélleas et Mélisande, as Raimbaud; and Michele Pertusi as The Tutor.