Patricia Racette will return to the title role of Puccini's Tosca, which she sang at the Met to great acclaim in the 2009-10 season, for six performances beginning January 10. Roberto Alagna and Aleksandrs Antonenko (in his Met role debut) will alternate as the heroic Cavaradossi, while George Gagnidze and James Morris will return to the role of the lustful Baron Scarpia. Rising Finnish conductor Mikko Franck, who is the Artistic Director and General Music Director of the Finnish National Opera, will lead all six performances in his Met debut.
Racette gave an acclaimed and vivid portrayal of the tortured diva Tosca at the Met in spring 2010. She has also sung the role with the Washington National Opera, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and the Houston Grand Opera. Since her debut as Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème in the Met's 1994-95 season, she has gone on to sing many of the composer's heroines, including Mimì in La Bohème; the lead soprano roles in Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi, the operas that compose Il Trittico; and Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, a role she repeats at the Met later this season.
Alagna made an unexpected house role debut as Cavaradossi at the Met last season, as a last-minute replacement for his ailing colleague Marcelo Álvarez. In addition to Alagna's performances in Tosca on January 10 and 14, he will sing the title role in Gounod's Faust on December 23 and 28. Antonenko, who takes the role beginning January 18, made his debut as the Prince in Dvo?ák's Rusalka in the Met's 2008-09 season and has since sung notable performances of Luigi in Il Tabarro (opposite Racette) and Grigory in the new production premiere of Boris Godunov. Gagnidze first sang Scarpia in the premiere of Luc Bondy's production, which opened the Met's 2009-10 season. Scarpia is one of Morris's most frequent Met roles; he has sung it more than 75 times with the Met since his role debut in the 1990-91 season.