Ambrogio Maestri made his Met debut as Amonasro in Verdi's Aida in 2004 and returned in 2006 as Alfio in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. In recent years, the Italian bass has become one of the opera world's leading stars in the basso buffo repertory, singing Dulcamara at the Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Munich Opera Festival, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the title character in Verdi's Falstaff in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Vienna, Barcelona, Parma, Verona, and, last season, in a new production at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Last fall, he gave an acclaimed performance as Michonnet in the Opera Orchestra of New York's concert presentation of Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. Later this season, he sings Dulcamara at Covent Garden and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Falstaff at La Scala and the Paris and Zurich Operas; and the title role in Verdi's Nabucco at La Scala.
Erwin Schrott has recently sung Dulcamara at the Mariinsky Theatre; the Teatro Pezzurelli in Bari, Italy; and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain. Also this season, he sings Dulcamara at the Vienna State Opera and the Bavarian State Opera. At the Met, he has sung the title roles of Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, Colline in La Bohème, and Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen. This November, he will make his Met role debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni.
Benini made his Met debut leading L'Elisir d'Amore in 1998 and also directed a 2009 revival of the opera. This season at the Met, he leads the first-ever Met performances of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, which opens in a new production by David McVicar on New Year's Eve, and a revival of Le Comte Ory. His previous Met performances include the Met premiere of Le Comte Ory and the new production premiere of IL Barbiere di Siviglia, both directed by Sher; the new production premiere of Don Pasquale; and performances of Verdi'sRigoletto, La Traviata, and Luisa Miller, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Gounod's Faust, and Bellini's Norma.
The design team for L'Elisir d'Amore features two of the artists who designed Sher's previous Met productions, scenic designerMichael Yeargan and costume designer Catherine Zuber, as well as acclaimed lighting designer Jennifer Tipton. Yeargan designed sets and costumes for the Met's Current Productions of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Mozart's Così fan tutte, and Floyd's Susannah, and sets for Verdi's Otello, Harbison's The Great Gatsby, and Sher's productions of IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and Le Comte Ory. His 20 Broadway credits include two Tony Award-winning scenic designs, for South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. Zuber, a five-time Tony Award winner for her work on Broadway, made her Met debut designing IL Barbiere di Siviglia and, in addition toLes Contes d'Hoffmann and Le Comte Ory, designed costumes for the Met premiere of Adams's Doctor Atomic. Tipton, whose honors include two Tony Awards (for The Cherry Orchard and Jerome Robbins' Broadway) and a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, designed the lighting for the current Met stagings of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Verdi's Il Trovatore, as well as the upcoming Maria Stuarda.
This production of L'Elisir d'Amore was made possible by a generous gift from The Monteforte Foundation, in honor of Wim Kooyker. The Metropolitan Opera is grateful to Deutsche Bank for underwriting the Opening Night Gala for the twelfth consecutive year. Additional funding for the Opening Night Gala is provided by Manhattan Jaguar.