The Metropolitan Opera, 2013-14 Season
The Metropolitan Opera's 2013-14 season will feature many of the world's greatest singers, conductors, and theater artists in 26 operas, including six new productions, of a varied repertory that ranges from the Baroque era to the 21st century. Met Music Director James Levine will return to the Met podium for the first time in two years, conducting three operas with which he has long been associated: a new production of Verdi's final masterpiece Falstaff, Mozart's Così fan tutte, and Berg's Wozzeck. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi will be conducting two operas in the 2013-14 season, Rossini's La Cenerentola and Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
Ten of the new season's more than 200 performances will be transmitted live around the world as part of the popular Met: Live in HD series of movie theater simulcasts, offering a significant portion of the Met season to opera lovers in 64 countries. (A separate release, focused on the HD transmissions, is also available.)
The six new productions will include three debuts by directors new to the Met: Deborah Warner, with a new Eugene Onegin on opening night, September 23, starring Anna Netrebko, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Piotr Beczala and conducted by Valery Gergiev; Jeremy Sams, whose staging of Die Fledermaus will open on New Year's Eve, conducted by Adam Fischer and featuring new dialogue by playwright Douglas Carter Beane; and Dmitri Tcherniakov, with Borodin's Prince Igor on February 6, 2014, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and starring Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role. Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys, a Met commission, will have its American premiere October 21 in a production conducted by David Robertson and directed by Bartlett Sher. Robert Carsen returns to the Met with a new Falstaff, opening December 6, and Richard Eyre stages the final new production of the season, Massenet's Werther, starring Jonas Kaufmann and El?na Garan?a, opening February 18.
The repertory productions for the season will include a mix of rarely performed works and longtime audience favorites, both featuring some of the world's greatest stars. The 2013-14 repertory operas include Richard Strauss's Arabella, Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Der Rosenkavalier (with Garan?a in her first Met performances of Octavian). Five bel canto operas are part of the season, including Bellini's I Puritani, Norma (with Sondra Radvanovsky), and La Sonnambula (with Diana Damrau); Fabio Luisi leads Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez; and Anna Netrebko reprises her Adina opposite Ramón Vargas as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. Three of Puccini's most-performed works are part of the season: casts led by Joseph Calleja and Vittorio Grigolo star in La Bohème; Patricia Racette and Radvanovsky take the title role of Tosca; and Madama Butterfly returns, with rotating casts including Kristine Opolais in her Met role debut as Cio-Cio-San. Mozart is represented in the season with both Così fan tutte and a holiday presentation of The Magic Flute. Renée Fleming returns to the title role in Dvo?ák's Rusalka, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Racette and Marcelo Álvarez star in Giordano's Andrea Chénier. The season features the first Met revivals of The Enchanted Island (with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo) and the William Kentridge production of Shostakovich's The Nose (conducted by Gergiev), as well as the return of Michael Mayer's new production of Verdi's Rigoletto, starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role. Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream returns to commemorate the composer's centennial in a revival conducted by James Conlon, and Deborah Voigt and Thomas Hampson make Met role debuts in another twentieth-century masterpiece, Berg's Wozzeck.
The 2013-14 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb and Met Music Director James Levine. "With this new season, we continue our mission for the Met as a center of musical and theatrical creativity, hopefully stimulating our veteran audience, while also capturing the imagination of the next generation," Gelb said.
"I am delighted to be back with the great Met company, conducting three operas I love with our incomparable orchestra and chorus," said Levine.
Eugene Onegin - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Premiere: September 23, 2013
Conductor: Valery Gergiev/Pavel Smelkov/Alexander Vedernikov
Production: Deborah Warner
Live in HD: October 5, 2013
The season opens on September 23 with a new production of Tchaikovsky's romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin. Valery Gergiev returns to the Met to conduct the opening performances of this production, staged by acclaimEd English director Deborah Warner in her Met debut. Mariusz Kwiecien sings his first Met performances as the imperious title character, a much-admired interpretation he has sung in many of the world's leading opera houses, opposite Anna Netrebko as Tatiana, in her third consecutive Met opening night and her first company performances as the naïve heroine from Pushkin's classic novel. Piotr Beczala reprises his performance as Onegin's friend turned rival, Lenski. A second cast, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov in his Met debut, features Peter Mattei as Onegin, Marina Poplavskaya as Tatiana, and, in his first Met performances since the 2008-09 season, Rolando Villazón as Lenski; all three singers will be making their company role debuts. Reviewing Warner's production when it premiered at English National Opera, the Sunday Telegraph praised its "mixture of haunting visual and emotional impact: cutting straight to the heart of the work, [Warner] shows how Onegin is simultaneously about two colliding Russian societies-rustic provincialism and cosmopolitan decadence-and three wasted lives."
Two Boys - Nico Muhly
Premiere: October 21, 2013
Libretto: Craig Lucas
Conductor: David Robertson
Production: Bartlett Sher
"A work of dark beauty...a landmark in the career of an important artist" (The New York Times)," Two Boys marked the "auspicious operatic debut" (London Independent) of American composer Nico Muhly, who was 29 when the Met commission premiered in London in the fall of 2011. With a libretto by celebrated playwright Craig Lucas, Two Boys explores the shadowy world of the internet as a detective (Alice Coote) takes on what initially seems to be to be a straightforward case-the stabbing of one teenage boy by another-and discovers a tangled web of online intrigue. Paul Appleby co-stars as Brian in this striking new work, staged by Bartlett Sher. Although young, Muhly is a prolific composer, having already written acclaimed compositions for major orchestras, choruses, dance companies, chamber ensembles, and the opera Dark Sisters, as well as film scores and pop songs.
Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi
Premiere: December 6, 2013
Conductor: James Levine
Production: Robert Carsen
Live in HD: December 14, 2013
Verdi's brilliant final masterpiece Falstaff has its first new Met production in nearly 50 years, conducted by James Levine and directed by Robert Carsen. Ambrogio Maestri and Nicola Alaimo take on the iconic basso buffo role of Sir John Falstaff, the boorish, blustery character originally seen in Shakespeare's Henry IV and Merry Wives of Windsor. Angela Meade sings Alice Ford, one of many objects of Falstaff's affection, and Stephanie Blythe is the sharp-tongued Mistress Quickly in a cast that also includes Lisette Oropesa as Nannetta, Jennifer Johnson Cano as Meg Page, Paolo Fanale in his Met debut as Fenton, and Franco Vassallo as Ford. The International Herald Tribune praised Carsen's staging, first seen at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as a "production of eye-catching ingenuity."
Die Fledermaus - Johann Strauss, Jr.
Premiere: December 31, 2013
Conductor: Adam Fischer
Production: Jeremy Sams
Lyrics by: Jeremy Sams
Dialogue by: Douglas Carter Beane
A new production of Johann Strauss's sparkling comedy Die Fledermaus premieres on New Year's Eve. Adam Fischer conducts the new staging by Jeremy Sams, which sets the farcical story of romantic intrigue and mistaken identity in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century. The new production of the quintessential Viennese comedy will feature new English-language lyrics by Sams and dialogue by award-winning Broadway playwright Douglas Carter Beane. Susanna Phillips sings Rosalinde, with Christopher Maltman as her husband, Eisenstein; Christine Schäfer and Jane Archibald as her clever maid, Adele; Michael Fabiano and Alexander Lewis as Alfred, her clandestine lover; Paulo Szot as the scheming notary Dr. Falke; and Anthony Roth Costanzo as the consummate party host, Prince Orlofsky.
Prince Igor - Alexander Borodin
Premiere: February 6, 2014
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda/Pavel Smelkov
Production: Dmitri Tcherniakov
Live in HD: March 1, 2014
Alexander Borodin's epic Prince Igor has its first Met performances since 1917 in a new production staged by noted Russian opera director Dmitri Tcherniakov in his Met debut. Gianandrea Noseda and Pavel Smelkov conduct the lush score, famous for its celebrated "Polovtsian Dances." Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role, a Russian hero whose military maneuvers are complicated by romantic intrigue, political rivalries, and familial disputes. The cast also includes Oksana Dyka in her Met debut as Yaroslavna, Igor's emotionally vulnerable second wife; Anita Rachvelishvili as the fiery Polovtsian princess Konchakovna; Sergey Semishkur in his Met debut as Vladimir Igorevich, Igor's son and Konchakovna's lover; Mikhail Petrenko as Prince Galitsky, Yaroslavna's brother; and Štefan Kocán as the warlord Khan Konchak. Left unfinished at the composer's death, Prince Igor does not have a definitive performing version. Noseda and Tcherniakov have constructed a new version using recent research that incorporates all the known music and orchestration by Borodin, changes the order of some scenes, and includes three pieces of newly orchestrated material by Pavel Smelkov, the Russian composer and conductor who also leads the February 21 performance.
Werther - Jules Massenet
Premiere: February 18, 2014
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Production: Richard Eyre
Live in HD: March 15, 2014
Director Richard Eyre, whose hit staging of Carmen premiered at the Met in 2009, returns with a new production of Massenet's Werther, starring Jonas Kaufmann and El?na Garan?a in their first Met performances as the brooding poet Werther and his unattainable love, Charlotte. Lisette Oropesa sings the role of Sophie, Charlotte's sister; David Biži? makes his Met debut as Charlotte's fiancé, Albert; and Jonathan Summers is Charlotte's father, Le Bailli. Alain Altinoglu conducts the first new Met production of the opera in more than 40 years.
Major Met Debuts
Notable Met debuts this season, in chronological order, include American baritone Christopher Bolduc as Jake in Two Boys (October 21); German soprano Anne Schwanewilms as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten (November 7); Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casadoleading Rigoletto (November 11); Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov leading Eugene Onegin (November 23); Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Maximova as Olga in Eugene Onegin(November 23); German mezzo-soprano Daniela Sindram as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier(December 3); Italian tenor Paolo Fanale as Fenton in Falstaff (December 6); British conductorJane Glover leading The Magic Flute (December 16); American soprano Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (December 28); Moldovan soprano Irina Lungu as Musetta in La Bohème (January 14); South African soprano Amanda Echalaz as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (January 16); American baritone Scott Hendricks as Sharpless inMadama Butterfly (January 16); American soprano Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess inRusalka (January 23); Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka as Yaroslavna in Prince Igor(February 6); Russian tenor Sergey Semishkur as Vladimir Igorevich in Prince Igor (February 6); Serbian bass-baritone David Biži? as Albert in Werther (February 18); Canadian sopranoAndriana Chuchman as Miranda in The Enchanted Island (February 26); English bass Clive Bayley as the Doctor in Wozzeck (March 6); Romanian soprano Anita Hartig as Mimì in La Bohème (March 19); American soprano Jennifer Rowley as Musetta in La Bohème (March 19); French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé as Colline in La Bohème (March 19); German tenorRoberto Saccà as Matteo in Arabella (April 3); German baritone Michael Volle as Mandryka in Arabella (April 3); Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko as Elvira in I Puritani (April 17); and Italian baritone Pietro Spagnoli as Dandini in La Cenerentola (April 21).
The Met's 2013-14 season will feature 20 revivals of a varied repertory, ranging from rarely performed works to perennial audience favorites.
To commemorate Benjamin Britten's centennial, the Met will present a revival of his A Midsummer Night's Dream, which had its Met premiere in 1996. James Conlon conducts an ensemble that includes Iestyn Davies and Kathleen Kim as Oberon and Tytania, king and queen of the fairies; Erin Wall (Helena), Elizabeth DeShong (Hermia), Joseph Kaiser (Lysander), and Michael Todd Simpson (Demetrius) as the quartet of mismatched lovers; and Matthew Rose as the weaver-turned-amateur-actor Bottom.
Dvo?ák's Rusalka, a lushly romantic adaptation of the Czech folk tales Hans Christian Andersen used as the basis for The Little Mermaid, returns to the Met in January 2014. The opera had its Met premiere in 1993 and the central character of the water spirit who falls in love with a human prince is a touchstone role for Renée Fleming. This season, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a cast led by Fleming and including Piotr Beczala as the Prince, Emily Magee in her Met debut as the Foreign Princess, John Relyea as the Water Sprite, and Dolora Zajick as the witch Ježibaba.
Andrea Chénier, Giordano's tale of heroism and sacrifice during the French Revolution, returns to the repertory with Gianandrea Noseda conducting and Marcelo Álvarez taking the title part for the first time with the company. Also making Met role debuts are Patricia Racette as Maddalena, the young aristocrat who loses everything but her love for Chénier, and Željko Lu?i? as Gérard, the household servant who rises to become a revolutionary leader.
Berg's Wozzeck returns this season conducted by James Levine, who has led more than 40 performances of the opera since 1974. Two major Met stars make company role debuts in the central roles: Thomas Hampson sings the title role, a soldier so abused by society that he turns to murder, and Deborah Voigt is his unfaithful lover and victim, Marie.
Two Mozart operas are part of the repertory this season. Maestro Levine conducts Così fan tutte, with Susanna Phillips and Guanqun Yu as the conflicted Fiordiligi; Isabel Leonard as her sister, Dorabella; Danielle De Niese as their feisty maid, Despina; Matthew Polenzani and Rodion Pogossov as the sisters' fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; and Maurizio Muraro as the cynical Don Alfonso.
Conductor Jane Glover makes her Met debut leading the abridged, English-language holiday presentation of The Magic Flute. Julie Taymor's hit production will feature family-friendly ticket prices and weekday matinee performances designed to appeal to audiences of all ages. The cast includes Alek Shrader in his first Met performances as the hero Tamino; Nathan Gunn in one of his most acclaimed roles as the bird-catcher Papageno; Eric Owens as the high priest Sarastro; Heidi Stober as the princess Pamina; and Albina Shagimuratova and Kathryn Lewek alternating in the role of the wicked Queen of the Night.
Three Bellini operas will be part of the Met season. Norma returns to the repertory, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Angela Meade taking on the challenging central role of a vengeful Druid priestess for the first time at the Met. Riccardo Frizza conducts the opera, with Kate Aldrich and Jamie Barton as Adalgisa; Aleksandrs Antonenko in his Met role debut as Pollione, Norma's unfaithful husband; and James Morris as the Druid chieftain Oroveso, Norma's father.
La Sonnambula returns to the Met in March, with Diana Damrau singing her first company performances of the sleepwalking heroine Amina. Javier Camarena is Elvino, Amina's betrothed, and Michele Pertusi is Rodolfo in the first revival of Mary Zimmerman's 2009 production. Marco Armiliato conducts.
The third Bellini opera in this season, I Puritani, features Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko in her Met debut as the heroine Elvira. The opera, led by rising Italian conductor Michele Mariotti, will also feature Lawrence Brownlee in his Met role debut as Arturo, Mariusz Kwiecien as Riccardo, and Michele Pertusi as Giorgio.
Three Richard Strauss works return to the Met stage this season. Vladimir Jurowski conducts Die Frau ohne Schatten in Herbert Wernicke's haunting production, last seen at the Met in 2003. Anne Schwanewilms makes her Met debut as the ethereal Empress, with Torsten Kerl as the Emperor; Ildikó Komlósi as the Empress's devoted Nurse; Johan Reuter as the poor dyer, Barak; and Christine Goerke as the Dyer's Wife, a peasant woman who is willing to give up her shadow.
Der Rosenkavalier returns to the repertory in a series of performances marking the 100th anniversary of the work's New York premiere. El?na Garan?a sings her first Met performances of the impetuous Octavian, opposite Viennese soprano Martina Serafin as Octavian's older lover, the Marschallin. Mojca Erdmann sings Sophie, and Peter Rose is the Marschallin's bumbling cousin, Baron Ochs. Edward Gardner conducts his first company performances of Strauss's beloved and bittersweet comedy.
Strauss's lively romance Arabella returns to the repertory in April, with Philippe Auguin conducting and rising Swedish soprano Malin Byström in the title role. Genia Kühmeier sings Arabella's sister, Zdenka; the ensemble cast also features Roberto Saccà and Michael Volle in their Met debuts as Matteo and Mandryka, respectively, and John Del Carlo as Waldner.
Three of Puccini's most popular works will be performed this season, with exciting new stars and acclaimed Met favorites in the central roles. Patricia Racette and Sondra Radvanovsky sing the temperamental title diva in Tosca, with Roberto Alagna and Marcello Giordani as Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze reprises his performance as the wicked Scarpia in all performances this season, which will be conducted by Riccardo Frizza and Marco Armiliato.
La Bohème returns to the repertory, with Stefano Ranzani leading 14 performances of the most-performed opera in Met history. Franco Zeffirelli's classic production will star Maija Kovalevska, debuting Romanian soprano Anita Hartig, and Barbara Frittoli as the consumptive Mimì; Joseph Calleja and Vittorio Grigolo as her star-crossed lover, Rodolfo; Susanna Phillips and debuting sopranos Irina Lungu and Jennifer Rowley as the coquettish Musetta; and Alexey Markov and Massimo Cavalletti as the painter Marcello.
Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly will star South African soprano Amanda Echalaz in her Met debut as Cio-Cio-San. Kristine Opolais, who made a highly acclaimed Met debut as Magda in La Rondine in the 2012-13 season, returns for her first company performances as Cio-Cio-San, and Chinese soprano Hui He takes the role later in the season. Bryan Hymel, Adam Diegel, James Valenti, and Gwyn Hughes Jones sing Pinkerton, the caddish American who crushes Cio-Cio-San's dreams. This season's performances will be conducted by Philippe Auguin, Marco Armiliato, and Fabio Luisi.
Principal Conductor Luisi will also lead a star-studded revival of Rossini's La Cenerentola, starring Joyce DiDonato in her first Met performances of the title role. Bel canto star Juan Diego Flórez joins her as the dashing Don Ramiro; Pietro Spagnoli makes his Met debut as Dandini; Alessandro Corbelli sings Don Magnifico; and Luca Pisaroni is Alidoro.
Four acclaimed new productions from recent seasons re-enter the repertory. William Kentridge's innovative production of Shostakovich's The Nose returns in September, with Valery Gergiev leading a cast that includes Paulo Szot as the hapless Kovalyov, Andrey Popov as the Police Inspector, and Alexander Lewis as Kovalyov's runaway nose.
Michael Mayer's colorful, updated production of Verdi's Rigoletto returns in November, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky singing his first Met performances of the title role. Aleksandra Kurzak sings Gilda and Matthew Polenzani makes his company role debut as the womanizing Duke. Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes his Met debut.
Anna Netrebko reprises her Adina in Bartlett Sher's production of Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, which opened the Met's 2012-13 season. Maurizio Benini returns to conduct a cast that features Ramón Vargas as Nemorino, the peasant who is infatuated with Adina; Nicola Alaimo as the arrogant Sergeant Belcore; and Erwin Schrott as the purveyor of magic potions, Dr. Dulcamara.
Patrick Summers conducts the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island, which premiered at the Met in the 2011-12 season to critical and public acclaim. Susan Graham stars in the central role of the witch Sycorax, opposite David Daniels as Prospero, Danielle De Niese as Ariel, Andriana Chuchman in her Met debut as Miranda, Anthony Roth Costanzo as Ferdinand, Luca Pisaroni as Caliban, and the legendary Plácido Domingo as Neptune, king of the seas.
Vittorio Grigolo Recital
Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo will give a solo recital on the Met stage on Sunday, March 9 at 4 p.m. Grigolo and pianist Vincenzo Scalera will perform songs by Bellini, Rossini, Tosti, Gastaldon, Leoncavallo, De Curtis, and D'Annibale and arias from Donizetti's Il Duca d'Alba and Verdi's Il Corsaro.
The MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
The MET Orchestra continues its highly acclaimed annual series at Carnegie Hall with three Sunday afternoon concerts conducted by James Levine. The program for the October 13 concert includes the overture from Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani; Elliott Carter's "Variations for Orchestra"; Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92; and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in selections from Rossini's Giovanna d'Arco and Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito.
On December 22, Levine conducts an all-Mahler program. Baritone Peter Mattei will sing the composer's first song cycle, "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)" and the orchestra will conclude the program with Mahler's Symphony No. 7.
The final concert of the season, on May 11, is an all-Dvo?ák prograM. Levine will conduct the orchestra in the composer's Carnival Overture, Op. 92, B. 169; Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 14; and Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191, featuring soloist Lynn Harrell.