The Met’s 2015-16 Season Will Feature 227 Performances of 25 Operas, Including Six New Productions

New York, NY 2/18/2015 1:30:00 PM

The new productions include stagings of Otello, Lulu, Manon Lescaut, and Elektra;
the company premiere of Roberto Devereux; and
the first Met performances of Les Pêcheurs de Perles since 1916

Anna Netrebko will make her New York recital debut in a solo concert
on the Met stage on February 28, 2016

 Sondra Radvanovsky becomes the first singer in Met history to star as the three heroines of Donizetti’s “Tudor Queens” trilogy, singing the roles of Anne Boleyn, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I

Jonas Kaufmann and Kristine Opolais star in the new production of Manon Lescaut,
both in North American role debuts

Met Music Director James Levine conducts five operas, including the new production of Lulu, and the MET Orchestra concert series at Carnegie Hall

New audience development initiatives, including an expanded holiday program and new incentives for younger patrons, will broaden access to the more than 900,000

Met tickets available throughout the season

The Met’s commitment to contemporary opera continues: the latest new commission, Marnie by Nico Muhly, will come to the stage in 2019-20 season

The tenth season of The Met: Live in HD series will feature 10 live transmissions, beginning October 3 with Il Trovatore and including all six new productions

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2015-16 season will present 227 opera performances in a varied repertory, ranging from rarely performed masterpieces to perennial audience favorites. The season features six new productions and 18 revivals, starring the world’s greatest singers and conductors, many of them in repertory they have not previously performed with the company.

The six new stagings will be, in chronological order, Verdi’s Otello, opening the season on September 21, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Bartlett Sher; Berg’s Lulu (November 5), conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and directed by visual artist William Kentridge in his first Met staging since the acclaimed company premiere of The Nose; Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles (December 31), which will have its first Met performances in nearly a century, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Penny Woolcock; Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (February 12), conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Richard Eyre; the company premiere of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (March 24), conducted by Maurizio Benini and directed by David McVicar; and Richard Strauss’s Elektra (April 14), conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in the final opera production by the late Patrice Chéreau.

All six new productions will be featured in the tenth season of The Met: Live in HD series, which will feature ten transmissions beginning on October 3 with Il Trovatore, starring Anna Netrebko as Leonora. Netrebko will also make her New York recital debut in a solo concert on the stage of the Met on February 28, 2016.

The 2015-16 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb and Met Music Director James Levine, whose conducting duties for the season include the new production of Berg’s Lulu; revivals of Wagner’s Tannhäuser; Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus; Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, with Plácido Domingo in the title role; and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail; and a series of three MET Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.

“It’s a season that should please our audiences, both old and new,” said Gelb. “We’re showcasing our established and rising stars in new productions, and in both popular and rare revivals that should stimulate our singers and the opera-loving public that they serve.”

“We have a great array of operas this season, ranging from Verdi and Puccini to Berg and Strauss,” said Levine. “I’m really looking forward to working on pieces I’ve loved performing with this company for decades, like Lulu and Tannhäuser. I’m glad that we can present a Mozart gem our audience doesn’t get to see often, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and do my first performances of a terrific piece I haven’t been able to make a priority in the past, Die Fledermaus. And of course, it’s exciting to be working with Plácido again on a work as rich and moving as Simon Boccanegra.”

The Met’s commitment to contemporary opera continues, with ongoing development of new pieces for the opera and music theater stages through the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works program and a new Met commission to announce: Nico Muhly’s Marnie, based on the 1961 Winston Graham novel famously adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. Marnie, with a libretto by playwright Nicholas Wright, will come to the Met stage in 2019-20 in a production directed by Michael Mayer. For more on the Met’s contemporary opera initiatives, see “Modern Opera at the Met” below.

The majority of ticket prices will remain unchanged in 2015-16 with an average increase of 1 percent overall. In addition to the ongoing rush and student ticket programs, the company will debut a series of new audience-building initiatives:

  • an expansion of the popular tradition of Holiday Presentations
  • two “Family Day” open houses at Christmas week matinees of The Barber of Seville
  • a half-off ticket offer for patrons under 18 during the peak tourism season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s
  • “Fridays Under Forty,” a special series of 8 p.m. Friday performances designed for young professionals who may be experiencing the Met for the first time

 

Further details on new productions, casting, repertory, special events, ticket prices, audience development initiatives, the Live in HD series, and more are available below.

 

New Productions

Otello – Giuseppe Verdi                                                               OPENING NIGHT   

Opening: September 21, 2015

Conductors: Yannick Nézet-Séguin/Adam Fischer

Production: Bartlett Sher

Set Designer: Es Devlin

Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber

Lighting Designer: Donald Holder

Projection Designer: Luke Halls

Live in HD: October 17, 2015

 

The season will open with a new staging of Verdi’s masterpiece Otello, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his first Met opening night. Bartlett Sher’s new production will star Aleksandrs Antonenko in his first Met performances of the tormented Moor of Venice, with Sonya Yoncheva in her role debut as his wife, Desdemona, and Željko Lučić as Otello’s sinister rival, Iago. The staging, also featuring Dimitri Pittas as Cassio and Günther Groissböck as Lodovico, will mark the Met debut of set designer Es Devlin, whose previous designs include the 2014 revival of Machinal on Broadway and numerous opera productions for Covent Garden, La Scala, and other leading companies.

Otello returns in April and May with Antonenko and Lučić leading a new cast, conducted by Adam Fischer. The singers include Hibla Gerzmava as Desdemona, Alexey Dolgov as Cassio, and James Morris as Lodovico.

 

Lulu – Alban Berg                                                                                                             

Opening: November 5, 2015

Conductor: James Levine

Production: William Kentridge

Co-Director: Luc De Wit

Projection Designer: Catherine Meyburgh

Set Designer: Sabine Theunissen

Costume Designer: Greta Goiris

Lighting Designer: Urs Schönebaum

Live in HD: November 21, 2015

 

            William Kentridge returns to the Met for his first new production since the company premiere of The Nose, which caused a sensation when it opened in 2010. The inventive visual artist will stage Berg’s shocking masterpiece about a sexually irresistible young woman whose wanton behavior causes destruction for those who fall under her spell. James Levine conducts one of the operas with which he is most identified; he has led 30 Met performances of the work, including the company premiere in 1977. Marlis Petersen reprises her acclaimed interpretation of the title role, with Susan Graham as the Countess Geschwitz, one of Lulu’s most devoted admirers, and Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber among the men who fall victim to her charms.

 

Les Pêcheurs de Perles – Georges Bizet                                  NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA

Opening: December 31, 2015

Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda/Antony Walker

Production: Penny Woolcock

Set Designer: Dick Bird

Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard

Lighting Designer: Jen Schriever

Projection Design: 59 Productions

Movement Director: Andrew Dawson

Live in HD: January 16, 2016

 

            For the first time since Enrico Caruso starred in the opera in 1916, the Met will present Bizet’s lush, melodic romance Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers), in a production by director Penny Woolcock, who made her Met debut staging John Adams’s Doctor Atomic. Gianandrea Noseda conducts a cast led by Diana Damrau as the beautiful priestess Leïla. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien sing the roles of Nadir and Zurga, the two pearl fishers whose friendship is tested by their rivalry for Leïla’s affections; their “Au fond du temple saint” is one of the most beloved duets in opera. Nicolas Testé sings the high priest Nourabad in the new production, which will have its premiere on New Year’s Eve. Antony Walker conducts the performances on January 27 and February 4. 

 

Manon Lescaut – Giacomo Puccini                                                                               

Opening: February 12, 2016

Conductor: Fabio Luisi

Production: Sir Richard Eyre

Set Designer: Rob Howell

Costume Designer: Fotini Dimou

Lighting Designer: Peter Mumford

Choreographer: Sara Erde

Live in HD: March 5, 2016

 

            Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann star as the ill-fated lovers at the center of Manon Lescaut, Puccini’s passionate adaptation of the classic novel about a free-spirited country girl who becomes the toast of Paris. Richard Eyre’s new production, set in the 1940s, reunites him with set designer Rob Howell, his collaborator on recent Met productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Werther, and Carmen. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi conducts the new staging, which also stars Massimo Cavalletti as Manon’s cousin, Lescaut, and Brindley Sherratt as Geronte, her wealthy older lover.

 

Roberto Devereux Gaetano Donizetti                                        MET PREMIERE

Opening: March 24, 2016

Conductor: Maurizio Benini

Production: Sir David McVicar

Set Designer: Sir David McVicar

Costume Designer: Moritz Junge

Lighting Designer: Paule Constable

Choreographer: Leah Hausman

Live in HD: April 16, 2016

 

            The final opera in Donizetti’s “Tudor trilogy” focuses on the older Queen Elizabeth I, who is forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves. Sir David McVicar, who directed the Met premieres of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, returns to stage the final installment in the series. Acclaimed bel canto soprano Sondra Radvanovsky will sing Elizabeth I in Roberto Devereux as well as the title roles in Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda over the course of the season, a famous feat performed by Beverly Sills at New York City Opera in the 1970s and not repeated in New York since. Roberto Devereux also stars Matthew Polenzani as the title character; Elīna Garanča as Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham and the queen’s secret rival; and Mariusz Kwiecien as the Duke of Nottingham. Maurizio Benini conducts the first-ever Met performances of this work.

 

Elektra  – Richard Strauss                                                                                               

Opening: April 14, 2016

Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Production: Patrice Chéreau

Stage Director: Vincent Huguet

Set Designer: Richard Peduzzi

Costume Designer: Caroline de Vivaise

Lighting Designer: Dominique Bruguière

Live in HD: April 30, 2016

 

            Strauss’s blazing tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge comes to the Met in the final opera production by the legendary director Patrice Chéreau, who died in 2014. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who made a riveting Met debut leading Chéreau’s production of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead in 2009, returns to conduct an extraordinary cast headed by Nina Stemme as the obsessed and bloodthirsty title character. Waltraud Meier sings her first Met performances of Klytämnestra, Elektra’s mother and the object of her fury, with Adrianne Pieczonka as Elektra’s sister, Chrysothemis; Eric Owens as her exiled brother, Orest; and German tenor Burkhard Ulrich, in his Met debut, as the corrupt monarch Aegisth. Chéreau’s longtime collaborator Vincent Huguet will stage the production at the Met.

 

Casting Notes

Many of the artists in the Met’s 2015-16 season will be singing repertory they have never before performed at the Met. Among the many significant company role debuts: Sondra Radvanovsky, who will become the first singer in Met history to sing the three bel canto heroines of Donizetti’s “Tudor trilogy,” the title characters in Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda and Elizabeth I in Roberto Devereux; Aleksandrs Antonenko, who sings the title role in Otello; Johan Botha, who sings the title role in Wagner’s Tannhäuser; Javier Camarena, the Mexican tenor who caused a sensation in La Cenerentola last season and returns to sing Ernesto in Don Pasquale; Diana Damrau, who sings Leïla in the new production of Les Pêcheurs de Perles; Elīna Garanča, who sings Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena and Sara in Roberto Devereux; Angela Gheorghiu, who sings her first complete Met performances of the title role in Tosca; Christine Goerke, who sings the title role in Turandot; Susan Graham, who sings Countess Geschwitz in the new production of Lulu and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus; Franz Grundheber, who sings Schigolch in Lulu; Jonas Kaufmann, who sings des Grieux in the new production of Manon Lescaut, opposite Kristine Opolais in the title role; Simon Keenlyside, who sings the title role in Rigoletto; Peter Mattei, who sings his first Met performances of Wolfram in Tannhäuser; Anna Netrebko, who sings Leonora in Il Trovatore; Nina Stemme, who sings her first Met performances since 2010 as the title characters of both Turandot and the new production of Elektra; and Sonya Yoncheva, who makes her role debut as Desdemona in Otello on opening night.

In addition, many major stars will reprise acclaimed roles from their Met repertory, including Plácido Domingo in the title role of Simon Boccanegra; Piotr Beczala as the Duke in Rigoletto; Joyce DiDonato as Elena in La Donna del Lago; Dmitri Hvorostovsky as di Luna in Il Trovatore; and Dolora Zajick, who sings Azucena in Il Trovatore 27 years after her Met debut in the same role.

Notable debuts this season include American sopranos Leah Crocetto (Liù in Turandot) and Nadine Sierra (Gilda in Rigoletto); Italian sopranos Maria Agresta (Mimì in La Bohème) and Eleonora Buratto (Norina in Don Pasquale); Swedish mezzo-soprano Katarina Leoson (Maddalena in Rigoletto); American tenors Daniel Brenna (Alwa in Lulu) and David Portillo (Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville); Spanish tenor Celso Albelo (Leicester in Maria Stuarda); Polish baritone Artur Rucinski (Sharpless in Madama Butterfly); Romanian baritone Levente Molnar (Marcello in La Bohème and Malatesta in Don Pasquale);  English conductor Karel Mark Chichon (Madama Butterfly); and Spanish conductor Enrique Mazzola (L’Elisir d’Amore).

 

Repertory

The 2015-16 season will feature 18 revivals of works by nine composers, ranging from repertory favorites to rarely performed masterpieces.

James Levine conducts the first Met performances of Wagner’s Tannhäuser since 2004, with Johan Botha in the demanding title role. The cast also includes Peter Mattei as Wolfram, his second Met Wagner role; Günther Groissböck as the Landgraf; and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth and Michelle DeYoung as Venus, the human and divine rivals for Tannhäuser’s affection.

Levine also conducts a revival of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart’s comedy set in a harem, which was last performed at the Met in 2008. Albina Shagimuratova, who made a notable Met debut as Mozart’s Queen of the Night and returns later in the 2014-15 season to sing Lucia di Lammermoor, takes on the daunting coloratura role of Konstanze. The cast also includes Paul Appleby as Belmonte, Kathleen Kim as Blondchen, and Hans-Peter König as Osmin, the overseer of the harem.

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro returns to the Met stage with Fabio Luisi conducting a cast led by Anita Hartig in her first company performances of Susanna, the clever maid at the center of Mozart’s poignant comic opera. Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Amanda Majeski, both of whom made their Met debuts as the Countess, return to sing the role of Susanna’s long-suffering mistress. Isabel Leonard reprises her acclaimed Cherubino, Luca Pisaroni sings the lecherous Count, and Mikhail Petrenko sings the title role.

The first of four Puccini revivals presented in the 2015-16 season will be Turandot, with three sopranos rising to the unique demands of the title role. Nina Stemme and Christine Goerke sing their first Met performances of Puccini’s Chinese ice princess, while Lise Lindstrom returns to the role of her acclaimed 2009 debut. Marcelo Álvarez, Fabio Sartori, and Marco Berti share the role of Calàf, the suitor who risks his head for Turandot’s hand. Anita Hartig, Hibla Gerzmava, and Leah Crocetto (in her Met debut) sing the angelic slave girl Liù, with James Morris and Alexander Tsymbalyuk sharing the role of Timur. Paolo Carignani conducts.

Tosca returns with four different sopranos inhabiting the role of opera’s ultimate diva: Oksana Dyka, Angela Gheorghiu, Maria Guleghina, and Liudmyla Monastyrska. Tosca’s lover, Cavaradossi, will be shared by three Italian tenors: Massimo Giordano, Marcello Giordani, and Roberto Aronica, with George Gagnidze and Željko Lučić alternating as the villain Scarpia, and Plácido Domingo and Joseph Colaneri on the conductor’s podium.

This season’s performances of La Bohème will mark the Met debut of Italian soprano Maria Agresta as the frail seamstress Mimì, with Ramón Vargas and Bryan Hymel as Rodolfo, the penniless poet who loves her. The role of the spitfire Musetta is shared by Susanna Phillips, Ana María Martínez, in her first Met performances since 2005, and Ailyn Pérez. Quinn Kelsey, Alexey Lavrov, Alessio Arduini, Christian Van Horn, and debuting artists Levente Molnar and David Pershall are among the other leading singers in this season’s performances, conducted by Paolo Carignani and Dan Ettinger.

Madama Butterfly will star soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, who adds the role of Cio-Cio-San to her extensive repertory, and Kristine Opolais, who sang the role to acclaim in 2014. Massimo Giordano, Roberto Alagna, and Roberto De Biasio sing the callous Lieutenant Pinkerton and conductor Karel Mark Chichon makes his Met debut.

The first Verdi revival of the season is Il Trovatore, with Anna Netrebko in her long-awaited company role debut as Leonora. Yonghoon Lee sings his first Met performances of Manrico, opposite Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna and Dolora Zajick in her signature role of the vengeful gypsy Azucena. Marco Armiliato conducts all performances of the opera this season. The February 2016 performances will star Angela Meade as Leonora opposite Marcello Giordani as Manrico.

Michael Mayer’s Las Vegas-set production of Rigoletto returns to the Met with Simon Keenlyside and Željko Lučić sharing the role of the unlucky jester. Two rising sopranos star as Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda: Olga Peretyatko, last seen at the Met as Elvira in I Puritani, and Nadine Sierra in her company debut. Stephen Costello and Piotr Beczala sing the Duke, with Roberto Abbado and Pablo Heras-Casado conducting.

Plácido Domingo returns to one of his greatest successes in the baritone repertory, the regretful father of Simon Boccanegra. James Levine leads a cast that also features Joseph Calleja in his company role debut as Gabriele Adorno and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Jacopo Fiesco.

Anna Bolena, the first of Donizetti’s three “Tudor Queen” operas, will star Sondra Radvanovsky as the doomed title character opposite Elīna Garanča and Ekaterina Semenchuk as Giovanna, her lady-in-waiting turned deadly rival. Marco Armiliato will conduct the opera, which also stars three of the singers he led at the 2011 Met premiere: Stephen Costello as Percy, Tamara Mumford as Smeton, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry VIII.

            In January, Radvanovsky takes on the role of Mary, Queen of Scots in Maria Stuarda, opposite Elza van den Heever as Elizabeth I. Spanish tenor Celso Albelo makes his Met debut as Leicester, Patrick Carfizzi sings Cecil, and Kwangchul Youn sings Talbot. Riccardo Frizza conducts his first Met performances of Donizetti’s historical tragedy.

            The season will also feature two Donizetti comedies. Don Pasquale will star Ambrogio Maestri as the title character, with Javier Camarena in a new Met role, Ernesto. Levente Molnar sings Dr. Malatesta and rising Italian soprano Eleonora Buratto makes her Met debut as Norina. Maurizio Benini conducts.

            L’Elisir d’Amore will star Vittorio Grigolo and Aleksandra Kurzak as the plaintive Nemorino and Adina, the woman he pines for. Enrique Mazzola makes his Met debut conducting a cast that also features Adam Plachetka as Belcore and Alessandro Corbelli returning to the role of Dulcamara, the fast-talking salesman who inadvertently brings the lovers together.

            Joyce DiDonato, fresh from her triumphant performance in the title role of this season’s Met premiere, will return as Elena in a revival of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago. The bel canto showcase will be conducted by Michele Mariotti and star Lawrence Brownlee as Elena’s royal love interest, Giacomo V.

            The 2014-15 season’s new production of opera’s most popular double bill, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, will return in January 2016 with Fabio Luisi once again on the podium. The casts will feature Violeta Urmana and Liudmyla Monastyrska as Santuzza; Yonghoon Lee as Turiddu; Ambrogio Maestri as Alfio; Barbara Frittoli as Nedda; Roberto Alagna as Canio; and George Gagnidze as Tonio.  

 

Holiday Presentations

            For the first time this season, the Met will offer two holiday presentations, both comedies performed in English, with reduced ticket prices. One will be geared toward adults and one toward families with children. The family-oriented presentation will be the first revival of the hit English-language, abridged version of The Barber of Seville, conducted by Antony Walker and starring Isabel Leonard as the feisty heroine Rosina, Elliot Madore as Figaro, and David Portillo in his Met debut as Count Almaviva. Two special matinee performances will be “Family Days,” designed to give the Met’s youngest audience members a peek at the backstage workings of the country’s largest performing arts organization (see “Ticket Information and Audience Development Initiatives”).

            The second Holiday Presentation, geared toward adults, will be Johann Strauss’s sparkling operetta Die Fledermaus, in which varying romantic and professional agendas intertwine at a glamorous Viennese ball. James Levine, in his first performances of the operetta, leads a starry cast that includes Susanna Phillips, Lucy Crowe, Susan Graham, Toby Spence, Dimitri Pittas, Paulo Szot, Alan Opie, and Christopher Fitzgerald; the English-language dialogue is by Tony-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane.

 

Ticket Information and Audience Development Initiatives

Ticket prices will increase by an average of 1 percent across the 2015-16 season, with 63 percent of tickets staying the same price as in the current season and modest increases to the remaining one-third of tickets. Tickets throughout the season will range in price from $25 to $480, with 36 percent of the approximately 900,000 tickets available for under $100 and more than half available for under $150. The average ticket price for the season will be $160. 

Subscriptions for the 2015-16 season are available now, and single tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 28, 2015. Subscription tickets will be significantly less expensive than single tickets, with a minimum discount of 15% versus single-sale prices. This year, the company will offer advance exchange privileges to subscribers, allowing exchanges to be made from subscription packages at the time of subscription purchase. Other subscriber benefits introduced in recent seasons, including the elimination of exchange fees, will continue in the coming season.  

The Rush Tickets and Met Opera Students programs, which make inexpensive tickets in prime locations available to the general public and students, respectively, will return with no increase in pricing ($25 for rush tickets, $35 for students). More than 30,000 inexpensive tickets are expected to be sold through the Rush Tickets program, which will again be administered online as in the current season. The Students program will again offer invitations to artist lectures, discounts at the Met Opera Shop, and the opportunity to meet other opera lovers at special student events, in addition to deeply discounted tickets to a variety of repertory.

These programs will be supplemented by several new initiatives designed to further build audiences for the Met and opera.

Subject to availability, any opera ticket, in any section, for a child under 18 will be 50 percent off when purchased with a corresponding full-priced ticket for a performance during the peak holiday tourism period between Thanksgiving and December 31.

Two Christmas week matinee performances of The Barber of Seville, on December 26 and 30, will be “Family Days,” when the opera house will open early to provide children with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Met.

Ten Friday performances throughout the season will be “Fridays Under Forty,” with exclusive discounts and related events geared toward audience members under the age of 40. These performances, which include a wide range of operatic repertory, will begin at 8 p.m. and offer attendees the opportunity to socialize with other audience members and learn more about the opera before the show and at intermissions.

Tickets for both holiday presentations and the Fridays Under Forty series will go on sale in June.

 

Live Simulcasts, Open Rehearsals, and Summer Events

In keeping with a tradition begun on Opening Night in 2006, the September 21 premiere performance of Otello will be transmitted live to numerous large screens in Times Square and on Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. The Times Square relay of the Opening Night Gala is presented in cooperation with the City of New York and the Times Square Alliance. The live transmissions to Times Square and the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center are made possible with the cooperation of the City of New York, with leadership support provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. This program is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The Met’s Open Rehearsal series will again open three Met dress rehearsals to a combination of school groups and members of the general public.  

In Summer 2015, the Met’s two free summer programs will return. The Summer Recital series will again present Met artists in recital in each of the five boroughs, and the Summer HD Festival will show operas from the Live in HD series on a large screen at Lincoln Center Plaza to an audience of approximately 3,000 people per night. Together, the Met’s summer programs are expected to allow approximately 50,000 New Yorkers to experience the Met for free.

 

The Met: Live in HD 2015-16

The 2015-16 season of The Met: Live in HD will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series with live transmissions of 10 Saturday matinees to movie theaters around the world. The HD season opens on October 3 with Il Trovatore and continues with Otello (October 17), Tannhäuser (October 31), Lulu (November 21); Les Pêcheurs de Perles (January 16); Turandot (January 30); Manon Lescaut (March 5); Madama Butterfly (April 2); Roberto Devereux (April 16); and Elektra (April 30).

The Met’s groundbreaking series launched in 2006 and quickly established the company as the world’s leading alternative cinema content provider. More than 17 million tickets have been sold since the series’ inception, and the series currently reaches more than 2,000 movie theaters in 70 countries around the world.

A separate press release about the 2015-16 Live in HD season is also available.

Tickets for the 10 transmissions in the 2015-16 Live in HD season will go on sale July 24, 2015 in the U.S. and Canada, with Met Members offered priority before tickets are made available to the general public. International ticket sales dates and details on ordering tickets for the 2015-16 Live in HD series vary from country to country and will be announced separately by individual distributors.

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr.

Within months of their initial live transmissions, the Live in HD programs are shown on PBS. The PBS series, Great Performances at the Met, is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

The Met: HD Live in Schools

The Met’s HD Live in Schools program will continue for its ninth season, partnering with 40 school districts across the country to bring the Met’s live HD transmissions to students and teachers. The Met’s HD education program includes backstage visits for students, who learn how costumes and scenery are constructed; Q&As with artists; access to final dress rehearsals; in-school workshops; and teacher training workshops. Program and curriculum guides are created for in-school use in conjunction with HD screenings. Major funding for HD Live in Schools is made possible by Bank of America, with program support provided through a partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

 

Anna Netrebko Recital

            Anna Netrebko will make her New York recital debut in a solo concert on the Met stage on Sunday, February 28 at 4 p.m. The program, also featuring pianist Malcolm Martineau, will include works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky.

 

Renée Fleming 25th Anniversary Celebration

            The Met’s annual On Stage Gala, a Sunday evening dinner dance on the Met stage, will honor Renée Fleming on the occasion of her 25th anniversary with the company. The gala, which takes place Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 6 p.m., will feature tributes and performances from Fleming’s colleagues.

 

The MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

The MET Orchestra continues its highly acclaimed annual series at Carnegie Hall in 2015-16. The orchestra, conducted by James Levine, will give three concerts in the space of a single week in late May, just after the conclusion of the Met’s mainstage season.

On Thursday, May 19 at 8 p.m., the all-Russian program will feature the overture to Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor with soloist Evgeny Kissin, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique.”

On Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m., an all-Richard Strauss program will feature the suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme; Renée Fleming in lieder selections, including the Four Last Songs; and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche.

The final concert of the series, on Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m., will consist of excerpts from Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with soloists Christine Goerke and Johan Botha. As previously announced, Goerke will sing the role of Brünnhilde in the  complete Ring cycle at the Met in the company’s 2018-19 season.

For tickets and additional information on the MET Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, the public may visit www.carnegiehall.org or call (212) 247-7800.

 

Modern Opera at the Met

As part of the Met’s ongoing commitment to contemporary opera, the company has commissioned Nico Muhly to write a second opera for the Met stage. Muhly, whose Two Boys had its company premiere in 2013, is one of the music world’s leading young composers.

Muhly’s new opera will be Marnie, based on the 1961 novel by Winston Graham, with a libretto by acclaimed playwright Nicholas Wright. The novel—famously adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock—centers on a young master thief in late 1950s England who moves from town to town, changing her identity each time.  She becomes trapped when an employer catches her and, rather than turn her in, forces her to marry him, leading the two to engage in a battle of wills for her soul.  

Marnie will come to the Met in 2019-20 in a production directed by Michael Mayer. A co-production with English National Opera, Marnie will receive its world premiere in 2017 at that company.  

Marnie joins the list of contemporary operas being presented at the Met in coming seasons, which will also include Kaija Saariaho’s haunting romance L’Amour de Loin in 2016-17, Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel in 2017-18, and Osvaldo Golijov’s  Euripides adaptation Iphigenia in Aulis in 2018-19.

The Met/LCT New Works Program continues to develop pieces for the opera and music theater stages. Ricky Ian Gordon is in the midst of composing Intimate Apparel, which Lynn Nottage has adapted from her acclaimed play about an African-American seamstress in turn-of-the-century New York. Matthew Aucoin, David T. Little, and Joshua Schmidt, three critically heralded young composers added to the program last year, are in various stages of development with their new works. Aucoin is exploring topics for his Met/LCT piece while assistant conducting at the Met. He is also finishing his opera Crossing, commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, which explores Walt Whitman’s experiences tending to the wounded during the Civil War. Little, who will collaborate with librettist Royce Vavrek for the Met/LCT program, is in discussions about potential subjects while completing other commissions, including the forthcoming JFK for Fort Worth Opera. Schmidt and librettist Dick Scanlan are at work on a project focusing on the creation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house for department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann.

The Met/LCT New Works Program is funded by a generous gift to the Met from the Francis Goelet Charitable Trusts.

 

The Met on the Radio and the Web

The Met’s 85th consecutive Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season kicks off on December 5 with a live broadcast of La Bohème and continues through the May 7 matinee of Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The broadcast season will once again be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Mary Jo Heath will host with Ira Siff, who returns for his ninth season as commentator for the broadcasts, which feature a range of dynamic intermission features, live backstage interviews with artists, and the ever-popular Opera Quiz. The 2015-16 Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee radio broadcast season will be sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®, with generous long-term support from The Annenberg Foundation, The Neubauer Family Foundation,  and the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 74 will present its tenth season as the country’s premier subscription radio channel dedicated to opera. Up to three live performances will be broadcast each week during the season, hosted by Mary Jo Heath with commentator William Berger, as well as historic broadcasts from the Met’s vast collection. The channel also features lively interviews and previews of upcoming Met performances. The live broadcast season begins with the Met’s Opening Night performance of Otello on September 21. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM is available to subscribers in the United States and Canada.

The Met will continue to stream one live performance per week during the 2015-16 season on its website at metopera.org. The Met website also features artist interviews, video and audio clips, photo galleries, and other information about Met productions and initiatives.

 

Media Releases

            The Met will continue to release performances from its vast archive of current and historic performances on CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital platforms in the 2015-16 season, with the trademark artistic and production quality that has earned the company three consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording.

            More than 60 titles are currently available for purchase through the iTunes store, including Live in HD and standard definition video performances, audio performances, and ringtones. In addition, over 25 full-length videos from the Live in HD series are available through Amazon Instant.

 

Met Opera on Demand

The Met’s online subscription streaming service now features more than 525 full-length Met performances, available worldwide for anytime access through the Met’s website and the Met Opera on Demand iPad app (as well as Apple TV via AirPlay.)  This online catalogue includes more than 80 presentations from the Live in HD series, as well as hundreds of other telecasts and radio broadcasts dating back to 1935. 

Met Opera on Demand: Student Access allows university and college libraries to make this unparalleled digital resource from the Met accessible to their student population through their online collections, will continue to expand in the coming season. Student Access, which offers exclusive educational resources to students and faculty along with access to the full library of Met Opera on Demand performances, is already used by more than 65 schools around the world.

Met Opera on Demand will continue to expand to additional platforms in 2015.

 

The Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met

During the 2015-16 season, the contemporary art space located in the Met’s south lobby will present two new exhibitions, one in Fall 2015 and one in Spring 2016, in conjunction with productions from the opera season. Admission is free and Gallery Met is open to the public six days a week; the hours are Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. through the last intermission, and Saturdays from noon through the last intermission of the evening performance.

The Gallery Met Shorts series, in which celebrated visual artists use animation, video, and film to create original artworks set to music from operas in the Met season, will return for a second season in 2015-16. Each short will premiere during the intermission of a corresponding transmission from the Met’s Live in HD series.

Further details on the Met’s visual arts initiatives for 2015-16, including participating artists and subjects, will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit metopera.org/gallerymet.

 

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