Wagner's Das Rheingold and Die Walküre

Das Rheingold returns March 30, 2011
Die Walküre opens April 22, 2011



Watch a trailer for Robert Lepage's new production of Wagner's Ring.

• The first two installments of Robert Lepage’s highly anticipated new production of the Ring bookend the season. James Levine, celebrating his 40th anniversary with the company, conducts a stellar cast that includes two extraordinary artists in Met role debuts: Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde. Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann are Sieglinde and Siegmund, and Stephanie Blythe sings Fricka

• Lepage on the Ring: “It isn’t just a story or a series of operas, it’s a cosmos. I try to be extremely respectful of Wagner’s storytelling, but in a modern context.” Levine on the Ring: “It’s one of those works of art that you think you know, but every time you return to it, you find all kinds of brilliant moments that hadn’t struck you with the same force before.”

• This will be the first new Ring at the Met in almost 25 years. The Met staged the U.S. premiere of Wagner’s masterpiece in 1889; Lepage’s production is the eighth in the company’s history.


Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov

Returns March 9, 2011


Watch a video with Director Stephen Wadsworth.

• Mussorgsky’s drama returns to the Met in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth and conducted by Valery Gergiev. René Pape takes on the monumental title role. Aleksandrs Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko, and Ekaterina Semenchuk lead the huge cast in this landmark work, perhaps the greatest Russian opera epic.

• Arturo Toscanini conducted the opera’s U.S. premiere at the Met in 1913, with Adamo Didur in the title role. Later interpreters have included Fyodor Chaliapin, Cesare Siepi, George London, and Martti Talvela.



Verdi’s Don Carlo

Opened November 22, 2010



Watch an interview with Director Nicholas Hynter.

 • Nicholas Hytner, Artistic Director of London’s National Theatre, makes his company debut bringing Verdi’s most ambitious opera to the Met. The production was a great success when it opened in London in 2008. Roberto Alagna leads the cast, which also includes Ferruccio Furlanetto, Marina Poplavskaya, Anna Smirnova, and Simon Keenlyside. Canadian maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, fresh from his Carmen triumph, returns to conduct.

• Hytner on Don Carlo: “I think it’s the quintessential Verdi opera. There is, on the one hand, an implacable expression of impending doom and, on the other hand, a succession of the most gloriously openthroated arias, the most fantastically determined music.”

Don Carlo had its Met premiere in 1920, but the opera didn’t enter the permanent repertoire until 1950, when Rudolf Bing presented it on Opening Night of his first season as general manager.



Verdi's La Traviata

Opens December 31, 2010



Watch an interview with director Willy Decker
La Traviata video excerpt courtesy of De Nederlandse Opera

 • Verdi’s timeless tragedy will be seen at the Met in Willy Decker’s strikingly beautiful production, a popular hit when it premiered at the 2005 Salzburg Festival. Marina Poplavskaya stars as opera’s most fascinating heroine, opposite Matthew Polenzani as Alfredo and Andrzej Dobber as his father.

• Decker on La Traviata’s title heroine: “Violetta is an outlaw. Society shuts her out and looks down on her as a person without feeling, without love. But the further you look into the piece, you see that it’s the other way around: she is the only person in the opera who truly loves, selflessly.”

• With 962 performances so far, La Traviata is the third most frequently performed opera in Met history. It was first presented within a month of the Met’s opening in 1883 and has been heard in all but 15 seasons since 1894.


Adams’s Nixon in China

Opens February 2, 2011



Watch an interview with Composer John Adams and Director Peter Sellars

• One of the most powerful American operas of the 20th century, Nixon in China has its Met premiere in a production by Peter Sellars, in his Met debut, conducted by composer John Adams. The opera explores the human truths beyond President Nixon’s historic 1972 encounter with Mao and Communist China. Baritone James Maddalena stars as Nixon, a role he created to widespread acclaim.

• Adams on Nixon in China: “All of my operas have dealt on deep psychological levels with our American mythology. As Americans we become so invested in the concept of the president, who comes to embody our collective psyche, both the dark side—the paranoia—and the light, our idealism.” Sellars on Nixon in China: “It shows you what opera can do to history, which is to deepen it and move into its more subtle, nuanced, and mysterious corners. The opera has that particular American combination of humor and a willingness to take on big topics.”

• Adams’s groundbreaking opera had its world premiere in 1987 in Houston. It will be seen at the Met in a resized, rebuilt version of its original production.



Rossini’s Le Comte Ory

Opens March 24, 2011





Watch an interview with Barlett Sher, director of Le Comte Ory

 • Bartlett Sher, who created the Met’s hit productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, returns to direct this rarely heard Rossini opera. Bel canto sensation Juan Diego Flórez sings the title role in this Met premiere production, opposite Diana Damrau as the lonely Countess Adèle and mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato in the trouser role of Isolier.

• Sher on Le Comte Ory: “The world of this opera is a place where love is dangerous. People get hurt. That can be very funny and very painful. Rossini captures both—with the most beautiful love music he ever wrote.”

•  In 1825, Rossini settled in Paris, where he wrote Le Comte Ory, his first opera on a French libretto. He was to compose only one more major work—his final masterpiece, Guillaume Tell—and then spent the remaining 40 years of his life in retirement.