The Met: Live in HD’s 2012-13 Season Features

12 Live Transmissions, Including Seven New Productions

May 17, 2012

The Met: Live in HD’s 2012-13 Season Features
12 Live Transmissions, Including Seven New Productions
(Two of Which Are Met Premieres)

 HD season kicks off on Saturday, October 13 with a
new production of L’Elisir d’Amore starring Anna Netrebko

International stars include Roberto Alagna, Marcelo Álvarez, Piotr Beczala, Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Katarina Dalayman, Diana Damrau, David Daniels, Natalie Dessay, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Barbara Frittoli, Elīna Garanča, Marcello Giordani, Susan Graham, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Jonas Kaufmann, Simon Keenlyside, Mariusz Kwiecien, Peter Mattei,
René Pape, Sondra Radvanovsky, Deborah Voigt, and Eva-Maria Westbroek

New York, NY (February 23, 2012; updated May 17)The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live transmissions to movie theaters around the world, will feature 12 productions in the 2012-13 season. The series opens on October 13 with Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, starring Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien in a new production by Bartlett Sher, and continues with Verdi’s Otello (October 27), starring Johan Botha and Renée Fleming, conducted by Semyon Bychkov; the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest (November 10), conducted by the composer, directed by Robert Lepage, and starring Simon Keenlyside; Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (December 1), with Elīna Garanča, Giuseppe Filianoti, and Barbara Frittoli;  a new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (December 8), directed by David Alden, conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi, and starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Marcelo Álvarez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Stephanie Blythe; Verdi’s Aida (December 15), starring debuting soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, Olga Borodina, and Roberto Alagna; Berlioz’s Les Troyens (January 5), conducted by Luisi and starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, and Marcello Giordani; the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (January 19), directed by David McVicar and starring Joyce DiDonato in the title role; a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto (February 16), starring Željko Lučić, Diana Damrau, and Piotr Beczala, directed by Michael Mayer in his Met debut, conducted by Michele Mariotti; a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal (March 2), starring Jonas Kaufmann, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, and René Pape, directed by François Girard and conducted by Daniele Gatti; Zandonai’s rarely heard Francesca da Rimini (March 16), with Eva-Maria Westbroek and Giordani; and a new production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare (April 27), directed by McVicar and starring David Daniels as Caesar and Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra.

“Our live transmissions continue to transform the public’s perception of opera and to excite our performers and our audiences around the world,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “For our entire company, there is nothing quite like one of our adrenaline-packed Saturday matinee broadcasts.”

About The Met: Live in HD
The Met: Live in HD, the world’s leading provider of alternative cinema content, is now shown in more than 1,700 theaters in 54 countries, making the Met the only arts institution with an ongoing global art series of this scale. The Met was the first arts company to experiment as an alternative content provider, beginning on a modest scale in 2006. Since then, its program has grown every season, with more than 9.6 million tickets sold to date. Close to 3 million tickets are expected to be sold in the current season alone.

Met opera stars serve as hosts for the HD series, conducting live interviews with cast, crew, and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features; altogether the worldwide HD audience is given an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world’s great houses.

Tickets for the 12 transmissions in the 2012-13 Live in HD season will go on sale in September 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 2012-13 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. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline and Paul G. Desmarais Sr.

The Met: Live in HD 2012-13 Schedule
(with complete casting and production information)

Click here to watch preview videos about this season’s new productions.

L’Elisir d’Amore – Gaetano Donizetti – October 13, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 125 minutes)
Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designed by: Jennifer Tipton
Cast: Anna Netrebko (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Mariusz Kwiecien (Belcore), Ambrogio Maestri (Doctor Dulcamara)

The Live in HD season begins October 13 with a new production of Donizetti’s comic gem L’Elisir d’Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini. Anna Netrebko makes her Met role debut as the beautiful landowner Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Mariusz Kwiecien sings Adina’s arrogant fiancé, Sergeant Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri will sing the role of the magic potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara. “L’Elisir d’Amore is kind of two operas at the same time,” Sher says. “It’s an opera that’s a great entertainment, and it’s an opera that has something else happening underneath. It’s informed by when in Italian history it was written—you can see the early stirrings of a cry for independence.”


Otello – Giuseppe Verdi – October 27, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 185 minutes)
Conductor: Semyon Bychkov
Production: Elijah Moshinsky
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Eleanor Fazan
Cast: Renée Fleming (Desdemona), Johan Botha (Otello), Michael Fabiano (Cassio), Falk Struckmann (Iago)

Verdi’s towering masterpiece, based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, makes its first Live in HD appearance. Semyon Bychkov conducts an extraordinary cast led by Johan Botha in the title role of the jealous Moor of Venice, opposite Renée Fleming in one of her greatest roles, Otello’s innocent wife Desdemona. Falk Struckmann sings Iago, Otello’s disloyal ensign, and Michael Fabiano is the captain Cassio.


The Tempest – Thomas Adès – November 10, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 180 minutes)
Met Premiere
Conductor: Thomas Adès
Libretto: Meredith Oakes
Production: Robert Lepage
Set Designer: Jasmine Catudal
Costume Designer: Kym Barrett
Lighting Designer: Michel Beaulieu
Video Designer: David Leclerc
Cast: Audrey Luna (Ariel), Isabel Leonard (Miranda), Iestyn Davies (Trinculo), Alek Shrader (Ferdinand), Alan Oke (Caliban), William Burden (King of Naples), Toby Spence (Antonio), Simon Keenlyside (Prospero)

British composer Thomas Adès makes his company debut conducting the Met premiere of his opera The Tempest, which has been widely praised as a modern masterpiece. Robert Lepage’s innovative production recreates the interior of the La Scala opera house as the magical island venue for the otherworldly arts of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan. Simon Keenlyside sings Prospero, as he did to critical acclaim in the opera’s world premiere at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. “The Tempest is an extraordinary, exquisite composition.” Lepage says. “The opera captures the magic of Shakespeare’s last play. It is a box full of magic tricks, which makes it a gift for me and for the designers.” The opera also stars Isabel Leonard as Prospero’s daughter, Miranda; Toby Spence as his brother, Antonio; Audrey Luna as the spirit Ariel; Iestyn Davies as the jester, Trinculo; Alek Shrader in his Met debut as the noble Ferdinand; Alan Oke as the monstrous Caliban; and William Burden as the King of Naples. The libretto, by Meredith Oakes, is adapted from the original text of Shakespeare’s play.


La Clemenza di Tito – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – December 1, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 175 minutes)
Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Set & Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Cast: Lucy Crowe (Servilia), Barbara Frittoli (Vitellia), Elīna Garanča (Sesto), Kate Lindsey (Annio), Giuseppe Filianoti (Tito)

Mozart’s final Italian opera, La Clemenza di Tito, features a charismatic cast conducted by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket and led by Giuseppe Filianoti as the title character, a Roman emperor. Barbara Frittoli is the vengeful Vitellia, daughter of a deposed ruler, whose plan to assassinate Tito is complicated by her romance with the young nobleman Sesto, sung by Elīna Garanča. Kate Lindsey and Lucy Crowe co-star as the young lovers Annio and Servilia. Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s stylized production is one of the legendary director’s most acclaimed stagings.


Un Ballo in Maschera - Giuseppe Verdi – December 8, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 200 minutes)
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Steinberg
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Choreographer: Maxine Braham
Cast: Sondra Radvanovsky (Amelia), Kathleen Kim (Oscar), Stephanie Blythe (Ulrica), Marcelo Álvarez (Gustavo III), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Anckarström)

Verdi’s vivid drama of jealousy and vengeance will be seen in a new production by acclaimed opera director David Alden, returning to the Met for the first time in more than 20 years. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which stars Sondra Radvanovsky in her Met role debut as Amelia, Marcelo Álvarez as Gustavo III, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Anckarström, Stephanie Blythe as the fortuneteller Ulrica, and Kathleen Kim as the page Oscar. Alden, whose production is set in a dreamlike, early 20th-century Swedish environment, says that “Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s greatest and most brilliant scores, with a variety of different colors. It alternates between the light and the intensely melodramatic. Verdi pulls it all together with unbelievable theatrical energy. Ballo is theatrical dynamite.”


Aida – Giuseppe Verdi – December 15, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 220 minutes)
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Sonja Frisell
Set Designer: Gianni Quaranta
Costume Designer: Dada Saligeri
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Cast: Liudmyla Monastyrska (Aida), Olga Borodina (Amneris), Roberto Alagna (Radamès), George Gagnidze (Amonasro), Štefan Kocán (Ramfis), Miklós Sebestyén (The King)

Verdi’s iconic opera set in ancient Egypt stars powerhouse Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who makes her Met debut in the title role of an enslaved Ethiopian princess. Olga Borodina, one of the world’s best-known interpreters of the role, sings Aida’s royal rival, Amneris, and Roberto Alagna is the hero Radamès, who must choose between his love for Aida and his duty to his country. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which also stars George Gagnidze as the Ethiopian king, Amonasro. Sonja Frisell’s spectacular staging uses the full theatrical capabilities of the Met stage to immerse the audience in the grandeur of ancient Egypt.


Les Troyens – Hector Berlioz – January 5, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 300 minutes)
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Francesca Zambello
Set Designer: Maria Bjørnson
Costume Designer: Anita Yavich
Lighting Designer: James F. Ingalls
Choreographer: Doug Varone
Cast: Deborah Voigt (Cassandra), Susan Graham (Dido), Marcello Giordani (Aeneas), Dwayne Croft (Coroebus), Kwangchul Youn (Narbal)

Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed 2003 production of Berlioz’s Trojan War epic returns to the Met for its first revival. Fabio Luisi conducts a cast led by Marcello Giordani in the central role of Aeneas, the hero who flees the ruins of Troy for a new set of challenges in the North African kingdom of Carthage. Deborah Voigt reprises the role of the cursed Trojan prophetess Cassandra, which she sang in the new production premiere, and Susan Graham makes her Met role debut as Dido, the noble but heartbroken Queen of Carthage.


Maria Stuarda - Gaetano Donizetti – January 19, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 180 minutes)
Met Premiere
Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: David McVicar
Set & Costume Designer: John MacFarlane
Lighting Designed By: Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer: Leah Hausman
Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever (Elisabetta), Francesco Meli (Leicester), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Rose (Talbot)

David McVicar, who directed last season’s Met premiere of Anna Bolena, directs the company premiere of the second opera in Donizetti’s famous trilogy of operas about Tudor history. “Donizetti’s three Tudor operas are very different in tone, mood, and musical content,” McVicar says. “With Maria Stuarda being a different kind of opera than last season’s Anna Bolena, which we presented with a great deal of historical accuracy, we’ve gone for a visual style which is freer. Rather than reflecting history, it reflects the romantic nature of this retelling of the story and the sweeping romantic nature of Donizetti’s music.” Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of the defiant Mary, Queen of Scots. South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s formidable rival, Queen Elizabeth I. Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Francesco Meli as the Earl of Leicester, Joshua Hopkins as Cecil, and Matthew Rose as Talbot.


Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi – February 16, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 180 minutes)
Conductor: Michele Mariotti
Production: Michael Mayer
Set Designer: Christine Jones
Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
Choreographer: Steven Hoggett
Cast: Diana Damrau (Gilda), Oksana Volkova (Maddalena), Piotr Beczala (Duke of Mantua), Željko Lučić (Rigoletto),Štefan Kocán (Sparafucile)

Rising Italian conductor Michele Mariotti leads the new production premiere of Rigoletto, seen in a new staging by the Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer in his Met debut. Mayer’s approach transports the story from 16th-century Italy to Las Vegas in 1960, with a cast led by Željko Lučić in the title role, Diana Damrau as his daughter, Gilda, Piotr Beczala as the Duke of Mantua, Štefan Kocán as the assassin Sparafucile, and Oksana Volkova in her Met debut as Sparafucile’s seductive sister, Maddalena. “I’ve tried to imagine a recent world that captures the decadence of the Duke’s palace, where the participants are in pursuit of power, money, and beauty,” Mayer says. “Las Vegas in the ‘60s is such a world, where a kind of prankster energy could go bad—it’s the epitome of the kinds of events that happen in Rigoletto.


Parsifal - Richard Wagner – March 2, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 320 minutes)
Conductor: Daniele Gatti
Production: François Girard
Set Designer: Michael Levine
Costume Designer: Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Lighting Designer: David Finn
Video Designer: Peter Flaherty
Choreographer: Carolyn Choa
Dramaturg: Serge Lamothe
Cast: Katarina Dalayman (Kundry), Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal), Peter Mattei (Amfortas), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), René Pape (Gurnemanz)

Jonas Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character in Parsifal, conducted by Daniele Gatti and directed by noted film and opera director François Girard in his Met debut. “Parsifal is not just an opera—it’s a mission. At the end of his life, Wagner was trying to reconcile all the aspects of his spirituality. It’s a sacred piece in the history of music,” Girard says. The cast also features Katarina Dalayman as Kundry, the mystical woman who tempts Parsifal; Peter Mattei in his role debut as Amfortas, king of the Knights of the Holy Grail; René Pape in one of his greatest roles, the wise old knight Gurnemanz; and Evgeny Nikitin as the magician Klingsor.


Francesca da Rimini – Riccardo Zandonai – March 16, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 200 minutes)
Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Production: Piero Faggioni
Set Designer: Ezio Frigerio
Costume Designer: Franca Squarciapino
Lighting Designer: Gil Wechsler
Choreographer: Donald Mahler
Cast: Eva-Maria Westbroek (Francesca), Marcello Giordani (Paolo), Robert Brubaker (Malatestino), Mark Delavan (Gianciotto)

Zandonai’s early 20th-century melodrama Francesca da Rimini returns to the Met for its first revival in more than 25 years, in Piero Faggioni’s opulent and realistic production. Marco Armiliato conducts Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role of a noblewoman who is tricked into marrying the brutal Gianciotto, sung by Mark Delavan, instead of her true love Paolo, sung by Marcello Giordani. Robert Brubaker sings the wicked Malatestino, whose jealousy incites a murder.


Giulio Cesare - George Frideric Handel – April 27, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Approximate running time: 245 minutes)
Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: David McVicar
Set Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George
Cast: Natalie Dessay (Cleopatra), Alice Coote (Sesto), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), David Daniels (Giulio Cesare), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Guido Loconsolo (Achilla)

David McVicar’s second new production of the season is this dynamic staging of Giulio Cesare, a hit at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, which incorporates elements of Baroque theater and 19th-century British imperialism to illuminate the opera’s themes of love, war, and empire building. “Giulio Cesare is a kaleidoscope of an opera—a semi-comic, semi-tragic adventure story. You get romance, you get drama, you get moments of political wheeling-and-dealing, complex family relationships—as well as real emotion and tragedy,” McVicar says. “It’s a miracle, and it has enabled me to express everything I feel is important about opera.” David Daniels stars as the title character, opposite Natalie Dessay in her Met role debut as the bewitching Cleopatra, Alice Coote as Sesto, Patricia Bardon as Cornelia, Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo, and Guido Loconsolo in his Met debut as Achilla.