• Met Opera on Demand - Limited Availability Titles

    June 27, 2014

    Some Met Opera on Demand titles are not available for streaming worldwide, due to copyright or other clearance issues.  The Met Opera on Demand platform will geo-restrict these titles on the website, so that they can only be accessed from countries where all rights and permissions are cleared accordingly.  At this time, these titles will not be available at all through the new Met Opera on Demand iPad app.  Below is a list of titles currently geo-restricted, along with the countries where access to the performance is either currently available or restricted:

     

    Andrea Chénier (all performances)

    Available for streaming in the USA only.

     

    Ariadne auf Naxos (Apr. 3, 2003 SD video)

    Available for streaming in the USA only.

     

    Elektra (Feb. 23, 1952, Feb. 27, 1951, and Jan. 22, 1994 audio-only)

    Available for streaming in the USA only.

     

    La Fanciulla del West (Jan. 8, 2011 HD)

    Available for streaming in the USA only.

     

    Pelléas et Mélisande (Jan. 22, 1983, Apr. 8, 1995, and Jan. 1, 2011, audio-only)

    Restricted from streaming in the following countries: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, The Vatican, and Venezuela.

     

    Der Rosenkavalier (Dec. 14, 1946, Dec. 19, 1964, Feb. 8, 1969, and Mar. 19, 1983, audio-only)

    Available for streaming in Canada and USA.

     

    Salome (Mar. 13, 1965, Jan. 5, 1974, and Feb. 12 1977, audio-only)

    Available for streaming in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and USA.

     

    Il Tabarro / Pagliacci (Sept. 26, 1994 SD video)

    Available for streaming in Canada and USA.

  • From the House of the Dead Is “Sheer Perfection” in European Premiere Run

    July 20, 2007

    Audiences in Vienna, Amsterdam, and at France’s Aix-en-Provence Festival have all cheered the arrival of Patrice Chéreau’s new staging of Leoš Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, a co-production that will come to the Met in the fall of 2009. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who attended the Aix opening earlier this week along with General Manager Peter Gelb, will conduct the opera’s Met performances in his company debut.

    Shirley Apthorp of London’s Financial Times called the production’s May premiere at the Vienna Festival, “an evening of music theater so intense that when the curtain goes down you feel you have lived it, not merely watched it. This is Janácek’s From the House of the Dead as it should be, an evening where crushing wretchedness meets exquisite hope…. This is 100 minutes of sheer perfection.”

    Janácek himself would no doubt have been pleased. The composer never saw his final work performed; he died in 1928 shortly after completing final alterations to the score. From the House of the Dead is based on Dostoyevsky’s Memoirs from the House of the Dead, a fictionalized account of the writer’s time spent in a Siberian gulag. The work is a dark exploration of inhuman brutality in a prison camp, which, in Chéreau’s production, according to Tim Ashley of the London Guardian, “resembles the pit of Dante’s Inferno, where we first discover the convicts circling and shuffling like the damned.” Richard Peduzzi’s sets are “more reminiscent, perhaps, of Alcatraz than of a labor camp. This gives the production a timelessness that makes it applicable to almost any prison.”

    In addition to the cast of more than 20 soloists and full chorus, Chéreau has created parts for a number of actors and dancers—each with a clearly delineated character. Following the July 16 Aix-en-Provence premiere Alan Riding wrote in The New York Times that, “what this production demonstrates above all is the ability of a stage director to bring alive a little known and rarely performed opera….Mr. Chéreau succeeded in turning [all of the people on stage] into individuals—bullies, victims, survivors.”

    The London Telegraph’s Rupert Christiansen, who called the production in Aix “overwhelmingly wonderful,” agreed with this assessment: “Chéreau’s matchless power as a director manifests itself in the intensive work he has done with the cast: every person on stage has a vivid and credible personality to an extent that the ordinary boundaries of theatre dissolve and one forgets that it is only well-fed opera singers who are impersonating starving, half-crazed victims of totalitarianism.” Christiansen went on to praise Pierre Boulez, who will retire from opera conducting after these performances, for the “electrifying playing” he elicited from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

    With the Met production marking the company debuts of both Maestro Salonen and Chéreau, the hope is that the excitement in New York will match the response to performances in Aix, Amsterdam, and Vienna, where Christian Merlin of Paris’s Le Figaro called the premiere, “the operatic event of the year. That’s the way it looked on paper, and the actual event fulfilled expectations and more.” —Charles Sheek 
  • 'Art for Opera' Auction Raises Funds for New Productions

    May 07, 2007

    When the final bid was accepted at last night’s “Art for Opera” auction, more than $1.5 million had been raised to support new Met productions. Twelve important contemporary artists provided work for the sale, including John Chamberlain, Chuck Close, George Condo, Guillermo Kuitca, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, William Wegman, and Robert Wilson, all of whom were in attendance.

    Steve Martin, John McEnroe, Glen Lowry, and Jeff Koons were also among the art lovers who came out for the auction, held on the Met’s stage, with the sets for Mark Morris’s new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice providing a striking backdrop. In his opening remarks, General Manager Peter Gelb called the auction “a very special event for the Met that reinforces the new ties we have been forging with the world of contemporary visual art.” He went on to thank all the artists for their contributions, including Barnaby Furnas, Sophie von Hellermann, William Kentridge, and Richard Prince, who were unable to attend.

    No event on the Met stage could happen without music, so soprano Maija Kovalevska, currently starring in Orfeo, and tenor Salvatore Licitra, starring in Puccini’s Il Trittico, each sang a pair of arias before Sotheby’s Jamie Niven, the evening’s auctioneer, got the proceedings underway. At the end of the sale, John Chamberlain’s sculpture Entanglearpeggio was the big earner, commanding $625,000, a much-appreciated boost for the Met’s new-production costs.
  • Beverly Sills Dies at Age 78

    July 03, 2007

    Beverly Sills, one of the great sopranos of the late twentieth century as well as one of the most prominent administrators and fundraisers in the history of opera in America, died last night at age 78. At the time of her death, she was Chairman Emerita of the Metropolitan Opera’s Board of Directors.

    Ms. Sills made a sensational Met debut as Pamira in the United States premiere of Rossini’s L’Assedio di Corinto on April 7, 1975. Already an internationally recognized star and an operatic icon in America, she was showered with critical praise and public adoration. She went on to sing four more roles with the Met: the title roles in Verdi’s La Traviata, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Massenet’s Thaïs, and Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, the latter two in new productions mounted especially for her. Her final Met performance was on May 21, 1979, when she sang Norina on the Met tour in Detroit, Michigan.

    As acclaimed as she was as a singer, Ms. Sills was perhaps even more influential as a powerful advocate for the arts, in particular opera. She became Chairman of the Board of the Met in 2002, tirelessly employing her extraordinary talents for fundraising to garner support for the company, especially in the difficult times following September 11, 2001. She launched the “Save the Met Broadcasts” Campaign when the Met’s landmark Saturday afternoon radio broadcast series lost its long-time corporate sponsor. She resigned as Chairman in January, 2005, to devote herself to personal family matters, and became Chairman Emerita. Ms. Sills continued generously to give her time to fundraising and publicity efforts by the Met, including hosting live intermission features for the new HD transmissions during the 2006-07 season. The Met mourns her loss.

    Read the full announcement.

  • British press applauds new production of Satyagraha

    April 09, 2008

    A groundbreaking new production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, co-produced with the Met, received prolonged ovations from the Coliseum's capacity audience at its London premiere last week. Now the British press has weighed in with reviews of the new staging.

    “Phelim McDermott, directing, with Julian Crouch as assistant director and set designer, have created a masterwork of theatrical intensity and integrity,” reported The Times of London. “Image after image is etched indelibly on the memory, in its masterly fusion of the aural and the visual.”

    The Guardian deemed the production “a thing of wonder,” noting that “the whole thing serves as a monumental affirmation of human dignity at a time when many have begun to question its very existence—and for that, we must be infinitely grateful.”

    “Glass's theme is Gandhi and here—arguably more than in any of his other stage works—his style finds a soulmate in the opera's central character,” wrote The Financial Times. “The result is an atmospheric, visually imaginative show.”

    The ENO/Met co-production of Satyagraha has its Met premiere on April 11, 2008, with Richard Croft as Gandhi and conductor Dante Anzolini making his company debut.

    Read More about Satyagraha's London Premiere or See the Scenes from our Satyagraha Photo Gallery 
  • Deena Sydney Fink Sings at Shea Stadium

    May 24, 2007

    When 15-year-old Deena Sydney Fink took center stage on May 16, she was singing for a different kind of audience. Rather than perform for thousands of operagoers as a member of the Met’s children’s chorus, Fink was singing the national anthem at Shea Stadium.

    “I’m not nervous,” Fink said prior to her appearance. “I’m just extremely excited about doing this, because I’m a huge Mets fan.”

    Fink was among five winners of the 2007 Mets Anthem Search, held in March. She drew on her experience on the opera stage — six years with the Met's children's chorus including solo parts in Tosca and Die Ägyptische Helena — to help with her audition. “It’s very different with the sound system and everything, since there’s a second-and-a-half delay. But I’m used to blocking out other noise from the opera, so it was okay.”

    Fink’s singing must have inspired her home team; in spite of a three-hour rain delay, the Mets went on to an 8-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
  • Joyce DiDonato Wins Beverly Sills Award

    April 26, 2007

    Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, currently starring as Rosina in the Met's new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, has been named the recipient of the second annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, was established last year by an endowment gift from Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and Karl Leichtman, her husband, in honor of Beverly Sills.

    The award goes to gifted Met singers between the ages of 25 and 40. Baritone Nathan Gunn won the award last year.

    "While I was an undergraduate in Kansas, dreaming of perhaps one day being a working singer, a woman came to our school to give a lecture on our 'Distinguished Speaker' series. Her name was Beverly Sills," DiDonato recalled. "I sat in awe and amazement that this legend was actually in our presence. Fast-forward a few years, and I pick up my cell phone and hear, 'This is Beverly Sills. I want to give you my award.' I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore."
  • Kate Lindsey Sings the National Anthem at Shea June 20

    June 19, 2007

    Met mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey will sing the national anthem to open the Mets-vs.-Minnesota Twins game at Shea Stadium on June 20, when guest artists from the “Make Music New York” festival will perform a 30-minute, pre-game concert beginning at 6:30 PM. Lindsey is one of six Met Opera singers performing in a free “Make Music New York” concert at the Josie Robertson/Midsummer Night Swing Stage at Lincoln Center on June 21, along with Sebastian Catana, Ellie Dehn, José Luis Duval, Andrew Gangestad, and Jeff Mattsey.

    A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Lindsey made her Met debut in 2005 as Javotte in Manon and has since performed the Second Lady in the English-language version of The Magic Flute, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, and Siébel in Faust for the Met in the Parks concert series. This season, Lindsey returns to the Met to sing Cherubino, Stéphano, and the Musician in Manon Lescaut.
  • Met Mourns Régine Crespin

    July 05, 2007

    The Met mourns the death of the great French soprano Régine Crespin, who sang 129 performances here between 1962 and 1987. Known particularly at the Met and elsewhere for her interpretations of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Sieglinde in Die Walküre, and Madame de Croissy in Dialogue des Carmélites, Crespin’s magnificent tone, incomparable style, and subtle interpretations made her performances uniquely beautiful. In recent years, she generously made time to coach the members of our Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

  • Met Singers Perform Free Lunchtime Concert June 21

    June 19, 2007

    Performances by singers of the Metropolitan Opera will highlight the debut of “Make Music New York,” a one-day citywide concert event on June 21. The festival, scheduled for the first day of summer, marks the first time New York will join the ranks of more than 300 cities around the world that celebrate summer solstice with live outdoor music festivals.

    Thursday’s lunchtime concert (12-2 PM on Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza) will feature performances by baritone Sebastian Catana, soprano Ellie Dehn, tenor José Luis Duval, bass Andrew Gangestad, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, and baritone Jeff Mattsey, all accompanied by pianist Robert Myers. The program includes arias and duets from some of opera’s best-loved works, including Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, La Traviata, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Hansel and Gretel. Musicians from the New York Philharmonic will round out the second half of the program with Mozart’s String Quartet in C major and Steven Gerber’s Spirituals for clarinet and string quartet.

    To read more about Thursday’s festival and additional performances taking place at outdoor venues across New York, visit www.makemusicny.org 
  • Music Fans Enjoy Free “Make Music New York” Concert on Lincoln Center Plaza

    June 22, 2007

    More than 500 people enjoyed the midday summer sun Thursday for a free lunchtime concert on the Midsummer Night Swing Stage in Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. Six Met singers performed arias from the upcoming opera season, followed by a performance by musicians from the New York Philharmonic, as part of the one-day, citywide festival “Make Music New York.” The sound of classical music floating across the plaza drew many passersby, forcing event organizers to add an extra section of chairs to accommodate the overflowing audience. With yesterday’s events, New York joined more than 300 cities around the world celebrating summer solstice with live outdoor music festivals.
  • National Council Audition Winners Named!

    April 02, 2007

    Yesterday marked the end of a long and rewarding process for some of today’s top young opera singers as they competed in the Grand Finals Concert of the National Council Auditions. Having made it through district, regional, and semi-final rounds, eleven finalists took to the Met stage to perform two arias of their choice, accompanied by the Met Orchestra conducted by Marco Armiliato.

    After the performance, the six singers who came out on top were announced. They were mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton of Rome, Georgia; tenor Michael Fabiano of Hoboken, New Jersey; soprano Angela Meade of Centralia, Washington; tenor Alek Shrader of Cleveland, Ohio; tenor Ryan Smith of Los Angeles, California; and soprano Amber L. Wagner of Santa Barbara, California. Each winner will receive $15,000 -- and an invaluable boost to their fledgling opera careers.

    The concert was hosted by the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe -- herself a former Auditions winner -- who comically recalled just how nervous she was during her Grand Finals Concert in 1994. During the judges’ deliberations, soprano Alexandra Deshorties and baritone Mark Delavan, former Auditions finalists and currently principal artists with the Met, performed arias.

    Nearly 1,500 singers participated in this year’s Auditions, held annually in 45 districts and 15 regions throughout the United States and Canada. The program, founded more than fifty years ago and supported by a vast network of devoted volunteers across the country, has recognized hundreds of today’s biggest stars early in their careers, including Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, and Ben Heppner.

  • New Production of Satyagraha Premieres at English National Opera

    April 06, 2007

    Leo Tolstoy, Rabrindanath Tagore, and Martin Luther King, Jr. shared the London Coliseum stage with Mahatma Gandhi last night at the premiere of a new production of Philip Glass's Satyagraha. The remarkable staging, featuring a strong cast, full chorus, and improvisational puppetry and aerialists, was created by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch of London's provocative Improbable theater company. A co-production of English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, it travels to the Met in April 2008. The work is a meditation on Gandhi's formative years in South Africa, when he developed his philosophy of non-violent protest as a powerful force for change.

    The British premiere of Satyagraha took place before a packed house of opera fans and theater watchers, including Fiona Shaw, Michael Nyman, Graham Vick, and past Glass collaborator Doris Lessing, as well as Met General Manager Peter Gelb, who had flown in for the premiere.

    Late last night, McDermott talked about getting the green light for his first opera production a year earlier. He recalled that Glass had remarked, "Why shouldn't I let that little guy I met in the cafe do the opera?" Glass had seen the maverick ensemble’s memorable staging of Shockheaded Peter, which had played the West End and Broadway a few years ago.

    He added that with Satyagraha, his work had come full circle. “My first piece of theater after college, thirty years ago, was Cupboard Man, which used Philip Glass music,” McDermott said. “It was such a weird time slip to be doing this piece.”

    He and collaborator Julian Crouch said that Philip Glass didn't want to offer specific instructions about how to stage the work. At the Met’s February press conference announcing the 2007-08 season Glass explained, “I didn’t want to get in the way of what they wanted to think about. What I wanted to see was how a completely new generation of people would approach a work which I thought I knew very well, and I was looking forward to what surprises I might find out from their side.”

    Crouch discussed the production’s design, which features corrugated iron walls and giant puppets made of newspaper. “I’m often on the lookout for a material that can somehow embody the production. … Looking at those photographs of Gandhi … I was very struck by how … you would see these buildings with corrugated iron walls, corrugated iron roofs.” About the newspaper, he said, “Gandhi was one of the first people to harness the power of the media. …He published his own paper Indian Opinion.…We’re using newspaper as a sort of alchemical material taking these poor materials—corrugated iron and newspaper—and make visionary imagery.”

    In the midst of press and opera meetings, Philip Glass, who recently turned 70, found time yesterday to sit in with Brooklyn-based singer/guitarist Dan Zanes and his band, performing keyboards on “A Place for Us” for an audience of dancing children at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

    Speaking at the cast party following the premiere, Glass, who recently turned 70, said, "It's such a great gift to see a piece realized beyond what I could have imagined...It's one of the happiest experiences I've had."

    -- Elena Park
  • Reviews Are in for Giulio Cesare

    April 09, 2007

    In today's review of the Met revival of Handel's Giulio Cesare, starring David Daniels and Ruth Ann Swenson, the New York Times said, "We are in an age of great Handel singers, among them the amazing countertenor David Daniels, who sings the title role in 'Cesare.' The entire cast was excellent, notably the soprano Ruth Ann Swenson, a vocally exquisite Cleopatra; and, in a significant Met debut, the rich-toned Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, as Cornelia, the grieving widow of Caesar’s Roman archrival, Pompey."

    About Daniels, Anthony Tommasini wrote, "As always, this remarkable artist sang with uncanny agility, his clarion countertenor voice sounding at once tender and virile. He brought incisive attack to the fiery passagework in the defiant arias. But his plaintive singing when Cesare broods over the cremated remains of Pompey and ponders the intransigence of life and the way natural allies can become ruthless enemies was especially memorable...

    "What a stunning opera. In Act II, when Ms. Swenson’s Cleopatra, disguised as the queen’s attendant, spins entrancing lyrical lines in an act of seduction, Mr. Daniels’s captivated Cesare sings, “Not even heaven has a melody to equal such a song.” He was right."
  • Tenor Jerry Hadley Dies at Age 55

    July 01, 2007

    The Met mourns the death of our esteemed colleague Jerry Hadley. The lyric tenor sang 12 major roles at the Met between 1987 and 2002, including the title role in the world premiere of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby in 1999, and leading parts in four other new production premieres.

    Met Music Director James Levine said of the tenor, “Like everyone who worked with Jerry, I am shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely death. I had the great pleasure of conducting many performances in which he sang some of his finest roles – I particularly admired the strength and sweetness of his voice in the lyric Mozart parts and the imagination and commitment he brought to contemporary works. He was also a warm, generous colleague with a great sense of humor, who always gave his very best. I’m sure I speak for the whole company at the Met when I say we will miss him enormously.”

  • Two Met Orchestra Members Retire After 46 Years

    May 11, 2007

    The Met salutes two members of the orchestra retiring this season after 46 years with the company: French horn player Howard T. Howard and violinist Leslie Dreyer.

    Howard, who was raised in Montana and eventually found his way to New York via Detroit, was named principal just one year after joining the orchestra in 1961. “I can’t imagine having spent a life any better,” says Howard, who has watched as the orchestra and the horn section have risen to the level of pre-eminence they hold today. (There’s another institution that is also said to have risen to pre-eminence under Howard’s leadership: the notorious green table in the corner of the Orchestra Lounge, home to one of the world’s longest-running poker games.)

    “We horn players, we don’t have to skydive,” notes Howard. “A Siegfried call on your own, the Julius Caesar obbligato solo…that’s enough adrenaline.”

    Leslie Dreyer, a native New Yorker who studied at Juilliard and Columbia, auditioned for the Met Orchestra after a chance encounter with a friend on the subway, who told him that auditions were being held that day. His four-plus decades at the Met haven't precluded Dreyer from pursuing other interests, among them cartooning (he designed training manuals during the Korean War); chess (he recalls playing Pavarotti during a recording session break); and foreign languages (he learned Japanese at the age of 70).

    Dreyer’s true love is writing; he is a published author with articles in The New York Times, Opera News, and Reader’s Digest, among others. “I’m a frustrated writer who played violin to make a living,” he jokes. “I’m retiring so I can devote myself to my ‘real’ career as a writer!”
  • Thousands Honor Beverly Sills at Memorial Tribute

    September 17, 2007

    In a moving tribute on the stage of the Met, friends, colleagues, and audiences said goodbye yesterday afternoon to the great Beverly Sills. The event was co-presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Met, and New York City Opera.
    newsflash_bsills 

     

    Met General Manager Peter Gelb welcomed the crowd with a reference to one of his predecessors: “Rudolf Bing [general manager from 1950 to 1972] made few mistakes,” Gelb said, “but one of them was not letting Beverly Sills perform at the Met.” The soprano finally made her debut in 1976, only five years before she retired from the stage. “But during those years,” Gelb continued, “she made a permanent impression on the Met public. Through her art, and later through her skills as an administrator, she brought the Met to many people.”

    newsflash_pgelb 

    Peter Gelb                James Levine and Plácido Domingo

    Met Music Director James Levine then took his seat at the piano to accompany Plácido Domingo, who sang Handel’s “Ombra mai fu” from Serse with touching directness. The legendary tenor, who collaborated with Sills many times over the course of their careers, said that he had never before sung in a tribute. The event was framed by three more musical performances: Anna Netrebko sang Rimsky-Korsakov's “The Rose and the Nightingale,” followed by John Relyea, who performed Schubert’s “An die Musik.” Natalie Dessay sang Richard Strauss’s “Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden.” All three were accompanied by Craig Rutenberg, the Met’s Director of Music Administration. The Met stage had been turned into a simple and elegant setting for the event, with singers and speakers appearing in front of the gold curtain.

    newsflash_anetrebko_crutenberg 

    Anna Netrebko and Craig Rutenberg

    Tickets to the event were free to the public, and Sills admirers started lining up outside the opera house at 3:45 A.M. the morning of the tribute. Two young women, one from Mexico, the other from Russia, had taken a bus from upstate New York. When they arrived at the Met at 7 A.M., they found that there were already 60 people in front of them. Susan Gould, who came from Philadelphia to attend the tribute, said she had been to many of Sills’s performances at New York City Opera since the late sixties and recognized a lot of familiar faces from those years among the people who stood in line with her. Tickets were gone an hour after the box office opened.

    It wasn’t just fans who were enthusiastic about this opportunity to say farewell to the beloved singer. One of the speakers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, recalled Sills’s bravery as an artist and as an arts administrator: “It was not fun to be on the other end of a fundraising call with Beverly Sills,” he told the audience, smiling. “Today, I’m standing here representing eight million New Yorkers who proudly claim her as their own, and rightly so. She lit up the stage, and she lit up our city.” Sills’s friend Barbara Walters also praised the singer’s fundraising abilities: “People always had such a good time with her that only later they realized that they had had their pockets picked. But her greatest achievement was that she produced the amazing Muffy,” Walters added, referring to Sills’s beloved daughter, who was born deaf and who asked Walters to pass a message on to the audience. With Muffy in the audience, Walters read, “We were not just mother and daughter. We laughed every day together. That’s what I miss the most.”
    newsflash_ 

    Barbara Walters

    Walters went on to say, "Beverly stopped singing at age 51. She said she wanted to leave at the top. She didn't want people saying, 'Didn't you used to be Beverly Sills?' Beverly could have done concerts, been on the Broadway stage, sang anywhere. She turned everything down and never sang publicly again. Once in a while, at a party, she would join in to sing 'Happy Birthday' to a friend, at which point the rest of us would go silent. Beverly had planned to totally retire and smell the roses but then, she said, she found out she had an allergy." Indeed, recollections of Sills’s trademark humor pervaded the event, which was translated into sign language from the side of the stage. It was particularly obvious in an excerpt from her 1976 TV special Sills and Burnett at the Met. “I once told Beverly,” said Carol Burnett in her address, “that during a power outage I would want to be in a room with her—everything she’d say would light up the room. Whatever kind of anguish she was going through in her personal life,” she continued, visibly moved, “she was always cheerful.”
    newsflash_cburnett 

    Carol Burnett

    City Opera Chairman Susan Baker thanked Sills for taking her under her wing “from my very first day on the job. And her wingspan was very broad. She considered the New York City Opera her home,” Baker said. “In 25 years, she sang 391 performances with our company in 34 roles, and later, as General Director, she was a perfect mother to us all.”

    Sills’s brother Stanley shared personal memories with the audience, among them the famous incident of the missing letter in the first paragraph of her memoirs, Bubbles, when her “first public appearance” turned into a “pubic appearance”: “When she noticed the mistake,” Sills remembered, “she called me, and her opening line was: ‘What the L happened?’ She thought it was funny as hell. We called her the unsinkable Molly Brown. Several years ago, after we had watched the movie Titanic together, Beverly said, ‘You know, if I had been on board that ship, I’d have found a way for it not to sink.’”

    “Beverly had a special ability to make everyone feel comfortable,” added conductor Julius Rudel, former General Director of New York City Opera and a frequent Sills collaborator. “When I think of her, I think of her wit, her intelligence, her sparkle, and her musicianship. Every one of these qualities could be heard in her voice.”

    “I adored Beverly,” Henry Kissinger declared in the final speech of the tribute. “We served on two boards together, and we always used to combine forces. Whenever she had a question, she would say, ‘Henry and I don’t understand that.’ Or I would say, ‘Beverly and I want to make an observation.’ But the one thing I will remember most fondly about her,’ said Kissinger, “is her love and devotion to her daughter, Muffy. She always spoke of her as an integral part of herself.”

    What all those people who didn’t have a chance to meet Beverly Sills in person will remember is her voice. “We will always hear it,” as Michael Bloomberg put it. “Beverly will never be gone from us—no intermission, no curtain, no final bow.”

    A recording of one of Sills’s signature roles provided a fitting farewell at the conclusion of the tribute: Manon’s “Adieu, notre petite table” from Massenet’s opera. Audiences around the world could hear the aria, and the entire tribute, live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius and streamed at metopera.org.

    Photos by: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

  • Roberto Alagna Performs as Last-Minute Replacement in Aida

    October 17, 2007

    "I was thinking of retiring this role from my repertory," Roberto Alagna said after his performance of Radamès in Aida last night. "Then Peter Gelb called me yesterday and asked me to do this performance. I felt that if I could do this successfully in such a big house on short notice, it is really an accomplishment."

    It certainly was. On Monday, Marco Berti, who was scheduled to sing the part, told the Met that he was ill and would be unable to perform. Gelb called Alagna and asked if he would step in as a last-minute replacement. He agreed, withdrawing from Monday's Madama Butterfly in order to meet the vocally demanding challenges of Aida. Marcello Giordani sang Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella's staging of Butterfly, a production he knew well having performed it on Opening Night of the 2006-07 season. Alagna, meanwhile, prepared for Radamès.

    It was clear early in the evening that Alagna's performance would be electric. He received a tremendous ovation for the aria "Celeste Aida," causing him to beam with pleasure. "I felt very good after the aria," Alagna said after the show, referring to that moment. "But when the Nile scene began and I knew it was going well, I got goosebumps, because that is really difficult."

    MG_9617 

    Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

    Alagna's performance marked his third major role at the Met in as many weeks. With the Met season just three weeks on, he has already sung Romeo, Pinkerton, and now Radamès. The tenor's last-minute rescue operation on Tuesday reflects Gelb's desire to ensure that the best possible singers perform on the Met stage each night. The audience certainly appreciated Alagna's achievement, giving him an enormous ovation in each curtain call, to the tenor's obvious delight.

    Hear Alagna sing the celebrated first-act aria “Celeste Aida” from Tuesday night’s performance. audioIcon

  • Hansel Holiday Package

    November 01, 2007

    The Metropolitan Opera and Mandarin Oriental, New York, offer their second annual holiday package. Prime seating for the Met’s special holiday presentation, Richard Jones’s new English-language production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, starring Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer in the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale, is combined with luxury accommodations at Mandarin Oriental, New York, on Columbus Circle—just steps away from the Met.

    Available for the matinees on December 24, 29, January1 and 4, as well as for the evening performances on January 8, 11, 23, 26, and 31, the package includes:

    • One night for two adults/two children in a Premier Corner Hudson River View Room with adjoining Superior Room, or one night for two adults in a Central Park View or Hudson River View Room
    • Four orchestra prime seats to the Met’s Hansel and Gretel 
    • Holiday Afternoon Tea for four in Mandarin Oriental’s scenic Lobby Lounge overlooking Central Park

    The Hansel and Gretel Holiday Package rate for the Corner Hudson River View Room with adjoining Superior Room is $3,550. The package with a Central Park View Room is $1,850 and $1,700 for a Hudson River View Room. This package is subject to ticket and hotel availability. For reservations call 1-866-801-8880 or visit www.mandarinoriental.com/newyork 

  • Met Singers to Perform at Lincoln Center's Holiday Tree Lighting November 26

    November 01, 2007

    On November 26, Met singers Jennifer Aylmer and Kate Lindsey will help ring in the holiday season at one of New York City’s favorite annual traditions—Lincoln Center’s holiday tree lighting ceremony on Josie Robertson Plaza.

    Aylmer and Lindsey will perform an excerpt from the Met’s new English-language production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel,  premiering December 24. Other performance highlights will include “The Dance of the Candy Canes” with dancers from the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, songs of the season performed by Dar Williams, and an appearance by the Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans.

    At 5:57 pm, the holiday season will officially begin when Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse light the holiday tree—a 50-foot Colorado Blue Spruce weighing more than 7.5 tons.

    Lincoln Center's 18th annual tree lighting ceremony, scheduled to take place from 5:30 to 6pm on November 26, is free and open to the public. The event will be broadcast live on WABC-TV.
  • A Few More Good Men Needed for War and Peace

    October 22, 2007

    The turnout for our open call for War and Peace extras just over a week ago was terrific. But we still need additional male supernumeraries to populate the ranks of the Russian and French armies in the company’s monumental production, which returns to the Met in December.

    A second audition will be held this Saturday, October 27, 2007, at 10AM at Good Shepherd-Faith Church. The church is located at 152 W. 66th Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves. We are looking for men to portray soldiers, so come prepared to march! Bring a picture and resume if available.

    The production, which had its spectacular company premiere in 2002, is the largest in the Met’s vast repertoire, with nearly 75 solo roles. Based on Tolstoy’s epic novel, War and Peace depicts Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia and subsequent defeat. The Met’s principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev will be on the podium, with leading roles sung by Irina Mataeva, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Larisa Shevchekno, Kim Begley, Samuel Ramey, and Vassily Gerello. Join them on the Met stage!
  • The Met’s New Iphigénie Opens in Seattle

    October 15, 2007

    Stephen Wadsworth’s stunning new production of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, which opens at the Met on November 27, had its premiere at Seattle Opera last Saturday, where it won a tumultuous ovation as well as critical praise. “Wadsworth is a master at extracting meaningful drama from every scene,” the Seattle Times said, going on to call the production, "a theatrical marvel." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer asked, “How could such a gem of the lyric theater escape notice for so long?” The production, the newspaper said, was "a rare treasure," and the work itself, "an opera of astonishing beauty." Here’s a photo from the production.

     Iphigenie

    Photo © Rozarii Lynch

    It’s the first time the Met and the Seattle Opera have joined forces for a co-production. The Met presents eight performances of Gluck’s work through the end of December with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo in the leading roles and French conductor Louis Langrée making his company debut.

  • Heroic Tenors

    October 15, 2008

    Tenors continue to play musical chairs at the Met. Roberto Alagna will sing the role of Radamès in tomorrow’s Aida at the special request of General Manager Peter Gelb. To make this possible for Mr. Alagna, he will be replaced in tonight’s Madama Butterfly by Marcello Giordani, who is performing his second operatic rescue operation in as many weeks.

    Marco Berti, originally scheduled to sing Radamès on Tuesday, is ill and unable to perform. Instead, Alagna will make his Met role debut in what will be the first time he’s sung the part since his engagement at La Scala last December.

    It was just over a week ago that Giordani came in at the last moment to replace an ailing Joseph Kaiser in Roméo et Juliette opposite Anna Netrebko—one day after triumphing in Lucia di Lammermoor. The tenor, who knew none of the staging and hadn’t sung the part since 2003, learned the blocking just before curtain and during intermissions. But he’ll have no such trouble with Pinkerton: he sang the role in Anthony Minghella’s season-opening new production last year. Just weeks into the 2007-08 season, Pinkerton will be Giordani’s third major part of the year, with additional starring roles in Ernani and Manon Lescaut on the horizon.

  • Wegman Goes to the Opera

    October 08, 2007

    This fall, artist William Wegman created a series of works inspired by the 2007-08 season's seven new productions. The images seen here and a handful of others, all unique 24 x 20 Polaroid images, are being made available by the artist to benefit the Metropolitan Opera. For more information please contact the Met at 212-799-3100, ext 2363.

    lucia macbeth 

    Lucia                                                          Macbeth
    William Wegman, 2007 Color Polaroid 24 x 20 inches. Images courtesy the artist.

  • Join the Army. See the Met!

    October 08, 2007

    The Metropolitan Opera is looking for a few good men. The company needs nearly 250 male supernumeraries to populate the ranks of the Russian and French armies in the company’s monumental production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace, which returns to the Met in December.

    There will be a casting call for extras to portray marching regiments in this production on Saturday, October 13, 2007, at the Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, located at 152 West 66th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Sign-in begins at 10:00 am for the 10:30 am audition. Paid rehearsals and performances take place between November 1, 2007, and January 3, 2008. The audition is open to all. Please do not arrive before 10:00 am. A photo and resume are recommended but not required.

    The production, which had its spectacular company premiere in 2002, is the largest in the Met’s vast repertoire, with nearly 75 solo roles. Based on Tolstoy’s epic novel, War and Peace depicts Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia and subsequent defeat. The Met’s principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev will be on the podium, with leading roles sung by Irina Mataeva, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Larisa Shevchekno, Kim Begley, Samuel Ramey, and Vassily Gerello. Join them on the Met stage!
  • Marcello Giordani's Surprise Turn as Roméo

    October 07, 2007

    “Roméo is one of my favorite roles," says tenor Marcello Giordani. "I asked my voice teacher if I could sing it tonight, after singing Edgardo yesterday.  When he said yes, I was very, very happy.” Clearly, Giordani thrives on challenges -- he’s talking about back-to-back sold-out performances at the Met: Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on Friday night, followed by a last-minute turn in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette the next, opposite Anna Netrebko, with Plácido Domingo on the podium.



    The announcement that Met General Manager Peter Gelb made before Saturday’s performance reversed the classic situation, in which a newbie gets to prove himself by stepping in for a veteran. Joseph Kaiser, the young tenor who was scheduled to sing his second Roméo on the heels of his Met debut in the role on Wednesday, woke up Saturday morning with a cold, and it was the Met’s good fortune to be able to secure a star like Giordani to take over the performance.

    "Marcello's great performance was nothing short of miraculous when you consider that he hadn't sung the part of Romeo since 2003, wasn't familiar with this production, and had sung the leading tenor role in Lucia only the night before," Gelb said after the performance.

    Already one of the Met’s busiest artists -- scheduled to sing Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut this winter and the title role in Verdi’s Ernani this spring, in addition to the season-opening Lucia di Lammermoor -- Giordani had one afternoon in which to learn the staging for Roméo et Juliette. The unscheduled performance takes him up to four principal roles this season, more than any other singer on the roster.

    “He’s a hero for me,” raved Netrebko.  “He sang such a big role last night… I was amazed and very happy that he could do this performance tonight.  This opera needs two stars, and he’s a fantastic partner.”



    Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

    The performance ran longer than usual as Met stage director Gina Lapinski taught Giordani the production's staging throughout the show. The second half, for example, started ten minutes late so that Giordani and Netrebko could quickly rehearse the suspended-bed scene after the stagehands had installed the set.

    Backstage during the performance, the mood in the dressing room area was excited. This was the second night in a row that a last-minute replacement had walked onto the Met stage. During Friday’s Lucia, baritone Mariusz Kwiecien had bowed out after two acts, replaced for the final act by Stephen Gaertner in his Met debut. And by Saturday evening, “never a dull moment” was the refrain. A particularly fine high C from Giordani, heard backstage over the speakers, was greeted with whoops of admiration.

    The audience displayed its enthusiasm with hearty bravos during the curtain calls, which a beaming Giordani received with open arms.

    Maestro Domingo summed it up best: “It’s been very exciting. We’ve had three Roméos in four performances!”
  • Marcello Giordani Plays the Hero!

    October 06, 2007

    Hot on the heels of his portrayal of Edgardo in last night's performance of Lucia di Lammermoor (for which he received an overwhelming ovation from the audience), Marcello Giordani will step into the role of Roméo in tonight's performance of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. The acclaimed Italian tenor will serve as an eleventh-hour replacement for an indisposed Joseph Kaiser.

    Roméo is a role Giordani hasn't sung in years, and he spent the afternoon learning the character's blocking and refreshing his memory of the score, with help from co-star Anna Netrebko and Met director of music administration Craig Rutenberg.

    Giordani's performance tonight marks the second night in a row that an artist has taken ill and had to be replaced at the last minute. Mariusz Kwiecien was unable to complete his performance as Enrico in last night's Lucia. After two acts of effort, he stepped aside, and baritone Stephen Gaertner replaced him, making his Met debut with aplomb, rushing onto the scene in time for the third-act Wolf's Crag scene opposite Giordani. Perhaps Gaertner's rescue act inspired Giordani, who, with his imminent performance as Roméo, plays the hero in more ways than one.
  • Opening Night Video: Lucia’s Mad Scene

    September 20, 2007

    Natalie Dessay’s performance of Lucia di Lammermoor’s famous third-act mad scene was a high point of the Met’s season-opening new-production premiere. The performance was transmitted live to screens in Times Square and the Lincoln Center Plaza. View an excerpt from the truly transfixing mad scene here!

    lucia_video

    Natalie Dessay will sing Lucia through October 13 and return to the production next spring. For the last three performances this fall, beginning October 17, Annick Massis takes over the title role. 

  • Shakespeare Goes to the Opera

    September 13, 2007

    On Monday, September 17, the Met and the Shakespeare Society present “Shakespeare Goes to the Opera” at the Danny Kaye Playhouse on the Upper East Side. Adrian Noble—former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and director of this season’s new production of Verdi’s Macbeth at the Met—hosts an evening of scenes and song. Met singers Andrzej Dobber, Olivia Gorra, Raúl Melo, Courtney Mills, and Dimitri Pittas will perform selections from the Shakespeare-inspired operas of Verdi and Gounod, accompanied by pianist Craig Rutenberg. Actors Michael Cerveris (LoveMusik, King Lear, Sweeney Todd), Sean McNall (Hamlet), Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls; Caroline, or Change) read from Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Macbeth.

    Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
    East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue

    September 17, 2007, 6:30 P.M.

    Tickets are available through the Kaye Playhouse box office. Please call (212) 772-4448.

  • Roberto Alagna to Sing Roméo in 2007-08

    August 14, 2007

    Tenor Roberto Alagna will sing the role of Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in performances on September 25 and 29, replacing Rolando Villazón who has withdrawn due to illness. Alagna will also sing Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for the first time at the Met this season, in all six performances of Anthony Minghella's hit production, beginning October 8.

    Villazón is still scheduled to sing Roméo on December 8 , 12, 15 , and 20, with Matthew Polenzani performing the role on December 27 and 31.

    Each of these acclaimed tenors will perform opposite the charismatic Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, who sings the role of Juliette at all performances. The December 15 performance, with Villazón, will be transmitted live in high definition to movie theaters around the world.

    Legendary tenor Plácido Domingo is at the podium for most performances, including the live HD transmission.
  • Record Sales on Opening Day of the Met’s Box Office

    August 22, 2007

    A new record was set when the Met’s box office opened for the 2007–08 season on Sunday, August 19. A total of $2,085,238 worth of tickets was sold, more than ever before on an opening day, and a 25% increase over last season’s record-breaking $1.6 million. Internet sales were 50% higher than last year, with capacity for the entire new season already at 50.7%.

    Between September 24 and May 17, a total of 219 performances will be presented. The second season under the direction of General Manager Peter Gelb will feature seven new productions—more than in any other year since the first season at Lincoln Center in 1966—and 21 revivals.

    Last Sunday, the first opera enthusiasts showed up around 4am. By 11.30, the line still reached all along the front of the opera house halfway around the plaza to the entrance of the New York State Theater. Margery Laird had arrived at the Met by 9.15. “I got tickets for Roméo et Juliette, Manon Lescaut, and La Fille du Régiment—all the ladies!” she says. “But what I’m most looking forward to is opening night, when they transmit the performance onto the plaza.” Other people are still standing in line outside. A young Japanese woman is holding a piece of paper with a whole list of performances. “It’s a lot I want to see! I hope I get all the tickets.” Mary Anne Gargan from New York has already bought hers and is putting the dates into her calendar. “I’ve never seen Lucia di Lammermoor,” she says, while Joan Sutherland can be heard performing the Mad Scene on a plasma screen on the wall. “This year I will, and with Natalie Dessay it’s going to be wonderful! But I’m also looking forward to Satyagraha. I can’t pronounce the title, but I’ve read about it and I think it’s going to be very interesting.”

    For information on tickets and membership, visit MetOpera.org or call 1-800-Met-Opera (1-800-638-6737).

  • Rose Bampton Dies at Age 99

    August 24, 2007

    The Met mourns the death of Rose Bampton, distinguished soprano and mezzo-soprano, who sang with the company from 1932 until 1950. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and died on August 21 at the age of 99. Best known for her thrilling portrayals of dramatic soprano roles such as Sieglinde and Donna Anna, she made her first professional appearance in 1929, with her Met debut in the mezzo role of Laura in La Gioconda following three years later. In Toscanini’s legendary 1944 broadcast recording of Beethoven’s Fidelio she can be heard as Leonore. In retirement, Rose Bampton continued as a great friend of the Met and often brightened our galas with her elegance and charm.
  • Tenor Jerry Hadley Dies at Age 55(2)

    July 10, 2007

    The Met mourns the death of our esteemed colleague Jerry Hadley. The lyric tenor sang 12 major roles at the Met between 1987 and 2002, including the title role in the world premiere of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby in 1999, and leading parts in four other new production premieres.

    Met Music Director James Levine said of the tenor, “Like everyone who worked with Jerry, I am shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely death. I had the great pleasure of conducting many performances in which he sang some of his finest roles – I particularly admired the strength and sweetness of his voice in the lyric Mozart parts and the imagination and commitment he brought to contemporary works. He was also a warm, generous colleague with a great sense of humor, who always gave his very best. I’m sure I speak for the whole company at the Met when I say we will miss him enormously.”
  • Philip Glass's Satyagraha Will Come to the Met

    December 06, 2006


    The Met collaborated with English National Opera (ENO) this season with Anthony Minghella’s spectacular hit production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which opened the 2006-07 season, with James Levine conducting. The two companies have now announced that they will join artistic forces once more, co-producing Philip Glass’s groundbreaking 1980 opera Satyagraha. The new production is a collaboration of director Phelim McDermott and designer Julian Crouch, two of the three co-artistic directors of the visionary British theater company, Improbable. It opens at ENO in April 2007 and at the Met a year later.

    Satyagraha is the second in Philip Glass’s famous “portrait” trilogy, which also includes Einstein on the Beach (1975) and Akhnaten (1983-84). The opera is based on Gandhi’s formative years in South Africa, when he developed his philosophy of non-violent protest as a powerful force for change. The Sanskrit word satyagraha translates as “force through truth.”

    Described by The Guardian as “one of the most energizing and provocative forces in British theatre,” Improbable is know for imaginative and spontaneous work that often involves animation in performance. McDermott and Crouch’s electrifying production of Shockheaded Peter enjoyed critically acclaimed runs in both London and New York City.

    “With this co-production of Glass’s masterpiece the Met’s commitment to presenting important contemporary works on an on-going basis has been jump started,” says Met General Manager Peter Gelb. Gelb has declared his intention to present a modern work every season, beginning in 2008-09 with John Adams’s Doctor Atomic.
  • Met Opera to Appear on The Today Show

    December 28, 2006

    Mozart's The Magic Flute makes its international movie-theater high-defintion debut this weekend, and director Julie Taymor, star Nathan Gunn, and Met General Manager Peter Gelb are telling NBC all about it. Tune in Friday, December 29 at 9:30 AM, EST, for interviews and a glimpse at Taymor's extraordinary production, in a new abridged English-language version. The performance will be seen across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Norway, and Japan in satellite-equipped movie theaters. Click here for tickets to Saturday's global HD broadcast.
  • Countdown to the First HD Transmission

    December 30, 2007

    The cable trucks are parked outside the Metropolitan Opera House and set to transmit this afternoon’s live performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute to an international audience. With minutes to go before this historic global, high-definition event, tickets are sold out in theaters across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. A worldwide audience of 30,000 people will share in the live big-screen experience.

    The opera will be seen in approximately 100 cinemas across the globe, as well as two kabuki theaters in Japan. Future live transmissions from the Met are Bellini’s I Puritani starring Anna Netrebko (January 6), Tan Dun’s The First Emperor starring Plácido Domingo (January 13), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin starring Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky (February 24), Rossini’s The Barber of Seville starring Juan Diego Flórez, Joyce DiDonato, and Peter Mattei (March 24), and Puccini’s Il Trittico featuring a stellar ensemble cast (April 28).
  • Chinese Movie Star Zhang Ziyi to Appear in Met's First Emperor HD Transmission

    January 11, 2007

    Opera fans around the world will be welcomed by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi at the start of this Saturday’s live HD transmission of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor. Zhang, best known as the star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, taped an introduction this week to greet movie-theater audiences before the cameras go live to the Met stage for the performance, starring Plácido Domingo.

    Zhang has worked closely with First Emperor director Zhang Yimou, having appeared in several of his films. She is also a fan of Tan Dun especially his theme song for Crouching Tiger, which she likes to sing along to.

    Always known for her glamorous gowns, Zhang wore a dark blue Bottega Veneta dress embellished with leather shoulder straps while shooting the opening on the Met’s red-carpeted staircase.

    In an interview after the filming, the actress said that she is proud that, from The First Emperor, audiences will learn something about Chinese history and culture.
  • Seven New Productions for 2007-08!

    February 27, 2007

    “This may look a bit like a science fair,” General Manager Peter Gelb joked at the Met’s annual press conference this morning. He and Music Director James Levine were unveiling plans for the 2007-08 season and its seven new productions, the most the Met has had in more than 40 years. A wall of set models lined the stage behind them in List Hall, and dramatic photos of starring artists were projected onto a large screen, which lent the proceedings the look of a school-project exhibition—only with a group of internationally acclaimed artists assembled to explain their work.

    After recapping some of the successes of the 2006-07 season, which included a dramatic rise in attendance, Gelb described plans for an increase in the number of high-definition transmissions into movie theaters, additional open houses, and other audience outreach initiatives.

    Maestro Levine shared Gelb’s enthusiasm about the new developments at the opera house this season and next. “The Met is always an exciting place to work,” Levine said. “But it’s even more exciting at the moment.”

    Some of the creative personalities behind next season’s new productions traveled to New York to speak at the conference, including Mary Zimmerman (director of Lucia di Lammermoor), Philip Glass (composer of Satyagraha), Julian Crouch (associate director and set designer of Satyagraha), and Stephen Wadsworth (director of Iphigénie en Tauride). Directors John Doyle (Peter Grimes), Richard Jones (Hansel and Gretel), Adrian Noble (Macbeth), and Laurent Pelly (La Fille du Régiment) also presented their new productions via videotape.

    Gelb and Levine fielded questions from the capacity audience before inviting guests to the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier for a buffet lunch.

    To read more about the Met’s 2007-08 season, click here.
  • Die Meistersinger Opening Dedicated to Thomas Stewart

    March 01, 2007

    Tonight’s season premiere of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is dedicated to the memory Thomas Stewart, the great Texas-born baritone who died in September 2006. Over the course of a career that lasted nearly four decades, Stewart sang more than 20 roles at the Met, including Wotan, Amfortas, Kurwenal, Golaud, Almaviva, Jochanaan, the Hoffmann villains, Iago, Sachs, and Balstrode. Along with his wife, the soprano Evelyn Lear, Stewart ran the Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program of the Wagner Society of Washington, D.C., where they gave master classes. Tonight’s performance is a celebration of his remarkable artistry.
  • A Tribute to Beverly Sills to be held September 16

    August 20, 2007

    Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Met, and New York City Opera have announced A Tribute to Beverly Sills, a free public event dedicated to the memory of the great soprano. The program will be held at the Met on Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 5 p.m. and feature performances by Natalie Dessay, Plácido Domingo, James Levine, Anna Netrebko, John Relyea, and Craig Rutenberg. Tickets will be free of charge and available at the Met box office on a first-come, first-served basis starting at noon on September 16, the day of the event (limit two tickets per person).

    Speakers at the event will include Susan Baker, Chairman of the Board of New York City Opera; Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Chairman of Lincoln Center; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Carol Burnett; Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera; Henry Kissinger; Nathan Leventhal, former President of Lincoln Center; Julius Rudel, conductor and former General Director of New York City Opera; Stanley Sills, brother of Ms. Sills; and Barbara Walters.

    The program will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius, the 24-hour satellite radio channel, and streamed live via RealNetworks at MetOpera.org.

    Hear the Audio Interview audioIcon

    Read the full announcement.

    Beverly Sills Tribute |Sills Playbill Interview | Sills Blog | Press Release | Photo Gallery 

     

  • Rush Tickets to Expand this Season – Plus New Provisions for Senior Citizens!

    September 05, 2007

    The wildly popular Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Tickets program is back! But this season, the $20 ticket program, launched last October, has been expanded to include 200 orchestra tickets for all regular Monday through Thursday performances (for standard-priced, non-gala performances). Those tickets, which are usually $100 each, go on sale two hours before curtain.

    Plus the Met is introducing new provisions for senior citizens 65 and over. In the 2007-08 season, 50 of those tickets will be set aside for seniors for each eligible date. “We’re expanding on what we did a year ago,” says Met Board member Agnes Varis, who underwrites the program with her husband, Karl Leichtman. “It’s like a pharmaceutical product: it starts great, it builds, and then you make it a little bit better.”

    Instead of having to stand in line, seniors can reserve their tickets as of noon the day of the performance, either by calling 212-362-6000 or by visiting metopera.org. The offer is restricted to two tickets per order, and proof of age is required when tickets are picked up at the Box Office.

  • Opening Night: Live in Times Square

    September 05, 2007

    The Met’s 2007-08 season opens September 24 in a true citywide celebration, with a live transmission of Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Lucia di Lammermoor beamed to Times Square and to the Lincoln Center plaza. As with last season’s Opening Night broadcast of Madama Butterfly, the company will once again literally stop traffic, with approximately 1,500 seats set up in Times Square for audiences to watch the performance on at least three screens: Panasonic’s AstroVision, the Budweiser LED and the Toys “R” Us screen.

    Met Music Director James Levine conducts his first performances ever of Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece, with Natalie Dessay starring in the title role, Marcello Giordani as Edgardo, and Mariusz Kwiecien as Enrico. The Met once again rolls out the red carpet for the Opening Night festivites—which can be experienced live in the center of New York City, outside the Met on the Lincoln Center plaza, on Metropolitan Opera Radio (channel 85 on Sirius Satellite radio), and streamed live on metopera.org.

    The Times Square relay is free and tickets are not required. For the Lincoln Center plazacast, two thousand tickets were available to the public at the Met box office on Sunday, September 23, on a first come, first served basis. All of these tickets have been distributed. We regret that there are no more tickets available.

  • 2007-08 Season Kicks Off with Free Open House and Dress Rehearsal

    September 05, 2007

    For just the second time in company history, the Met will open its doors to the general public, on Thursday, September 20, for a free day-long Open House. The final dress rehearsal of Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor—conducted by James Levine and starring Natalie Dessay, Marcello Giordani, and Mariusz Kwiecien—forms the centerpiece of the event, with the artists on hand afterwards to answer audience questions. The opera house will be set up with special exhibits relating to the production, including set and costume designs, and audiences are invited to walk across the famed Met stage after the 11 A.M. rehearsal. As with last season’s wildly popular Open House, the event is being underwritten by Met Board member Agnes Varis and her husband Karl Leichtman.

    We regret that due to overwhelming demand, there are no more tickets available for the Open House and the dress rehearsal. But you can still see Lucia di Lammermoor. Click here for more information.

  • Legendary Tenor Luciano Pavarotti Dies at Age 71

    September 06, 2007

    Luciano Pavarotti, one of the greatest tenors and most popular singers in history, died of pancreatic cancer last night at his home in Modena, Italy, at age 71. After his release from hospital just two weeks ago, his death comes as a great loss to colleagues, audiences and music lovers all over the world.

    Following his first professional appearance in 1961, Pavarotti made his Met debut on November 23, 1968, as Rodolfo in La Bohème opposite Mirella Freni. By the time he gave his farewell performance on March 13, 2004, as Cavaradossi in Tosca, he had sung with the company in 378 performances, more than anywhere else in the world.

    Pavarotti made history with another appearance in La Bohème: in the 1977 inaugural Live From The Met telecast, conducted by James Levine, with soprano Renata Scotto as Mimì. He went on to sing in 21 Met telecasts and also made several recordings with the Met.

    To pay tribute to the singer, WNET will run an encore presentation of the 1981 L’Elisir d’Amore tonight (September 6) at 8pm and on Sunday at noon. Metropolitan Opera Radio, channel 85 on Sirius, will run eight consecutive evening broadcasts at 9 p.m, beginning tonight: La Fille du Régiment (9/6), Il Trovatore (9/7), L’Elisir d’Amore (9/8), Tosca (9/9), Rigoletto (9/10), Un Ballo in Maschera (9/11), Luisa Miller (9/12), and I Puritani (9/13). In addition, there will be a special re-broadcast of the 1977 La Bohème on the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network on January 19, 2008.

    In 1972, Pavarotti created a sensation at the Met as Tonio in Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment (the opera returns to the repertoire this season), a performance that made him an international star and the undisputed King of High Cs. His repertoire with the company included 20 roles in all, almost all of them in works by the great Italian composers, such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, and Bellini. The two notable exceptions were the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo in the work's Met premiere and the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier. Pavarotti starred in 13 new production premieres and numerous galas.

    “In the larger than life world of grand opera,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager, “Luciano Pavarotti was its greatest symbol, captivating millions with his performances from the Met and elsewhere.”

    Maestro Levine, who collaborated with Pavarotti in 139 performances at the Met beginning in 1973, added, “Few singers in the history of the Metropolitan Opera have had the popularity with the general public and the enormous impact that Luciano Pavarotti had during his 36-year career with the company. Luciano’s voice was so extraordinarily beautiful and his delivery so natural and direct that his singing spoke right to the hearts of listeners whether they knew anything about opera or not. I will never forget the sheer magic of that voice, but I will also remember the warm, generous, and exuberant spirit of the man.”

    Read the full announcement.

     

  • Opera at the Open

    September 07, 2007

    What does a soprano preparing for a major new production of Lucia di Lammermoor – featuring one of the most challenging mad scenes in opera – do on her night off? Head out to Queens to watch tennis, of course. And, in the case of Natalie Dessay, end the evening being serenaded backstage by the #3-ranked player in the world.

    Dessay-at-US-Open-011.jpg

    French soprano Natalie Dessay, a long-time tennis fan, went to the U.S. Open last night to watch her first live tennis match, a quarterfinal game between Novak Djokovic, the 20-year-old Serbian upstart, and popular Spanish veteran Carlos Moya.

    Dessay-at-US-Open-018.jpg
    Natalie Dessay and Novak Djokovic

    Having dispatched of Moya in three sets, (6-4, 7-6, 6-1), Djokovic then broke up the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium with his impersonations of Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal.

    Dessay-at-US-Open-019.jpg
    Natalie Dessay and Carlos Moya

    But the entertainment didn’t stop there. Moments after making his way off the court, he met the opera star and immediately began singing the opening bars of Leporello’s opening aria in Mozart’s Don Giovanni before dissolving into laughter.

    After the impromptu performance, Dessay commented, “I’m very happy to see that classical music can be a connection between artists and athletes. In a way, we do the same thing – physically and mentally. It was like a stage tonight; I had the impression that the audience was attending a performance.”

    The classical music-tennis connection extends to Djokovic's pre-match routine, as well. Tennis's newest star is a fan of classical music, and requests that it be played – along with songs by his favorite Serbian singer – during warmups. —Elena Park 


    Photos by Elena Park.
  • Tennis at the Opera

    September 07, 2007

    Last night Novak Djokovic, the world’s third-ranked tennis player, slugged his way to a quarterfinal victory at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows. Today he decided to take in a little opera.

    Watch the video of Novak's visit

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    On the eve of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007-08 season, the 20-year-old Serbian sensation visited the opera house to sit in on a rehearsal of Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, which will premiere on Opening Night on September 24—onstage at the Met and transmitted live to Times Square. The internationally acclaimed French soprano Natalie Dessay, who sings the title role, is a serious tennis fan, and she was in the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium last night rooting on Djokovic as he beat Spanish veteran Carlos Moya. (See the item below for more details on Dessay’s tennis outing.) The opera star met the tennis star after the match and invited him to see her in action the next day.

    Djokovic_Dessay_1
    Novak Djokovic and Natalie Dessay

    Photo by: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera



    Wearing jeans and a white button-down shirt, Djokovic sat in the vast Met auditorium and observed as Dessay tore into Donizetti’s famous mad scene. Leaning forward in his seat, with his parents sitting nearby, he laughed, seemingly amazed, as the soprano launched into dazzling vocal fireworks.

    Djokovic has become well-known for his spot-on impersonations of other tennis players, and when the Met team took a break, he was able to indulge his inner performer with a walk across the stage with General Manager Peter Gelb. Dessay explained the finer points of projecting into a theater as large as the Met and urged the tennis player to let loose with a couple of notes. He did, first in soprano register, then—surprising everyone—launching into Leporello’s opening lines from Don Giovanni in near-perfect Italian.

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    Novak Djokovic and Peter Gelb

    Photo by: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera



    Djokovic doesn’t have a lot of time to make it to the opera, but his agent, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, plays classical music for him during practice sessions. And he learned the Leporello excerpt watching YouTube.

    After this impromptu Met debut, it was back to the court to prepare for tomorrow’s semifinal match against David Ferrer. Possibly on the horizon: a final-round encounter with top-ranked Roger Federer. “You have to win!” Dessay exhorted as Djokovic left the stage.

    Dessay_Djokovic_Gelb_2
    Natalie Dessay, Novak Djokovic and Peter Gelb

    Photo by: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera



    In fact, the soprano sees similarities between her profession and Djokovic’s, comparing Lucia’s mad scene to a match: “It’s like tennis,” she says of balancing the physical and psychological elements of a performance. “You have your technique but in the moment you play the match, you have to let it go in order to be able to win.”
    —Matt Dobkin

    Novak Djokovic plays his U.S. Open semifinal match on Saturday afternoon. Natalie Dessay stars in the opening night performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met on September 24. 
  • Holiday Tree Lighting

    November 27, 2007

    The traditional Lincoln Center Holiday Tree Lighting drew a large crowd to Josie Robertson Plaza today. The afternoon’s hosts, ABC’s Sade Baderinwa and Good Morning America’s Sam Champion, welcomed all the “dedicated fans,” who had shown up despite some rain—which stopped at exactly 5.30 P.M., just in time for the beginning of the show. Excerpts from George Balanchine’s Nutcracker, presented by soloists, ensemble, and members of the school of the New York City Ballet, opened the program, which was broadcast live on WABC-TV. “These sugar plum fairies don’t melt in the mist,” Champion joked, referring to the most famous number from the Tchaikovsky score. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams, who will appear in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series later in the season, drew cheers from the audience with her folksy rendition of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!” before the Mets’ Jennifer Aylmer, Kate Lindsey, and Sasha Cooke took the stage on the Grand Tier balcony. Accompanied live by members of the Met orchestra, they performed the Sandman scene and the prayer from the end of Act I of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, as a preview of Richard Jones’s upcoming new production, which opens on December 24. Following an swinging performance by the Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans, Mickey and Minnie Mouse appeared on the New York State Theater’s balcony to light the tree by waving their magical wands to a countdown from five to zero—helped by dozens of kids on the plaza. A 50-foot Colorado Blue Spruce weighing over 7.5 tons, the tree is decorated with almost 100 ornaments designed by Wedgwood. A rousing rendition of “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching in” by the Hot 8 Brass Band provided the rousing finale to the program. 
  • The Met on Demand

    November 28, 2007

    The Met has joined iN DEMAND Networks to offer opera to millions of people on TV. Beginning January 16, 2008, the groundbreaking Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition series will make its on-demand television debut. All eight performances from the second season of the phenomenally successful worldwide HD transmissions will be available to cable audiences. By way of an agreement between the Met and iN DEMAND Networks, the performances are offered to subscribers in the US in both standard and high definition formats. “With this agreement, we are creating the opera equivalent of a Hollywood movie roll-out,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “I think opera fans will be thrilled to play our movie theater transmissions at home on their own schedules.”

    Each show will be available within 30 days of theatrical release, with the acclaimed production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, starring Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna and conducted by Plácido Domingo, kicking off the series on Wednesday, January 16, 2008. “The Metropolitan Opera made international headlines last season by bringing the magic of its performances to movie theatres worldwide,” said Robert D. Jacobson, President and CEO of iN DEMAND Networks. “On demand and high-definition television technologies will again allow the Met to make history by bringing the excitement, vivid sound and exquisite picture quality to millions of fans throughout the country.” In addition to Roméo et Juliette, the operas slated for on-demand release include Hansel and Gretel, Macbeth, Manon Lescaut, Tristan und Isolde, Peter Grimes, La Fille du Régiment, and La Bohème.

    Read the full announcement. 
  • John Macfarlane: Hansel and Gretel & Other Recent Work

    November 28, 2007

    John Macfarlane’s imaginative costume designs for the new production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel will be on display in a new exhibition in Founders Hall starting this month. The designer’s elaborate watercolors of tree people, fish heads, and the plump witch—all of which figure in the production—will be shown alongside some of his other original artwork. Macfarlane has pursued parallel careers in painting and the theater, and his works as a visual artist and printmaker have regularly been on display throughout Europe. “His work has the same impact in the gallery that it has on stage,” says Met Director of Archives Robert Tuggle, who organized the exhibition. “However, close inspection reveals a quality of draftsmanship that would be at home in a fine collection of master drawings.” 

    Macfarlane’s set model for Hansel and Gretel, which was part of last summer’s popular Opera by Design exhibit in Gallery Met, will also be shown in the opera house, from mid-December into the New Year, on the Dress Circle level. Founders Hall is located on the Met’s concourse level and is open to ticket-holders prior to and during performances.

  • Met Baritone Frank Guarrera Dies At 83

    November 28, 2007

    The longtime Met baritone Frank Guarrera, a native of South Philadelphia, died last Friday at age 83 at his home in Bellmawr, New Jersey. Born on December 3, 1923, he first came to the company in 1948 after winning the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air (a precursor of the National Council Auditions). During his 28 years with the Met, he sang in 680 performances of 35 roles. He made his debut as Escamillo in Carmen, which he went on to sing a total of 85 times, more than any other baritone in the history of the Met, and was also renowned for his Guglielmo and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In 1960, he took over the part of Simon Boccanegra from Leonard Warren, after the singer died on stage during a performance. Arturo Toscanini, who heard Guarrera perform at the 1948 auditions, brought him to La Scala for a production of Boito’s Nerone on the 30th anniversary of the composer’s death. In 1950, he cast him as Ford in his legendary radio broadcast of Falstaff, which is still available on CD and regarded as one of the best opera recordings in history. Frank Guarrera’s final role at the Met was Gianni Schicchi, which he last sang in 1976. After his retirement from the stage, he taught at the University of Washington in Seattle for ten years. The Met mourns his death.

  • William Wegman Poster-Signing!

    November 29, 2007

    Artist William Wegman will be at the Met on December 8 to sign special-edition posters inspired by the Met’s new production of La Fille du Régiment, premiering April 21.

    Best known for his photographs of Weimaraners in various costumes and poses, Wegman is no stranger to the opera house, having created a series of photographs honoring the Met’s seven new productions in 2007-08. In October, a giant banner of his Macbeth-inspired work appeared on the front of the opera house, and his Hansel and Gretel image is currently on display in Gallery Met.

    William Wegman will sign a limited number of Fille posters in the Met Opera lobby from 4-5pm on December 8. For that day only, signed posters will be available for $100. Beginning December 9, signed posters will be sold through the Met Opera Shop and online for $125; unsigned posters will be sold for $50. Proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Opera. 

  • Louis Langrée's Met debut

    December 04, 2007

    Last night, Louis Langrée made his Met debut conducting a musically stunning performance of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride. And if leading a new production premiere starring Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo weren’t exciting enough, the maestro was also awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, at the post-show cast party.

    “The conductor is the only musician who doesn’t produce any sounds,” Langrée said from the podium on the Grand Tier, where Kareen Rispal, the French Embassy’s Cultural Counselor, presented him with the medal. “So I would like to thank all the singers and musicians, because without you we cannot do anything. I’m very pleased to receive this, not in the Palais de la République, but here in this temple of music, the Met.”

    In fact, it was Langrée’s idea that the award should be presented at the Met on the heels of the premiere. “A Met debut is such an important thing in the life of a musician. It’s such a privilege, and to receive this here is very special.”

    Maestro Langrée continues at the podium for Stephen Wadsworth’s new production of Iphigénie through December 22.

  • The Met Reaches Out to New Audiences

    December 14, 2007

    The Met’s groundbreaking series of live HD performance transmissions will not only be seen in movie theaters around the world this season, but also in New York City schools in each of the five boroughs. Yesterday, a group of 30 school kids from Long Island City High School in Queens and Celia Cruz Bronx High School visited the Met to take a look at the backstage workings of the opera house in preparation for Saturday’s transmission of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, which both schools will be presenting. The production’s Juliette, superstar soprano Anna Netrebko, was on hand to take questions from the kids.

    The group started the day with a backstage tour. Most of the students had never been to the Met before, so Company Manager Stephen Brown began his tour with a brief history of the company, explaining that the site where Lincoln Center now stands was used as a movie set for the filming of West Side Story in the early 1960s. The students then got to see the electrical shop, the wig department, and the carpenters’ shop, where pieces of scenery for the new production of Peter Grimes, which opens in February, were being constructed. The next stop was the auditorium, where a rehearsal of the last act of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera was in progress. Met veteran Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who plays Captain Anckarström, sang in jeans and a T-shirt but wore his mask for the final scene of the opera, in which he murders the Swedish King Gustavo during a masked ball. Italian tenor Salvatore Licitra, who plays the king, greeted the students after the end of the rehearsal and told them that his decision to become a singer came about “by accident:” “I heard a song in a disco when I was 19 and started imitating the singer, and not much later my mother asked me if I wanted to take voice lessons…”

    The group then assembled in the Belmont Room, to meet General Manager Peter Gelb and Netrebko for a Q&A, hosted by Met radio announcer Margaret Juntwait. Asked where the idea for the HD transmissions came from, Gelb explained that it originated at the Met: “When we started a year ago, we had no idea whether the transmissions would be successful,” Gelb told the audience of the first season of HD transmissions. “The success has surpassed all our expectations and we’ve created a global opera audience. We wanted to bring opera to the largest possible audience, to make it young and to give it energy.”

    One of the students asked Netrebko what a “lyric soprano” was. “It means I usually get to play a young pretty girl who falls in love and dies at the end,” the soprano joked. There was palpable excitement among the young opera fans to meet today’s most glamorous star singer. Victoria Cruz was especially enthusiastic and almost couldn’t believe her luck: “I shook her hand!” she said, fanning herself. The 16-year-old has been singing “since I was four” and dreams of becoming an opera singer herself. Victoria is also one of a number of student bloggers who will be sharing their thoughts about the HD schools series on the Met website. Click here to learn more.

  • Schools Open House

    December 19, 2007

    Several thousand students from New York City schools will descend on the Met on Friday for the second Open House of the season. In tandem with the City of New York and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Met has invited the kids to come to the opera house on December 21 for a look behind the scenes and to see what it takes to stage a new production. The centerpiece of the day-long event will be the final dress rehearsal of Richard Jones’s new production of Hansel and Gretel, the Met’s English-language holiday presentation. The curtain goes up at 11 A.M. on Humperdinck’s operatic adaptation of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale, starring Christine Schäfer and Alice Coote as the siblings lost in the woods and a cross-dressing Philip Langridge as the Witch that pursues them.

    Food plays a key role in Jones's imaginative staging of the opera, so before the rehearsal starts, Johnny Iuzzini, celebrated pastry chef of the Jean Georges restaurant, will judge a baking competition for students of New York City’s culinary high schools. Iuzzini will contribute his own Black Forest Cake to appear on stage during the dress rehearsal (and again on January 1 for a matinee performance transmitted live to movie theaters around the world as part of the Met's Live in HD series.) During intermission, the kids will be served a free lunch.

    Following the performance all young visitors can get even closer to the action: Margaret Juntwait, the radio announcer for the Met’s Saturday Matinee Broadcasts as well as the company’s channel on Sirius, will host a Q&A with the cast and production team on the Met stage, for which students are invited to submit questions. Special exhibits and presentations will be on display on the Grand Tier level of the opera house, providing unique insights into the preparations that go into putting on a new production.

    As with the Met’s previous Open Houses, the event is possible thanks to the generosity of Met Board member Dr. Agnes Varis and her husband, Karl Leichtman. Tickets were made available to the students through the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

  • Students Storm the Met for Open House

    December 21, 2007

    More than two thousand elementary and high-school students poured into the Metropolitan Opera House this morning for the Met’s second Open House of the season—the final dress rehearsal of the new production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The students, ranging in age from six to 18, came from 26 schools in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut, with the largest contingent—nearly 300 of them—from Brooklyn’s PS 115. On the Grand Tier level of the opera house special exhibits were presented before the performance and during intermisison, featuring costumes, lighting effects, and demonstrations of how the fantastic latex heads that are worn by some of the characters on stage are made.

    Christmas cakes made by students from five of New York City’s culinary high schools were also displayed on the Grand Tier before the performance began. The cakes were part of a baking competition judged by Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef of Manhattan’s Jean Georges restaurant. Following the performance Iuzzini, who baked a large Black Forest Cake himself that was the centerpiece of the food fight in the final act of the opera, announced the winner of the competition from the Met stage. He said that since each of the cakes he was to judge was exceptional he found it impossible to select one winner, so he selected two: “best flavor” went to Staten Island’s Port Richmond High School, and “best design and decoration” went to Long Island City High School. Each of the winning schools will receive a cooking demonstration in their school from Iuzzini.

    Following the performance, Margaret Juntwait, radio announcer for the Met’s Saturday Matinee Broadcasts as well as the company’s channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, hosted a Q&A with the cast and production team on the main stage. Questions had been submitted in advance by members of the audience. One of them came from fourth grader Adama Diallo who wanted to know, “Do you get nervous?” Christine Schäfer, who sang Gretel in the performance, said, “Yes, most certainly, yes. I have to be nervous because I use that energy in my performance. In fact I am nervous when I am not nervous.” Alice Coote, also known as Hansel, rushed on stage fresh from the shower with a towel in her hair, wearing a white bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. She responded to “What is your favorite part of the show?” by saying, “I love misbehaving!” then indicated the remnants of the cake and sweets that were destroyed in the opera and were in the process of being mopped from the stage. Coote added that she could really feel the positive energy and excitement in the theater with such a large number of young people in the audience. “Don’t lose that when you grow up,” she exclaimed. The last of the cast members to arrive was Philip Langridge who sang the Witch. Having shed his body suit, the tenor, looking utterly different from how he did moments earlier, relaxed into his chair and explained that he based his character on the classic English nanny and that rather frightening old lady who lives just around the corner.

  • Die Walküre Opening Dedicated to Régine Crespin

    January 04, 2008

    The Met dedicates the season premiere of Wagner's Die Walküre on Monday, January 7 to the great French soprano Régine Crespin, who died last July.

    Crespin made her Met debut on November 19, 1962, as the Marschallin in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier in a performance conducted by Lorin Maazel, who also leads this season's revival of Die Walküre–his first return to the company since Crespin's debut season. During her Met career Régine Crespin appeared with the company in 129 performances. Dramatic soprano roles, especially in the operas of Wagner, dominated her repertory for the first decade: she was heard here as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer, Elsa in Lohengrin, Kundry in Parsifal, and Sieglinde and Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, but also appeared as Tosca and Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. After 1971 she moved into mezzo-soprano territory singing roles including Giulietta in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Charlotte in Werther, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, and Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites. The latter part was her most frequently sung Met role and also served for her company farewell on April 16, 1987.

    Born in Marseilles in 1927, Crespin made her Paris debut in 1951 at the Opéra-Comique, and the following year appeared with the Opéra for the first time. Throughout her stage career she was renowned for her dramatic skills as an actress and her idiomatic command of German and Italian roles.

  • New Met Productions Inspire Saks Fifth Avenue Window Displays

    January 09, 2008

    Saks Fifth Avenue's first window display of the spring season will feature designs inspired by three new Met productions: Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Britten's Peter Grimes, and Glass's Satyagraha. Saks will mix fashions from their spring collections with design elements provided by the Met.

    This is the second time that the department store has collaborated with the Met. Last season's window display, inspired by Anthony Minghella's acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly with costumes by Han Feng, won first prize in the 2007 Gene Moore Lighting Awards competition.

    Visit the new Met-inspired window displays at Saks on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th streets from January 12 through January 23.

  • Critics Love Maazel’s Return to the Met

    January 09, 2008

    Maestro Lorin Maazel returned to the Met podium for the first time in 45 years on Monday, conducting a searing performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre. “He is a formidable conductor,” said the New York Times of the New York Philharmonic’s music director. “A commanding account.”

     The Associated Press agreed: “an energetic yet lyrical and often lushly romantic interpretation.” “A glorious return,” declared the New York Sun, which cited Maazel’s “technical mastery and spiritual insight.”

    Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, as Fricka, was alternately “glorious,” “tremendous,” and “outstanding,” as was James Morris, the veteran Wotan, whose “voice never seemed more youthful or vibrant,” said the Daily News.

    The second and most popular installment of Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle has five more performances, through February 9, 2008.

    Tickets and Information 
  • On Stage at the Met (2008)

    January 21, 2008

    The Met Honors Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation.

    Join the Met and New York’s corporate leaders on Sunday, March 9, 2008 to honor Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation for his dedication to the arts and for his extraordinary personal achievements in media and communications.  This event salutes the vital partnership between the corporate community and the arts and is co-chaired by Ron Baron, Baron Capital; Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Sony Corporation, and Yasunori Yokote, Mitsui USA.  Sir Sean Connery is Honorary Chairman. 

    This spectacular evening of dinner and dancing on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House will include a special performance by the dazzling soprano Natalie Dessay, who starred in the Met’s season-opening new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. 

    Proceeds from On Stage at the Met will support the Met’s internationally acclaimed new productions, its education programs, and groundbreaking new media initiatives.  Tables are $100,000 and $50,000, $30,000 and $15,000.  Tickets are $5,000, $3,000, and $1,500 each.  To reserve your table or tickets call the Met’s Special Events office at (212) 870-7492.

     

     

  • The MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

    February 11, 2008

    On Sunday, February 17, Music Director James Levine conducts the MET Orchestra in the first concert of the ensemble's annual season at Carnegie Hall. They are joined by two star soloists: pianist Alfred Brendel and soprano Deborah Voigt. Brendel performs Mozart's C-minor Piano Concerto, K. 491, one of the composer's late masterpieces. Voigt, one of today's foremost interpreters of the music of Wagner and Richard Strauss, takes on the title role of Strauss's Salome for that opera's 20-minute tour-de-force final scene. Also on the program are two early 20th-century masterworks: Anton Webern's Six Pieces for Large Orchestra, first heard in 1913, and Alban Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra (1913–15), which opened the program of the MET Orchestra's first Carnegie appearance in the series in 1991.

    The following two concerts, on May 18 and May 22, feature Principal Guest Conductor Valery Gergiev leading an all-Mussorgsky program, and Levine teaming up with pianist Jonathan Biss for works by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Harbison, and Carter.

    For more information and tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

  • Winners of National Council Auditions Announced

    February 28, 2008

    Five young singers were named winners of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last Sunday, February 24, following the Grand Finals concert on the Met stage. The winners were soprano Simone Osborne of Vancouver, mezzo-sopranos Jennifer Johnson from St. Louis and Daveda Karanas of Mandeville, La., tenor René Barbera of San Antonio, and baritone Edward Parks of Indiana, Pa. Each of them will receive a cash award of $15,000.

    The winners, who range in age from 21 to 28, were selected from a field of approximately 1,500 singers who performed in regional auditions across the country over the past year. Two weeks ago 26 regional winners were brought to New York for the semifinals. Nine finalists were chosen to compete in last Sunday's concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra led by the American conductor Stephen Lord in his first Met appearance. Carolina Castells, a soprano from Florida, Dominic Armstrong, a tenor from Missouri, and baritones Christopher Magiera from Illinois and Stephen A. Ray from Arkansas were the other finalists.

    Soprano Patricia Racette, who stars as Ellen Orford in this season's new production of Peter Grimes at the Met, served as host for the evening's festivities. Talking about her own experiences as a young singer, she revealed that when she first came to New York in 1988 as a semi-finalist in the National Council Auditions, representing the Southwest Region, she didn't make it into the finals–demonstrating to those not among the top five that a major career could still be in the cards. While the judges made their final deliberations, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, herself a National Council winner in 1992, sang arias by Saint-Saëns and Wagner. The jury was comprised of Met artistic staff members, as well as Anthony Freud, General Director and CEO of the Houston Grand Opera, and Christopher Hahn, Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Opera.

  • On Location in Aldeburgh

    March 14, 2008

    Saturday's live HD transmission of Peter Grimes will be shown around the world in more than 500 movie theaters–including, for the first time, Aldeburgh Cinema in composer Benjamin Britten's hometown. To celebrate the occasion, the HD show will feature a live report from BBC East reporter Alex Dunlop during the first intermission, on location in the tiny seaside town.

    Dunlop will interview the cinema's house director Susan Harrison and Kevin Gosling of the Britten-Pears Foundation, which is based in Aldeburgh. Britten is the town's favorite son, having been born nearby, and lived there for most of his life, including, in adulthood, with his partner and collaborator Peter Pears, who created the role of Grimes. The opera is based on the poem "The Borough," by George Crabbe, who was born in Aldeburgh, almost 250 years ago.

    John Doyle's new production of Peter Grimes is conducted by Donald Runnicles and stars Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette–all of whom will be interviewed live from the Met during the HD transmission.

  • Gala Benefit Premiere - La Fille du Régiment

    April 21, 2008

    Experience the “exceedingly yummy operatic cake” that was called “the operatic show of the season” by The Times of London when it opened at Covent Garden this past winter. Audiences were dazzled by Natalie Dessay’s fearless coloratura and impeccable comic timing and by Juan Diego Flórez’s remarkable musicality—complete with the famous high Cs. Dessay and Flórez are an “operatic coupling made in heaven” raved the Financial Times. Directed by Laurent Pelly, the production also boasts stage legend and four-time Tony Award® winner Zoe Caldwell as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.
     
    The gala benefit premiere on Monday, April 21, 2008 is underwritten by Yves Saint Laurent and is chaired by Mercedes and Sid Bass and Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin.  Corporate chairmen are Valérie Hermann, Chief Executive Officer of Yves Saint Laurent and Stefano Pilati, Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent.  Honorary Chairmen are the Honorable François Delattre, Consul General of France, and the Honorable Jean-Maurice Ripert, French Ambassador to the United Nations.  Tables seating 10 are $25,000 and $17,500 and include seating at the pre-performance gala dinner, new production premiere and post-performance cast party, as well as a listing in the Gala Committee Program.  Individual tickets are $1,750 and include seating at the pre-performance gala dinner and new production premiere, as well as a listing in the Gala Committee Program.  For those who have already purchased performance tickets and wish to attend the dinner as well, tickets are $1,500.  Individual tickets are also available at $750 for those who would like to join the Gala Committee but are unable to attend the dinner.  To make a reservation call the Met’s Special Events Department at (212) 870-7492.
     
    This production is made possible by a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation.  La Fille du Régiment is a co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna.

  • The Met Mourns the Loss of Anthony Minghella

    March 18, 2008

    View a photo tribute to Anthony Minghella 

    “Anthony was a great friend to all of the arts,” General Manager Peter Gelb said of director Anthony Minghella, who died unexpectedly today at age 54. “He and I had planned a lifetime of collaboration. Everyone at the Met loved him, and we will miss him.”

    Minghella directed an acclaimed production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly that opened the Met’s 2006–07 season, the first of Gelb’s tenure. An instant hit with critics and audiences in both London, where it premiered at English National Opera, and in New York, the production captured the attention of the entire city when it premiered on the Met stage and on giant screens in Times Square. 

    Minghella was beloved by the Met’s staff, performers, and stage hands alike. The chorus even created a special award for him and his wife, Carolyn Choa, Butterfly’s choreographer and associate director, which they presented in a private ceremony a few hours before the production premiered. At the time of his death, Minghella was collaborating on a new opera for the Met with composer Osvaldo Golijov, for which he was writing the libretto and which he was slated to direct.

    Minghella is survived by his wife, Carolyn Choa, his son, Max, and his daughter, Hannah.

  • Great Performances at the Met

    March 26, 2007

    Good news for opera fans who’d like to recreate the Live in HD experience in their living rooms. Beginning March 30, 14 of the Met’s transmissions will be presented on PBS as Sunday afternoon broadcasts in their Great Performances at the Met series. “The opera-loving public throughout the world has embraced our live HD transmissions into movie theaters,” says General Manager Peter Gelb. “We are pleased to now bring these same programs directly to the homes of our loyal PBS audience.” The spring HD marathon kicks off with Richard Jones’s imaginative production of Hansel and Gretel and runs through June 29, with Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment as the finale. All performances will be presented in high definition and 5.1 digital surround sound.

    For showtimes, visit the Great Performances at the Met website

  • Live on the Web! Voigt and Heppner Together in Tristan

    March 27, 2008

    Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner, originally scheduled to star in all six performances of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde this season, are scheduled to sing together on Friday night. Illness has prevented them from taking the stage together until this final Tristan of the season, conducted by James Levine. To celebrate their very first full performance together—anywhere—of this epic opera, the Met will stream the performance live on its website.

    Visit MetOpera.org at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 28, to hear Voigt and Heppner live from the Met in Tristan und Isolde.

  • Voigt and Heppner Together At Last

    March 29, 2008

    Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner finally took the stage together last night in their first joint performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Both had originally been scheduled to sing the entire six-performance run, but illness prevented them from appearing together. In a curious twist of fate, for this final night Margaret Jane Wray, who was supposed to sing Brangäne, had to bow out. In her place, Michelle DeYoung, who had sung the previous five performances, took over the part. "It seems this season we're unable to give a performance of Tristan without some sort of announcement," stage manager Thomas Connell joked when he informed the audience of the cast change. The performance was streamed live on the Met website. Leading an ensemble of today's foremost Wagner singers that also included Matti Salminen as King Marke and Eike Wilm Schulte as Kurwenal, Music Director James Levine conducted a memorable account of Wagner's score. The audience thanked the artists with a ten-minute standing ovation for a singularly exciting night of opera that is sure to be remembered in Met history.

  • Giuseppe Di Stefano Dies at Age 86

    March 28, 2008

    Italian tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano died on March 3 in his home near Milan, Italy. He made his Met debut in 1948 as the Duke in Rigoletto and sang 15 roles in 112 performances with the company, making his final Met appearance in 1965. Among his Met repertoire were the title role of Faust, des Grieux in Manon, Alfredo in La Traviata, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Rodolfo in La Bohème. A frequent stage and recording partner of Maria Callas, Di Stefano possessed one of the most beautiful and instantly recognizable voices of the post-World War II era. The performance of La Bohème on April 1 is dedicated to his memory.

  • The Satya Graha Forum

    March 29, 2008

    The Met premiere of Philip Glass's opera Satyagraha, opening April 11, has also inspired events outside of the Met's presentation. The Satya Graha Forum, a collaboration of New York cultural, arts, environmental, educational, and spiritual institutions working with Glass, has launched an initiative to create a dialogue on Gandhi's concept of social change. The Forum, which kicks off on April 6 with a gathering at the Gandhi statue in Union Square Park, will present events, lectures, and performances throughout the month of April. For more information, go to www.satya-graha.org.

  • Special offer from PURE Yoga

    April 08, 2008

    As part of a special partnership between Pure Yoga and the Metropolitan Opera, all Satyagraha ticket holders will receive a special offer on charter membership.

    Pure Yoga presents a community, a home, and a playground for the modern yogi, and a source of inspiration for the spirit, the soul, and the body.  Renowned in Asia for its superior programming and excellent teachers, Pure Yoga is now opening its first international location in New York City.

    Pure Yoga offers classes in styles ranging from Ashtanga to Yin Yoga, from Hot to Vinyasa Flow, Anusara and more.  This is yoga in its purest state. 

    Charter Memberships are available at 1497 3rd Ave. at 84th Street, or call 212-360-1888 to join today.

  • Open House for La Fille du Régiment

    April 10, 2008

    The Met opens its doors to the general public for the third and final free, day-long Open House of the season. On April 18, audiences will get a preview of things to come with the Dress Rehearsal for Laurent Pelly’s hilarious new production of La Fille du Régiment, which premieres three days later. Natalie Dessay stars in the title role, and tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings her lover, with Marco Armiliato conducting. Following the rehearsal, members of the cast and the production team will be on hand for a Q&A on the main stage. Special exhibits featuring set and costume designs will be set up around the opera house. Doors will open at 10:00 A.M.

    We regret that due to overwhelming demand, there are no more tickets available for the Open House and the dress rehearsal. If you have a reservation, please pick up your tickets at the Box Office by 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 16. Please bring your web order confirmation or order number with you.

    The performance on Saturday, April 26, will be shown Live in HD in movie theaters around the world.

  • Opening Night Gala starring Renée Fleming

    September 22, 2008

    The Met’s 125th anniversary season opens September 22nd with a celebratory gala starring the extraordinary Renée Fleming in three of her most acclaimed roles.  Music Director James Levine and Marco Armiliato conduct fully staged performances of the second act of La Traviata, the third act of Massenet’s Manon, and the final scene from Richard Strauss’s Capriccio.  Tenor Ramón Vargas and baritones Thomas Hampson and Dwayne Croft join the soprano for this season-opener.  A cast dinner in Damrosch Park, adjacent to the opera house, follows the performance. 
     
    The cast dinner is underwritten by Deutsche Bank and is chaired by Mrs. William B. Ziff, Jr.  Tables seating 10 are $100,000, $50,000 and $30,000 and include seating at the performance and cast dinner, as well as a listing in the Gala Committee Program.  Individual tickets are $5,000, $3,000 and $1,750 and include seating at the performance and cast dinner, as well as a listing in the Gala Committee Program.  Individual tickets are also available at $1,250 for those who would like to join the Gala Committee but are unable to attend the dinner.  To make a reservation call the Met’s Special Events Department at (212) 870-7492.
  • Satyagraha Opens to Critical Acclaim

    April 17, 2008

    The Met premiere of Satyagraha, Philip Glass's opera about Gandhi and his philosophy of nonviolence, brought a number of luminaries from the worlds of politics, religion, and the arts to the opera last Friday. Mahatma's grandson, writer and political activist Rajmohan Gandhi, was in the audience with his wife Usha and daughter Supriya. Other guests included director Julie Taymor, composer Elliot Goldenthal, playwright David Henry Hwang, film directors Paul Schrader and Neil Burger, monks Lama Pema Dorje, Gyaltsen Choepel, and Geshe Tsondu from Tibet, and artist Chuck Close (whose portraits of Glass are currently on view in Gallery Met).

    Soloists, chorus, conductor Dante Anzolini, and the production team, headed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, were greeted with thunderous applause, which reached its climax when composer Philip Glass stepped onto the stage to take a bow. Critical acclaim for the production is overwhelming. "Satyagraha emerges here as a work of nobility, seriousness, even purity," says the New York Times, praising the "calm intensity and vocal grace" of the "excellent cast." Tenor Richard Croft, the Boston Globe writes, "sang Gandhi with a mellifluous and lyrical tenor that seemed at once to convey the strength of the historical subject and the sublime sadness of this music." The inventive staging and set design by McDermott and Crouch combines improvisational elements with puppetry and video projections. According to the Los Angeles Times, "the production is a work of genius that ranges from the very simple to the fantastically ambitious."

    Satyagraha runs through May 1.

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    Composer Philip Glass (at left) with Rajmohan Gandhi and his wife and
    daughter Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

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    Glass with Lama Pema Dorje, Gyaltsen Choepel, Geshe Tsondu, and guests
    from the Tibet House Photo: Elena Park/Metropolitan Opera

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    Rajmohan Gandhi greets the Tibetan visitors
    Photo: Elena Park/Metropolitan Opera


     

  • Fashion World to Turn Out for Opening of Fille

    April 21, 2008

    Stars of the catwalk, the big screen, and the pop charts will be in the audience for tonight's new production premiere of Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment.

    Supermodel Naomi Campbell, actresses Diane Kruger, Eva Mendes, and Emmy Rossum, and pop-star-turned-opera-composer Rufus Wainwright will walk the red carpet and attend the Gala Benefit premiere, which is being underwritten by Yves Saint Laurent. The event marks the first in a series of collaborations with the legendary fashion house, which will sponsor a gala event in each of the next three seasons.

    Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez star in Laurent Pelly's new production, which was called "the operatic show of the season" when it opened in London last year.

  • New Fille Banner on the Met Façade

    April 21, 2008

    A new banner featuring an original artwork by renowned painter George Condo was unveiled today on the façade of the Met. Condo's painting was inspired by the new production of La Fille du Régiment, which opens today, and shows several of the opera's characters in the artist's trademark style. The original painting is also on view on the Grand Tier level of the Opera House through the end of the current opera season.

    George Condo was born in 1957 in New Hampshire and educated at Lowell University, Massachusetts. His works have been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, as well as in galleries and museums in Mexico, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland. He received the Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999 and has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He lives and works in New York City.

  • Matthew Polenzani Receives Third Annual Beverly Sills Award

    April 22, 2008

    In a short ceremony on the Grand Tier, tenor Matthew Polenzani was presented with the Beverly Sills Artist Award today. Polenzani arrived directly from a rehearsal for the revival of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, opening this Saturday, in which he stars as Belmonte. The $50,000 award, established in 2006 by an endowment gift from Met Board member Agnes Varis and her husband, Karl Leichtman, in honor of the great soprano, is the largest of its kind in the United States.

    Polenzani is the third recipient of the award, following baritone Nathan Gunn in 2006 and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in 2007. The prize, which was presented to him by Sills's daughter Muffy, is given to gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles at the Met. "It was Beverly's wish that the award should go to a tenor this year," Dr. Varis said. Polenzani made his company debut in 1997 and has been an audience favorite ever since, appearing as Tamino, Alfredo, Roméo, Almaviva, and David, among many others.

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    Matthew Polenzani, at center, with Nathan Leventhal, former President of
    Lincoln Center, Agnes Varis, General Manager Peter Gelb, and Muffy Sills
    (from left) Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

  • 'Good Thing': Martha at the Met

    April 29, 2008

    None other than Martha Stewart took a field trip to the Metropolitan Opera earlier this month to take a peek behind the gold curtain. She'll air a feature about her Met visit today on her nationally syndicated The Martha Stewart Show.

    Martha and her nephew, baritone Christopher Herbert, met with General Manager Peter Gelb on the main stage and were shown around the set for Act II of Franco Zeffirelli's classic production of Puccini's La Bohème before exploring the backstage areas of the opera house. Her cameras looked in on a fitting with star soprano Angela Gheorghiu in the costume shop, where thousands of costumes are created each season, and paid a visit to the wig shop, where the Met's wigs and hairpieces are custom-made by hand. In the cavernous scenic shops the Met's technical director, Joseph Clark, explained the workings of the stage and how scenery is moved, constructed, painted, and repaired to a delighted Martha.

    To see Martha's backstage feature, tune in Tuesday, April 29, at 1:00 pm on WNBC Channel 4 in New York, and on April 30 on the Fine Living Network (check local listings for dates and times). Starting April 30, you can also watch the feature on www.marthastewart.com.

  • From Mao to the Met

    May 09, 2008

    The path to a successful career as an opera singer is difficult at best. But the road that led Chinese bass Hao Jiang Tian, currently starring as General Wang in Tan Dun's The First Emperor, from his homeland to the Metropolitan Opera is truly amazing. In his recently published memoir, Along the Roaring River: My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met (John Wiley & Sons), Tian tells his captivating story.

    On Monday, May 12 at 6:00 P.M., he will appear with co-author Lois B. Morris and China Institute President Sara Judge McCalpin in the Metropolitan Opera House's List Hall to discuss his book and talk about his career. Born the son of loyal Communists and musicians in the People's Liberation Army, Tian lived a privileged life until the Cultural Revolution. While working in a metal factory in Beijing as a 15-year-old, he realized that his "yuan," or fate, would be to do something else with his life. He went on to become the first Chinese-born opera singer to achieve lasting success on the world's stages and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in more than 300 performances, opposite artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and Kiri Te Kanawa.

    Monday's event, which will include a Q&A with the audience, is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. To attend, or for further information, please call China Institute at 212-744-8181 x111.

  • James Levine Celebrates Elliott Carter at 100

    May 15, 2008

    Met Music Director James Levine will celebrate composer Elliott Carter's 100th birthday at a special presentation at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, May 21, at 6.30 P.M. The evening features the world-premiere screening of a filmed performance of Carter's only opera, What Next?, presented by the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, conducted by Maestro Levine. Following the screening, Carter and Levine will be joined onstage by director/designer Doug Fitch and former Boston Globe chief music critic Richard Dyer for a discussion of the work.

    Carter, born in 1908 in New York City and widely regarded as one of America's greatest living composers, wrote What Next? on a commission from the Berlin State Opera, where it received its world premiere in a concert performance in 1999. The 40-minute opera, with a libretto by Paul Griffiths, was inspired by a scene from Jacques Tati's 1971 film Traffic. The 2006 Tanglewood production marked the work's first staged performances.

    Tickets cost $10 ($8 for MoMA members, $5 for students, seniors, and staff of other museums) and are available at MoMA and through the museum's website. For more information, visit www.moma.org.

  • Final Carnegie Hall Concert of the Season

    May 21, 2008

    The Met opera season has ended, but James Levine and the MET Orchestra will join forces one more time for the season's final Carnegie Hall concert tomorrow. The program combines Schumann's beloved piano concerto, featuring the young American pianist Jonathan Biss, with Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and the Variations for Orchestra by Elliott Carter, one of today's leading American composers who celebrates his 100th birthday this year.

    For tickets and more information, visit www.carnegiehall.org.

  • New Survey Highlights Influence of The Met: Live in HD

    June 12, 2008

    A survey conducted by Opera America, the national service organization for opera, shows that the Met's live high-definition transmissions are attracting new audiences for opera. Live in HD attendees in 34 cities around the country were given surveys at the spring transmissions of Peter Grimes and La Bohème. Of all the people surveyed, more than 92% said they planned to see a live opera, either at the Met or another opera house. A number of these respondents say they have never before attended a live opera performance, though they are likely to after the HD experience. Almost one in five HD audience members had not attended a live performance in the past two years and more than 5 percent of those surveyed have never been to a live opera performance at all.

    "The results of this new survey show that our high-definition transmissions are accomplishing what we had hoped: generating broader interest in opera," said Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb. Marc Scorca, the president and CEO of Opera America, added, "The fact that so many people are being introduced to opera through this initiative shows its tremendous value to the entire field."

    The Live in HD series attracted an audience of more than 920,000 people during the 2007–08 season. The series will expand next season to feature 11 HD presentations, starting with the Opening Night Gala starring Renée Fleming (shown in North America only) and spanning the entire season.

  • Gheorghiu and Alagna – Live and on Canvas

    June 16, 2008

    Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna were at the opera house today doing interviews to promote Friday night’s Met Summer Concert. Before they returned to their suite in Mandarin Oriental, they made a quick detour into Gallery Met to check out The Sopranos, Francesco Clemente’s new solo exhibition for which Gheorghiu posed as Magda, her character in next season’s new production of La Rondine. 

    “It’s fantastic!” Gheorghiu said of the painting.

    “It’s the best one!” her proud husband Alagna asserted.

    The duo was followed by a French television crew, which was able to catch Gheorghiu studying Gheorghiu on camera.

    The new production of La Rondine opens in a special gala performance on New Year’s Eve. And you can catch the Alagna’s live in Prospect Park on Friday night at 8pm.

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    Photo: Elena Park/Metropolitan Opera

  • Fifty Thousand Attend Met Summer Concert

    June 23, 2008

    A record crowd turned out for the first-ever Met Summer Concert on Friday night. About 50,000 people descended on Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for the one-night-only event starring Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna. According to New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, attendance was nearly two and a half times greater than the previous record for a live event in the park.

    The audience wasn’t just big; it also ran the demographic gamut, with school kids sitting shoulder to shoulder with hardcore opera fans. For many, it was their first experience of opera. (Overheard entering the Long Meadow: “Someone said, ‘Opera,’ and we were like, Okay, I guess we could try it. It’s cool.”)

    Gheorghiu and Alagna sang a program of mostly familiar favorites: the soprano’s “Un bel dì” from Madama Butterfly and the tenor’s “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca were notable high points of the second half of the performance. By the time the duo got to the encores, there was rhythmic clapping and cheering from the crowd, particularly for Alagna’s “Nessun dorma” from Turandot and for a verse of “O sole mio” sung in English by Gheorghiu. A Romanian contingent erupted at the start of “Te iubesc” from Lăsaţi-mă Să Cânt, an operetta by Romanian composer Gherase Dendrino. And “Granada” was such a hit, the couple sang it twice.

    Parks

    Apart from a helicopter buzzing overhead during the first few numbers and a phalanx of bats that swooped and dived over the crowd at dusk, it was an ideal night for outdoor music-making.

    The concert was streamed live on the Met website and heard on WQXR, with Met radio announcer Margaret Juntwait as host.

    Photo: Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera

  • Francesco Clemente on Charlie Rose Tonight

    July 25, 2008

    Renowned painter Francesco Clemente, who recently created a series of portraits of Met divas for an exhibit in Gallery Met, will be a guest on Charlie Rose tonight. Clemente's exhibition, The Sopranos, features paintings of Diana Damrau, Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Karita Mattila, Anna Netrebko, and Deborah Voigt, who will all appear at the Met next season. Currently closed due to Lincoln Center construction, the gallery and The Sopranos will reopen September 16, 2008.

  • Plácido Domingo's 40th Anniversary Celebration

    July 30, 2008

    Event Information | Photo Gallery | Audio Highlights 

    On September 28, 1968, Plácido Domingo made his Met debut as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur opposite Renata Tebaldi. Hailed at the time by the New York Times as "the Metropolitan's hottest young artist," he went on to become one of the company's most beloved singers, opening the Met season a record 21 times. On Sunday, September 28, exactly 40 years to the day after his memorable first appearance, Domingo will be honored with a gala dinner on the Met stage. General Manager Peter Gelb, Music Director James Levine, and a number of top Met stars, as well as winners of Domingo's Operalia competition, will pay tribute to the legendary tenor in this unforgettable celebration.
     
    For tickets (beginning at $1,500), please call the Met's Box Office at 212-362-6000.

  • Temporary Met Box Office Entrance

    August 06, 2008

    Lincoln Center is under construction, but you can still make it to the Met box office! When tickets go on sale later this month, the entrance to the box office will be temporarily relocated. During this time, prior to the opening of the 2008–09 season, direct access from Josie Robertson Plaza through the front lobby of the opera house is not available. To avoid delays and long waiting times, we encourage all patrons to buy their tickets online or by phone.

    If you choose to buy your tickets in person at the box office, please enter the building through Founders Hall on the Concourse level, located one level below street level, directly under the main lobby. To get to Founders Hall, use one of the following entrances:

    1 – On West 62nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, through the underpass/garage
    2 – On West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, through the underpass by the Vivian Beaumont Theater stage door
    3 – From Columbus Avenue, via the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall

    Single tickets for the Met's 125th anniversary season go on sale to subscribers and Met Members on Monday, August 11, at 10 A.M., and to the general public on Sunday, August 17, at 12 P.M. 

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  • Domingo to Reprise the Role of His Met Debut!

    August 20, 2008

    Forty years ago, on September 28, 1968, Plácido Domingo made a heroic Met debut, stepping in at the last minute for an ailing colleague as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur. Now the legendary tenor will once again come to the rescue, relinquishing conducting duties to sing the role of his debut on the Met stage for the first time since 1983.
     
    Tenor Marcelo Álvarez was previously scheduled to sing this part, but when he was added to the roster for the new production of Il Trovatore, in which he’ll star as Manrico, there became a void in the cast for Adriana. Enter Domingo, who will be feted on the occasion of his ruby anniversary with the company with an onstage dinner in his honor and at the Met’s 125th anniversary gala on March 15, 2009.
     
    Maurizio is one of 45 Met roles for Domingo, who will sing all performances except February 17. Marco Armiliato will conduct the run.

  • Requiem for Luciano Pavarotti

    September 18, 2008

    With just four days to go to the opening of the Met's 125th anniversary season, an audience of almost 4,000 assembled at the opera house this afternoon for a special pre-season concert featuring Verdi's Requiem, in memory of Luciano Pavarotti who died on September 6 a year ago. Free tickets to the event had been distributed through a lottery on the Met website. Music Director James Levine conducted the Met Chorus and Orchestra, with soloists Barbara Frittoli, Olga Borodina, Marcello Giordani, and Ildar Abdrazakov. "It's very emotional for all of us to sing this religious piece in Luciano's memory today," Giordani said before the concert. "He was a great mentor and a great inspiration for me and all singers of my generation, and I think he will be for future generations. I'm honored and moved to be here. But it's also a challenge because I want to deliver a good performance that he would have been proud of." Frittoli had similar thoughts of Pavarotti's influence on her career. "When I won the Pavarotti competition in 1992, it was really the start of everything. I first worked with him when I was very young... Not so long ago, I saw him when we were both among the guests in a TV show in Italy. He was still happy, even though he was very ill. That was the last time I spoke to him."

    Following the stirring and emotional performance of Verdi's masterpiece, the audience remained uncharacteristically silent for several seconds before thanking the artists with a five-minute standing ovation. After the concert, reactions among listeners were unanimously heartfelt and thankful. "It was wonderful," said Solange Abunassar, a retired doctor, opera lover, and frequent visitor of the Met for the past 40 years. "I live across the street, so I see a lot of performances. But this was the first time I've ever heard a live performance of the Verdi Requiem." She has a very special and personal memory of Pavarotti. "I heard him sing a number of times. But once after a performance, my sister took a picture of him and me at the stage door. He didn't want to be photographed and raised his arms but she took the picture anyway. Later, when I showed it to my husband, he said, It looks like he's singing an aria just for you!"

    Today's tribute brought music lovers of all ages to the Met. 24-year-old Michael Pagan from New Jersey, who considers himself "definitely an opera person," recalled the first time he heard the great tenor. "I was 14 and went to see a dress rehearsal with him at the Met–I think it was Tosca. I'm so glad I won a ticket and could be here today. It was a great performance."

  • The Met's 125th Anniversary Season Has Opened

    September 22, 2008

    The Met's largest ever opening night audience watched and listened as soprano Renée Fleming kicked off the company's 125th anniversary season with the Opening Night Gala tonight at 6.30 P.M. When the curtain went up on the second act of Verdi's La Traviata–followed by Act III from Massenet's Manon and the final scene of Strauss's Capriccio–the crowd at the opera house was joined by thousands who watched the live transmissions at Fordham University's North Meadow across the street from Lincoln Center, on giant screens in Times Square, and in movie theaters in North and South America. The performance was also streamed live on the Met website and transmitted on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Before the performance, transmission host Susan Graham welcomed guests for interviews on the red carpet, including soprano Diana Damrau, who will make her debut in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor later this fall, composer Nico Muhly, and painter Francesco Clemente, whose exhibition The Sopranos, featuring portraits of eight Met divas, is on display in Gallery Met through the end of this week. Following a rousing rendition of the national anthem, Music Director James Levine launched into Verdi's masterpiece, with tenor Ramón Vargas and baritone Thomas Hampson taking the stage opposite Fleming as son and father Germont. During intermission, Graham took viewers backstage for an interview with Fleming. Coming right off the stage, the soprano talked about the connection between Violetta and Manon, before heading to her dressing room to make the physical transformation from one character to the other. The costumes Fleming wore for tonight's performance were specially created for the occasion by Christian Lacroix (La Traviata), Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel (Manon), and John Galliano (Capriccio).

    In conversation with Levine, Graham gave a preview of the new production of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust by Canadian theater artist Robert Lepage, which will premiere in November, starring Graham and conducted by Levine. Fleming and Vargas then returned to the stage for Manon, for which they were joined by Dwayne Croft and Robert Lloyd as Lescaut and Count des Grieux, and by Marco Armiliato in the pit. Another of the Met's upcoming new productions, the company premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic, was introduced during the following intermission by Deborah Voigt, who served as the evening's Times Square correspondent and interviewed Penny Woolcock, who will direct Doctor Atomic. The renowned filmmaker, who is making her opera debut with this production, had taken the trip from Lincoln Center down to 42nd Street to watch the third and last act of the Opening Night Gala, the final scene from Strauss's Capriccio, among the audience in the heart of New York City. Other interview guests at the Met and Times Square included Martha Stewart, who demonstrated the creation of a cocktail called "Grande Dame," which she dedicated to Fleming, author and opera lover Ann Patchett, baritone and Tony Award winner Paulo Szot, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Met's new Technical Director John Sellars was also on hand to explain what was going on onstage during the scene change from Manon to Capriccio. Fleming's rendition of the 20-minute solo tour-de-force of that opera's final scene, conducted by Patrick Summers, was received with a thunderous standing ovation that ended this first night of the Met's 125th anniversary season.

    The 2008–09 season, which runs through May 9, features six new productions, 18 revivals, and the final appearance on the Met stage of Otto Schenk's classic production of Wagner's Ring cycle.

  • Plácido Domingo: 40 Years at the Met

    September 30, 2008

    On September 28, 1968, a 27-year-old Plácido Domingo made his Met debut, stepping in at the last minute for Franco Corelli in a performance of Adriana Lecouvreur. On Sunday night, 40 years to the day after this memorable occasion, the great tenor was honored with an onstage dinner, musical tribute, and the unveiling of a new portrait by Julian Schnabel. The celebration kicked off with a cocktail reception on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier, followed by dinner on the stage, which had been decorated with giant photo banners of Domingo in some of his most acclaimed Met roles.

    General Manager Peter Gelb welcomed the guests, including Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, composer Ricky Ian Gordon, and singers Martina Arroyo, Olga Borodina, Barbara Daniels, Justino Díaz, Mignon Dunn, and Sherrill Milnes. Gelb addressed Domingo as "someone who is more than a legend. Throughout his career," he said, "Plácido has fused drama and music into a higher form of art." Gelb went on to explain that when he was named General Manager four years ago, the 2008–09 season was supposed to be Domingo's swan song at the Met. "But since his career has miraculously outlived any reasonable expectations of longevity," he said, "I'm happy to tell you that we have plans with Plácido for the coming seasons. To paraphrase Mel Brooks," Gelb added, "'If you got him, flaunt him.'"

    A short film of highlights from Domingo's Met performances–among them Otello, La Traviata, Tosca, La Fanciulla del West, and The First Emperor–also included a clip of his appearance on The Muppet Show opposite Miss Piggy, to the delight of everyone present. Fellow tenor José Carreras then began the musical tributes with a song by Carlo Valente. Taking a moment to remember the late Luciano Pavarotti and their joint appearances as the "Three Tenors," Carreras then announced that it was time to pass the torch to a new trio. Enter Patricia Racette, Susan Graham, and Deborah Voigt, dressed in tuxedos and–once these had been ripped off to a flash of lightning–matching gowns, who performed a humorous medley of favorite soprano showpieces. The opening trio, "Three Little Maids from School Are We" from The Mikado, drew waves of laughter from the audience, as did excerpts from La Bohème, The Merry Widow (sung in Spanish), and Die Walküre. The medley ended with a rousing rendition of the "Three Tenors" signature aria, "Nessun dorma" from Turandot.

    In between courses of the dinner (which included "Aubergines Otello," "Paella à la Plácido," and "Cavaradossi's Torta delle Stelle"), the tributes continued, with appearances by Erwin Schrott and Lisette Oropesa (both winners of Domingo's Operalia Competition), who performed "La cì darem la mano" from Don Giovanni, and tenor Piotr Beczala, who sang "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto.

    Met Music Director James Levine began his very personal thanks to Domingo by reading the titles of the 27 operas the two have performed together at the Met. "We've worked together for almost 40 years in perfect harmony," Levine said. "Plácido is like a brother to me."

    MG_0311_EDIT.jpg

    The celebration ended with the unveiling of a portrait of Domingo, created by acclaimed artist Julian Schnabel and commissioned by the Met, which will be on display on the Grand Tier. Domingo then took the stage himself, accompanied by a standing ovation, to thank his family, friends, colleagues, and the Met. "This has been a very emotional evening," he said, visibly moved. "I have been crying most of the time. When I first sang at the Met I was the youngest person on the roster," Domingo continued. "Now I'm the oldest, at least as far as singers are concerned. The Met is my home as an artist. This stage is the most beautiful place in the world, and I'm proud to still be able to sing."

    Domingo will reprise the role of his Met debut, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, in February. He also stars this season as Siegmund in Die Walküre.
    –Philipp Brieler

    Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

    View photo gallery of Plácido Domingo’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

  • 125 Years of Met History in Pictures

    September 30, 2008

    A special exhibition of images from the Met Archives is currently on view in Founders Hall to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary. The centerpiece of Nights at the Opera: 125 Years, a tribute to the Met's unparalleled history, is a wall of more than 750 photos of artists from the early days to the present, whose names are inextricably linked to the Met. The show also includes illustrations, media clippings, and other gems from the company's storied past. It is open to ticket holders before and during performances. Founders Hall is located on the Concourse level of the lobby. Read more

  • Diana Damrau Triumphs as Lucia

    October 07, 2008

    Buy tickets to Lucia di Lammermoor | Video: Damrau takes on Lucia | Photo Gallery with Audio 

    Diana Damrau made a stunning debut as Lucia at the Met last Friday. The “brilliant young German coloratura soprano,” as the New York Times called her, was singing the title role of Donizetti’s bel canto tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor for the first time in her career, and she “dispatched the passage work, trills and top notes with aplomb.” Praising Damrau’s “warm, plush and clear” sound and “gleaming top notes,” the Times raves about her delivery of the opera’s most famous solo, the Act III mad scene. “That Ms. Damrau executed the spiraling vocal roulades so accurately and held sustained tones with such penetrating steadiness lent a quality of eerie control to Lucia’s madness.” The Associated Press adds, “There’s a wonderful expressiveness in the way [Damrau] modulates her tone and shapes the melodic line to fit the emotional moment.”

    Polish tenor Piotr Beczala had an equally successful night in the role of her lover. He sang an "impassioned" Edgardo with "poignant colorings and virile intensity," according to the Times. Both were joined by Ildar Abdrazakov as Raimondo, Sean Panikkar as Arturo, and Bulgarian baritone Vladimir Stoyanov, who made his Met debut as Enrico. Marco Armiliato conducted a "stylish performance."

    A visibly delighted Damrau was greeted with a thunderous ovation at the curtain call, and, as the New York Times reported, "took to the stage like a rock star, looking exultant."

    There are six more performances of Lucia di Lammermoor through the end of October. The production returns in January with a different cast.

  • The Met: Celebrating 125 Years

    October 22, 2008

    On October 22, 1883–exactly 125 years ago today–the Met first opened its doors with a performance of Gounod's Faust. The opera house, then located on Broadway and 39th Street, served as the company's home for more than eight decades. In 1966, the Met moved to its new home at Lincoln Center. Throughout this 125th anniversary season, the Met will be celebrating its unparalleled history, on stage and off–presenting six new productions, 18 revivals, the final appearance of the classic production of Wagner's Ring cycle, the 125th Anniversary Gala on March 15, 2009, and other special events. An exhibition of images from the Met Archives, Nights at the Opera: 125 Years, is currently on view in Founders Hall.

  • New Year’s Eve Gala Benefit Premiere

    December 31, 2008

    BB_nwyrs.jpg

    View and print the New Year’s Eve Invitation and Reply Card 

    Join us for the New Production Premiere of Puccini’s La Rondine and welcome 2009 in an unforgettable way!  More than a century has passed since the Met last premiered a new production on New Year’s Eve, so December 31, 2008 promises to be a milestone of the Metropolitan Opera’s 125th anniversary season.

    Director Nicolas Joël has placed this romantic look at love in a glittering art-deco setting.  The opera’s captivating stars, real-life couple Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, will bring their artistry to what Puccini himself considered “a jewel”, in a performance conducted by Marco Armiliato.

    The gala black-tie evening begins with the highly anticipated New Production Premiere of La Rondine at 8:00 pm, followed by dinner and dancing in the company of the cast on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier.  A festive celebration at midnight will help ring in the New Year.

    Tables for eight or ten guests are available at $20,000 or $25,000, and include prime seating in the Orchestra or Grand Tier, prime seating at the post-performance dinner dance, and a listing in the Gala Committee Program.

    Individual Gala Committee tickets are $1,500 and include preferred seating in the Orchestra or Grand Tier, preferred seating at the post-performance dinner dance, and a listing in the Gala Committee Program.

    Individual Gala Committee tickets for the performance only are available at $500, and include a priority Orchestra or Grand Tier seat and a listing in the Gala Committee Program.

    For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.

    This is a Pension Fund performance.

    Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

  • Open Rehearsal: La Damnation de Faust

    October 27, 2008

    Watch the video preview | Q & A with Robert Lepage | Free open rehearsal | Buy tickets 

    The Met opens its doors for a special preview of Robert Lepage’s new production of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with a free final dress rehearsal on Tuesday, November 4, at 11 A.M. The visionary theater artist makes his Met debut with an innovative production that uses state-of-the-art technology to deepen the story’s emotional impact and heighten the work’s theatricality. Met Music Director James Levine, who calls La Damnation de Faust “an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end,” conducts the rarely staged work.

    Marcello Giordani stars in the title role, opposite Susan Graham as Marguerite and John Relyea as Méphistophélès.

    Free tickets for this special event, limited to two per person, will be available only at the Met box office starting at noon on Sunday, November 2.

  • An Emmy for Live in HD

    October 30, 2008

    The Met: Live in HD has won an Emmy Award! The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced this season’s winners in the Technology & Engineering categories this week, and the company’s groundbreaking series of live high-definition performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world was among the winners. The Academy cited the Met's achievement in “advancing technology through ongoing, live, global transmission of high-definition programming to movie theaters.” The 60th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards will be presented on January 7, 2009, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Telecasts of individual Met productions have previously won seven Emmys, with the most recent win for a 1998 Carmen.

  • NEA Opera Honors Presented Tonight

    October 31, 2008

    Met Music Director James Levine, soprano Leontyne Price, composer Carlisle Floyd, and arts administrator Richard Gaddes are this year's recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. The honors, which will be presented tonight in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony co-hosted by Washington National Opera and Opera America, are given to "individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States and have become cultural treasures of the nation." The presentation, which takes place at the Harman Center for the Arts, will feature performances by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky and singers from the Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

    For more information, visit the NEA website at www.nea.gov/honors/opera.

  • 2008 Opera News Awards

    November 14, 2008

    The fourth annual Opera News Awards will be presented this Sunday, November 16, at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. This year’s honorees include composer John Adams, sopranos Natalie Dessay and Renée Fleming, mezzo-soprano and opera legend Marilyn Horne, and baritone Sherrill Milnes. Susan Graham, who hosted last year’s presentation, will reprise her turn as master of ceremonies. She is joined for the occasion by co-host Thomas Hampson. The awards, which pay tribute to distinguished achievement in the world of opera, will be presented by Plácido Domingo, Alan Gilbert, Garrison Keillor, James Levine, and Marian Seldes. For more information and tickets, starting at $400, visit www.metguild.org.

  • Tenor Robert Nagy Dies at Age 79

    November 14, 2008

    Robert Nagy, who sang over 1,100 performances with the Met between 1957 and 1988, died last week in Lorain, Ohio. Born on March 3, 1929, he studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music before winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1955. He made his Met debut in La Traviata two years later. Acclaimed for his powerful, dramatic voice, he went on to sing with the company in 57 different operas, making his final appearance in Alban Berg’s Lulu on April 16, 1988. The Met mourns his loss.

  • Marcello Giordani Plays the Hero Again!

    November 22, 2008

    The Metropolitan Opera is grateful to tenor Marcello Giordani, who will perform the rare feat of singing two major roles in a single day at the Metropolitan Opera today. He starred in the demanding title role of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust in a matinee performance that began at 1:00 p.m. and was transmitted live to movie theaters worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Then, with only a few hours' break, Giordani will step in and sing the leading tenor role of Pinkerton in this evening's performance of Madama Butterfly at 8:00 p.m., replacing an ailing colleague. "Marcello really is the Iron Man of tenors," General Manager Peter Gelb said today.

    Because of the vocal demands of a major opera role, most singers only perform two or three times a week. Today, Giordani joins a short list of singers, including Eleanor Steber, Roberta Peters, and Giuseppe Giacomini, who have tackled two leading roles in one day on the Met stage.

    Giordani's feat is reminiscent of the beginning of last season. In October 2007, while in mid-run as Edgardo in the season-opening new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, he stepped in at the last minute as Roméo in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, learning the unfamiliar staging right before the performance and during intermission. Ten days later, he made a surprise appearance as Pinkerton when he took over the role from Roberto Alagna, who replaced yet another ailing colleague as Radamès in Aida the following night.

  • Marcello Giordani Sings Two Roles in One Day

    November 24, 2008

    “Do opera singers get days off?” the New York Times asked today, referring to Marcello Giordani. The Sicilian tenor got only a few hours off on Saturday when he pulled off the impressive feat of singing two major roles back to back at the Met. After performing the title role in the matinee of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, seen live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series, he was back on stage at night as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.

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    Giordani, seen here, at right, with HD transmission interviewer Thomas Hampson and co-star John Relyea during intermission, joined the group of a handful of opera stars who have performed two roles in one day with the Met.

    Photo: Metropolitan Opera/Marty Sohl

  • Give the Gift of Met Player This Holiday Season!

    December 01, 2008

    Met Player, the new online subscription streaming service from the Met, is the perfect holiday gift for opera lovers this season. An annual subscription to Met Player provides access anytime and as often as you like to nearly 200 full-length operas, including more than a dozen stunning productions from the first two seasons of The Met: Live in HD, the company's award-winning live high-definition performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world.  Met Player also features classic PBS telecasts and historic radio broadcast recordings.

    New operas will be added to Met Player every month, so the recipient of your gift can look forward to enjoying this growing catalog of exciting Met performances all year long. By mid-December, the first full-length opera from this season’s Live in HD presentations, Richard Strauss’s Salome starring Karita Mattila in the title role, will be available on Met Player, with more HD performances to follow in 2009.
     
    An annual subscription to Met Player can be purchased as a gift for $149.99 by calling (212) 362-6000 (Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 8 pm ET, and Sundays, 12 pm – 6 pm ET.)  Or visit the new Met Opera Shop, where you can also experience Met Player on an interactive touch screen. When you purchase a gift subscription, you will receive a Met Player card with all of the information your gift recipient will need to activate his or her account.
     
    All sales are final, and customers are encouraged to review the technical requirements for Met Player before purchasing a subscription.

    Experience Met Player 

  • New Met Opera Shop Now Open

    November 26, 2008

    The Met Opera Shop is back! The opening of the completely reconceived and renovated space was celebrated on Monday afternoon with a reception and press preview before the store opened its doors to the public yesterday. Located in the Met’s north lobby adjacent to the box office, it offers a wide selection of CDs, DVDs, and books, as well as a lineup of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces inspired by architectural elements of the opera house, Moleskine notebooks embossed with the Met’s gold curtain motif, iPods, opera glasses, calendars, flipbooks and jigsaw puzzles based on images from Met productions, mugs and T-shirts featuring the Met logo, and fine chocolates by La Maison du Chocolat. Among the unique items are crystals from the Met’s starburst chandeliers and Japanese artist Kazuhiko Tanaka’s handmade figurines inspired by Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly. New items will be added throughout the season. Customers can listen to any CD in the store on special listening stations in the Music Room before making a purchase. You can also experience Met Player, the company’s new online subscription service, on an interactive touch screen.

    Summer Hours:

    July 12 - August 4: Monday to Saturday 11 am-7 pm, closed Sundays.

    August  5 - September 20: Monday to Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 12 am-6 pm.

    During the Summer HD Festival, Met Opera Shop will be open 30 minutes after the HD screening.

    Met Opera Shop can be reached at 212-580-4090. The online store will reopen in 2009.

  • The Met Gets a Holiday Tree

    December 09, 2008

    The construction on the plaza hasn't left room for Lincoln Center's giant holiday tree this season, so the Met is decorating its own tree on the exterior balcony of the opera house. Decorated and lit by the Met's Scenic, Construction and Electric Departments, the 28-foot blue spruce, donated by General Manager Peter Gelb and his wife, Keri-Lynn Wilson, was delivered courtesy of Daybreak Express, which stores and ships Met scenery. The tree will be lit in a special ceremony, on Wednesday, December 10, at 5:30 p.m. The Met's Children's Chorus will be on hand to sing carols, accompanied by members of the brass section of the Met Orchestra, who are all volunteering their talents to spread some holiday cheer. Sheet music to sing along will be available, and hot chocolate will be served compliments of Patina.

  • Meet Renée Fleming at the New Met Opera Shop

    December 10, 2008

    Visit the new Met Opera Shop this Friday, December 12, between 12.30 and 2 P.M. to meet star diva Renée Fleming in person. The soprano, currently starring in the new production of Thaïs, is the first artist to make a live appearance in the store since its reopening last month. Fleming will sign copies of her new CD, Four Last Songs. The album, released last September and recorded with Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic, features songs and arias by Richard Strauss. It is also available in a special edition containing a bonus CD of selections from earlier Fleming recordings, presenting the soprano in some of her most acclaimed Met roles. The event will also showcase her new perfume, "La Voce by Renée Fleming," which is available at the shop and which Fleming will sign exclusively for Met patrons. For more information call the Met Opera Shop at 212-580-4090.

  • Waltraud Meier Sings Isolde

    December 11, 2008

    Waltraud Meier will sing the role of Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde tomorrow night, replacing Katarina Dalayman, who is ill. Ms. Meier is a renowned Isolde who has frequently sung the role with Daniel Barenboim, the conductor for the Met performances. This will be her first appearance as Isolde at the Met. She is arriving this evening from Munich.

    Meier first sang the female lead in Wagner's musical drama at the Bayreuth Festival in 1993 with Maestro Barenboim, a performance preserved on DVD. She has also performed the role with him at the Berlin State Opera, La Scala, and in concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she has been heard as Isolde at Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Paris's Opera Bastille, the Dresden State Opera, Madrid's Teatro Real, the Vienna State Opera, Zurich Opera, and at the Salzburg Festival.

    Meier made her Met debut as Fricka in Wagner's Das Rheingold in 1987 and has since sung here in the title roles of Carmen and Fidelio, and as Fricka in Die Walküre, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Kundry in Parsifal, and Venus in Tannhäuser. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Met Orchestra both in New York and on tour in Europe.

    After missing two performances due to illness, Peter Seiffert will sing the role of Tristan as scheduled. Other members of the cast include Michelle DeYoung as Brangäne, Gerd Grochowski as Kurwenal, and Kwangchul Youn as King Marke. The production is by Dieter Dorn with sets and costume designs by Jürgen Rose.

  • The 125th Anniversary Gala
    And Celebration of Plácido Domingo’s 40 Years at the Met

    March 15, 2009

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    You are invited to celebrate the Met’s 125th anniversary, as the world’s greatest singers take the stage in recreations of classic productions from the company’s storied history.  Fully staged scenes, conducted by James Levine, will be realized with scenic projections and new costumes inspired by the original designs.  The gala will also celebrate Plácido Domingo’s 40th anniversary with the company.
     
    For Gala Committee Members at the Gala Patron level and above, the evening begins at 5:00 pm with a cocktail reception on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier.  Following the 6:00 pm gala performance, guests are invited to a black-tie cast dinner in the Tent at Damrosch Park (adjacent to the Met).
     
    Gala Committee tickets begin at $3,500 and include a ticket to the pre-performance cocktail reception, preferred seating in the Orchestra or Grand Tier, preferred seating at the post-performance cast dinner, and a listing in the Gala Dinner Program.
     
    Gala Committee tickets for the performance only are available at $1,883 and include an Orchestra or Grand Tier seat and a listing in the Gala Dinner Program.
     
    For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.
     
    View and print the 125th Anniversary Gala Invitation and Reply Card 

  • Stephanie Blythe Is “An Orfeo for the Ages“

    January 15, 2009

    “With each performance the American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe gives, it becomes increasingly apparent that a once-in-a-generation opera singer has arrived,” the New York Times raves about Blythe’s appearance as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The revival of Mark Morris’s 2007 production opened last week at the Met. The Times praises Blythe's “vocally commanding and deeply poignant portrayal” and remarks that “there is no separation between vocal and dramatic gesture... [S]he can concentrate on singing with lyricism, intimacy, volatility or whatever the moment calls for.”

    “[Blythe] is, quite simply, an Orfeo for the ages,” the Associated Press says, adding that she sings with “sublime beauty” and “remarkable smoothness.”

    Opposite Blythe, soprano Danielle de Niese portrays Euridice with a “clear, shimmering voice,” in the words of the Associated Press. Music Director James Levine, the Times says, “elicits an articulate and majestic performance of this landmark work.”

    Orfeo ed Euridice runs through January 24. The final performance will be shown in movie theaters around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD.

    Read Q & A with Stephanie Blythe

  • Select Your Own Seat

    January 19, 2009

    Buying your Met tickets online has become even more convenient. With our new "Select Your Own Seat" feature, you can pick your preferred seats in the opera house directly on our website, as an alternative to the “best available” option (which remains active). Once you’ve picked a performance, move your mouse over any section of the seating chart, and the available seats for that performance will become visible. Select a seat, and a pop-up box will indicate the seat number and price information. With a simple mouse click you can then move your chosen seats into your shopping cart and proceed to checkout.

    Buy tickets now.

  • 125 Years of Met History at Saks Fifth Avenue

    January 26, 2009

    The Met's 125th anniversary has inspired Saks Fifth Avenue's first window display of the spring season, which was unveiled last weekend. The display combines accessories from the store's spring collection with original costumes from a century and a quarter of Met history. Some of the costumes on view include the hat and coat worn by Enrico Caruso in Pagliacci in 1903, Regina Resnik's dress from the 1965 The Queen of Spades, and a gown designed by Christian Lacroix for Renée Fleming in this season's new production of Thaïs. It's the third collaboration between Saks and the Met. Previous window displays were inspired by Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly and the 2007-08 season's new productions of Hansel and Gretel, Peter Grimes, and Satyagraha.

    IMG_0550_Flute
    Fashion stylist Koji Yoshioka works on a Marc Chagall-designed
    costume from the Met’s 1967
    Zauberflöte.

    IMG_0564.jpg         
    Saks fashion director Steve Swirzcek inspects a dress
    designed by Christian Lacroix that Renée Fleming wore
    in the new production of
    Thaïs this month.

    On Friday afternoon, Saks fashion director Steve Swirzcek was hard at work with his team to finish the display. “We put the costumes on the mannequins earlier,” he explained. “Now they're being steamed and the stylists put the finishing touches on them. Then we light the entire display so everything will be ready when we open the drapes tonight.”

    IMG_0490.jpg      IMG_0501.jpg 
    Enrico Caruso wore this costume (at left) when he played Canio
    in
    Pagliacci at the Met in 1903. Regina Resnik’s costume from 
    The Queen of Spades is prepared for the window display
    by stylist Armando Cardenas (at right).


    The window display has been extended and is on view through Monday, February 9.

    Photos: Metropolitan Opera/Philipp Brieler

  • Meet Anna Netrebko at the Met Opera Shop!

    January 28, 2009

    Anna Netrebko will be the second artist to make an in-store appearance at the new Met Opera Shop. The star soprano, currently singing the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, will sign copies of her new CD, Souvenirs, on Thursday, February 5, from 1.30 to 3.30 pm. Souvenirs features a mix of operetta arias and songs, sung in nine different languages. For more information, please contact the Met Opera Shop at 212-580-4090.

    Read an interview with Anna Netrebko.

  • Win a Subscription to the 2009–10 Season!

    February 10, 2009

    This season, every Met subscriber will have the chance to win his subscription for free. If you renew your subscription or become a new subscriber by March 10, you will receive a complimentary Met CD. In addition, your name will be entered into a drawing, the winner of which will have the cost of his or her subscription order refunded (up to a value of $2,500). The winner's name will be announced on March 20. For full details and rules, visit www.metopera.org/earlysub.

  • The 2009–10 Season Announced!

    February 11, 2009

    New Season Announced | Subscribe Now | 2009-10 Season | Photo Gallery | Press Release | New Production videos 

    At a press conference yesterday, General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine revealed their plans for the Met’s 2009–10 season. The lineup includes eight new productions, four of which are Met premieres. Gelb and Levine were joined for the presentation by several of the artists who will be involved in next season’s new productions, including directors Mary Zimmerman and Bart Sher, soprano Karita Mattila, and tenor Marcelo Álvarez. Artist William Kentridge, director Patrice Chéreau, and architect/designer Jacques Herzog introduced their plans on video.

    The 2009–10 season opens on September 21 with a new production of Puccini’s Tosca directed by Luc Bondy and conducted by Levine. Mattila sings the title role for the first time outside her native Finland, opposite Alvarez as Cavaradossi. As in the previous seasons, the opening night performance will be transmitted live to Times Square.

    Chéreau and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen both make Met debuts with the company premiere of Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, a production that has won acclaim across Europe. Sher returns to direct Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, conducted by Levine, with Joseph Calleja in the title role, opposite Anna Netrebko as Anatonia. A new Carmen, starring Elīna Garanča in the title role, will feature the Met debuts of director Richard Eyre and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Verdi’s Attila marks another Met premiere. Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role and the conductor and creative team all make their Met debuts: conductor Riccardo Muti, director Pierre Audi, and costume and set designers Miuccia Prada, Pierre de Meuron, and Herzog. Kentridge directs and designs the first Met staging of Shostakovich’s The Nose, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet will be seen in a new production by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, conducted by Louis Langrée and starring Simon Keenlyside in the title role and Marlis Petersen as Ophélie. The season’s final new production features Renée Fleming in Rossini’s Armida, another Met premiere, directed by Zimmerman and conducted by Riccardo Frizza.

    Levine will also conduct revivals of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and Berg’s Lulu. “Approaching my 40th year with the company,” he said, “I’m sometimes asked if my work has diminished in terms of vitality and interest. On the contrary, it’s become more challenging and more exhilarating. I’m especially happy about next season because of the balance in the repertoire. I’m not usually someone who makes lists,” the Met’s long-time Music Director joked. “But we have five Verdi operas, four by Puccini, two by Mozart, three by Strauss, several bel canto works, five operas from the French repertoire, and Lulu, The Nose, and From the House of the Dead representing the 20th century. There’s only one Wagner, Der Fliegende Holländer, but that’s because we’re in between Rings.” Levine added that he was particularly glad about the “long list of very good conductors who will be coming for the first time and who will be coming back.”

    For full details of the 2009–10 season read the press release.

  • Free Open Rehearsal for La Sonnambula

    February 14, 2009

    The Met opens its doors to the general public for the final Open Rehearsal of the season. On Friday, February 27, at 11 am, audiences will get a preview of things to come with the final dress rehearsal for Mary Zimmerman’s new production of La Sonnambula, which premieres March 2. Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, the stars of last season’s sold-out hit La Fille du Régiment, reunite in the leading roles and Evelino Pidò conducts.

    Free tickets for this special event, limited to two per person, are available at the Met box office only starting Sunday, February 22, at 11 am.

  • National Council Auditions 2009–10 Winners

    February 23, 2009

    The Metropolitan Opera has announced the winners of the 2009 National Council Auditions. This year’s winners are: tenor Paul Appleby from South Bend, Indiana; countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo of Durham, North Carolina; tenor Sung Eun Lee of Seoul, South Korea; and soprano Nadine Sierra of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Each winner takes away a cash prize of $15,000.

    Each year, thousands of hopefuls compete in the Auditions for the chance to sing on the famed Met stage and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career. Nearly 1,800 singers participated in this year’s auditions, which were held in 45 districts and 15 regions throughout the United States and Canada. The winners were selected from a group of eight finalists who performed on the Met stage during the February 22, 2009 Grand Finals Concert with the Met Orchestra, under the baton of Patrick Summers. The event was hosted by former National Council winner Thomas Hampson. Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick gave a special performance of “La luce langue” from Verdi’s Macbeth while the judges deliberated.

    The remaining four finalists, who were each awarded $5,000, are: Noah A. Baetge (tenor) of Seattle, Washington; Kiri Dyan Deonarine (soprano) of Fair Lawn, New Jersey; Jessica Julin (soprano) of Danville, California; and Sarah Mesko (mezzo-soprano) of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

    Past winners of the Met Auditions include many of today’s leading operatic artists, including Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Stephanie Blythe, Nathan Gunn, Ben Heppner, and Samuel Ramey, among others. During a typical opera season, more than one hundred alumni of the Auditions are on the Met roster.

    This year’s Grand Finals Concert was recorded for broadcast at a later date on public radio stations across the United States. Check local listings for air times.

  • Meet Angela Gheorghiu at the Met Opera Shop

    March 04, 2009

    Angela Gheorghiu will make an in-store appearance at the new Met Opera Shop on Tuesday, March 10, between 12.30 and 2.30 pm. The star soprano, who will sing Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore in April, will sign copies of her new CD, a complete recording of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The recording stars Jonas Kaufmann as Pinkerton and is conducted by Antonio Pappano. For more information, please contact the Met Opera Shop at 212-580-4090.

  • Former General Manager Schuyler Chapin Dies at 86

    March 10, 2009

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of Schuyler Chapin, who was our General Manager from 1972 to 1975. The company premieres of such important works as Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani, Berlioz's Les Troyens, and Britten's Death in Venice took place under his leadership. Throughout his distinguished career, he was a devoted friend not only to the Met but to all of the arts in New York City. We offer our sincerest condolences to his wife Catia, his sons Henry, Ted, Sam, and Miles, his grandchildren, and to the rest of his family.

  • The Met: Live in HD 2009–10 Series

    March 12, 2009

    Together with the Met’s plans for the 2009–10 season’s new productions and revivals, General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine recently announced the lineup for next season’s Live in HD performances. The series, which just won a Peabody Award, will present nine live transmissions in its fourth season. Tickets for the 2009–10 series will go on sale in September, with priority access for Met members (before tickets are made available to the general public). The schedule is as follows:

    Tosca – October 10
    Joseph Colaneri; Karita Mattila, Marcelo Álvarez, Juha Uusitalo, Paul Plishka

    Aida – October 24
    Daniele Gatti; Violeta Urmana, Dolora Zajick, Johan Botha, Carlo Guelfi, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Stefan Kocán

    Turandot – November 7
    Andris Nelsons; Maria Guleghina, Marina Poplavskaya, Marcello Giordani, Samuel Ramey

    Les Contes d’Hoffmann – December 19
    James Levine; Kathleen Kim, Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Gubanova, Kate Lindsey, Joseph Calleja, Alan Held

    Der Rosenkavalier – January 9
    James Levine; Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Christine Schäfer, Eric Cutler, Thomas Allen, Kristinn Sigmundsson

    Carmen – January 16
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Barbara Frittoli, Elīna Garanča, Roberto Alagna, Mariusz Kwiecien

    Simon Boccanegra – February 6
    James Levine; Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordani, Plácido Domingo, James Morris

    Hamlet – March 27
    Louis Langrée; Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Toby Spence, Simon Keenlyside, James Morris

    Armida – May 1
    Riccardo Frizza; Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Bruce Ford, José Manuel Zapata, Barry Banks, Kobie van Rensburg


  • 2009-10 Young Associates Opera Series

    March 12, 2009

    Tosca 

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009
    8:00 pm

    From the House of the Dead 

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 – Metropolitan Opera Premiere
    8:00 pm

    Les Contes d'Hoffmann

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009
    8:00 pm

    Carmen

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010
    8:00 pm

    Armida 

    Thursday, April 22, 2010
    8:00 pm
     
    Young Associates at the $2,000 Best Friend level may purchase tickets for the 2009-10 Series now by calling the Young Associates Ticket Line: 212-501-3427.  Tickets will go on sale to Good Friend and Friend level members in May. 
     
    For more information on membership, please contact the Young Associates Office at ya@metopera.org or 212-870-4587.
     

  • New CD Celebrates the Met's 125th Anniversary

    March 19, 2009

    Coinciding with the 125th Anniversary Gala, the Met has just released a new CD, featuring selections from seven decades of Met broadcasts. The lineup of Celebrating 125 Years: Historic Met Performances 1937–2005 includes such legendary artists as Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad in Siegfried, Leontyne Price in Antony and Cleopatra, and Plácido Domingo in Parsifal, plus 24 other tracks. The double-CD set comes with a 28-page full-color booklet and is available exclusively at the Met Opera Shop for $25.  button_buynow.gif
     

  • Met Player Introduces New Features

    March 25, 2009

    Several new features have been added to Met Player this month to enhance the user experience of the company's online subscription streaming service. The current season's Live in HD presentations now include multi-language subtitles: users may choose English, French, German, and Spanish for the performances of La Damnation de FaustDoctor AtomicSalome and Thaïs. English and Spanish subtitles are available for the Opening Night Gala Starring Renée Fleming. All future HD additions to the Met Player catalog will offer subtitles in four languages. Titles scheduled to be released in the months ahead include this season's Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Cenerentola, La Rondine, and La Sonnambula.

    Since the launch of Met Player, all video performances have included subtitles in English. Now users will have the option to turn off the subtitles. As an additional new feature, all tracks of any particular opera have been numbered in the scrolling track listing on the right side of the player screen for easier navigation and reference. 

    Behind the scenes, Met Player has also been upgraded to the latest version of the Move Networks plugin.  For users accessing Met Player through a combination of Windows Vista and Firefox this change should result in improved video and audio performance. Please see the site’s FAQs for more information.

  • On Stage at the Met

    April 26, 2009

    Honoring Dr. Agnes Varis

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Join us on the grand stage of the Metropolitan Opera House on Sunday, April 26, as the Met honors Dr. Agnes Varis, Founder and President of Agvar Chemicals, for her corporate accomplishments and her exceptional dedication to the arts.   One of New York’s unique benefit events, On Stage at the Met will feature a black-tie dinner, dancing to the Peter Duchin Orchestra, and performances by extraordinary Metropolitan Opera artists Matthew Polenzani and John Relyea.

    Since she joined the Met’s board in 2003, Dr. Agnes Varis has contributed more than $16 million in support of several initiatives, including the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Tickets program, the Weekend Ticket Drawing, the Met’s very visible outdoor advertising campaigns, the Beverly Sills Award for promising singers, free public Open House dress rehearsals, the free public performance of the Verdi Requiem in memory of Luciano Pavarotti, and financing for the Met premieres of Glass's Satyagraha and Adams's Doctor Atomic.

    Dinner Chairmen for On Stage at the Met are

    Heather Bresch
    Executive Vice President
    Chief Operating Officer
    Mylan, Inc.

    Kevin W. Kennedy
    Managing Director
    Goldman, Sachs & Co.

    Richard D. Parsons
    Chairman
    Citigroup


    Gala Committee tickets for On Stage at the Met begin at $1,500 and include a ticket to the cocktail reception, seating at the dinner, and a listing in the Gala Dinner Program.
     
    For more information, please call the Met’s Special Events Department at 212-870-7492.
     
    View and print the On Stage at the Met Invitation and Reply Card.

    nsflsh_onstage.jpg

    Photo: Julie Skarratt, 2008

  • Live in HD Wins a Peabody

    April 02, 2009

    Ever since its launch with Mozart’s The Magic Flute in December 2006, The Met: Live in HD has been a global hit with critics and audiences. Now the company’s series of live high-definition performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world has also won a prestigious Peabody Award.

    Created in 1941 to recognize the most outstanding achievements in broadcasting, the Peabody Awards honored the Met this year for the HD series’ “vividly designed, smartly annotated productions of Hansel and Gretel, Doctor Atomic, Peter Grimes and other operas.” Yesterday’s announcement went on to say that “the Met used state-of-the-art digital technology to reinvent presentation of a classic art form.”

    With one transmission remaining this season, the series has so far sold more than 1.5 million tickets. Next season, the Met will present nine live HD productions, starting with a new production of Tosca, starring Karita Mattila and conducted by James Levine, on October 10. The season will conclude on May 1, 2010 with a new staging of Rossini’s Armida, starring Renée Fleming.

    The Met was in good company among this year’s crop of Peabody winners. Other organizations to take home awards include NBC for its coverage of the Beijing Olympics; CNN for its coverage of the presidential primaries and debates; HBO for the original movie John Adams; and YouTube. The Peabody Awards’ sole criterion is “excellence.”

    Last fall, the Met also won an Emmy Award for the Live in HD series.

    The Met: Live in HD series, produced in association with PBS and WNET.org, is seen on public television as part of Great Performances at the Met.

    The series is made possible by a generous grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation.

  • Critics Praise The Audition

    April 16, 2009

    “Where are the opera stars of the future? Some of the answers could be found in The Audition, an exhilarating and poignant documentary that takes the viewer inside the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions” (The Plain Dealer).

    Susan Froemke’s new film, which chronicles the weeks leading up to the final round of the Met’s 2007 National Council Auditions, will be seen in movie theaters this Sunday, April 19. The documentary is winning high praise from critics. "Froemke deftly maintains a dynamic balance," says Variety, "following the throughline of a particular artist's development while keeping track of several singers at once without losing clarity or depth. This complex interweaving of individual and collective strands grants the docu a rare richness that climaxes spectacularly."

    “As an introduction to a new generation of American opera stars and an opportunity to hear them sing, [the film] is splendid!” Roger Ebert declares. It “captures the stress and the jubilation, the camaraderie and the rivalry of the 11 young singers of the 2007 finals,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, and the Los Angeles Times adds, "The intimacy of Froemke's cinema vérité style reveals something of the intense pressures facing the auditionees." The South Florida Classical Review points out that “the strong emotions are always present, yet Froemke never over-indulges, and is smart enough to just follow the participants. Moments of intense beauty... contrast with others of evident despair, grinding anxiety or exultant happiness... A fascinating and welcome glimpse into the world of opera.”

    Watch the trailer and buy tickets to this "engrossing documentary" (The Wall Street Journal).

  • Enjoy a Free Weekend of Met Player!

    April 24, 2009

    Met Player, the company’s new online streaming service, will be available for free as a special promotion for the entire weekend of May 1–3. Beginning at 5 pm ET on Friday, May 1, all visitors to metplayer.org will enjoy free and unlimited access to more than 200 full-length operas—including 20 performances from the first three seasons of the Met's award-winning Live in HD series. The offer ends at midnight on Sunday, May 3.  

    To take advantage of this special promotion, visitors will need to be logged in to the site:

    • If you already have a Met username and password, simply log in.
    • If you don't have a username and password, Register now by following this link or clicking on “Register” in the top left corner of this page.  New users are encouraged to register ahead of time.
    • If the site informs you that your selected username and/or email address is already in use, you are most likely already registered on the Met website.  Please try to log in with your username and password, or click the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page to have the username and password linked to your email address sent to you immediately.
    • Please remember your username and password for easy access!

    Once logged in, users can explore and experience the entire Met Player catalog, including the 20 HD presentations, more than 40 classic telecasts, and 150 historic audio broadcasts dating back to 1937. All video titles include English subtitles; subtitles in French, German, and Spanish have recently been added to the current season’s HD productions on Met Player.

    Please visit Met Player's FAQs section for details on technical requirements, troubleshooting tips, and answers to customers’ frequently asked questions. You may also want to visit metplayer.org ahead of the free weekend and watch one of the preview clips (available at all times), to ensure your computer and internet connection are sufficient to enjoy this service.  Met Customer Care will be available from 10 am to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 6 pm on Sunday.

    We hope you’ll take the time to explore Met Player and enjoy the free weekend. Then consider one of the affordable Met Player subscription offers to have this unparalleled online collection of opera available to you anytime!  


  • Villazón Withdraws from Hoffmann

    April 29, 2009

    Rolando Villazón has withdrawn from the title role in the Met’s new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, scheduled for December 3, 2009 through January 2, 2010. He announced today that he is undergoing throat surgery and expects to return to the stage in 2010. The Metropolitan Opera looks forward to his return in future seasons.

    A replacement for the role of Hoffmann will be announced at a later date.

  • A Tribute to James Morris

    May 08, 2009

    James Morris has sung 89 performances as Wotan and the Wanderer at the Met since 1987, when Otto Schenk’s production of Das Rheingold premiered. Last night, after the final performance of Siegfried in Schenk’s staging, General Manager Peter Gelb presented the esteemed bass with an original prop spear from the production. “You have been the Wotan standard bearer for the Met and for the world,” Gelb said. “As a token of your triumphs on this stage, we’d like you to have one of the spears that has accompanied you on this journey.” Gelb pointed out that the spear had been touched up by the scenic shop: “It’s in pristine condition,” he warned Morris, “so don’t carve any runes on it.”

    Music Director James Levine, who was also present at the short ceremony on stage behind the closed curtain, presented Morris with a personal gift—the baton with which he conducted the production premiere of Das Rheingold 22 years ago.

    “It’s hard to imagine where I would be without this Ring,” Morris said, thanking the small assembled crowd. “It’s my favorite role in my favorite house. This production leaves you speechless, and I feel very lucky to have been able to do it.”

    JamesMorris03.jpg

    James Morris with Peter Gelb (left) and James Levine
    Photo: Robert Caplin/Metropolitan Opera



  • John Relyea Wins Sills Award

    May 06, 2009

    Bass John Relyea has been named the recipient of the fourth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young American singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is designated for extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles with the Met. It was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman, in honor of Beverly Sills.

    Relyea is currently starring as Alidoro in Rossini's La Cenerentola, the role of his 2000 Met debut. The opera will be seen as the season's last Live in HD transmission this Saturday. His Met repertoire also includes Mozart's Figaro, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Colline in La Bohème. His performances as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Banquo in Macbeth, and Méphistophélès in La Damnation de Faust were all part of the Live in HD series. Relyea is the fourth winner of the Beverly Sills Award, following baritone Nathan Gunn, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and tenor Matthew Polenzani.

    Read the full announcement.

  • Opening Night Gala

    September 21, 2009

    TOSCA

    You are invited to kick off the 2009-10 season at the Opening Night Gala featuring the new production premiere Puccini’s Tosca, conducted by James Levine and starring Karita Mattila in the title role.  Luc Bondy, acclaimed for his imaginative theater and opera productions, will direct.  Marcelo Álvarez will sing Cavaradossi and George Gagnidze is Scarpia. 

    The Opening Night festivities begin at 5:30 pm with a cocktail reception on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier.  Following the 6:30 pm performance, gala guests are invited to a black-tie cast dinner in the Tent at Damrosch Park (adjacent to the Met).

    Gala Committee tickets begin at $1,750 and include a ticket to the pre-performance cocktail reception, preferred seating in the Orchestra or Grand Tier, preferred seating at the post-performance cast dinner, and a listing in the Gala Dinner Program.

    Gala Committee tickets for the performance only are available at $1,250 and include an Orchestra or Grand Tier seat and a listing in the Gala Dinner Program.

    For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.

    View and print the Opening Night Gala Invitation 

    View and print the Opening Night Gala reply form 

    The Metropolitan Opera thanks Deutsche Bank for underwriting the Opening Night Gala for the ninth consecutive year and Swarovski for restoring all crystal lighting fixtures in the Opera House lobbies.
     
    The Metropolitan Opera thanks Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman for underwriting the public campaign to launch the 2009-10 season.

  • Joseph Calleja to Sing Title Role in New Hoffmann

    June 17, 2009

    Joseph Calleja will sing the title role in the new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by James Levine, which premieres in December. The Maltese tenor replaces Rolando Villazón, who, as previously announced, plans to undergo throat surgery and will return to the stage in 2010. Alan Held will sing the Four Villains, replacing René Pape, who has decided not to add these roles to his repertoire.

    Calleja made his Met debut as the Duke in Rigoletto in 2006. He was heard as Macduff in Macbeth in 2007–08 and this past season sang Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, the Duke, and appeared in the 125th Anniversary Gala. This will mark his role debut as Hoffmann. Alan Held sang the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Met in 1993 and 1998 and has performed numerous roles with the company since his 1989 debut, including the title role in Wozzeck, Orest in Elektra, Gunther in Götterdämmerung, Pizarro in Fidelio, and Peter in the new production of Hansel and Gretel in 2007.

    Les Contes d’Hoffmann opens on December 3, 2009, and runs through January 2, 2010. The cast includes Kathleen Kim as Olympia, Anna Netrebko as Antonia, Ekaterina Gubanova as Giulietta, and Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse. The December 19 matinee performance will be transmitted into movie theaters worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series.

     

  • Summer Recital Series Kicks Off in Central Park

    July 14, 2009

    The Met’s free Summer Recital Series kicked off last night with a concert at Central Park SummerStage. Tony winning baritone Paulo Szot and two rising Met stars, tenor Alek Shrader and soprano Lisette Oropesa, accompanied on piano by Vlad Iftinca, performed to a packed and enthusiastic crowd. Basking in perfect summer weather, the audience was treated to a program of popular songs and arias, duets, and trios, including audience favorites such as the Toreador Song from Carmen, Musetta’s waltz from La Bohème, and Tonio’s “Ah! mes amis” from La Fille du Régiment, the aria famous for boasting nine high Cs (which Shrader hit squarely). Szot also gave a stirring rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific, as well as displaying impressive bossa nova skills in his encore of “Besame Mucho.”

    The Summer Recital Series continues through mid-August in all five boroughs.

    View photo gallery

  • Hildegard Behrens Dies at Age 72

    August 19, 2009

    The Met mourns the untimely death of Hildegard Behrens, who was among the foremost Wagnerian sopranos of her generation and a beloved colleague of our company. As Brünnhilde in the Met’s historic first telecast and first audio recording of the complete Ring cycle, she was the epitome of a singing actress, taking on the daunting role with intense musicality and total dramatic commitment. In all, she sang 15 roles at the Met, including Isolde, Elektra, the title roles in Fidelio and Tosca, Elettra in the company premiere of Mozart’s Idomeneo, and Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, her Met debut role in 1976. We offer our heartfelt condolences to her children, Sara and Philip, and her grandchildren Maria and Anthony.

  • Live in HD Disclaimer

    August 19, 2009

    Tickets are now on sale to all Live in HD performances (live and encore) in the U.S. and Canada, at participating theater box offices and on-line.  ALL TICKETS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.  NO SUBSTITUTIONS.  ALL SALES FINAL. SEATING IS LIMITED.  THEATER LOCATIONS SUBJECT TO ADDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON.  Call 1-800-MET-OPERA (1-800-638-6737) for more information.

  • Summer HD Festival Launches with Dessay and Flórez in Fille

    August 31, 2009

    “This is gonna be good. I’m getting kind of excited now,” said one twentysomething hipster to his two friends during a preview for the Met’s 2009-10 Live in HD season. The first screening of the company’s inaugural Summer HD Festival was more than an hour away, but already seats in the Lincoln Center Plaza were filling up. By 8pm, when General Manager Peter Gelb took the podium to introduce the HD screening of La Fille du Régiment, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, the plaza was nearly packed.

    “Tropical Depression Danny should be no match for Juan Diego Flórez’s nine high Cs,” Gelb said, referring to threats of rain, which fortunately never materialized. The weather held on Sunday as well, which meant nearly 3,000 opera lovers could once again show up for a screening of Roméo et Juliette starring Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna.

    The Summer HD Festival continues through Monday September 7. Ten straight nights of encore presentations feature some of the best performances from the first three seasons of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series of movie-theater transmissions. The new HD season launches on October 10, with Tosca.

    A key element of the excitement of the regular HD series is that all performances are shown live. The Summer HD Festival screenings are, on the other hand, pre-recorded. But Gelb sees at least one upside to this: “It’s comforting, for a change,” he said in his opening remarks, “to offer the public a performance where I know in advance that none of the singers can cancel.”

    A full schedule for the Summer HD Festival can be seen here.

  • Free Tosca Open House Announced!

    September 02, 2009

    Don’t miss the season-opening new production of Tosca—four days before Opening Night. On Thursday, September 17, the Met will launch its fourth season of free Open Houses, with the final dress rehearsal of Luc Bondy’s new staging of Puccini’s opera, starring Karita Mattila and conducted by Music Director James Levine.

    Three thousand free tickets, limited to two per person, will be available beginning at noon on Sunday, September 13, at the Met box office only. The rehearsal starts at 11am on September 17, with doors opening at 10:30am.

    There are no more tickets available for the Open House. But you can still see Tosca! Buy tickets here. The Opening Night Gala performance on Monday, September 21, will be transmitted live to giant screens in Times Square and Lincoln Center Plaza. Tosca also kicks off the 2009–10 Live in HD season on October 10.

    Tosca is the first of three Open Houses planned for the 200910 season. The final dress rehearsals for Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Armida will be open later in the season.

    The Open House for Tosca has been underwritten by a generous gift from Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman.

  • Opening Night Live in Times Square and Lincoln Center Plaza

    September 15, 2009

    Don’t miss the season-opening performance of Puccini’s Tosca—shown live on giant screens in Times Square and in Lincoln Center Plaza. The Met’s 2009–10 season kicks off Monday, September 21, at 6.30pm, with Karita Mattila starring in the new production premiere. Luc Bondy directs in his Met debut and Music Director James Levine conducts.

    Admission to both the Times Square and Lincoln Center screenings is free, but tickets are required for the Lincoln Center plazacast. Three thousand free tickets, limited to two per person, will be available on Sunday, September 20, beginning at noon, at the Met box office only. No tickets are required for the Times Square transmission. Approximately 2,000 seats will be available in the plaza on a first-come, first-served basis, with additional standing room provided. The performance begins at 6.30pm.

    The Tosca production premiere will also be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79 and can be heard as a live audio stream on the Met website at metopera.org. 

    The Metropolitan Opera thanks Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman for underwriting the public campaign to launch the 2009–10 season.

  • James Levine to Undergo Back Surgery

    September 29, 2009

    Met Music Director James Levine will have back surgery this week to repair a herniated disc. He has withdrawn from conducting performances this fall in order to recuperate. Joseph Colaneri, who was already scheduled to conduct Tosca on October 3, 14, and 17, will take over Levine’s performances of the Puccini opera on October 6 and 10 matinee. (He already filled in for Levine conducting Tosca on September 24 and 28.)

    The conductor for Der Rosenkavalier performances on October 13, 16, and 19 will be announced soon.

    Levine’s doctors expect him to recover in time to conduct the new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann which opens December 3. In addition to six performances of the Offenbach work, he will return to the Met podium later in the season for Simon Boccanegra and Lulu, as well as Der Rosenkavalier in January and Tosca in April. He is also scheduled to lead the Met Orchestra in Carnegie Hall performances in December and January.

  • New Production Premiere Gala

    December 03, 2009

    Les Contes d’Hoffmann

    You are invited to the gala premiere of the Met’s highly anticipated new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann on Thursday, December 3, 2009.  Conducted by James Levine and directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, the Met’s exciting new staging stars Joseph Calleja in the title role, with Anna Netrebko as Antonia and Alan Held portraying the four villains.

    The festivities will begin with cocktails and a black tie dinner at 6:00 pm on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier, followed by the performance at 8:00 pm.  Dessert and champagne will be served during the intermission.

    Gala Committee tickets begin at $1,750 and include the pre-performance cocktail reception and dinner, a preferred seat in the Orchestra or Grand Tier for the performance, and a listing in the Gala dinner program. 

    Gala Committee tickets for the performance only are available at $750 and include an Orchestra or Grand Tier seat and a listing in the Gala dinner program.

    For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.

    View and print the Les Contes d’Hoffmann Gala invitation 

    View and print the Les Contes d’Hoffmann Gala reply form 

    Production a gift of the Hermione Foundation and the Gramma Fisher Foundation, Marshalltown, Iowa

    Additional funding from Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller

  • Luc Bondy, Patrice Chéreau, and Bartlett Sher in Conversation with Peter Gelb

    October 05, 2009

    Luc Bondy, Patrice Chéreau, and Bartlett Sher, the award-winning directors of the Met’s recent and upcoming new productions of Tosca, From the House of the Dead, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, will join General Manager Peter Gelb for a conversation on opera, theater, and the art of directing. Cognitive Theater: An Evening with Peter Gelb, Luc Bondy, Patrice Chéreau & Bartlett Sher will be held this Thursday, October 8, at the New York Public Library, hosted by Paul Holdengräber, director of public programs for the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library. Bondy, whose participation in the discussion was just announced, made his Met debut with the season-opening new production of Puccini's Tosca last month. Chéreau makes his long-awaited U.S. opera debut in November with a new production of Janácek’s From the House of the Dead—the staging caused a sensation when it premiered in Europe in 2007. Sher, who won a Tony Award for South Pacific, made his Met debut in 2006 with an acclaimed staging of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He returns in December with a new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

    The discussion takes place on Thursday, October 8, at 7pm in the South Court Auditorium of the New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. For more information and tickets ($25/15), visit www.nypl.org.

  • Bondy, Chéreau, Sher, and Gelb on Opera, Theater, and the Phenomenon of Booing

    October 09, 2009

    “I was scandalized that they were so scandalized!” said Luc Bondy at a NYPL Live talk last night. “I didn’t realize Tosca was the Bible!”

    Along with Met General Manager Peter Gelb, Bondy, Patrice Chéreau, and Bartlett Sher, all of whom are engaged to stage new Met productions this season, participated in a charged exchange on opera, theater, and the challenging art of directing, moderated by the library’s Paul Holdengräber. Bondy joked about the violent reaction among some audience members to his headline-grabbing, season-opening new production of Puccini’s opera, which, not surprisingly turned into a major topic of conversation at this event presented at the New York Public Library. Addressing the ongoing Tosca chatter, the speakers deliberated on the phenomenon of the boo, even demonstrating and analyzing the acoustic carrying power of the word itself. Sher pondered the complicated interaction of time, tradition, and change that can lead to such a vehement response, describing booing on the one hand as an audience member’s “self-interested expression of ownership.” But he added that it was also a sign of passion preferable to quiet muttering—“a good thing that’s creating a conversation about the nature of what we’re doing.”

    All three directors—and Gelb—stated unequivocally that none of them are interested in deliberately courting scandal or controversy, joking that they are too old for that. Chéreau famously encountered a huge dose of scandal when he directed the 1976 centennial production of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival and chose to set the mythological operas during the Industrial Revolution—closer to Wagner’s own era. Chéreau reflected on how, after sustaining almost violent reactions in its first season, the production went on to become one of the most beloved and legendary in the festival’s history. He summed up the opera director’s objective: “We are interested in telling a story. And we have two texts to work with—the libretto and the music.”

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    Chéreau spoke with great enthusiasm of both the libretto and the music for Janacek’s From the House of the Dead, which he helms for its Met premiere on November 12. He describes the opera, based on Dostoevsky’s semi-autobiographical novel about life in a Siberian prison camp, as “not a traditional love story, as you often see in opera. But it is about men who killed, and often they killed for love because they wanted to be respected. I was very compelled by that.” Thanks to a DVD made of an earlier run of this co-production, the audience at the talk was treated to a sneak preview. Chéreau said he was energized by the collaboration with new cast members and a new conductor (the eminent Finnish maestro, Esa-Pekka Salonen) at the Met. “When you re-read a book or listen to music in another tempo, you can see something new to do with it,” the director explained.

    Like From the House of the Dead, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann is a series of vignettes that benefit from a directorial approach that makes them part of a dramatic arc. Sher’s new production, which opens on December 3, emphasizes the outsider status of both the title character and Offenbach himself.

    Sher made his Met debut with Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2006, and he reflected on his experience directing the Rossini classic, based on the Beaumarchais play, and the veiled theme of tyranny he sees in the piece. He broke new ground with that production, literally, by staging parts of it on a specially built walkway that extended beyond the orchestra pit and placed the singers almost in the laps of audience members. “I was looking at the space of the Met differently, just as Beaumarchais was exploring the rise of the middle class,” explained the Tony Award-winning director. “There’s an interesting tension between space and politics in this.”

    The rush of new productions at the Met is part of a major effort launched by Gelb to bring fresh perspectives to familiar pieces. “If you do the math,” Gelb explained, “it’s impossible to run any theater with the same production forever. The only way to keep an aging art form alive is to present new productions. You can’t do it any other way… There is no production at the Met that will not eventually be redone.” Bondy and Chéreau were both of the opinion that a production should ideally be retired after four or five years.

    As the night drew to a close, talk turned once more to Tosca and New York’s response to Bondy’s rendition, which eschews lavish scenery in favor of a tight focus on the characters. “Tosca is a double opera,” Bondy explained. “It is a wonder and a horror at the same time. Yet if you cover any opera with too much decor, you can’t see it clearly. It’s like sauce: Here is the church-sauce, here is the society-sauce. It becomes too much.”

    Audiences can judge for themselves. The new Tosca runs through October 17, returning again for a run in the spring, and it will be shown live in HD to movie theaters around the world this Saturday, October 10. “The main criteria for success in a show is the public,” Gelb concluded. “I feel, as these directors do, that we all have the same goals—to lead, to excite and to stimulate. Then, we have to hope that the public will come and, if they do, that could be considered a success.” —Caroline Cooper

  • New Year’s Eve Gala

    December 31, 2009

    New Production Premiere: Carmen

    You are invited to the Metropolitan Opera’s New Year’s Eve Gala on Thursday, December 31, 2009, featuring the highly anticipated premiere of the Met’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen.

    The internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča will star as Carmen, in her Met role debut, opposite Roberto Alagna as Don José, with Barbara Frittoli as Micaëla and Mariusz Kwiecien as the matador Escamillo.  The premiere will also mark the Met debuts of the renowned director Richard Eyre and the exciting young conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. 

    The black tie evening will begin with the new production premiere of Carmen at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner and dancing with the cast on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier.  A festive celebration at midnight will help ring in the New Year.

    Gala Committee tickets begin at $1,750 and include a preferred seat in the Orchestra or Grand Tier, a ticket to the post-performance dinner dance, and a listing in the Gala dinner program. 

    Gala Committee tickets for the performance only are available at $600 and include an Orchestra or Grand Tier seat and a listing in the Gala dinner program.

    For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.
    View and print the New Year’s Eve Gala invitation
    View and print the New Year’s Eve Gala reply form

    Production a gift of Mrs. Paul Desmarais, Sr.

  • Meet Joyce DiDonato in the Met Opera Shop

    October 19, 2009

    Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, currently starring in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, will make an in-store appearance at the Met Opera Shop on Tuesday, November 3, at 12.30pm to sign copies of her new CD, Colbran, the Muse, featuring Rossini arias. For more information, please contact the Met Opera Shop at 212-580-4090.

  • High School Students Meet Soprano Danielle de Niese

    September 18, 2009

    On September 18, a group of New York high school students visited the Met to watch the final dress rehearsal of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Following the performance, the students from the Grand Street Campus High Schools, Brooklyn, and the Long Island City and Jamaica high schools in Queens met with up-and-coming soprano Danielle de Niese, who sang the role of Susanna. De Niese shared her experiences of growing up and becoming a singer and the challenges and rewards of her work with her young fans and brought copies of her latest CD. The students asked questions about how she prepares for a performance, how she manages to sing in so many different languages, and what she’s listening to on her iPod. The day ended with the taking of photos on the Grand Tier staircase in the Met’s lobby.

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  • Chéreau, Salonen, and Gelb Discuss From the House of the Dead

    October 26, 2009

    Legendary director Patrice Chéreau and renowned conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen join Met General Manager Peter Gelb on Monday, November 2, when he hosts a conversation in the Met auditorium. These two artists are both making highly anticipated Met debuts with the company premiere of Janaček’s From the House of the Dead, which garnered extraordinary critical and popular acclaim when it was first presented in Europe. Janaček’s final opera, From the House of the Dead is set in a Siberian prison camp and based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Dostoevsky. “It’s a work of energy, full of life, full of vitality, and that is what Janaček’s music is about,” Chereau says of the opera. “People can be scared by the idea of an opera about prison. But life in this prison is incredibly alive, incredibly strong: it’s exactly our life, reconstructed in a prison. It’s all of mankind in an opera.” The Guardian called Chéreau’s production “a momentous achievement,” and the Financial Times described it as “100 minutes of sheer perfection.”

    This From the House of the Dead production panel, presented by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, takes place on Monday, November 2, at 6 pm at the Metropolitan Opera House. As a special offering by the Met and Metropolitan Opera Guild, this free lecture is open to the public. Tickets are required and will be available beginning at 3 pm on November 2 in the Met lobby. The new production of From the House of the Dead opens on November 12.

  • The Met at Macy's

    October 28, 2009

    In celebration of Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary, Macy’s Herald Square is presenting window displays featuring costumes from the Met’s productions of Tosca and Turandot this month. Items on view, seen below, include a dress worn by Karita Mattila as Tosca and a costume worn by George Gagnidze as Scarpia, created by Oscar-winning designer Milena Canonero for Luc Bondy’s season-opening new production of Puccini’s opera. The second window features costumes and headpieces from the Met’s 1961 production of Turandot, designed by Sir Cecil Beaton and worn by Birgit Nilsson in the title role and Franco Corelli as Calaf. The costumes are on view through November 2 in the two windows flanking the entrance to Macy’s Beauty Arcade on 34th Street.


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    Photos: Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

  • Free Hoffmann Dress Rehearsal Tickets

    November 03, 2009

    Be among the first to see Bartlett Sher’s new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, conducted by James Levine and starring Joseph Calleja, Anna Netrebko, and Alan Held. Three thousand free tickets to the final dress rehearsal on November 30 will be made available through an online drawing on the Met’s website, beginning Friday, November 13. To participate, enter your name before November 19. Details will be announced shortly. Les Contes d’Hoffmann opens December 3.

  • Free Met Player Selections for National Opera Week

    November 13, 2009

    Celebrate National Opera Week with free highlights on Met Player—the online streaming service that offers more than 250 performances on demand. From November 13 to 22, in honor of this nationwide celebration of opera sponsored by Opera America, the Met will spotlight three different preview clips each day. Visit metplayer.org to watch and listen on your computer. No login, registration, or credit card is required.

    Click "play" on any of the three clips in the orange box that says "Experience Met Player". First-time users may be required to download the Move Media Player to access the content. Please visit Met Player's FAQs/Help page for more information.

    Below is the schedule of free clips that will be available each day by noon (ET) beginning on Friday, November 13:

    November 13 – 15:
    Salome (Strauss)
    “Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen”
    Karita Mattila; Patrick Summers
    Performance Date: 10/11/2008

    Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
    “Vogliatemi bene”
    Patricia Racette, Marcello Giordani; Patrick Summers
    Performance Date: 3/7/2009

    Aida (Verdi)
    “Qui Radames verra…O patria mia”
    Leontyne Price; James Levine
    Performance Date: 1/3/1985

    November 16:
    Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
    “Orrida è questa notte”
    Piotr Beczala, Mariusz Kwiecien; Marco Armiliato
    Performance Date: 2/7/2009

    The First Emperor (Dun)
    “Father, can this be the Shadow?”
    Elizabeth Futral, Plácido Domingo, Hao Jiang Tian, Paul Groves, Haijing Fu; Tan Dun
    Performance Date: 1/13/2007

    Così fan tutti (Mozart)
    “Per pieta, ben mio, perdona”
    Carol Vaness; James Levine
    Performance Date: 2/27/1996

    November 17:
    Tristan und Isolde (Wagner)
    “So starben wir, um ungetrennt”
    Robert Dean Smith, Deborah Voigt, Michelle DeYoung; James Levine
    Performance Date: 3/22/2008

    Ernani (Verdi)
    “Odi il voto”
    Luciano Pavarotti; James Levine
    Performance Date: 12/17/1983

    Les Troyens (Berlioz)
    “Nuit d'ivresse”
    Featuring: Tatiana Troyanos, Plácido Domingo, Julien Robbins; James Levine
    Performance Date: 10/8/1983

    November 18:
    Salome (Strauss)
    “Jochanaan! Ich bin verliebt in deinen Leib, Jochanaan!”
    Karita Mattila, Juha Uusitalo; Patrick Summers
    Performance Date: 10/11/2008

    Otello (Verdi)
    “Già nella notte densa”
    Jon Vickers, Renata Scotto; James Levine
    Performance Date: 9/25/1978

    Die Meistersinger (Wagner)
    “Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein”
    Ben Heppner, James Morris; James Levine
    Performance Date: 12/8/2001

    November 19:
    Macbeth (Verdi)
    “Vieni! T'affretta!...Or tutti sorgete”
    Maria Guleghina, Richard Hobson; James Levine
    Performance Date: 1/12/2008

    Don Giovanni (Mozart)
    “Riposate, vezzose ragazze”
    Samuel Ramey, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Philip Cokorinos, Dawn Upshaw, Karita Mattila, Carol Vaness, Jerry Hadley; James Levine
    Performance Date: 4/5/1990

    Die Walküre (Wagner)
    “Friedmund darf ich nicht heissen”
    Gary Lakes, Kurt Moll, Jessye Norman; James Levine
    Performance Date: 4/8/1989

    November 20 – 22:
    La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz)
    “D'amour l'ardente flamme”
    Susan Graham; James Levine
    Performance Date: 11/22/2008

    Doctor Atomic (Adams)
    “Batter my heart, three person'd God”
    Gerald Finley; Alan Gilbert
    Performance Date: 11/8/2008

    Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
    “E il dottor non si vede! Pronto io son”
    Beverly Sills, Håkan Hagegård; Nicola Rescigno
    Performance Date: 1/11/1979

  • New Year's Eve Drawing

    November 13, 2009

    We have a winner! J. Bradford Hines will ring in 2010 at the gala premiere of our new production of Bizet's Carmen, starring Elīna Garanča in the title role opposite Roberto Alagna. Mr. Hines and a guest will be flown to New York on American Airlines to attend the gala performance on December 31, 2009. In addition to two tickets to the performance, directed by Richard Eyre and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the prize also includes attendance at the black-tie dinner following the opera and accommodations at the Lowell Hotel. Congratulations, Mr. Hines!

  • Met Holiday Tree Lighting on December 8

    November 27, 2009

    Join us for the Met’s holiday tree lighting on Tuesday, December 8, at 5pm! The tree on the Grand Tier balcony will once again be decorated with ornaments created by Met scenic artists. Musical performances as well as cookies and hot chocolate, provided by Patina Restaurant Group, will provide holiday cheer. Please note that this event begins at 5pm, not at 5.30pm as previously announced!

  • Met Player: The Ultimate Gift for Opera Lovers

    December 02, 2009

    With more than 250 Met performances available on demand, Met Player is the perfect holiday gift! The company's online streaming service allows you to watch and listen to a growing catalogue of unforgettable Met performances anytime on your computer. Treat someone on your gift list to this rich collection, which today includes more than two dozen stunning productions from the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, more than 50 classic PBS telecasts, and nearly 200 historic radio broadcasts spanning more than 70 years.

    An annual subscription offering unlimited access to everything on Met Player can be given as a gift for $149.99, and purchased by calling 212-362-6000 (Monday through Saturday, 10am–8pm ET, and Sundays, 12pm–6pm ET). The recipient of your gift can look forward to new operas every month, including all of the current season’s Live in HD presentations—beginning with Luc Bondy’s new production of Tosca starring Karita Mattila in December. Or visit the Met Opera Shop to see our interactive touch screen for a demonstration, then see a sales associate to purchase this one-of-a-kind opera gift!

    When you purchase a gift subscription, you will receive a Met Player card with all of the information your gift recipient will need to activate his or her account. All sales are final, and customers are encouraged to review the technical requirements for Met Player before purchasing a subscription.

  • Meet the Met Brass at the Met Opera Shop

    December 11, 2009

    The Metropolitan Opera Brass will perform live at the Met Opera Shop on Monday, December 21, at 1.30pm, following the matinee of Hansel and Gretel. The ensemble, which consists of members of the brass section of the
    Met Orchestra, will play holiday music and selections from their recently released CD, featuring interludes and instrumental versions of arias from favorite operas. The CD is available at the shop and online at metoperashop.org.

  • Winner Chosen in Hoffmann Cocktail Contest!

    December 16, 2009

    “We’re all feeling fine—bring us beer, bring us wine!”

    So sing the drunken chorus of the Met’s new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), and seven of New York’s finest mixologists answered their call. The bartenders came to participate in the Met’s first-ever cocktail competition, pouring the most inventive new cocktails inspired by Offenbach’s feverish operatic dream of love, loss and drink.

    The winning beverage, to be featured at the Met’s Revlon Bar through the holiday season, was judged by Met General Manager Peter Gelb, opera star Mariusz Kwiecien (Escamillo in the Met’s new Carmen opening New Year Eve), cocktail journalist and writer Gary (“Gaz”) Regan, and Allen Katz, director of mixology and spirits education for Southern Wine and Spirits of New York.

    As the mixologists set up, their jewel toned bottles and hand-cracked ice glinting on the bar, Leo Robitschek of Eleven Madison Park explained the makings of his “Hoffmann Cup.” “This is the second opera I’ve seen and it was very visual,” the mixologist said. “My ingredients represent Hoffmann’s complexity—I have some sweet vermouth, to represent Hoffmann himself. And some Averna, which is bitter, to represent the villains.”

    Nearby, Ryan McGrale of the Flatiron Lounge balanced rose petals atop his cocktail. “The petal represents what Hoffmann went through,” McGrale commented. “His struggle with love. I thought, what would I want to drink if I were in his shoes? Something strong, a bit tender, but doesn’t go down easy,” McGrale said, pushing his glass forward. “We’ve all been there.”

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    Joaquin Simo of Death & Co. serves up his Hoffmann-inspired cocktail to (from left)
    opera star Mariusz Kwiecien, Met General Manager Peter Gelb, Keri-Lynn Wilson,
    and cocktail aficionado Gary "Gaz" Regan.


    The mixologists bustled and poured as the Revlon Bar began to fill with the Met’s Young Associates, gathering for their third pre-show reception of the season. Lynnette Marrero of the newly opened Rye House swirled a ladle through her punch bowl. “I created a punch that’s meant to be shared,” Marrero said. “Just like the characters did in their bar scene.” Marrero poured a few sips into a glass. “The gin and cognac are dry, like Hoffmann. The cherry liqueur represents his passions, with ginger and allspice for edge.”

    Margaret Juntwait, the Met’s radio host who served as MC, called the evening to order. As Young Associates looked on, Allen Katz led the judges down the line to sample each drink. “That’s delicious,” Katz said of the Flatiron concoction. “You can quote me on that.”

    The judges huddled briefly and then announced their verdict—Lynnette Morrero of Rye House. Fellow mixologists nodded and congratulated Morrero, some reaching over for a quick sip.

    “It’s a spice-driven punch that celebrates a moment in the show when the full cast is drinking together,” Morrero said. “And the three cherry garnish represent the three loves of Hoffmann's life.” But before she could say more, Morrero was whisked away for a photo with the judges just as the curtain chimes sounded through the house.

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    Winning mixologist Lynnette Marrero of Rye House (in hat) 
    is flanked by the judges of the Met's Hoffmann cocktail contest.


    The Hoffmann Cocktail Contest—Participating Mixologists and Recipes

    Lynnette Marrero (Rye House)WINNER
    “The Kleinzach Punch”
    1 oz soda
    4 cubes ice
    ½ antica
    ½ lime
    ½ cherry
    ¼ ginger
    1 oz cognac
    1 oz genever
    ½ tsp dash (less) allspice dram
    2 dash Angostura Bitters
    1 oz Champagne
    Combine ingredients over ice and top with Champagne.

    Meaghan Dorman (Raines Law Room)
    “Frantz’s Moment”
    2 dash orange bitters
    ½ oz fresh lemon
    ½ oz Liqueur 43
    ¾ oz Dolin dry vermouth 
    1 ½ oz Plymouth Gin
    Shake and strain into rosewater rinsed glass. Garnish with lemon and orange twist.

    Brad Farran  (Clover Club)
    “The Three Loves”
    1 oz Daron Calvados
    1 oz prosecco
    ¾ oz Aperol
    ½ oz Luxardo Amaro Abano
    Stir calvados, Aperol and Abano together in a mixing glass until well chilled, strain into a chilled coupe. Top with prosecco, garnish with an orange twist.

    Ryan McGrale (Flatiron Lounge)
    “Lover’s Lament”
    1 ½ parts Delamain ‘Pale and Dry’ Cognac
    ¾ Royal Combier Grande Liqueur
    1 dash Pernod Absinthe
    1 dash Angostura Bitters
    Stir all ingredients in mixing glass with a fresh lime peel, then strain into glass rinsed with Mescal.

    James Menite (Porter House)
    “A Toast to Offenbach”
    1 ½ oz yamazaki 12 year whiskey
    20 strawberries cut in half and muddled
    ¾ combier rotale and rouge
    ¼ oz fresh lemon
    ¾ oz rosewater infused fresh ginger syrup
    2 dashes Fee’s whiskey butters
    Shake vigorously with ice, serve in St. George absinthe rise champagne glass topped with champagne. Strawberry garnish.

    Leo Robitschek (Eleven Madison Park)
    “Hoffmann Cup”
    Averna
    Sweet Vermouth
    Ginger
    Lemon
    Demerara
    Tonic
    Cucumber
    Grapefruit zest
    Mint
    (Portions and serving suggestions forthcoming.)

    Joaquin Simo (Death & Co.)
    “An Affinity for Sable”
    2 oz chamomile-infused Old Overholt rye
    ¾ oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
    ¼ oz Clear Creek pear brandy
    ¼ oz Benedictine
    Combine all ingredients over cracked ice and stir. Strain into chilled coupe glass, no garnish.

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    The participating mixologists gather for a post-competition toast.
    Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

  • Lindemann Young Artist Development Program

    December 23, 2009

    2010 Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital Schedule
     
    This season marks the 30th anniversary of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, founded by Music Director James Levine to nurture the most talented young artists and prepare them for major careers in opera. Graduates include Stephanie Blythe, Dwayne Croft, Mariusz Kwiecien, Heidi Grant Murphy, Nathan Gunn, Lisette Oropesa, and Danielle de Niese, among others. This season’s recital series showcases the Met’s newest rising stars and continues through April 9, 2010.

    Friday, January 15, 2010
    Lei Xu, Soprano & Keun-A Lee, Pianist
    Selected members of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program

    Friday, January 22, 2010
    Donovan Singletary, Bass Baritone
    Bénédicte Jourdois, Pianist

    Friday, February 12, 2010
    Matthew Plenk, Tenor
    Keun-A Lee, Pianist

    Friday, February 19, 2010
    Paul Appleby, Tenor & Bénédicte Jourdois, Pianist
    Edward Parks, Baritone & In Sun Suh, Pianist

    Friday, February 26, 2010
    Ginger Costa-Jackson, Mezzo-Soprano
    Bénédicte Jourdois, Pianist

    Friday, March 5, 2010
    Joyce El-Khoury, Soprano & Keun-A Lee, Pianist
    Renee Tatum, Mezzo-Soprano & In Sun Suh, Pianist

    Friday, March 12, 2010
    Layla Claire, Soprano & In Sun Suh, Pianist
    Jennifer Johnson, Mezzo-Soprano & Keun-A Lee, Pianist

    Friday, April 9, 2010
    Erin Morley, Soprano
    In Sun Suh, Pianist

    Recitals begin at 6:00pm at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 111 Amsterdam Avenue (between 64th & 65th Streets).

    There will be an opportunity following each recital to meet and greet the featured young artists.

  • 2009-10 Young Associates Calendar of Events

    January 07, 2010

    Please check back here often for updates as we finalize our 2009-10 calendar. Details about these events and additional invitations will be sent to members via email. To update your email address, send an email to ya@metopera.org.

     

    Friday, January 15, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Friday, January 22, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Monday, February 1, 2010
    Dress Rehearsal
    Ariadne auf Naxos*
    11:00am

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010
    Young Associates Opera Evening
    Carmen
    7:00pm Cocktail Reception
    8:00pm Performance 

    Friday, February 12, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Friday, February 19, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Friday, February 26, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010
    Dress Rehearsal
    The Nose*
    11:00am

     Friday, March 5, 2010
    Linndemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Friday, March 12, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Sunday, March 14, 2010
    National Council Grand Finals Concert
    3:00pm

    Monday, April 5, 2010
    New Production Panel Discussion
    Armida
    6:00pm

    Friday, April 9, 2010
    Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Recital
    Bruno Walter Auditorium
    6:00pm

    Saturday, April 10, 2010
    Young Associates Backstage Tour and Brunch
    10:00am

    Thursday, April 22, 2010
    Young Associates Opera Evening
    Armida
    7:00pm Cocktail Reception
    8:00pm Performance

    Saturday, May 8, 2010|
    Why Do I Sing Like a Girl?
    A conversation with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo
    6:00pm

    For more information, please call 212-870-4587 or email ya@metopera.org.

    *Passes for dress rehearsals are limited and must be reserved in advance. Young Associates at the $500 level may request a total of 2 passes. Young Associates giving at the $1000 or $2000 level may request a total of 4 passes, with a maximum of 2 passes per rehearsal.

     

    Back to Young Associates Homepage 

  • The Met Launches Mobile Website

    January 11, 2010

    Imagine you’re watching a Live in HD transmission in a movie theater and want to buy tickets to the next Met performance on your way home. With the company’s new mobile website, you can! Direct your iPhone or BlackBerry’s browser to metopera.org to access a performance calendar, casting and production information, and to purchase tickets. The mobile site allows you to search the Met’s repertoire by date or opera title, or to browse through productions currently on stage. A few easy steps allow you to select a performance, choose your seats, and enter your credit card information via our secure server—which means buying Met tickets is easier than ever. The mobile site will work best on iPhone 3GS (version 3.1), BlackBerry Curve 8900 (version 4.6), and Android HTC G1 (version 1.5).

  • Thaïs and La Sonnambula on DVD

    January 15, 2010

    Two of last season’s stunning Live in HD productions are making their DVD debuts this winter. Massenet’s Thaïs will be released on January 26, with Renée Fleming singing the title role of the courtesan who is converted to a religious life by Thomas Hampson’s Athanaël. The transmission was originally seen in December 2008. The March 2009 presentation of Bellini’s La Sonnambula will be out on DVD on February 16. Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez star in Mary Zimmerman’s innovative production of this bel canto gem. Both Thaïs and La Sonnambula, as well as all previous HD releases, are available in the Met Opera Shop and online at metoperashop.org.

  • Attend upcoming National Council Auditions in your area

    January 20, 2010

    METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNCIL 2010 AUDITIONS

    Detailed region or district contact information

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    Nebraska District Auditions

    10:00am
    Nebraska Wesleyan University
    Vance Rogers Fine Arts Building, O'Donnell Auditorium
    50th & St. Paul
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Free and open to the public

    North Alabama District Auditions
    1:00pm
    Harrison Theatre, located on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, AL.
    Free and open to the public

    Rocky Mountain Region Finals
    1:30pm
    The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    950 13th Street
    Denver, CO
    Free and open to the public
    For more information, please visit: http://www.rmauditions.org/rm.region.html

    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    Southeast Region Finals
    2:00pm
    Spivey Hall
    Clayton State University
    2000 Clayton State Boulevard
    Morrow, GA 30260
    Tickets are $35.00; to order please call (678) 466-4200 or visit www.spiveyhall.org

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Mid-South Region Finals
    11:00am
    Germantown Performing Arts Center
    1801 Exeter Road
    Germantown, TN 38138-2934
    Admission is free and a light lunch will be served

    Pittsburgh District Auditions
    10:00am
    Kresge Theater
    Carnegie Mellon University in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh
    Free and open to the public

    Upper Midwest Region Finals
    12:00pm
    Ordway Center
    345 Washington Street
    St. Paul, MN
    Free and open to the public

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Great Lakes Region Finals
    10:00am
    Carnegie Music Hall in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh
    Free and open to the public

    Northwest Region Finals
    1:00pm
    Meany Hall
    University of Washington
    Tickets available at the door and through Ticketmaster; $15 ($10 seniors and students)
    For more information, please visit: http://nwauditions.com/

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Midwest Region Finals
    Ladue Chapel
    9450 Clayton Road
    St. Louis, MO
    Free and open to the public

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    National Council Grand Finals Concert
    3:00pm
    The Metropolitan Opera
    Lincoln Center
    New York, NY 10023
    Tickets are available online, through the Met Ticket Service at (212) 362-6000 or in person at the Metropolitan Opera Box Office

  • Met Commissions Nico Muhly’s First Opera

    February 15, 2010

    A new work is coming to the Met! Composer Nico Muhly is collaborating with librettist Craig Lucas and director Bartlett Sher on his first opera, which will be co-produced by the Met and the English National Opera. The first piece to be produced from the “Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater Opera/Theater Commissions” program, the as-yet-untitled work will have its world premiere at ENO in June 2011 and be presented at the Met during the 2013–14 season.

    “The opera I’ve written with Craig is a love story, a murder ballad, and a proper mystery,” Muhly says. A fictionalized piece based on a true incident, the story follows a teenager who attempts to arrange his own murder via the internet. “My adult life is grafted to the development of the internet,” Muhly continues. “When I was 14, we got the internet in our house, and from that time, I’ve maintained friendships that have been exclusively online.”

    “Craig’s libretto is wonderfully settable,” Muhly says. “I got the first draft as a PDF and within 20 minutes of reading it, I knew how the opera needed to sound.” He’s quick to point out, though, that although the subject is high-tech, the score is not. “An opera that takes place primarily online suggests immediately a synthesized orchestra, but I resisted this,” he says. “The orchestration for this project is entirely acoustic.”

    Muhly’s orchestral works have been performed by such ensembles as the Chicago Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra. His two albums, Speaks Volumes and Mothertongue, both received extraordinary acclaim, as did his score for the Academy Award-winning film The Reader. Muhly, 28, is famous for collaborating with artists as varied as Björk and Philip Glass, with whom he has an extensive working relationship. But he has never before tried his hand at opera.

    “Nico has the burden of being the best young composer working in classical music today,” director Sher says. “I think his sensibility really expands how we think about what’s possible in opera and at the same time deeply respects its traditions. I know of no task more difficult in any creative field than to come up with a new opera that can push the form ahead and enter the repertoire in a way that makes opera relevant and meaningful today—that’s what Nico and Craig are trying to do.”

    The opera follows on the heels of such successful Met-ENO collaborations as Madama Butterfly, Satyagraha, and Doctor Atomic and represents the Met’s commitment to revitalizing the repertory with new works. “Creating successful new operas is a daunting challenge,” says Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “But hopefully we have stacked the odds in our favor with this brilliant team of composer, librettist, and director.”

    For Muhly, the project offers a chance to explore his fascination with lives lived online: “I am as infatuated with online personalities as I am with people I have met in the flesh,” he says. Lucas, the playwright behind Prelude to a Kiss and Reckless and the screenwriter of Longtime Companion, is drawn to the chance to work with a composer whose work he describes as “numinous and magical.” And Sher appreciates the opportunity “to perfect a work and have a chance to make something extremely special.” At the very least, he says, “It will be wild ride for us and the audience.”

    The “Met/LCT Opera/Theater Commissions” program is funded by a generous gift to the Met from the Francis Goelet Charitable Trusts.

  • Extended Box Office Hours

    February 12, 2010

    The Met’s box office is now open through the end of the first intermission on performance days. Here are the new hours:

    Monday – Saturday
    10:00am through the first intermission of the evening performance
    10:00am – 8:00pm on non-performance days or evenings with no intermission

    Sunday
    12:00 noon – 6:00pm

  • The Met: Live in HD 2010–11 Season

    February 22, 2010

    New Season Announced | Press Release | Subscribe Now | Live in HD 2010–11 Season
    Online Brochure | New Productions Photo Gallery | New Season Preview

    Along with the company’s plans for the 2010–11 season’s new productions and revivals, the Met today announced the lineup for next season’s Live in HD performances. Now in its fifth year, the Peabody Award-winning series will present a record 12 live transmissions to movie theaters worldwide. Tickets for the 2010–11 HD season go on sale in September, with priority access for Met members (before tickets are made available to the general public). The schedule is as follows:

    October 9
    Wagner’s Das Rheingold
    James Levine; Wendy Bryn Harmer, Stephanie Blythe, Patricia Bardon, Richard Croft, Gerhard Siegel, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens, Franz-Josef Selig, Hans-Peter König

    October 23
    Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov
    Valery Gergiev; Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, Vladimir Ognovenko

    November 13
    Donizetti’s Don Pasquale
    James Levine; Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien, John Del Carlo

    December 11
    Verdi’s Don Carlo
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Marina Poplavskaya, Anna Smirnova, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Eric Halfvarson

    January 8
    Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West
    Nicola Luisotti; Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani, Juha Uusitalo

    February 12
    Adams’s Nixon in China
    John Adams; Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, James Maddalena, Richard Paul Fink

    February 26
    Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride
    Patrick Summers; Susan Graham, Plácido Domingo, Paul Groves, Gordon Hawkins

    March 19
    Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
    Patrick Summers; Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, Kwangchul Youn

    April 9
    Rossini’s Le Comte Ory
    Maurizio Benini; Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Susanne Resmark, Juan Diego Flórez, Stéphane Degout, Michele Pertusi

    April 23
    Strauss’s Capriccio
    Andrew Davis; Renée Fleming, Sarah Connolly, Joseph Kaiser, Russell Braun, Morten Frank Larsen, Peter Rose

    April 30
    Verdi’s Il Trovatore
    James Levine; Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky

    May 14
    Wagner’s Die Walküre
    James Levine; Deborah Voigt, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Stephanie Blythe, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Hans-Peter König

  • The Met Announces 2010–11 Season

    February 23, 2010

    (Revised July 21, 2010)

    New Season Announced | Press Release | Subscribe Now | Live in HD 2010–11 Season
    Online Brochure | New Productions Photo Gallery | New Season Preview

    General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine yesterday announced the Met’s plans for its 2010–11 season. The lineup features seven new productions, including two company premieres and the first two installments of a new Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Maestro Levine, as well as 21 revivals. The 2010–11 season also marks the 40th anniversary of Maestro Levine’s Met debut, a milestone that will be celebrated with the release of a series of CDs and DVDs of Levine live recordings, a documentary film, and a Met tour to Japan in the summer of 2011.

    Gelb welcomed the audience to the Met’s packed List Hall and gave an overview of the coming season, commenting that “in scope and intensity, [the Met] is an opera house like none other in the world.” The new productions were then presented through a combination of video clips and director interviews. Opening and closing the season will be Das Rheingold and Die Walküre from Wagner’s epic Ring cycle. Director Lepage explained the concept for his highly anticipated production via live satellite link from Vancouver. “The Ring is a cosmos that comes with its own rules,” he said. “There is a delicate balance between the small, personal story of the characters and the big story in the background. One is the echo of the other, and it’s my job to try and magnify that.”

    Bartlett Sher, who will direct the Met premiere of Le Comte Ory, was on hand to give an introduction to Rossini’s rarely staged French opera. The remaining four new productions were presented in video clips, combining interviews with the directors and performance footage from those productions that have been seen elsewhere. Stephen Wadsworth will direct Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. This will be followed by Verdi’s Don Carlo, in a production by Nicholas Hytner, and Willy Decker’s acclaimed staging of La Traviata. Composer-conductor John Adams and director Peter Sellars will helm the Met premiere of Adams’s 1987 opera Nixon in China.

    Looking back on his unparalleled four decades with the company and ahead to the coming season, Levine summed up the afternoon’s proceedings: “Going into my 40th season is something unimaginable. I don’t quite know how it happened. But the future looks very, very bright to me.”

    Read the full season announcement.
    Scroll down to view the 2010–11 Live in HD schedule.

  • Critics Praise Attila

    February 24, 2010

    “It may be trite to describe a performance as a revelation, but this one really was,” the New York Times says of the Met premiere production of Verdi’s Attila, which opened last night. Conductor Riccardo Muti, in his company debut, “drew a refined, lithe and stunningly fresh performance from the Met Orchestra, which played as if inspired.” Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov, who sang the title role, “has a sturdy, dark and rich voiceÉ Yet it was the refinement and clarity of his singing, the Verdian accents, that made him so moving.” Violeta Urmana “dispatched the part [of Odabella] with fearlessness and earthy power,” singing “each line with articulate shape and grandeur.” Director Pierre Audi’s staging was “intriguing and full of resonant imagery.” Attila, the review summarizes, “came across as a vibrant and engrossing music drama.”

    “To hear [Maestro Muti] conduct the superb Met orchestra,” the Associated Press adds, “was to revel in moment after glorious moment that reveals the composer’s developing genius.” Ram—n Vargas as Foresto “did some of his best singing in a long time.” This production of Attila “is an important musical milestone in Met history.”

    The Times concurs: “At last Mr. Muti is at the Met. And so is Verdi’s enthralling Attila.”

    Attila runs through March 27. Buy tickets now.

  • Premiere Gala: Armida

    April 12, 2010

    Celebrate the gala premiere of the Met’s first-ever staging of ARMIDA!

    On April 12, Renée Fleming stars as Rossini’s sorceress in a new production directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman and conducted by Riccardo Frizza.

    The festivities will begin with cocktails and a black tie dinner at 6:00 pm, followed by the performance at 8:00 pm.  Champagne and dessert will be served during the intermission on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier.

    The following Gala ticket options are now available.  For more information, please call the Box Office at 212-362-6000.

    Sponsor ($1,750) 
    This ticket includes entry to the cocktail reception, a priority Orchestra or Grand Tier performance ticket, priority seating for the dinner, and a listing in the dinner program.

    Sponsor ($1,500)     DINNER ONLY
    This ticket includes entry to the cocktail reception, priority seating at the dinner, and a listing in the dinner program. This option is for those who already have a performance ticket and wish to attend the dinner. 

    Committee Member ($750)     PERFORMANCE ONLY
    This ticket includes a preferred Orchestra or Grand Tier ticket and a listing in the dinner program. This option is for the performance only and does not include the cocktail reception or dinner.

    View and print the ARMIDA Gala Invitation 
    View and print the ARMIDA Gala Reply Form 

    The Met is grateful to Yves Saint Laurent for underwriting this gala benefit.

    This production is a gift of The Sybil B.Harrington Endowment Fund.

  • Maestro Riccardo Muti Welcomes Students to Attila Rehearsal

    March 01, 2010

    On Friday, February 5, renowned conductor Riccardo Muti began rehearsals for the new production of Verdi’s Attila, which had its Met premiere on February 23. The Met orchestra assembled in the C-level Orchestra Room and Maestro Muti took the rehearsal podium. Also in the room were 24 young conductors, seated at the back of the hall, scores on their laps and pencils at the ready. The students and faculty from some of the most celebrated music schools in the U.S., including the Juilliard School, Mannes College, Manhattan School of Music, Yale, and the Curtis Institute of Music, were there to watch the work of one of the world’s most esteemed maestros and a champion of Verdian style.

    Muti lightly raised his baton and then paused. “I know I am supposed to say I am very happy to be here, but it is true—I am very happy to be here.” Then he began leading the orchestra through the Attila prelude. Occasionally he stopped, injecting quick direction: “Don’t delay.” “It’s a bit faster.” “Now! Fortissimo! Boom!”

    Muti studied with Antonino Votto, assistant to Toscanini (who himself played cello under Verdi’s supervision in the 1887 premiere of Otello), and is a strong supporter of mentorship for young conductors. He has served as music director and principal conductor of some of the world’s greatest orchestras and opera ensembles, most notably La Scala, where he was music director from 1986 to 2005. This year, Muti begins his tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and becomes director of the Rome Opera. Attila marks his long-awaited Met debut.

    On this particular morning at the Met, the maestro committed himself wholly to the rehearsal, making direct eye contact—now with the string section, now with the horns. The orchestra responded in kind. Suddenly, Muti raised his hand. In the silent rehearsal hall, he recounted a bit of European history—the parallels between Italy at the time of Attila’s 1846 premiere and the Europe of Attila the Hun. The conducting students listened intently.

    “Now! Uno, due!” The orchestra began again, moving through a dozen bars before Muti paused once more. “Every chord should be music,” he said. “Concentrate on small things, and from small things create big things.” Later, referring to the opera’s plot: “The most noble leader—when he becomes a traitor—it’s the end of the world. Pow!” Then, the orchestra again. “Now, the maximum that you can give: strings! ... Fortissimo, but not heavy!”

    During a break, Elliot Moore, a 30-year-old conductor with the Manhattan School of Music, commented on watching Muti work: “I’m really impressed by how colloquial he is with the orchestra, and his extreme knowledge of the score. Just in general,” he added, “Muti knows the vision he has of the piece and he expresses that to the orchestra, while also encouraging the orchestra to listen to themselves.” Moore got up to walk to the cafeteria and get a coffee. “We get to know a conductor in rehearsal, not in a performance. To actually have the opportunity to see him work—this is really incredible.”

    Tara Simoncic, also of the Manhattan School of Music, was equally impressed. “We’re all learning so much,” she said. “Not only is he telling the story of the opera, but the background that comes with his wealth of knowledge.” When asked what, specifically, she might take from observing Muti to apply in her future conducting, Simoncic immediately zeroed in on the maestro’s treatment of the Verdi score. “We tend to play Verdi very short in general,” she said. “But Muti wants things very legato, and that is definitely something I will take away.”

    Vladimir Kulenovic and Stilian Kirov, both of Juilliard, were heading back to the rehearsal room on the elevator. “This experience, as we say in my language, is very ‘knee to knee’,” commented Kulenovic, who is from Serbia. “This means it’s very direct, a very intense communication, the way a grandfather speaks to a child. You can see it in Muti’s face. The way he conducts will stay in your memory, your bone marrow.” Kirov nodded. “If you don’t have the chance to see the goal, you don’t know where it is,” he said. “This sets the goal for us.” —Caroline Cooper

  • Marlis Petersen to Take Over the Role of Ophélie in Hamlet

    March 03, 2010

    Marlis Petersen will sing the role of Ophélie in the first six performances of the Met’s new production of Thomas’s Hamlet, replacing Natalie Dessay, who is ill.

    Petersen, who sang Ophélie in Düsseldorf in 2006, was already scheduled to sing the role at the Met on April 9. She will now sing the premiere on March 16 and the following five performances. Casting for the final two performances on April 5 and 9 will be announced at a later date. The March 27 matinee will be transmitted to movie theaters worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series.

    Petersen also sings the title role in Berg’s Lulu at the Met this May. The German soprano made her company debut as Adele in Die Fledermaus in 2005. She recently created the title role in the world premiere of Aribert Reimann’s Medea at the Vienna State Opera, a performance that brought her enormous acclaim.

    Hamlet, conducted by Louis Langrée, also stars Simon Keenlyside in the title role, with Jennifer Larmore as Gertrude, Toby Spence as Laërte, and James Morris as Claudius. The production marks the Met debuts of directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser.

  • The Met Mourns Philip Langridge

    March 08, 2010

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the untimely death of tenor Philip Langridge. He made his Met debut as Ferrando in Così fan tutte in 1985, and appeared as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel just two months ago. It was a role that showcased his splendid acting ability and wonderful sense of humor. In all, he sang 64 performances of eight roles, including Aron in the Met premiere of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron. We will remember his wonderful voice and superb musicianship and sorely miss him as a generous and beloved colleague. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Ann, his children Stephen, Anita, Jennifer, and Jonathan, and his grandchildren.

  • William Kentridge Discusses The Nose with Theater Students

    March 08, 2010

    “There were a lot of false worries at the start,” artist and director William Kentridge told a group of theater students and professors at a seminar held at the Met last week. “The nose largely has its existence in the projections. But then we began working with the physical, 3D nose as well, and we were wondering—would the audience be able read both? Are both a credible nose? And what is the grammar of it? When you pick up the nose and are inside, how do you walk? How do you move?”

    A few days before making his Met debut with the company premiere of Shostakovich’s The Nose, based on the short story by Gogol, Kentridge was in a reflective mood. The production had its final dress rehearsal on Tuesday, March 2, and, in the days remaining before its wildly successful Friday night opening, Kentridge noted there were “lots of lists being made now. Just small things from the lighting designer, the costume designer.”

    From the first concepts to the last lists, the road to The Nose has been packed with what Kentridge calls “sideways explorations.” In addition to his full production at the Met, his retrospective William Kentridge: Five Themes recently opened at the Museum of Modern Art, where he performed his Gogol-inspired one man show I am not me, the horse is not mine last week. Kentridge also produced Telegrams from the Nose, together with composer Franois Sarhan, as well as a number of additional sketches, projections, sculptures, and collages, some of which are currently on display at the Schwartz Gallery Met in an exhibit titled Ad Hoc: Works from the Nose. Kentridge’s exploration of all things Nose, however, finds perhaps its grandest stage at the Met in what the artist described as “the culmination of this study.”

    In the run-up to opening night, conversation focused as much on the technical aspects of the work as on broader theoretical questions. “If you’re working with computer animation and with algorithms, or with fuzzy felt that you’re ripping up, you explore different effects,” Kentridge said, talking the students through his creation of the nose in action. “Through it all, we’re constantly looking for meaning. We’re constantly trying to find the narrative of what we do.”

    For his production Kentridge delved into archival film and materials from the former Soviet Union, including footage of Shostakovich. “Watching Shostakovich play piano while we listen to the percussive section of the opera was one of the transformative moments for me,” he said. “I didn’t want just the tragic Shostakovich—Shostakovich the party follower or Shostakovich the secret dissident.” Kentridge’s staging draws together the music and set designs in ways that further his explorations: “It’s in synch, it’s drifting out of synch, it’s in synch again, it drifts out,” he commented. “I’m quite comfortable with elastic synchronization.”

    Kentridge, who has been working on the production for the past three years “intermittently and, in the gaps, on other versions and thoughts,” further illuminated certain technical challenges he faced in creating The Nose. “We knew we wanted the nose dancing and we had the footage of Anna Pavlova. But in the film she is a white figure against a black background,” he said, explaining the difficulties of creating the best effect for projection. “We inverted the image so she becomes a negative, a dark figure against a white background. We animated that with the nose on top of her, and then re-inverted the image.”

    As the session wrapped up, Kentridge asked the students what impressed them most about the production and heard a chorus of responses that included, “the moment the nose gets shot” and “your use of space in general.” The artist remained silent a moment. The he summed up his own experience: “Seeing it yesterday, it’s so much faster than I thought. The whole thing goes by so fast.” —Caroline Cooper

  • Young Associates 2010-11 Opera Series

    March 11, 2010

    Members may purchase advance tickets to all or any of the following five performances, and join us for a complimentary pre-performance reception on each evening they attend.

    Das Rheingold
    Thursday, September 30, 2010
    8:00 pm

    Don Pasquale 
    Wednesday, November 10, 2010
    8:00 pm

    Nixon in China
    Wednesday, February 9, 2011
    8:00 pm

    Le Comte Ory
    Tuesday, March 29, 2011
    8:00 pm

    Orfeo ed Euridice 
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011
    8:00 pm

    Young Associates at the $2,000 Best Friend level may purchase tickets for the 2010-11 Series now by calling the Young Associates Ticket Line: 212-501-3427.  Tickets will go on sale to Good Friend and Friend level members at the end of April. 

    For more information on membership, please contact the Young Associates Office at ya@metopera.org or 212-870-4587.

  • Grand Finals Concert of the 2010 National Council Auditions

    March 16, 2010

    Press Release | News Flash | National Council 

    Last Sunday afternoon, the Met played host to the finalists of this year’s National Council Auditions, as nine young singers took the Met stage for the Grand Finals Concert. Each demonstrated extraordinary promise and talent, leaving a note-taking, binocular-wielding audience cheering for more. And the stakes are high. Each year, approximately 100 former audition participants appear in Met productions, as well as at other major opera houses around the world.

    Opera legend Marilyn Horne hosted the competition, a gracious last-minute replacement for Joyce DiDonato, whose flight to New York was cancelled. In her opening remarks, Horne explained the tremendous challenges each singer has already overcome in being selected from among the original 1,500 to participate in this year’s auditions (which are held annually in 45 districts and 15 regions throughout the United States and Canada). The competition, which has received wide coverage following the 2008 release of the acclaimed documentary The Audition by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, is considered to be among the most prestigious in the world for singers seeking to launch an operatic career. “And now,” Horne said from her podium on stage, “join me in discovering the next generation of opera singers.”

    And this is exactly what the near-capacity crowd—the largest in the history of the National Council Auditions—did. As singer after signer took the stage, with Marco Armiliato leading the Met Orchestra, a roar of applause went up. Nathaniel Peake distinguished himself early on with a rich, earnest delivery of “Ah, la paterna mano” from Verdi’s Macbeth, while Rachel Willis-Sørensen provided a searching account of “Einsam in trüben Tagen” from Wagner’s Lohengrin. Elliot Madore treated audiences to an especially hilarious Barber of Seville with his high-energy “Largo al factotum della cittˆ,” and Maya Lahyani’s Carmen seduced each note from “Près des remparts de Séville.”

    As the judges deliberated, renowned mezzo-soprano and Met favorite Frederica von Stade took the stage to sing “Va! Laisse couler mes larmes” from Massenet’s Werther, a piece that helped her to secure her own National Council Auditions win more than 40 years ago, followed by a delightfully tipsy “Ah! quel d”ner!” from Offenbach’s La Périchole. The performance marked von Stade’s final appearance on the Met stage. This milestone was honored by Met General Manager Peter Gelb in a special onstage presentation of a first-edition score of Massenet’s Cendrillon, an opera von Stade has recorded to wide acclaim. “The great artistic standard you represent,” Gelb said, “is an inspiration to both current and future opera singers.”

    Just moments later, the five winners of the 2010 National Council Auditions were announced: Leah Crocetto of Oxford, Connecticut; Lori Guilbeau of Golden Meadow, Lousiana; Elliot Madore of Toronto, Canada; Nathaniel Peake of Humble, Texas; and Rachel Willis-Sørensen of Tri-Cities, Washington. The winners gathered on stage in celebration, and soon all repaired to the Grand Tier for a special champagne toast.

    “I didn’t expect this sort of magic, this feeling I got as soon as I stepped on the stage with the orchestra and just being in the house,” gushed winner Willis-Sørensen. “All I could think was, What do I have to do, who do I have to hurt to make this happen?” she laughed laughed. “It was absolute magic. I stood up there and I knew—this is it. I’m living my dream.”

    Fellow winner Elliot Madore was not far away, greeting his ardent new fans. “It’s such a blur,” he said of the on-stage experience. “I don’t even really remember it. It was tough, but mostly it went well,” he said. “I’m happy.”

    When asked what was next for the 22-year-old, Madore replied, “Well, I’m finishing my masters at the Curtis Institute. Then after that—who knows!” —Caroline Cooper

    Read the full press announcement.

    2010NATCOwinners_1046.jpg

    The winners, from left: Leah Crocetto, Nathaniel Peake, Lori Guilbeau, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Elliot Madore
    Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

  • Armida Open Dress Rehearsal on April 9

    March 19, 2010

    The final dress rehearsal of Mary Zimmerman’s Met premiere production of Armida, starring Renée Fleming, will be open to the public! Two thousand free tickets to the rehearsal on April 9 will be made available through an online ticket drawing on the Met’s website. The entry dates are from Wednesday, March 24, through the evening of Tuesday, March 30. Winners will be chosen on Wednesday, March 31, and names will be posted on the Met website that afternoon.

    An additional 1000 free tickets will be distributed to students in the New York City area who participate in the Met’s HD Live in Schools program, as well as to select universities affiliated with the Met.

    This will be the third and final open dress rehearsal of the season, in a program supported for the fourth consecutive year by Met Managing Director Agnes Varis and her husband, Karl Leichtman.

    Armida opens on Monday, April 12, and will be seen live in HD on Saturday, May 1.

  • American Ballet Theatre 2010 Season

    March 28, 2010

    ABT Premieres Repertory Program
    Alicia Alonso’s 90th Birthday Celebration (June 3)
    All-American Repertory Program
    All-Ashton Repertory Program
    All-Classic Repertory Program
    Don Quixote
    La Bayadère
    Lady of the Camellias
    Memorial Day Matinee (May 31)
    Opening Night Gala
    Romeo and Juliet
    Swan Lake
    The Sleeping Beauty
    ABT Kids

  • Sting to Play at the Met on July 13 and 14

    April 08, 2010

    The Englishman is coming to New York: don’t miss Sting at the Met this summer! The multiple Grammy Award-winning recording artist will play two concerts at the opera house on July 13 and 14. Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Steven Mercurio, the concerts are part of a world tour during which Sting will perform his most popular songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement. “The Metropolitan Opera has such a rich cultural history in supporting and celebrating a truly diverse range of artists,” the singer says. “It is both an honor and a thrill to have the opportunity to perform at this renowned landmark.”

    Tickets for both concerts will go on sale on Friday, April 16, at 10am, with priority access for American Express Cardmembers from Monday, April 12, at 10am through Wednesday, April 14, at 10pm. Preferred Seating is available to Gold Card, Platinum Card, and Centurion members. To buy tickets, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com. (Tickets are not available at the Met or through metopera.org.)

  • Meet Jonas Kaufmann at the Met Opera Shop!

    April 19, 2010

    The star tenor, on the Met stage this month as Cavaradossi in Tosca and Don José in Carmen, will sign copies of his new CDs, a German aria recital and Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, on Thursday, April 29, beginning 12.30pm. For more information, please contact the Met Opera Shop at 212-580-4090.

    Buy Jonas Kaufmann's CDs in the Met Opera Shop.

  • Opening Night Gala - DAS RHEINGOLD

    September 27, 2010

    5:45 pm Cocktail Reception
    6:45 pm Performance
    Post-performance Cast Dinner
     
    Join the celebration! The Met’s 2010-11 season opens with the first installment of Robert Lepage’s highly anticipated new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle. Music Director James Levine, in his 40th anniversary season with the company, conducts a stellar cast led by Bryn Terfel as Wotan.

    On Monday, September 27, the Met celebrates the opening night of this new production with a gala benefit, sponsored by Deutsche Bank. The performance will be followed by a black-tie cast dinner in Damrosch Park, adjacent to the opera house. Your invitation, with complete information about the gala evening, will be mailed in June.
     
    To order tickets now or for further information, please call 212.362.6000.

    View and print the Opening Night Gala Reply Form

    The Met is grateful to Deutsche Bank for underwriting the Opening Night Gala for the tenth consecutive year.
     
    Production underwritten by a generous gift from Ann Ziff and the Ziff family, in memory of William Ziff

     

  • Susanna Phillips Wins Sills Award

    April 21, 2010

    Soprano Susanna Phillips has been named the recipient of the fifth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young American singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is designated for extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles with the Met. It was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman, in honor of Beverly Sills.

    Phillips made her Met debut as Musetta in La Bohème in the 2008–09 season and appeared as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte last fall. A 2007 graduate of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, her repertoire also includes Mozart’s Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi and Countess, as well as Violetta, Lucia, Adina, Juliette, and Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites. Phillips is the fifth winner of the Beverly Sills Award and the first soprano to be honored with this prize, following baritone Nathan Gunn, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass John Relyea.

    Read the full announcement.

  • Fabio Luisi Named Principal Guest Conductor

    April 27, 2010

    General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine announced today that Italian maestro Fabio Luisi will become the Met’s principal guest conductor, starting with the 2010-11 season. Luisi made his Met debut in 2005 conducting Don Carlo and this season has led performances of Elektra, Le Nozze di Figaro, Hansel and Gretel, and Tosca. He will also conduct Lulu, which opens on May 8.

    “I am thrilled that Fabio Luisi has agreed to join us as principal guest conductor,” says Maestro Levine. “He has developed a wonderful rapport with our orchestra and chorus and shown his extraordinary enthusiasm and commitment over a wide range of repertoire. I am looking forward to working with him in maintaining the highest level of artistic quality at the Met.”

    Luisi is only the second principal guest conductor in Met history; Valery Gergiev held the post from 1998 to 2008. “It is a great honor for me to work with the Metropolitan Opera continuously in the coming years,” says Luisi, who is currently chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony and artistic director of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. “Everything in this company meets the highest artistic standards. I enjoy every minute that we make music together.”

    Gelb calls Luisi’s appointment “a natural step. After brilliantly conducting four different operas this past season (with Lulu still to come), it seemed as though he had already taken on this role. We are now formalizing it with a title.”

    _MG_9099.jpg

    Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera



  • Don’t miss the Live in HD Summer Encore series!

    May 02, 2010

    Tickets on sale now!

    Shown in select theaters in the US this summer. Please check with your local theater as times and dates may vary.

    nugget_aida.jpg 

    June 16 Aida



    Set in ancient Egypt, Aida is both a heartbreaking love story and an epic drama full of spectacular crowd scenes. A cast of powerful voices and a grand production bring the story to life on the Met stage (and on the HD screen). Violeta Urmana stars in the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess, with Dolora Zajick as her rival. Johan Botha plays Radamès, commander of the Egyptian army, and Daniele Gatti conducts. Among the score’s highlights is the celebrated Triumphal March.

    Conductor: Daniele Gatti; Production: Sonja Frisell; Violeta Urmana, Dolora Zajick, Johan Botha, Carlo Guelfi, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Stefan Kocán
    nugget_romeo.jpg


    June 23 Romeo et Juliette


     

    Gounod’s ultra-sensual interpretation of Shakespeare is an ideal vehicle for star soprano Anna Netrebko and the remarkable tenor Roberto Alagna, both of whom bring their incandescent appeal to the title roles. The irresistible Nathan Gunn is Mercutio and Plácido Domingo presides on the podium.

    Conductor: Plácido Domingo; Production: Guy Joosten; Anna Netrebko, Isabel Leonard, Roberto Alagna, Nathan Gunn, Robert Lloyd

    July 7 Eugene Onegin


    Jul 14 La Boheme


    Jul 21 Turandot


    Jul 28 Carmen
     

     
    Please visit (Cineplex link) for the Canadian summer series schedule.

  • The Met Congratulates Julie Landsman

    May 14, 2010

    After 25 years in the Met orchestra, principal French horn player Julie Landsman will retire after tonight’s performance of Der Fliegende Holländer and Sunday’s MET Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall. Landsman made her company debut with Puccini’s Tosca and went on to play in more than 2,700 performances as principal horn. We congratulate her on her achievement and wish her well.

  • Met Player Service Update

    July 30, 2010

    We are working to restore complete Met Player service as quickly as possible.  At this time all of Met Player's 213 radio broadcast performances are available.  The HD and standard-definition video performances listed below are also now available.  Check back for more updates on the Met Player collection.

    HD Presentations

    Aida (2009)

    The Audition (2007)

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia (2007)

    La Bohème (2008)

    Les Contes d'Hoffmann (2009)

    La Damnation de Faust (2008)

    Doctor Atomic (2008)

    Eugene Onegin (2007)

    La Fille du Régiment (2008) 

    The First Emperor (2007)

    Lucia di Lammermoor (2009)

    Macbeth (2008)

    Madama Butterfly (2009)

    The Magic Flute (2006)

    Opening Night Gala starring Renée Fleming (2008)

    Orfeo ed Euridice (2009)

    Peter Grimes (2008)

    Roméo et Juliette (2007)

    La Rondine (2009)

    Der Rosenkavalier (2010)

    Salome (2008)

    La Sonnambula (2009)

    Thaïs (2008)

    Tosca (2009)

    Tristan und Isolde (2008)

     

    Standard-Definition Telecast Videos

    Aida (1989)

    Andrea Chénier (1996)

    Un Ballo in Maschera (1980)

    Un Ballo in Maschera (1991)

    The Bartered Bride (1978)

    La Bohème (1977)

    La Bohème (1982)

    Carmen (1997)

    Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci (1978)

    La Cenerentola (1997)

    Così fan tutte (1996)

    Don Giovanni (2000)

    Don Pasquale (1979)

    L'Elisir d'Amore (1981)

    Ernani (1983)

    Falstaff (1992)

    Fedora (1997)

    Fidelio (2000)

    Die Fledermaus (1986)

    La Forza del Destino (1984)

    La Forza del Destino (1996)

    Francesca da Rimini (1984)

    Götterdämmerung (1990)

    Hansel and Gretel (1982)

    Idomeneo (1982)

    Lohengrin (1986)

    I Lombardi (1993)

    Lucia di Lammermoor (1982)

    Luisa Miller (1979)

    Manon Lescaut (1980)

    Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (2001)

    Le Nozze di Figaro (1985)

    Le Nozze di Figaro (1998)

    Otello (1978)

    Otello (1979)

    Parsifal (1992)

    Luciano Pavarotti 30th Anniversary Gala (1998)

    The Queen of Spades (1999)

    Das Rheingold (1990)

    Rigoletto (1977)

    Rigoletto (1981)

    Simon Boccanegra (1984)

    An Evening with Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti (1987)

    Tannhäuser (1982)

    Tosca (1985)

    Tristan und Isolde (1999)

    Il Trovatore (1998)

    Les Troyens (1983)

    Die Walküre (1989)

    Die Zauberflöte (1991)

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rush Tickets Program Now Offering $25 Weekend Tickets

    August 25, 2010

    The Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Tickets program has expanded and will now offer almost 14,000 seats for weekend performances throughout the 2010-11 season. The seats, in the Orchestra and Grand Tier, will be available for $25 through a weekly drawing. Sign up for the ticket drawing every Monday, beginning September 27 through the end of the Met season, at www.metopera.org.

    These tickets are offered in addition to the $20 tickets available through the Rush Tickets program for 200 seats at each Monday through Thursday performance. One hundred fifty of these $20 tickets are available day of performance at the Met Box Office, beginning two hours before curtain time. Fifty senior citizen tickets are available by phone beginning at noon. There is a limit of two tickets per customer.

  • Dinner at the Met's Summer HD Festival

    August 28, 2010

    Picnic on the Plaza

    The following restaurants in the Lincoln Center area are offering special boxed dinner packages for audiences to enjoy during the Summer HD Festival screenings.

    Bar Boulud

    http://www.barboulud.com/

    1900 Broadway at 64 St  
    212-595-0303
    Boxed Dinner Offer
    $19 Cash Only
    Chilled tomato gazpacho
    Choice of sandwich with house-made charcuterie on fresh-baked bread, with chips

    Fresh fruit tart

    San Pellegrino water

    Sushi A-Go-Go

    http://www.sushiagogonyc.com/

    1900 Broadway at 64 St
    212-724-7340

    Boxed Dinner Offer
    $14.95

    Seaweed salad
    Tartare of tomato & avocado with yuzu
    Choice of 2 sushi rolls
    Soda


    ‘wichcraft

    http://wichcraftnyc.com/

    61 West 62nd street at Columbus Ave.
    212-780-0577

    Dinner Offer
    10% off any ’wichcraft meal combination:
    Entrée
    Dessert
    Beverage

  • A New Rheingold Opens the 2010–11 Season

    September 29, 2010

    The Met’s 2010–11 season kicked off Monday night with the gala premiere of Robert Lepage’s highly anticipated new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the first installment of the company’s new Ring cycle. Music Director James Levine, who celebrates his 40th Met anniversary this season, was greeted by a thunderous ovation when he took the podium for his first conducting appearance since recuperating from back surgery last spring. The opening night audience at the Met was joined by several thousand opera lovers who defied the rain to watch the live transmissions in Lincoln Center Plaza and on giant screens in Times Square. The performance was also streamed live on the Met website and transmitted on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM.

    Transmission host Deborah Voigt—who will sing Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, the second Ring opera, next spring—welcomed guests for pre-show interviews on the red carpet, including director Lepage; Eva Wagner-Pasquier, the composer’s great-granddaughter and co-director of the Bayreuth Festival; rock legend Patti Smith; and fashion guru Andre Leon Talley. Other celebrities in the audience included actors Christine Baranski, Patricia Clarkson, Vera Farmiga, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Miranda Richardson, Meg Ryan, Mark Rylance, and Patrick Stewart, TV personalities Barbara Walters and Regis Philbin, fashion designers Rachel Roy and Behnaz Sarafpour, and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright.

    Following a rousing rendition of the national anthem, the house lights dimmed and Maestro Levine launched into Das Rheingold’s mystic prelude, while the monumental set, designed by Carl Fillion, slowly came to life for the first scene, depicting the bottom of the Rhine river. Bryn Terfel led the extraordinary cast as Wotan, joined by Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Eric Owens as Alberich, and Richard Croft as Loge.

    The 2010–11 Met season runs through May 14 and features seven new productions, including the Met premieres of John Adams’s Nixon in China and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, as well as 21 revivals. To learn all about the new Ring and the 40th anniversary of Maestro Levine, visit our special feature sections.

  • The Ghosts of Versailles - Met Player Synopsis

    October 28, 2010

    http://www.metoperafamily.org/met_player/catalog/detail.aspx?upc=811357013700

    Act I
    Prologue and Scene 1
    Refusing to accept her destiny and the conditions of her execution, Marie Antoinette and the rest of the executed court of Louis XVI are caught in a world beyond time. Beaumarchais, the author of the plays The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, is deeply in love with her. He hopes to change her destiny by re-plotting her story in his new opera, based on the third Figaro play, La Mère Coupable.
     
    The ghosts of the court, preceded by the Lady in a Hat, who represents the past glory of France, and by the King himself, assemble to hear the new opera. The Gossips of the court and the Marquis discuss the fact that a commoner is courting the Queen, while an earnest quartet of opera-going ghosts expects to be bored by yet another court entertainment.

    Marie Antoinette rejects Beaumarchais’s advances, insisting that the dreadful circumstances of her death still haunt her and prevent her from a romantic relationship—even, it appears, with her own husband. Louis and the court, however, persuade her to allow the entertainment to take place in her private theater at Versailles. Beaumarchais introduces his opera, A Figaro for Antonia, which features the latest exploits of the Almaviva household some 20 years after Figaro’s marriage to Susanna.

    Scene 2
    The opera begins in the Paris house of Almaviva, now the Spanish ambassador to France. Figaro appears, pursued by creditors of various kinds whom he traps in a closet before regaling the audience with his remarkable personal history. The spectators are delighted with him—except for Marie Antoinette: Figaro’s energetic exuberance makes her even more depressed. Beaumarchais borrows the Queen’s necklace as a prop, and it now appears in the hands of Count Almaviva. He has sworn to engineer the Queen’s escape to the New World by selling the jewels to the English ambassador at a reception that night at the Turkish embassy.

    Beaumarchais interrupts the proceedings to explain that the story takes place at a time when the King has been executed by the revolution and the Queen languishes in jail. (These details, however, do not please his audience.) He outlines the plot and introduces the other characters. These include Rosina and Cherubino’s illegitimate son, Léon, whom Almaviva refuses to acknowledge; Florestine, the illegitimate daughter of the Count and an unknown lady, with whom Léon is in love; and Bégearss, Almaviva’s best friend, to whom he has promised Florestine’s hand in marriage. He is not as yet aware of Bégearss’s affiliation with the revolutionaries.

    Scene 3
    In the Count’s salon, Figaro and Susanna discover the Queen’s jewels on the Count. Figaro inquiries about them and is instantly dismissed. Bégearss appears with his inefficient servant Wilhelm who, to his master’s fury, is unable to remember to whom Almaviva intended to sell the necklace. This thwarts Bégearss’s plot to expose the Count’s family to the authorities and seize Florestine as his wife. Bégearss boasts of his intentions and extols the worm, the symbol of evil, as the king of all beasts. Wilhelm suddenly remembers the details he has overheard, and Bégearss leaves. Figaro and Susanna, who have witnessed the conversation, resolve to inform the Count.

    Marie Antoinette compares Florestine’s plight to her own when she came to France as a child-bride. The comparison does not please Louis, especially when he hears Beaumarchais alluding to his plans for the Queens’ future with himself—in Philadelphia. To defuse the situation, Beaumarchais quickly begins another scene.

    Scene 4
    In the Almavivas’ garden, Bégearss hypocritically implores Almaviva to forgive his wife’s infidelity, but the Count vindictively refuses. Rosina is left to recall with nostalgia her affair with Cherubino and the night of her seduction in the gardens of Aguas Frescas, which resulted in the birth of Léon. Beaumarchais uses the romantic situation to his own advantage: moved by the story of the lovers, Marie Antoinette allows herself to become more intimate with the author. But Louis prevents their kiss and furiously challenges Beaumarchais to a duel. When Louis thrusts his sword through Beaumarchais, and Beaumarchais then returns it, the ghosts realize the impossibility of a second death and the situation dissolves into farce, with all the ghosts stabbing each other hysterically.

    Scene 5
    The swordplay is interrupted by a change of scene to the Turkish embassy, where giant duelists are amusing the Pasha’s guests, who include the entire Almaviva family and Susanna. Under cover of further entertainment, Léon secretly declares his love to Florestine, while Bégearss and his cohorts prepare to catch Almaviva red-handed with the jewels. The Count and the English ambassador unsuccessfully attempt to make their exchange, much to Bégearss’s annoyance.

    Figaro appears disguised as one of the dancing girls who are the back-up team to Samira, the Pasha’s favorite singer. Determined to save his master from exposure by Bégearss, Figaro foils further attempts to exchange the jewels. He prevents the transaction by picking Almaviva’s pocket and in doing so is unmasked. A chaotic chase ensues during which the entrance of a large band of Turkish musicians deflects Figaro’s many pursuers. A Wagnerian stranger appears to question the nature of this opera, as Figaro makes his escape from the embassy and his pursuers.


    Act II
    Scene 1
    The Ghosts, feeling better thanks to the hilarity of the previous act’s finale and the wine they’ve had during intermission, return to the auditorium. Beaumarchais assures the Queen, to Louis’s cynical disbelief, that art can change the course of history. Marie Antoinette warns the author that such meddling might cost him his immortal soul, but he replies that his only desire is to make her happy.

    Scene 2
    Figaro returns to Susanna’s bedroom with the jewels but refuses to restore them to Almaviva. He deviates from his script and, to the collective horror of his author, his audience, and his family, declares his revolutionary sympathies with a cry of “Down with Marie Antoinette!” He intends to use the money from the sale of the jewels to help the Almaviva family escape to London.

    The curtain is rung down as Figaro disappears once again. Marie Antoinette turns on Beaumarchais and accuses him of treachery and insincerity. But his passionate declaration of how history and her destiny will be changed through his art manages to keep her from leaving the theater. The Queen is finally persuaded of his sincerity, but begs him not to enter the opera to deal with the recalcitrant Figaro and put matters to right. Nevertheless Beaumarchais fades through the curtains of the theater and vanishes into the play.

    Scene 3
    The story resumes where it left off. Almaviva reminds Rosina of the ball they are to give that night: probably the last ball of its kind before the revolution devours them all. Rosina and Susanna sadly compare their husbands of today with the lovers they married and deplore the passing years, which have robbed them of their youth. Marie Antoinette, as affected as the other female members of the audience, withdraws. Figaro, pursued by some nameless shadow, comes back to Susanna. Before he can answer her questions, Beaumarchais materializes in the play and demands that he return the jewels. Figaro refuses, just as the voice of Marie Antoinette is heard calling his name.

    Scenes 4 and 5
    Beaumarchais transports Figaro and Susanna to meet the Queen, who requests the return of her necklace. When Figaro again refuses, suspecting some kind of black magic, Marie Antoinette commands Beaumarchais to restage her trial.

    The trial of Marie Antoinette takes place with Beaumarchais playing the part of her judge and chief accuser. Figaro is so horrified at the miscarriage of justice that at last he agrees to help save the Queen. Instantly, Marie Antoinette disappears from sight and Figaro, Susanna, and Beaumarchais find themselves transported to…

    Scene 6
    The streets of Paris. The city is peopled by a mob of revolutionary women and their children, incited to bloodlust by Bégearss, who urges them to invade the Almavivas’ ball and capture the aristocrats. Figaro and Beaumarchais resolve to warn the Almavivas and the Queen.

    Scene 7
    The remaining nobility of Paris gather for the last ball, haunted by their own ghosts. In a short-lived romantic episode, Léon gate-crashes the festivities to find Florestine, while the Count is almost persuaded by Rosina to forgive her son. Bégearss and his bloodthirsty crew arrive. In an attempt to pay off Bégearss and to save the family, Figaro returns the necklace to Bégearss, against the objections of Beaumarchais and Almaviva. Bégearss accepts the jewels in the name of the revolution but persists with the arrests. He gives Almaviva until morning to agree to his (Bégearss’s) marriage to Florestine. In the confusion, Susanna helps Figaro and Beaumarchais escape but is captured herself. At Figaro’s insistence Beaumarchais has attempted to use his powers as puppet-master to have them all released, but his effort has failed. The Queen realizes that her predictions have been fulfilled and that Beaumarchais has sacrificed his powers for love of her.

    Scene 8
    The prison of the conciergerie. The ghosts who made up the audience of the opera are imprisoned here in real life, along with the historical Marie Antoinette. The Almaviva family is incarcerated with them. In this predicament, the Count realizes the shame of his earlier behavior and forgives both his wife and her son, and the family is reunited. All this is observed by the ghost of Marie Antoinette, whose former self is heard in prayer, asking God’s forgiveness for herself and for her enemies.

    In the early hours of the morning, Figaro and Beaumarchais arrive to rescue the party: Figaro, apparently now invested with the manipulative powers of his literary creator, has obtained the prison keys by bribery, but the key to the Queen’s cell is in the possession of Wilhelm, Bégearss’s servant. Susanna organizes the women, and Wilhelm is seduced, knocked out, and relieved of the essential key. The escape is foiled, though, by the reappearance of Bégearss, who has come to claim his bride, but he is unmasked by Figaro and the ungrateful Wilhelm. There is pandemonium in the prison as Bégearss and Wilhelm are dragged off by the revolutionary soldiers, and the Almaviva family escapes. Figaro restores the jewels to his author. Beaumarchais bids farewell to both Figaro, his favorite character, and to his own hopes for a future with Marie Antoinette.

    Scene 9 and Finale
    The Queen’s ghost refuses to let Beaumarchais help her escape. She explains that his love and his art have enabled her to rid herself of her bitterness and to accept her destiny: her surrogate self must go to the guillotine while she herself now humbly returns Beaumarchais’s love. The blade falls, history is fulfilled, and Marie Antoinette finds herself in paradise with Beaumarchais.

  • Star Tenor, New Dad Juan Diego Florez

    April 10, 2011

    At 1pm on Saturday afternoon, Juan Diego Florez was scheduled to star in the title role of Rossini's Le Comte Ory. The performance would be seen by several hundred thousand people in 46 countries as part of the Met's Live in HD series of movie-theater transmissions.

    But with less than an hour until the performance, Juan Diego was a bit tied up: His wife Julia was in labor with their first child and it was unclear if the tenor would make it to the opera house in time. But at 12:25, little Leandro arrived, assisted by a pair of midwives in a home water birth. The tenor kissed his newborn son, raced to the Met, threw on his costume and sang as planned.

    Live in HD host Renee Fleming interviewed Florez as he came off stage after the first act, and the very first question was about the baby. "I was up all night!" Florez announced, his excitement palpable as he went on to detail the birth, complete with shout-out to wife and son. "It was beautiful," he told viewers, then repaired to his dressing room to prepare for Act 2.

  • The Met in Japan

    June 07, 2011

    Less than three months after the earthquake and tsunami devastated the country, the Met embarked on its long-awaited three-week tour to Japan on May 30. It’s the company’s seventh—but by far its most historic—visit there, happening amidst tour cancellations from other major international arts institutions. The Met decided to go ahead with its tour after consulting with scientific and medical experts and determining that radiation levels had been back to pre-earthquake levels in Tokyo and Nagoya since April. The company presents 13 fully staged performances of Lucia di Lammermoor, La Bohème, and Don Carlo, as well as one special concert, in these two cities from June 4 to 19. Principal Guest Conductor Fabio Luisi and Maestro Gianandrea Noseda are on the podium.

    “We are the first major opera company to come to Japan since the earthquake,” General Manager Peter Gelb said on arrival at a press conference in Tokyo, “so the tour has a special significance to us and to the people of Japan. What we want most is for our trip to provide an opportunity to lift the spirits of those members of the public who love opera. Many members of the company share my feelings that this tragedy has had a profound impact on people all over the world. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to think that a performance by the Metropolitan Opera could change lives that are destroyed, but we will do our best to show that normal cultural life in Japan is ready to resume.”

    In response to the last-minute cancellations of Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja, who hesitated to visit Japan at this time, the company launched an eleventh-hour casting initiative in the weeks before the company’s departure from New York. Soprano Marina Poplavskaya was released from a concert in Paris in order to join the Met and tenor Marcelo Álvarez canceled a vacation in Argentina. Fellow tenor Rolando Villazón, who is making a historic comeback after a recent vocal crisis, shifted his commitments so he could perform with the Met. (In an interesting twist of fate, Villazón had originally been cast for the tour several years ago but been forced to bow out due to his vocal problems.) Another singer, the young Russian tenor Alexey Dolgov, was located at his country dacha outside of Moscow and agreed to make his debut with the Met in Japan.

    Other Met stars on the tour—many of whom are returning to Japan after previous visits—include Diana Damrau, Barbara Frittoli, Ildar Abdrazakov, Piotr Beczala, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Mariusz Kwiecien, Yonghoon Lee, Željko Lučić́, and René Pape. They are joined by 350 other members of the company, including singers, orchestra, chorus, ballet, and staff.

    View a photo gallery of rehearsal, performance, and backstage tour images from Japan!

    Watch a video and read what CNN says about the Met's Japan tour.

  • Two Boys Opens to Acclaim in London

    June 27, 2011

    Two Boys, the first opera by 29-year-old composer Nico Muhly, had its world premiere at English National Opera on June 24, winning extraordinary critical and popular acclaim. Commissioned by the Met, with a libretto by Craig Lucas, Two Boys will have its Met premiere during the 2013–14 season—but it’s already the most talked-about new work in opera.

    Two Boys is an impressive freshman opera and deserves its place at the Met,” said William Robin in the Washington Post reviewing the ENO premiere. “Though his music suggests the throbbing post-minimalism of John Adams, [Muhly’s] most clear influences come from... the operas of Britten. Two Boys teems with references to Britten, from the pealing gamelan-style gongs of Death in Venice to the finale, an ornate passacaglia straight out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Muhly himself calls the opera “a valentine to Benjamin Britten” (and Edward Seckerson, writing in his five-star review in the Independent, agrees: “Muhly’s musical identity suggests a love-child of John Adams and Britten”).

    The opera, a fictionalized piece based on a true story, follows a teenager who attempts to arrange his own murder via the Internet. Director Bartlett Sher has “crafted a compelling and well-acted production, sharply contrasting drab reality with the seductive glow of the Internet,” according to the Washington Post. The Times of London says, “The ingenious projections of 59 Productions beguilingly visualize the Internet as a twinkling cosmological constellation.”

    Two Boys takes us into territory where no opera has gone before,” declares Norman Lebrecht in The Telegraph. “It does not set out to shock, rather to force us to reflect on the risks presented by the second life we enter when we turn our computers on and click on social media, Facebook or Twitter, suspending natural prudence.”

    Muhly, who has already finished composing his second opera, Dark Sisters, points out that despite the up-to-the-moment subject matter, “the Internet is a delivery system for a much more old-fashioned story about yearning and longing and things that are quite standard to operatic themes and repertoire—the Internet is a sort of vessel for this emotional content that’s been around for quite some time.”

    Two Boys, then, infuses an utterly contemporary story with genuine, timeless emotion to achieve what MusicalCriticism.com calls “a fascinating production... which boldly ventures out into the world where other operas cling to the coattails of tradition... This opera is refreshing in so many ways. Muhly has created a sensuous and rather wonderful score. Two Boys in the end proved itself to be dramatically resonant, musically strong, and conceptually and technically stunning.” —Matt Dobkin

    Two Boys was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater Opera/Theater Commissions program. For more information on the new opera and its creative team, read the press release.

    Watch a video about the making of the production.

  • Cornell MacNeil Dies at Age 88 - Metropolitan Opera

    July 20, 2011

    Cornell MacNeil Dies at Age 88

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of one of America’s great baritones, Cornell MacNeil, who died on July 15 at age 88. For 28 years he performed major roles on the Met stage with a rare combination of rich voice, dramatic intensity, and impeccable style. His repertoire was broad, and he will be especially remembered for the range and depth of vocal tone and the incomparable characterization he brought to such Verdi parts as Don Carlo in Ernani, and the title roles in Nabucco, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth, and Rigoletto. Rigoletto was his Met debut role in 1959 and the one he sang most often here, more than 100 times in all. His final performance was as Scarpia in Tosca in 1987.

  • Fabio Luisi Replaces James Levine for Fall Performances

    September 06, 2011

    Music Director James Levine suffered a fall last week while on vacation, damaging one of his vertebrae, an injury that required surgery. Although the operation was a success, Maestro Levine has been forced to cancel his fall Met performances, including new productions of Don Giovanni and Siegfried, while he recuperates.

    Maestro Fabio Luisi will conduct the premieres of those productions as well as other performances, while assuming a new role at the Met: Principal Conductor (for complete casting info click here). He’ll also lead a MET Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall on October 16.

    “While Jim’s latest setback is hugely disappointing for all of us, he joins me in welcoming Fabio’s larger role,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “I am very pleased that Fabio was able to rearrange his fall schedule, and I appreciate the understanding of those companies with whom he was scheduled to conduct.” In order to replace Levine, Luisi had to cancel scheduled performances with the Rome Opera, the Genoa Opera, the Vienna Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.

    “I am honored to have been asked to take on these additional responsibilities, but my thoughts are also with Maestro Levine,” said Luisi. The Italian maestro had been the Met’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2010 until his new appointment, which is effective immediately. Maestro Levine, who celebrated his 40th anniversary at the Met last season, remains the company’s Music Director. He hopes to be recovered in time to lead the premiere of the new production of Götterdämmerung on January 27 and later performances in the winter and spring.

    Don Giovanni opens October 13. Siegfried opens October 27.
  • The Met Mourns Salvatore Licitra

    September 06, 2011

    Salvatore Licitra died on September 5 at the age of 43 from injuries sustained in an accident in Sicily last month. The Italian tenor was an instant sensation at the Met when he won rave reviews for his eleventh-hour company debut in Tosca in May 2002. In a performance that was shown live on screen in Lincoln Center Plaza, he stepped in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi, garnering a standing ovation and thousands of new fans. He went on to appear more than 60 times with the company, in such roles as Radamès in Aida, Alvaro in La Forza del Destino, Calàf in Turandot, and Canio in Pagliacci, among others. He starred as Luigi in the 2007 new production of Il Trittico, which was shown in movie theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Last April, Licitra returned to the role of his Met debut in what would be his final performances with the company. His warm, affable personality made him a favorite presence backstage at the Met, and he will be missed by the entire company.
  • Anna Bolena and Hans Holbein: Met Meets Met

    September 21, 2011

    In celebration of the Met's season-opening premiere of Donizetti's Anna Bolena this coming Monday, costume designer Jenny Tiramani and Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Maryan Ainsworth discuss how portraits of Henry VIII's court by Hans Holbein the Younger inspired Tiramani's work on the stage production. Rising star soprano Angela Meade, who sings three performances in the role of Anna Bolena later in the run, will perform the dramatic final scene from the opera, accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore.

    The event takes place at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Auditorium, on Wednesday, September 21, at 6pm. Tickets are $25 and available online.

  • Nico Muhly on Satyagraha

    October 31, 2011

    Join composer Nico Muhly next week for a pre-opera chat about Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, a powerful work inspired by M.K. Gandhi’s early years in South Africa, where he developed his philosophy of non-violent resistance, known as “satyagraha” (Sanskrit for “truth force”). Using audio excerpts and stills from the production, the brilliant young composer and musician will explore Glass’s remarkable music and the design of this innovative staging by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, which employs puppetry, aerialists, and humble materials to create breathtaking imagery and make the work sing.

    The 30-year-old Muhly has collaborated with artists ranging from Philip Glass to Björk to Grizzly Bear, as well as composing full-scale operas. His Two Boys, a Metropolitan Opera commission, in conjunction with the Lincoln Center Theater Opera/Theater Commissions Program, premiered at English National Opera last June and debuts at the Met in the fall of 2013. Dark Sisters will have its world premiere in November in New York City. Muhly has also created music for projects for Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater, Nederlands Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet, among many others, in addition to composing soundtracks for feature films such as The Reader.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6pm
    Metropolitan Opera, List Hall
    Admission is free with your November 8 Satyagraha ticket
    Space is limited, please RSVP to marketing@metopera.org if you would like to attend. Reservations are first come, first served.

    Buy performance tickets
    Learn all about Satyagraha, opening November 4.

  • Don Giovanni HD Encores at the Ziegfeld Theatre

    November 02, 2011

    Clearview's Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City will host an encore presentation of Don Giovanni on the following days:

    Wednesday, November 9, 6:30 pm

    The original live screening at the Ziegfeld on Saturday, October 29, was cancelled due to weather conditions. All Clearview Cinemas Met Opera Passes distributed that day will be honored for these encore showings. Passes must be exchanged for tickets at the Ziegfeld box office.

  • Met Mourns Tenor Charles Anthony

    February 15, 2012

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of our beloved colleague, tenor Charles Anthony, who passed away at his home in Tampa, Florida, on February 15, 2012. Charlie holds the record for having sung more performances than any solo singer in Met history, an astounding 2,928 over 56 seasons. From his company debut as the Simpleton in Boris Godunov on March 6, 1954, to his final performance as Emperor Altoum in Turandot on January 28, 2010, he sang 111 roles in 69 operas.

    Anthony-Charles.jpg

    Charles Anthony, circa 1957

    Born Calogero Antonio Caruso, he auditioned for the 1952 Met “Auditions of the Air” and was heard by General Manager Rudolf Bing, who knew that he had found an extremely gifted young tenor. But there was one problem—his last name. Bing felt that even though this New Orleans-born son of Sicilian immigrants was not related to the great tenor from an earlier generation, it wouldn’t be prudent to invite comparison. A half hour before air time, “Charles Anthony” was born—and was soon proclaimed the winner of the competition.

    Anthony-Simpleton-in-Boris-Godunov-by-Serge-Leblang.jpg

    Simpleton, 1954; by Sedge Leblang/Met Opera Archives

    In the half-century that he was a constant presence at the Met, he gained a reputation for artistic excellence and absolute professionalism. Charlie was also one of the most popular, respected, and loved figures at the opera house. He was a sympathetic and helpful colleague, a cool head under pressure, and a warm, cheerful team player who simply loved his job. His record number of performances is an amazing feat, but the deep affection and admiration that he inspired in his colleagues is an even greater legacy. The entire company offers its sincerest condolences to his wife Eleanor, his children Anna Beth, Barbara, and Tony, his seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and all his family and friends.

    Charles-Anthony-(by-Marty-Sohl)_0180.jpg

    Emperor Altoum, 2010; by Marty  Sohl/Met Opera
  • New Ring Documentary Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival

    April 20, 2012

    New Ring Documentary Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival

    Wagner’s Dream, a documentary about the making of the Met’s new Ring cycle by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, had its highly anticipated world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last night. Five years in the making, the film chronicles the creation of Robert Lepage’s groundbreaking staging of Wagner’s epic, from initial workshops at the headquarters of Ex Machina, Lepage’s production company in Quebec, to final rehearsals and performances of the cycle’s four operas at the Met. Froemke tells the story of the development of “the machine,” as the 90,000-pound set was dubbed by the Met’s technical crew, and the trials and tribulations—and ultimate triumph—of bringing Wagner’s mythic tale to the stage through a combination of cutting-edge technology, traditional storytelling, and the tireless efforts of the creative team and the Met’s technical and artistic staff. The film also follows the emotional and intensely personal journeys of soprano Deborah Voigt, who tackles the daunting role of Brünnhilde for the first time in her career, and tenor Jay Hunter Morris, who stepped into the part of Siegfried days before opening night of the cycle’s third installment.

    Following the two-hour screening, Froemke and her collaborator, film editor Bob Eisenhardt, were joined by Voigt, Morris, and Met General Manager Peter Gelb for an on-stage discussion, moderated by Met radio announcer Margaret Juntwait. (Director Lepage was missing due to a trip to Boston, where he was receiving an award at MIT.) Eisenhardt described the challenge of shaping 300 hours of filmed footage into a coherent and exciting narrative, while Froemke called her work on the film “a documentary-maker’s dream” and thanked Gelb and the Met for granting her and her team unprecedented access to all stages of the artistic process. “I knew the project was in capable hands,” Gelb explained. “I have worked with Susan for years and there’s nobody else I would have entrusted this to.”

    Morris, who was thrown into the project on a few days’ notice, drew a parallel between his experience and the New York theater world in general. “The city is full of actors and players and people who wait for that plum role. It never crossed my mind to say no!” Quoting Lepage, who had said that “you’re not the same person after you have done the Ring,” Juntwait ended the conversation by asking the participants how their personality and artistry had been shaped by being part of this operatic marathon. “I can sing it!” Voigt said, laughing. “I can’t imagine that anything will come along to beat this experience. This is Valhalla.”


    Wagner’s Dream will be seen in select movie theaters nationwide on May 7. For tickets and venues, visit wagnersdream.com.

     

  • Met Alumni Win Operalia Competition

    June 15, 2012

    Two rising Met artists are among this year’s winners of Operalia, the international singing competition established by Plácido Domingo in 1993. Soprano Janai Brugger took home the first prize for female voice, the Zarzuela prize, and the Audience Favorite award. The 29-year-old Chicago native won the Met’s National Council Auditions earlier this year and recently graduated from the Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. She will be heard this summer as the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Ravinia Festival. Also among the winners is countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who was awarded the first prize for male voice (which he shared with Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat). A 2009 National Council winner, Costanzo, 30, made his Met debut this past season in Handel’s Rodelinda and scored a major success singing the roles of Ferdinand and Prospero in the company’s world premiere production of The Enchanted Island. Born in North Carolina, he is a graduate of Princeton University and the Manhattan School of Music. "A first-place win in these Olympics of opera, especially as a countertenor—perhaps the odd duckling of opera competitions—feels like a dream," Costanzo said. "I try to think of competitions as performance experience, and I want each performance to be better than the last. Whether on the stage of the Met or in front of the judges, there’s a certain exhilaration that can free me to communicate more deeply with whoever is listening."

    The Operalia finals, which are hosted by a different city each year, were held on June 10 at China’s National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, with Domingo conducting the NCPA Orchestra. The first-place winners each receive a prize of $30,000.

  • New This Season: Met Titles in Italian

    October 01, 2012

    Since its launch in 1995, the Met Titles system has been an invaluable resource for Met audiences , who are able to see English, German, and Spanish translation for all operas in the repertory. This season, thanks to an effort by the Consulate General of Italy in New York, Italian subtitles have been added for all 16 Italian operas in the repertory. Timed to 2013’s dual status as both the official “Year of Italian Culture” in the U.S. and the bicentennial of Verdi’s birth, the three-year initiative has received leadership support from Dolce & Gabbana, with additional gifts from a number of other donors.

    The Met Titles system utilizes vacuum fluorescent display technology to transmit the opera’s libretto on individual seat-back viewing screens. The titling of a single opera, from commissioning to implementation, is a 10-week process undertaken by an experienced titlist, who compiles text that best reflects the mood of each given opera.  The new Italian translations had their debut on opening night of the current season, with the new production premiere of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.

  • The Met Wins a Grammy

    February 11, 2013

    The Met has won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for our Deutsche Grammophon DVD release of the Live in HD presentation of Wagner's Ring cycle, with James Levine conducting Das Rheingold and Die Walküre and Fabio Luisi leading Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in Robert Lepage's production. Congratulations to Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), and all the artists involved in this extraordinary, award-winning undertaking.

  • The Met Mourns Risë Stevens

    March 21, 2013

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death, at age 99, of mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens, a consummate artist, treasured colleague, and devoted supporter of the company for 75 years. She sang 337 performances with the Met, including 124 of her greatest role, the title character in Carmen. Critics and audiences praised her plush vocalism and riveting acting in the role, which she sang at the opera house and on tour with the company between 1945 and 1961. She made her company debut on tour in Philadelphia in 1938 as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, a peerless interpretation of a role she would perform 74 times, a company record. Later that year, she made an acclaimed house debut in the title role of Mignon. Among her cherished roles at the Met were Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. After her retirement from the stage, Stevens continued her work as a tireless advocate for both the company and for opera as an art form, serving as director of the Metropolitan Opera National Company and of the National Council Auditions, advisor to the Young Artist Development Program, and a managing director on the Met’s board. We extend our sincerest condolences to her son and daughter-in law, Nicolas and Marguerite Surovy; her granddaughter, Marisa; and her many friends and admirers.

    Listen to Risë Stevens on Met Opera on Demand.

  • Bryan Hymel Wins Beverly Sills Artist Award

    March 25, 2013


    Tenor Bryan Hymel has been named the recipient of the eighth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is designated for extraordinarily gifted American singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles with the Met. Given in honor of Beverly Sills, it was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman.

    The 33-year-old Hymel, who was presented with the award at the Met today by Muffy Greenough, Sills’s daughter, made his company debut earlier this season as Aeneas in Berlioz’s Les Troyens. He was a late replacement for a colleague who decided to withdraw the role from his repertory, and his performance—which was also transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series—met with considerable acclaim from both critics and the public. The New Orleans-born tenor will return to the Met in January 2014 to sing the role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. “I am honored and humbled to receive the Beverly Sills Artist Award,” Hymel said. “I have always admired Ms. Sills’s unparalleled performing career, consummate artistry, and exceptionally giving and successful work in arts administration, and I am grateful to be associated with such an extraordinary legacy. Her commanding vocalism and grace onstage were an inspiration for me in my unexpected Met debut this year. I offer sincere thanks to the Agnes Varis Trust, Peter Gelb, and the talented staff of the Metropolitan Opera.”

    Previous recipients of the award include baritone Nathan Gunn, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, tenor Matthew Polenzani, bass John Relyea, soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and soprano Angela Meade.

  • James Levine Makes Triumphant Return

    May 20, 2013


    After an absence of two years almost to the day, Met Music Director James Levine made his long-awaited return to the podium yesterday, conducting the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in a program of Wagner, Beethoven, and Schubert. Appearing on stage in a motorized wheelchair, he was greeted by a thunderous, minute-long standing ovation, “blew a kiss to the crowd in the sold-out 2,804-seat auditorium, raised his fists in triumph and tapped his heart” (Associated Press). He then launched into a moving account of the prelude to Lohengrin. “Wagner has long been a Levine specialty, and there could not have been a more revealing work to open this momentous performance,” the New York Times declared. New York Magazine added, “The channel between Levine and his orchestra remains spectacularly intact.”

    After several years of health problems and multiple operations, Levine conducted with dynamic movements and apparent ease, “actually bouncing around on the chair, smiling at the musicians, sometimes singing the music audibly and looking altogether unrestrained” (NYT). “The sounds that his orchestra made in the hall rushed around with a ferocious, exuberant grace” (NY Magazine).

    Following the Wagner, Maestro Levine and the orchestra were joined by Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The concert ended with Schubert’s “Great” C-major Symphony, a performance culminating in a final movement that was “thrilling, played with momentum and restlessness, yet without any loss of grandeur, clarity and musical architecture… Mr. Levine’s return was a triumph” (NYT). The Financial Times stated simply, “This wasn’t just a concert. It was a celebration.”

    Next season at the Met, Maestro Levine will conduct a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff and revivals of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Berg’s Wozzeck. “Many a conductor’s best work took place after age 70. After Sunday’s performance, Levine can start looking forward to his renaissance years” (AP).

  • The Met Mourns the Death of Regina Resnik

    August 09, 2013

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of Regina Resnik, a treasured star and much-admired colleague whose career with the company was notable not only for the distinctive artistry of her performances, but for its breadth and longevity. Ms. Resnik sang 328 Met performances in an astonishing 39 roles between 1944 and 1983. She began her career in soprano roles such as Leonora in Il Trovatore, which she sang for her Met debut, and later transitioned to the mezzo-soprano and contralto roles in which she would have her greatest triumphs. Two milestones in her wide-ranging Met career were her performances as Ellen Orford in the 1948 company premiere of Britten’s Peter Grimes and as the Old Baroness in the 1958 world premiere of Barber’s Vanessa. Her roles with the company also included both Chrysothemis and Klytaemnestra in Elektra, the title character in Carmen, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, the Marquise de Berkenfield in La Fille du Régiment, and the Countess in The Queen of Spades. We offer our sincerest condolences to her family, and to her many friends and admirers around the world.

  • Prince Igor and the Met at Le Poisson Rouge

    January 16, 2014


    On the eve of the new production premiere of Borodin’s Prince Igor, which opens February 6, the Met and Le Poisson Rouge last night presented “Russian Exoticism and Prince Igor,” an evening of song at the downtown arts cabaret that was met with cheers and bravos from a sold-out crowd. Bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov, who sings the title role in Borodin’s epic opera, was joined by soprano Anna Netrebko, currently starring at the Met in L’Elisir d’Amore, and Igor co-stars Anita Rachvelishvili and Štefan Kocán, accompanied by pianist Natalia Katyukova. The program included songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Anton Rubinstein, as well as two works by contemporary Georgian composers Otar Taktakishvili and Tamar Salukvadze, sung by Rachvelishvili, who also presented an aria from Prince Igor. Abdrazakov gave his first public performance of Igor’s aria (see left for an audio clip), and Katyukova was joined by Irina Soboleva for a rousing two-piano rendition of the opera's famous Polovtsian Dances.

    The new production of Prince Igor is directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and runs through March 8. It will be seen live in HD on March 1.

    Anna Netrebko
     Ildar Abdrazakov

     Anita Rachvelishvili
    Natalia Katyukova and Štefan Kocán
    From left: Irina Soboleva, Anita Rachvelishvili, Anna Netrebko, Natalia Katyukova, Ildar Abdrazakov

     





  • The Tempest Wins Grammy

    January 27, 2014


    The Met’s Live in HD presentation of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon last year, just won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013—the third year in a row the Met has won in this category, following John Adams's Doctor Atomic and the Ring cycle. Adès’s contemporary Shakespeare adaptation had its Met premiere in October 2012 in a production by Robert Lepage, conducted by the composer and starring Simon Keenlyside as Prospero. It was seen live in movie theaters worldwide on November 10, 2012.

    Buy The Tempest DVD at the Met Opera Shop

  • Remembering Lorin Maazel (1930-­2014)

    July 14, 2014

    The Met mourns the death of Lorin Maazel, one of the world's great conductors, whose Met career spanned 51 years. Maestro Maazel made his company debut in 1962 conducting Mozart's Don Giovanni and led a total of 28 Met performances, most recently Verdi's Don Carlo in 2013. In addition to his work as an artist, we remember Maazel as an esteemed colleague who led the New York Philharmonic from 2002 to 2009. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and many admirers.

  • The Met Mourns Licia Albanese

    August 16, 2014

    The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of Licia Albanese, one of the company's major soprano stars from 1940 to 1966. She made her Met debut in the role with which she was most associated, Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and went on to sing more than 400 performances of 17 roles. She was particularly celebrated for the vulnerability and emotional immediacy of her portrayals of such tragic heroines as Cio-Cio-San, Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème, and Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata, a role she sang more frequently than any soprano in the Met's 131-year history. When she retired from the stage, she continued to pass on the traditions of Italian opera through teaching and her foundation for young singers, and for decades was a fixture at Met opening nights, enthusiastically joining in the traditional pre-performance singing of the national anthem. We offer our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and the millions of opera lovers whose lives she touched over the past century.

    Peter Gelb, General Manager
    James Levine, Music Director

  • Update on Met Union Negotiations

    August 18, 2014

    We are pleased to announce that earlier this morning the Met successfully reached new agreements with the Met orchestra and chorus. The company has extended the deadline through midnight on Tuesday, August 19, to allow Local One and the other remaining unions with unsettled contracts more time to secure new deals with the institution. We remain hopeful that the company’s 2014–15 season will open on schedule. Thank you for your support of the Met.