The 2009–10 Season Announced!

February 11, 2009

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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.