Casting Update News
In order to conserve her vocal energies in a season that has included numerous performances of demanding repertory, Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from three of her eight scheduled performances of the title role in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Met next season. In her place, Kristine Opolais—who starred in the premiere of the Met’s new staging earlier this year—will sing the role of Manon Lescaut on November 21, December 7, and December 10.
In order to accommodate her added performances as Manon Lescaut, Ms. Opolais will withdraw from one of her scheduled performances of Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème. In her place, Hei-Kyung Hong will sing Mimì on December 8.
All other casting remains as previously announced. Manon Lescaut will be conducted by Marco Armiliato and, in addition to Netrebko and Opolais in the title role, will star Marcelo Álvarez as des Grieux, Christopher Maltman as Lescaut, and Brindley Sherratt as Geronte.
The December 8 performance of La Bohème, also conducted by Armiliato, will feature Brigitta Kele as Musetta, Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo, Massimo Cavalletti as Marcello, Patrick Carfizzi as Schaunard, Ryan Speedo Green as Colline, and John Del Carlo as Benoit and Alcindoro.
Hei-Kyung Hong has sung more than 350 Met performances over the course of her 34-year career with the company, including 65 performances of Mimì in La Bohème. Her other roles in recent seasons have included Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, and Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Kristine Opolais has starred as four Puccini heroines at the Met. In addition to starring in the title role of last season’s new production of Manon Lescaut, she has sung Met performances of Magda in La Rondine, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, and Mimì in La Bohème—once singing the latter two roles in a 24-hour period to fill in for an ailing colleague. Next season at the Met, she will also sing the title role in a new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka.
Anna Netrebko has sung 18 roles at the Met since her 2002 debut as Natasha in Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In recent seasons, her performances with the company have included Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, the title role in the Met premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth, and Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin—a role she will reprise at the Met in spring 2017. Earlier this year, Netrebko made her New York recital debut with a sold-out performance on the stage of the Met.