Agrippina has its Met premiere on Thursday, February 6

Agrippina has its Met premiere on Thursday, February 6

  • New production by Sir David McVicar is headlined by Joyce DiDonato in her 13th role with the company; Brenda Rae makes her Met debut as Poppea
  • Baroque expert Harry Bicket conducts Handel’s early opera; on Saturday, March 7, he will conduct performances of both Agrippina and Così fan tutte on the same day
  • Agrippina will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, February 29 as part of The Met: Live in HD series


 New York, NY (February 4, 2020)—Handel’s 1709 opera seria Agrippina, one of the composer’s breakout operatic successes, has its first-ever performances at the Met, beginning February 6. Recent Grammy winner Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role, in a new production by Sir David McVicar that imagines what it would be like if the Roman Empire never fell. Maestro Harry Bicket—who accompanies the recitatives on harpsichord in addition to conducting the Met Orchestra—leads an exceptional cast, including Brenda Rae, in her Met debut as Poppea, Kate Lindsey as Nerone, Iestyn Davies as Ottone, Duncan Rock as Pallante, and Matthew Rose as Claudio.


Agrippina Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema. Radio, and Online

The performance of Agrippina on Saturday, February 29, will be transmitted live to more than 2,200 movie theaters in more than 70 countries as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts.

The February 6 and 29 performances of Agrippina will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75, the February 29 performance will also be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, and the February 6 performance will also be streamed live on the Met’s web site,, for free.


Agrippina Artist Biographies

In the title role, the power-hungry Roman Empress Agrippina, American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato adds another role to her already extensive Met repertory. Since her 2005 debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, DiDonato has appeared in nearly 100 performances at the Met, including in Met-premiere stagings of Massenet’s Cendrillon, Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory; the 2017–18 season–opening new production of Bellini’s Norma; and the Met-created Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island. This season—in addition to making here Met role debut as Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther beginning on March 16—she sings Agrippina at Covent Garden and the title role of Rossini’s Semiramide in concert in Barcelona, and appears in concert with Il Pomo d’Oro, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. She is also a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist, performing Schubert’s Winterreise with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and appearing in concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Brentano Quartet, and Il Pomo d’Oro. She has previously sung the title role of Agrippina in concert on tour with Il Pomo d’Oro.

Wisconsin-born soprano Brenda Rae makes an eagerly anticipated Met debut as Poppea. Prior to arriving at the Met, Rae has had major recent successes singing Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at La Scala, the Bavarian State Opera, and Staatsoper Berlin; the title role of Handel’s Semele in concert in Paris; Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata in concert, and Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula in Frankfurt; and the title role of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Philadelphia and the Santa Fe Opera. This season, she also appears in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore in Madrid, Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau at the Bavarian State Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Vienna State Opera, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Salzburg Festival.

As Agrippina’s son Nerone, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey returns to the Met for the first time since 2015. A graduate of the company’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she made her debut as Javotte in Massenet’s Manon in 2005, before going on to sing more than 100 performances of 14 roles, include Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nicklausse / the Muse in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Annio in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Wellgunde in Wagner’s Ring cycle. This season also finds her as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and in the title role in the world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando at the Vienna State Opera, Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera, and appearing in concerts of Korngold’s Tomorrow at the BBC Proms and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Countertenor Iestyn Davies—who appears as Ottone, commander of the Imperial Army—returns for his sixth season with the company. Since his 2011 debut as Unulfo in Handel’s Rodelinda, he has been a part of the Met premieres of Nico Muhly’s Marnie (in 2018) and Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel (in 2017) and The Tempest (in 2012). He also appeared as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013. He created the role of Francisco de Ávila in the world premiere of The Exterminating Angel at the Salzburg Festival, and in 2017, he made his Broadway debut as Farinelli in Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli and the King. This season, he also sings Ottone at Covent Garden, Bertarido in Rodelinda in concert in Vienna and at LA Opera, and numerous concerts and recitals in the United States and Europe.

As the Roman general Pallante, baritone Duncan Rock sings his third role at the Met, following his 2017 debut as Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème and an appearance last season as Papageno in the Met’s holiday presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Recently, he has appeared in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves at the Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Opera, Hansel and Gretel at English National Opera, Don Giovanni in Brisbane, and Britten’s Billy Budd at Covent Garden, The Rape of Lucretia at Boston Lyric Opera, and Gloriana in Madrid. In addition to Agrippina, this season he sings Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in Barcelona, Jan in Breaking the Waves at the Adelaide Festival, and Schaunard at Covent Garden, as well as in concert with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Rounding out the principal cast, bass Matthew Rose is Claudio, emperor of Roman and Agrippina’s husband. He made his Met debut in 2011 as Colline in La Bohème, and has since appeared as Ashby in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, Oroveso in Norma, Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni, the Night Watchman in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Talbot in Maria Stuarda. This season, he also sings Giacomo Balducci in Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini in concert with John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Leporello at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bach’s St. John Passion in London, Baron Ochs in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier in Brussels, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Poland’s Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

After leading prior Met performances of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda, including the latter’s company premiere in 2004, Harry Bicket conducts. At the Met, Bicket has also been on the podium for performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, and La Clemenza di Tito. Beginning February 15, he also leads performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Met—and on March 7, he conducts both the matinee of Così fan tutte and the evening performance of Agrippina. In 2007, he became artistic director of the chamber orchestra the English Concert, which specializes in Baroque and Early Music repertoire. With the English Concert, he has led recent concert performances of Handel’s Semele, Rinaldo, Ariodante, Orlando, and Hercules. In 2018, he became music director at the Santa Fe Opera, where he had served as chief conductor since 2013. This season, he conducts Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Dvořák’s Rusalka in Santa Fe, as well as Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice at English National Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, and performances across the United States, Europe, and Asia with the English Concert, including concerts of Rodelinda and Samuel Adamson’s Gabriel.

Scottish director Sir David McVicar directs his tenth new production with the company, after previous stagings of Verdi’s Il Trovatore (which marked his 2009 debut), Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Puccini’s Tosca, Norma, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Giulio Cesare, and the Met premieres of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, Maria Stuarda, and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. This season, he also directs Britten’s Death in Venice at Covent Garden, Gounod’s Faust at Opera Australia, Mozart’s Idomeneo at Staatsoper Berlin, and Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera. His productions have appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, the Salzburg Festival, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, English National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. He was knighted in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Honors List and also made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.

Agrippina is the first of two new Met productions this season designed by Scottish set and costume designer John Macfarlane—followed on March 2 with the premiere of François Girard’s new staging of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer. He made his company debut with in 2007 with Hansel and Gretel, later designing Sir David McVicar’s productions of Tosca and Maria Stuarda. His designs have appeared at Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Paris Opera, Dutch National Opera, English National Opera, and at leading dance companies throughout Europe. He exhibits regularly as a painter and printmaker in Europe and the United States.

Two-time Tony Award–winning lighting designer Paule Constable returns to the Met after designing productions of Così fan tutte, Norma, Roberto Devereux, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Le Nozze di Figaro, Giulio Cesare, Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena, and Philip Glass’s Satyagraha (which marked her debut in 2008). This season, her work also appears in productions of Billy Budd at San Francisco Opera, Death in Venice at Covent Garden, Faust at Opera Australia, Idomeneo at Staatsoper Berlin, and Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera. She received Tony Awards for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (for which she also won a Drama Desk Award) and War Horse, and Tony nominations for Angels in America, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and Coram Boy.

London-born Andrew George—who also collaborated with Sir David McVicar on prior Met productions of Adriana Lecouvreur, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Anna Bolena, and Giulio Cesare—choreographs Agrippina. He made his company debut choreographing Don Giovanni in 2000, and his work has since appeared at the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Glyndebourne Festival, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Grange Park Opera, La Scala, Dutch National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, New York City Opera, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, and in Barcelona, Geneva, Turin, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Brussels, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and Strasbourg.


For More Information

For further details on Agrippina, including casting by date, please click here.



Music by George Frideric Handel


Thursday, February 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 9, at 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 22, at 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 29, at 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 7, at 8:00 p.m.



Harry Bicket


Brenda Rae*


Joyce DiDonato


Kate Lindsey


Iestyn Davies


Duncan Rock


Matthew Rose


*Met debut

This production was originally created by the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie / De Munt Brussels and adapted by the Metropolitan Opera

Production a gift of Dunard Fund USA

For prices and ticket information, please call 212.362.6000 or visit Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 212.341.5410 or visiting