Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice has its Met premiere November 23
- Aucoin’s new opera, commissioned by the Met, reimagines the ancient Greek Orpheus myth, with a libretto by Sarah Ruhl, based on her acclaimed 2003 play
- Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role, starring in a new production by Mary Zimmerman
- On Saturday, December 4, live transmissions of Eurydice will be presented in cinemas as part of The Met: Live in HD series and over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network
New York, NY (November 18, 2021)—On November 23, the Metropolitan Opera presents the company premiere of Eurydice, a new Met-commissioned opera by Matthew Aucoin—at 31, the youngest composer to have a Met premiere since 1938. Eurydice is one of three contemporary works to have premieres in the 2021–22 season, the greatest number of new operas to premiere in a single Met season since 1928–29. The run includes seven performances through December 16. With a libretto by Sarah Ruhl, based on her acclaimed 2003 play, the opera reimagines the ancient Greek Orpheus myth by telling the story from Eurydice’s perspective. Mary Zimmerman directs an evocative new staging, with Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium and soprano Erin Morley starring in the title role. Baritone Joshua Hopkins is Orpheus, and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński and bass-baritone Nathan Berg make their Met debuts as Orpheus’s otherworldly alter-ego and Eurydice’s father, respectively. Tenor Barry Banks sings the role of Hades. Also in their Met debuts, countertenor John Holiday sings the role of Orpheus’s Double for the December 11 and 16 performances, and conductor Daniela Candillari leads the December 8 performance.
Eurydice is a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and LA Opera. The creative team includes set designer Daniel Ostling, costume designer Ana Kuzmanic, lighting designer T.J. Gerckens, projection designer S. Katy Tucker, and choreographer Denis Jones.
Eurydice Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online
The performance of Eurydice on Saturday, December 4, will be transmitted live to cinemas around the globe as part of The Met: Live in HD series. The December 4 performance will also be the first Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast of the 2021–22 season, which will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
American Opera at the Met Exhibition
Coinciding with the Met premiere of Eurydice, the company presents American Opera at the Met, an exhibition currently on display in Founders Hall and throughout the opera house. The exhibition chronicles the history of homegrown opera at the Met, from the company’s early efforts to develop an American repertoire at the beginning of the 20th century to the resurgence of American works in recent years through the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program and other initiatives. The Met’s 2021–22 season features a record four operas by American composers: Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, and Philip Glass’s Akhnaten.
For more information and to view the exhibition online, please click here.
Eurydice Artist Biographies
The 2021–22 season marks Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin third year as the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. Since his 2009 Met debut with Carmen, he has led more than 100 performances of 13 operas. He has served as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012 and artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000. In 2018, he became honorary conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was music director for ten seasons, and in 2016, he was named an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Between 2008 and 2014, he was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also led operatic performances in Baden-Baden and at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, and Salzburg Festival. Also this season at the Met, he conducted the company premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones and will retake the podium to lead Verdi’s original five-act French version of Don Carlos, revivals of Tosca and Le Nozze di Figaro, and a pair of concerts with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
Eurydice, which premiered at the LA Opera in 2020, is the third opera from composer-conductor Matthew Aucoin, a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. His first two operas, Crossing and Second Nature, have been produced across North America at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, and elsewhere. As a conductor, Aucoin has appeared with LA Opera, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Salzburg’s Mozarteum Orchestra, among other ensembles. His instrumental music has been performed and commissioned by artists including Yo-Yo Ma, the pianist Kirill Gerstein, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Aucoin is a co-founder of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), and was LA Opera’s Artist-in-Residence from 2016 to 2020, where he conducted repertoire ranging from Verdi’s Rigoletto to Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. Also active as a writer, Aucoin is a regular contributor to leading publications including The New York Review of Books and The Atlantic. His book The Impossible Art: Adventures in Opera will be published this December by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Sarah Ruhl is an award-winning playwright, author, essayist, and professor who based the libretto for Eurydice on her play of the same name. Her other plays include The Oldest Boy, Dear Elizabeth, Stage Kiss, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2010); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play (Pen American Award, Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play); Melancholy Play; Demeter in the City (nine NAACP Image Award nominations); Scenes from Court Life; How to Transcend a Happy Marriage; For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday; Orlando; and Late: A Cowboy Song. Her plays have been produced on Broadway, across the country, and internationally and have been translated into 14 languages. She is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, Whiting Writers’ Award, PEN Center Award for mid-career playwrights, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and Lilly Award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Her latest book, Smile: The Story of a Face, was released in October 2021.
Stage director Mary Zimmerman made her Met debut in 2007 directing Lucia di Lammermoor, returning for new productions of La Sonnambula, Armida, and Rusalka. She is the 1998 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (for Metamorphoses), and numerous Joseph Jefferson Awards (including Best Production and Best Direction). She is the Manilow Resident Director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, a member of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, and a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. She directed and co-wrote the libretto for Philip Glass’s 2002 opera Galileo Galilei and directed the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera in 2020. She has also received wide acclaim for her theatrical adaptations and productions of Treasure Island, Argonautika, Mirror of the Invisible World, The Odyssey, Arabian Nights, Journey to the West, Secret in the Wings, Eleven Rooms of Proust, The White Snake, The Mirror of the Invisible World, and Candide, and her work has also appeared at La Scala, BAM, Second Stage Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, and the Mark Taper Forum, among many others. This season, she will also bring her production of The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci back to the Goodman Theatre.
Set designer Daniel Ostling is a longtime collaborator of Mary Zimmerman, having designed numerous productions with her, including Metamorphoses on Broadway, for which he was nominated for a 2002 Tony Award. He also received a Tony nomination for his work on Clybourne Park in 2012, is an associate professor at Northwestern University, and is an ensemble member of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, where he has designed more than 30 productions. He designed the 2020 world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera, and his operatic stagings have also appeared at La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Tanglewood, London’s Barbican Centre, and BAM, among others. His Met debut was in 2007 with a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, returning to design Zimmerman’s stagings of La Sonnambula and Rusalka.
Costume designer Ana Kuzmanic makes her Met debut this season with Eurydice. Her designs in opera include Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera. Her costume designs have also been seen on Broadway in Superior Donuts, August, Osage County, and Desire Under Elms, and she returns to Broadway this season for The Minutes. Nationally, she has designed costumes for the Goodman Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre Center, Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Geffen Playhouse, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her costume designs have been honored with Drama Desk, Helen Hayes, Henry Hewes, and Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards.
Lighting designer T.J. Gerckens made his Met debut with Mary Zimmerman’s 2007 production of Lucia di Lammermoor, returning for the director’s stagings of La Sonnambula, and Rusalka. He was also the lighting designer for the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera. His recent productions include Wonderful Town at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Guys and Dolls in L.A., and Blood Wedding at the Lookingglass Theatre. He has received numerous awards for his designs, including Drama Desk and Lortel Awards for his lighting of Metamorphoses on and off Broadway, Jefferson Awards for The Odyssey and Metamorphoses in Chicago, and an award for Exemplifying the Art of Collaboration given to the Zimmerman design team by Entertainment Design magazine.
Projection designer S. Katy Tucker made her debut at the Met during the 2013–14 season as the video projection designer for Prince Igor, returning for the revival of Mefistofele in 2018 and for Verdi’s Requiem earlier this season. She designs video and projections for live performance internationally, working frequently in opera and collaborating with composers and musicians, including Paul McCartney, Helga Davis, Pamela Z, Paola Prestini, Amanda Gookin, and Jeffrey Ziegler. Her work has been seen on and off Broadway and at New York City Ballet, Carnegie Hall, Park Avenue Armory, BAM, San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dutch National Opera, Sydney Opera House, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, among others. She began her career as a painter and installation artist, exhibiting her work at such galleries as the Corcoran Museum, Dupont Underground, Dillon Gallery, and Artist’s Space in New York City.
Choreographer Denis Jones makes his Met debut with Eurydice. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chita Rivera Award nominations for Tootsie and Holiday Inn, and he served as choreographer for Honeymoon in Vegas and associate choreographer for Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway. As a performer, he made his Broadway debut in Grease in 1994 and also appeared in Chicago, Little Me, The Full Monty, and Never Gonna Dance. He choreographed the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera, and his work has appeared in three productions in New York City Center’s Encores! series, A Chorus Line at Signature Theatre Company, The Tempest with Shakespeare in the Park, and the Broadway-bound musicals Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz and Piece of My Heart, The Bert Berns Story. On screen, his work has been seen in Sex and the City 2, PBS’s Great Performances, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular, and Rosie Live.
American soprano Erin Morley makes her role debut as Eurydice. As a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has sung 12 roles with the company, including Pamina in The Magic Flute, Sophie in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier, Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the Ring cycle, Podtochina’s Daughter in the Met premiere of The Nose, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. Other recent credits include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie at the Vienna State Opera, Cunegonde in Candide at LA Opera, and Sophie at the Glyndebourne Festival. Later this season, she will sing Zerbinetta at the Bavarian State Opera and La Scala, Gilda in Rigoletto at Staatsoper Berlin, and Norina in Don Pasquale at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński makes his Met debut as Orpheus’s Double. Recent performances include a Carnegie Hall solo-concert debut featuring members of New York Baroque Incorporated, Armindo in Handel’s Partenope at San Francisco Opera, Cyrus in Handel’s Belshazzar in Zurich under the baton of Laurence Cummings, and debuts with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Montreal Bach Festival in Handel’s Messiah. Later this season, he will sing Didymus in Handel’s Theodora at Covent Garden and appear in a residency at Wigmore Hall.
American countertenor John Holiday makes his Met debut as Orpheus’s Double, a role he originated in the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera. Recent performances include his debut at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an all-Gershwin program, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and Dutch National Opera; and the title role of Handel’s Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival. Later this season, he will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah and sing Nerone in Agrippina with the Bavarian State Opera and the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Utah Opera and the Dallas Opera. He made it to the finals in season 19 of NBC’s The Voice.
British tenor Barry Banks returns to the Met this season as Hades, a role that he originated in the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera. He made his company debut in 1996 as Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, returning as Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carlo in Armida, and Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore. Recently, he made his house debut at Opera Philadelphia as Truffaldino in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and at the Dallas Opera as the Astrologer in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel.
Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins sings Orpheus, a role that he originated in the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera. He made his Met debut as Ping in Turandot in 2009, followed by performances as Guglielmo in Maria Stuarda, Schaunard in La Bohème, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. Recently, he appeared as Sgt. Belcore in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s L’Elisir d’Amore and made his debut with the Edinburgh International Festival as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Canadian baritone Nathan Berg makes his Met debut as the Father. Recent performances include reprising the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer at the Cincinnati Opera Festival, Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Badisches Staatstheatre, Alberich in Das Rheingold with Opéra de Montréal, and Alberich in Siegfried with the National Performing Arts Center in Taipei, Taiwan. Later this season, he returns to Theater Basel as Philippe II in Don Carlos and debuts the role of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with the Taiwan Philharmonic.
For More Information
For more information about Eurydice, please click here.