New Productions of Porgy and Bess, Der Fliegende Holländer, and Wozzeck, and Met Premieres of Agrippina and Akhnaten Headline the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019–20 Season
February 20th, 2019
Updated: June 7, 2019
New Productions of Porgy and Bess, Der Fliegende Holländer, and Wozzeck, and Met Premieres of Agrippina and Akhnaten Headline the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019–20 Season
- Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in his second season as Music Director, conducts the new William Kentridge production of Wozzeck, as well as two revivals, Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, and a New Year’s Eve Puccini Gala starring Anna Netrebko
- Sunday matinee performances are offered for the first time
- From Roberto Alagna to Sonya Yoncheva, favorite Met singers return
- Debuting conductors are Karen Kamensek, Antonello Manacorda, and Vasily Petrenko; returning maestros include Valery Gergiev and Sir Simon Rattle
New York, NY (February 20, 2019)—The Metropolitan Opera today announced its 2019–20 season, which opens on September 23 with a new production of the Gershwins’ classic American opera Porgy and Bess, last performed at the Met in 1990, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue, directed by James Robinson and conducted by David Robertson. Philip Glass’s Akhnaten receives its Met premiere with Anthony Roth Costanzo as the title pharaoh and J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti, in a celebrated staging by Phelim McDermott and conducted by Karen Kamensek in her Met debut. Acclaimed visual artist and stage director William Kentridge directs a new production of Berg’s Wozzeck, starring Peter Mattei and Elza van den Heever, and led by the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In another Met premiere, Sir David McVicar stages the black comedy of Handel’s Agrippina, starring Joyce DiDonato as the conniving empresswith Harry Bicket on the podium. The final new production, of Der Fliegende Holländer, boasts a stellar alignment of distinguished Wagnerian talents: Valery Gergiev conducts Sir Bryn Terfel and Anja Kampe in a new staging by François Girard, his first at the Met since his landmark 2013 Parsifal.
As a result of recent union negotiations, the Met schedule includes 16 Sunday matinees, a first for the company. The number of Sunday performances will increase further in the 2020–21season.
Dozens of favorite Met singers also bring their artistry to 20 repertory revivals throughout the season, including Plácido Domingo and Anna Netrebko (who team up on the Met stage for the first time in Adrian Noble’s production of Macbeth), Roberto Alagna, Piotr Beczała, Joseph Calleja, Javier Camarena, Diana Damrau, Gerald Finley, Elīna Garanča, Christine Goerke,Vittorio Grigolo, Quinn Kelsey, Ailyn Pérez, Nina Stemme, and Sonya Yoncheva. They perform alongside a range of impressive talents being heard at the Met for the first time, including Lise Davidsen, Anja Kampe, Camilla Nylund, Brenda Rae, and Michael Spyres.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts three productions, two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, and a New Year’s Eve Gala starring Anna Netrebko as three Puccini heroines (Mimì in Act I of La Bohème and the title roles in Act I of Tosca and Act II of Turandot). He heads a remarkable 2019–20 roster of conductors, including Marco Armiliato, Harry Bicket, Bertrand de Billy, James Gaffigan, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Karen Kamensek, Antonello Manacorda, Vasily Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Carlo Rizzi, and David Robertson. Gianandrea Noseda will conduct the third Met orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall. Sir Antonio Pappano trades the podium for the piano bench for a very special Met event, accompanying Diana Damrau in recital.
The 2019–20 season is Peter Gelb’s 14th as the Met’s General Manager.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess ______ OPENING NIGHT
By George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
Opening: September 23, 2019
Conductor: David Robertson
Production: James Robinson
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Donald Holder
Projection Designer: Luke Halls
Live in HD: February 1, 2020
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess returns to the Met for the first time since 1990, in a new production directed by James Robinson in his company debut. America’s “folk opera,” as the 1935 creators described it, tells the story of disabled beggar Porgy, sung by Eric Owens, and his love for the drug-addicted Bess, portrayed by Angel Blue. David Robertson conducts a stellar cast that also includes Ryan Speedo Green as fisherman Jake, Golda Schultz and Janai Brugger sharing the role of his wife Clara, Latonia Moore as the bereaved widow Serena, Frederick Ballentine as drug dealer Sportin’ Life, Alfred Walker as the brutal stevedore Crown, and Denyce Graves as Maria, town matriarch and operator of the local cook-shop. Infused with the timeless melodies of the much-loved classics “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin,” and “My Man’s Gone Now,” the new co-production with English National Opera and Dutch National Opera was hailed as a triumph at its premiere in London earlier this season.
Akhnaten – Philip Glass _________________ MET PREMIERE
Opening: November 8, 2019
Conductor: Karen Kamensek
Production: Phelim McDermott
Set Designer: Tom Pye
Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard
Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet
Choreographer: Sean Gandini
Live in HD: November 23, 2019
Phelim McDermott,whose productions for the Met have included the hugely successfulSatyagrahabyPhilip Glass,returns with a new staging of the composer’s Akhnaten, conducted by Karen Kamensek in her Met debut. The title role is taken by Anthony Roth Costanzo as the Egyptian pharaoh who attempted to inspire his people to adopt a new religion, abandoning the worship of the old gods for that of a single deity. In her Met debut, J’Nai Bridges performs the role of Nefertiti, Akhnaten’s bride, while Dísella Lárusdóttir is Queen Tye, the pharaoh’s mother. One of the staging’s distinctive visual features is provided by the Gandini Juggling Company, whose movements are perfectly choreographed with the orchestral score. This production of Akhnaten was originally created by LA Opera, Improbable, and English National Opera, where it premiered, winning the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production.
Wozzeck – Alban Berg_______
Opening: December 27, 2019
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production: William Kentridge
Co-Director: Luc De Wit
Projection Designer: Catherine Meyburgh
Set Designer: Sabine Theunissen
Costume Designer: Greta Goiris
Lighting Designer: Urs Schönebaum
Live in HD: January 11, 2020
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts William Kentridge’s new production of Alban Berg’s expressionistic masterpiece Wozzeck, regarded for its intense emotional power and brilliant score as one of the most significant operas of the 20th century. Composed during and in the aftermath of World War I, Berg’s dark exploration of a soldier besieged by the evils of society is staged by Kentridge in a ramshackle warren of stairs, ramps, discarded furniture, and debris. His own theatrically animated charcoal drawings, along with other projected drawings, maps, and film clips, evoke a nightmarish world of crashed planes, searchlights, ghostly gas masks, and battlefields. Peter Mattei makes his role debut as Wozzeck opposite Elza van den Heever as Marie, the mother of his child. Singing the roles of Wozzeck’s tormentors are Christopher Ventris as the Drum-Major, Gerhard Siegel as the Captain, and Christian Van Horn as the Doctor. Andrew Staples makes his Met debut as Andres. Kentridge, who previously directed Berg’s Lulu and Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Met, unveiled the new production at the 2017 Salzburg Festival, where it received critical acclaim. The Met’s other co-producers, in addition to Salzburg, are Canadian Opera Company and Opera Australia.
Agrippina – George Frideric Handel MET PREMIERE
Opening: February 6, 2020
Conductor: Harry Bicket
Production: Sir David McVicar
Set and Costume Designer: John Macfarlane
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George
Live in HD: February 29, 2020
For the Met’s first-ever performances of Agrippina, Handel’s satire of sex and power politics, Sir David McVicar reconceives a production he originally created for the Monnaie in Brussels in 2000, evoking a scandalous world in which the Roman Empire never fell but simply kept going right up to the present. Holding a distorted mirror to contemporary society (as Handel did when he staged this opera), the production presents the corrupt intrigues of the political classes, brought to life by Joyce DiDonato as the power-hungry Empress Agrippina, Brenda Rae as the scheming, seductive Poppea, and Kate Lindsey as the feckless teenager Nerone. Iestyn Davies portrays the ambitious officer Ottone, and Matthew Rose is the emperor Claudius, on whose vacated throne Agrippina is determined to install her son. Renowned for his interpretations of the Baroque repertoire, Harry Bicket conducts all performances.
Der Fliegende Holländer – Richard Wagner
Opening: March 2, 2020
Conductor: Valery Gergiev/Patrick Furrer
Production: François Girard
Set Designer: John Macfarlane
Costume Designer: Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer: David Finn
Projection Designer: Peter Flaherty
Choreographer: Carolyn Choa
Dramaturg: Serge Lamothe
Live in HD: March 14, 2020
François Girard, whose mystical, blood-drenched vision for Wagner’s Parsifal became one of the Met’s most intensely visceral highlights in recent seasons, turns to another Wagnerian masterpiece, Der Fliegende Holländer, conducted by Valery Gergiev. For the first time at the Met, Sir Bryn Terfel sings the role of the mysterious Dutchman, condemned to roam the seas for eternity, with Anja Kampe as the devoted Senta, whose love can set him free. In a nod to Senta’s obsession with a portrait of the legendary title seafarer, the Met stage is transformed into a colossal oil painting. Franz-Josef Selig portrays Senta’s father Daland, Sergey Skorokhodov takes on the role of the huntsman Erik, David Portillo sings the Steersman, and Mihoko Fujimura is Senta’s nurse Mary, for a co-production with L’Opéra de Québec and Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam.
Lisette Oropesa, in the first of two leading roles at the Met this season, stars as the hedonistic heroine in Massenet’s Manon, openingSeptember 24, with Michael Fabiano as her passionately devoted lover, the Chevalier des Grieux. Artur Ruciński sings Manon’s cousin Lescaut, and Kwangchul Youn is the Chevalier’s father, the Comte des Grieux. Maurizio Benini conducts Laurent Pelly’s production, set in fin-de-siècle Paris.
Returning to the role she sang triumphantly at the Met in 2014, Anna Netrebko sings the ruthlessly ambitious leading lady of Verdi’s Macbeth, opening September 25, in which she shares the Met stage for the first time with Plácido Domingo, and later reunites with Željko Lučić, in the title role. The revival of Adrian Noble’s production also stars Matthew Polenzani as Macduff and Ildar Abdrazakov as Banquo, with Marco Armiliato on the podium.
Two of today’s leading dramatic sopranos, Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme, return to the Met in the fall and spring, respectively,starring as the title character in Franco Zeffirelli’s staging of Puccini’s Turandot. Beginning October 3, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Goerke performs alongside Roberto Aronica as Calàf, the suitor risking his head for her hand. Eleonora Buratto sings the slave girl Liù, and James Morris is Calàf’s long-lost father, Timur. Carlo Rizzi conducts when Stemme takes on the role of the ice princess, joined by Marco Berti as Calàf and Hibla Gerzmava as Liù.
Hui He and Ana María Martínez share the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.The initial performances with He as Cio-Cio San, beginning October 11, also star Piero Pretti in his Met debut as Pinkerton, Paulo Szot as Sharpless, and Elizabeth DeShong as devoted servant Suzuki. When the production returns in the spring with Martínez as Butterfly, Andrea Carè makes his Met debut as Pinkerton. Plácido Domingo adds another role to his remarkable repertoire, singing Sharpless for the first time, and Maria Zifchak reprises her interpretation of Suzuki. Pier Giorgio Morandiconducts all performances of Anthony Minghella’s celebrated production.
Director-choreographer Mark Morris’s much-lauded realization of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice returns on October 20, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. Jamie Barton takes on one of the pinnacles of the mezzo-soprano repertory in the trouser role of Orfeo. Hei-Kyung Hong sings his lost love Euridice, for whom Orfeo ventures to the underworld, while Hera Hyesang Park takes the role of the god Amore.
On October 25, Puccini’s La Bohème begins its first of three distinct runs throughout the season with stellar international casts.A trio of leading tenors—Matthew Polenzani, Roberto Alagna,and Joseph Calleja—portray the romantic poet Rodolfo. Ailyn Pérez and Maria Agresta alternate in the role of the ill-fated seamstress Mimì. The painter Marcello is sung by David Bizic, Artur Ruciński, and Carlos Álvarez, while the coquettish Musetta will be interpreted by Olga Kulchynska, Susanna Phillips, and Jennifer Rowley. Franco Zeffirelli’s perennial favorite production is conducted by Marco Armiliato and Emmanuel Villaume.
Sir Richard Eyre’s staging of Mozart’s comedy Le Nozze di Figaro, relocated to 1930s Seville, returns with two outstanding ensemble casts. Luca Pisaroni sings Figaro in initial performances from November 16, with Nadine Sierra as his fiancée, the clever maid Susanna. Adam Plachetka sings the role of the lecherous Count Almaviva, and Susanna Phillips is his long-suffering Countess. Later, Plachetka swaps upstairs for downstairs to take on the title role, with Mariusz Kwiecien as his master, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller as his bride-to-be, and Anita Hartig as the Countess. Gaëlle Arquez and Marianne Crebassa, both in their Met debuts, share the role of the lustful young page Cherubino. Performances are led by Antonello Manacorda, making his Met debut, and Cornelius Meister.
Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades opens on November 29. In his Met debut, Vasily Petrenko, acclaimed interpreter of the Russian classics, conducts the revival of Elijah Moshinsky’s1995 staging. The cast is led by Aleksandrs Antonenko as the obsessive gambler Hermann and Lise Davidsen as his lover Lisa. Igor Golovatenko makes his Met debutas romantic rival Prince Yeletsky and Larissa Diadkova portrays the Countess, who holds the secret of the cards sought by Hermann.
Sir Simon Rattle is at the helm for the first revival of Robert Carsen’s 2017 staging of Strauss’s bittersweet romance Der Rosenkavalier, opening December 13. The cast includes Camilla Nylund as the worldly Marschallin, Magdalena Kožená as her youthful lover Octavian, and Golda Schultz as Sophie, the innocent young woman who comes between them. Reprising their roles from the production premiere, Günther Groissböck sings the role of the boorish Baron Ochs with Matthew Polenzani in the role of the Italian Singer.
Continuing a tradition begun in 2006, the Met’s beloved holiday presentation is the English-language, 100-minute version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in Julie Taymor’s magical staging, opening December 15. The performances are led by Lothar Koenigs. The cast includes Joélle Harvey in her Met debut as the princess Pamina, David Portillo as the valiant prince Tamino, Kathryn Lewek as the malevolent Queen of the Night, Joshua Hopkins as the bird catcher Papageno, Morris Robinson and Soloman Howard sharing the role of the mysterious Sarastro, and Patrick Carfizzi as the Speaker. An ‘Open House’ for families, attracting hundreds of young audience members for behind-the-scenes displays and demonstrations by members of the Met’s backstage staff, will again be a highlight of the season on December 28.
Beginning January 10, the first of two casts take on the principal roles in the Met’s recently unveiled new production of Verdi’s La Traviata, directed by Michael Mayer and conducted by Karel Mark Chichon. Aleksandra Kurzak sings the tragic heroine Violetta opposite Dmytro Popov as her hapless lover Alfredo, with Quinn Kelsey reprising his acclaimed portrayal as Alfredo’s disapproving father Germont. Later in the season, Lisette Oropesa, Vittorio Grigolo, and Luca Salsi step into the roles, with Bertrand de Billy in the pit.
Berlioz’s unique masterpiece La Damnation de Faust returns to the Met in concert, with Edward Gardner conducting four performances from January 25 to February 8. Bryan Hymel and Michael Spyres star in the title roleof the devil-dealing scholar, and Elīna Garanča is Marguerite, the innocent young woman whose life he destroys. Ildar Abdrazakov sings the role of the diabolical Méphistophélès.
Phelim McDermott’s riotous vision for Mozart’s Così fan tutte, in which real-life sideshow and circus performers are integral to the action, returns to the Met following its 2018 premiere. Harry Bicket conducts all performances, which begin on February 15.As the two pairs of young lovers, the original cast’s Serena Malfi and Ben Bliss are joined by Luca Pisaroni and Nicole Car, who made her much-admired Met debut earlier this season in La Bohème. Gerald Finley sings the role of the conspiratorial Don Alfonso, and Heidi Stober is the mischievousDespina.
Tara Erraught makes her Met role debut as the winsome heroine of Rossini’s charming adaptation of the Cinderella story, La Cenerentola, beginning March 12, 2020. An international cast of bel canto specialists joins her: Javier Camarena as the Prince of Salerno, Don Ramiro; Davide Luciano as his valet, Dandini; Maurizio Muraro as the calculating stepfather, Don Magnifico; and Christian Van Horn as the prince’s wise tutor, Alidoro. James Gaffigan conducts Cesare Lievi’s production.
In Massenet’s Werther, Piotr Beczała stars as the tortured young poet, alongside Joyce DiDonato as the object of his love, Charlotte, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, opening March 16, 2020.The cast for Sir Richard Eyre’s production, with its elegant sets and picturesque projections, also includes Étienne Dupuis as Charlotte’s husband, Albert, Ying Fang and Erin Morley sharing the role of her younger sister, Sophie, and Alan Opie as their widowed father, the Bailiff.
Last year, Anna Netrebko added a new role to her repertory in the title role of Puccini’s Tosca, in a resplendent new production by Sir David McVicar. She reprises her acclaimed portrayal beginning March 26, 2020 with Najmiddin Mavlyanov and Brian Jagde singing the role of her lover, the painter Cavaradossi, and George Gagnidze as the villainous police chief Scarpia. Bertrand de Billy leads all performances, with Jennifer Rowley and Michael Volle taking on the roles of Tosca and Scarpia, respectively, for two performances each.
A revival of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, opening April 10, 2020, marks the return to the Met of Carlos Álvarez in a leading role. Ailyn Pérez sings the role of his daughter Amelia, with Joseph Calleja reprising his performanceas her lover Gabriele Adorno, Elchin Azizov as the treacherous Paolo, and Dmitry Belosselskiy as Boccanegra’s nemesis, Fiesco, in Giancarlo del Monaco’s production, conducted by Carlo Rizzi.
Maria Stuarda, Donizetti’s interpretation of the political and personal rivalry between two queens, returns to the Met on April 19, 2020, with Diana Damrau as the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, and Jamie Barton as her adversary, Queen Elizabeth I. Stephen Costello sings the role of Mary’s lover, Leicester; Andrzej Filończyk, in his Met debut, is the chancellor Cecil; and Michele Pertusi sings the Earl Talbot. Maurizio Benini conducts Sir David McVicar’s production, his third in the season.
Sonya Yoncheva stars as the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut beginning April 28, 2020, with Marcelo Álvarez reprising his role as her ardent lover, the Chevalier des Grieux, for Sir Richard Eyre’s production, which sets the action in 1940s German-occupied France. Manon’s brother Lescaut is sung by Elchin Azizov, while Brindley Sherratt reprises his role as Geronte. Richard Farnes conducts all four performances.
For the final production of the season, opening on May 2, 2020, Lothar Koenigs conducts a rare revival of Sir Jonathan Miller’s staging of Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová. Susanna Phillips stars in the title role. Stefan Margita portraysKáťa’stimid husband, Tichon,with Dolora Zajick as his spiteful mother, Kabanicha. Sir John Tomlinson is Dikoi, the bullying uncle of Pavel Černoch’s Boris, a fellow outsider in whom Káťa finally finds solace, with devastating results.
New Year’s Eve Gala
Anna Netrebko headlines the Met’s 2019 New Year’s Eve Gala, performing fully staged acts from three different Puccini operas, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Netrebko sings Mimì in Act I of La Bohème, joined by Matthew Polenzani as Rodolfo and Quinn Kelsey as Marcello. In Act I of Tosca she sings the title role opposite Yusif Eyvazov as Cavaradossi and Evgeny Nikitin as Scarpia. Finally, she takes the title role for Act II of Turandot, opposite Eyvazov as Calàf.
Diana Damrau in Recital
Diana Damrau,who since her Met debut in 2005 as Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos has sung more than 100 performances with the company, takes the Met stage for a solo recital on March 29, 2020. Sir Antonio Pappano as her pianist collaborates on a program featuring works by Rossini, Bizet, Wagner, Strauss, and Berg.
The Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
The Met Orchestra continues its highly acclaimed annual series at Carnegie Hall with three concerts. The program for the May 15, 2020 concert, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, includes Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird.
On June 12, 2020, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a program that includes Beethoven’s Romance No. 2 in F Major and Violin Concerto in D Major, featuring violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, plus Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Major.
The final concert of the season on June 16, 2020, also conducted by Nézet-Séguin, features Jörg Widmann’s Lied, and Richard Strauss’s valedictory Four Last Songs with soprano Elza van den Heever, alongside his epic tone poem Ein Heldenleben.
Five of the eight pieces—Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Beethoven’s Romance No. 2, Widmann’s Lied, and Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben—are performed by the Met Orchestra for the first time.
For tickets and additional information on the Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, visit carnegiehall.org or call 212.247.7800.
Met debuts this season include American tenor Frederick Ballentine as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess (September 23); Canadian baritone Brett Polegato as de Brétigny in Manon (September 24); Sardinian tenor Piero Pretti as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (October 11); Ukranian soprano Olga Kulchynska as Musetta, South Korean bass Jongmin Park as Colline, and Moldovan baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky as Schaunard in La Bohème (October 25); Italian tenor Andrea Carè as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (November 2); American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti, and American conductor Karen Kamensek leading Akhnaten (November 8); French mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez as Cherubino and Italian conductor Antonello Manacorda leading Le Nozze di Figaro (November 16); Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen as Lisa, Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko as Prince Yeletsky, and Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko leading The Queen of Spades (November 29); Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund as the Marschallin, and German baritone Markus Eiche as Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier (December 13); American soprano Joélle Harvey as Pamina in The Magic Flute (December 15); English tenor Andrew Staples as Andres in Wozzeck (December 27); American tenor Michael Spyres as Faust in La Damnation de Faust (February 1); French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (February 5); American soprano Brenda Rae as Poppea in Agrippina (February 6); German soprano Anja Kampe as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer (March 2); German bass Tareq Nazmi as Colline in La Bohème (April 29); and Czech tenor Pavel Černoch as Boris in KáťaKabanová (May 2).
The Met: Live in HD 2019–20
The 2019–20 season of The Met: Live in HD kicks off on October 12 with Turandot. The series will continue with Manon (October 26), Madama Butterfly (November 9), Akhnaten (November 23), Wozzeck (January 11), Porgy and Bess
(February 1), Agrippina (February 29), Der Fliegende Holländer (March 14), Tosca (April 11), and Maria Stuarda (May 9).
The Met’s groundbreaking series launched in 2006 and quickly established the company as the world’s leading alternative cinema content provider. More than 26 million tickets have been sold since the inception of the series, which currently reaches more than 2,200 movie theaters in more than 70 countries around the world.
A separate press release about the 2019–20 Live in HD season is also available.
Tickets for the ten transmissions in the 2019–20 Live in HD season go on sale Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in the U.S. and Canada, with Met members offered priority before tickets are made available to the general public. International ticket sales dates and ordering details vary from country to country and will be announced separately by individual distributors.
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Digital support of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Met: Live in HD series is supported by Rolex. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr.
Within months of their initial live transmissions, the Live in HD programs are shown on PBS in the United States. The PBS series, Great Performances at the Met, is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Met: HD Live in Schools
The Met’s HD Live in Schools program continues for its 13th season, partnering with 50 school districts across the country to bring the Met’s live HD transmissions to students and teachers. This season, Madama Butterfly (November 9), Akhnaten (November 23), Wozzeck (January 11), Porgy and Bess (February 1), Agrippina (February 29), and Der Fliegende Holländer (March 14) are included in the program. The Met’s HD education program includes backstage visits for students, who learn how costumes and scenery are constructed; Q&As with artists; access to final dress rehearsals; in-school workshops; and teacher training workshops. Program and curriculum guides are created for in-school use in conjunction with HD screenings. Program support for HD Live in Schools is provided through a partnership with the New York City Department of Education.
Live Simulcasts and Summer Events
In keeping with a tradition begun on Opening Night in 2006, the September 23 season premiere performance of Porgy and Bess will be transmitted live to numerous large screens in Times Square. The Times Square relay of the Opening Night performance is presented in cooperation with the City of New York and Times Square Alliance. Leadership support of the Opening Night (Times Square) relay is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Additional funding is provided by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News. This program is also supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
In Summer 2019, the Met’s two free summer series will return. The Summer Recital Series will again present Met artists in recital in each of the five boroughs, and the Summer HD Festival will show operas from the Live in HD series on a large screen at Lincoln Center Plaza to an audience of approximately 3,000 people per night. Together, the Met’s summer programs are expected to allow approximately 50,000 New Yorkers to experience the Met for free.
The Met’s Summer Recital Series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Major funding has also been provided by The Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation, in honor of Mrs. McGraw. The Summer HD Festival is generously supported by The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust.
The Met on the Radio and the Web
The Met’s 89th consecutive Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season kicks off on December 7 with a live broadcast of Glass’s Akhnaten and continues through May 9, 2020.The broadcast season will once again be heard live over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Mary Jo Heath returns for her fifth season as host and Ira Siff returns for his 13th season as commentator for the broadcasts, which feature a range of dynamic intermission features, live backstage interviews with artists, and the ever-popular Opera Quiz. The 2019–20 Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season will be sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®, with generous long-term support from the Annenberg Foundation and GRoW @ Annenberg, The Neubauer Family Foundation, and the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, and through contributions from listeners worldwide.
Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75 will present its 14th season as the country’s premier subscription radio channel dedicated to opera. Up to three live performances will be broadcast each week during the season, hosted by Mary Jo Heath with commentator William Berger, as well as historic broadcasts from the Met’s vast collection, stretching back to 1931. The channel also features lively interviews and previews of upcoming Met performances. The live broadcast season begins with the Met’s Opening Night performance of Porgy and Bess on September 23. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM is available to subscribers in the United States and Canada.
The Met will continue to offer a free audio stream of one live performance per week during the 2019–20 season on its website at metopera.org.
The Met will continue to release performances from its vast archive of current and historic performances on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms in the 2019–20 season, with the trademark artistic and production quality that has earned the company three consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording.
There are 120 titles currently available for purchase through the iTunes store iTunes.com/metopera, including Live in HD and standard definition video performances, and audio performances, with additional titles added throughout the year.
Met Opera on Demand
The Met’s exclusive streaming service now features nearly 700 full-length Met performances, available worldwide on a growing number of platforms that includes computers; Roku devices; Apple TV; iPad; iPhone; Android mobile devices; and Samsung Smart TVs, with Amazon Fire TV and tablet apps coming soon. The Met Opera on Demand library includes more than 120 presentations from the Live in HD series, as well as hundreds of telecasts and radio broadcasts dating back to 1935.
Met Opera on Demand: Student Access allows university and college libraries to make this digital resource from the Met accessible to their student populations. Now in its sixth year, Student Access is currently available at nearly 150 schools around the world.
Ticket Information and Audience Development Initiatives
Ticket prices for the 2019–20 season again range from $25 to $480 for the 3,800 seats in the opera house. Approximately 40% of Met tickets cost less than $100, and approximately 60% of Met tickets cost less than $150.
New for the 2019–20 season, the Met is offering a Flex Subscription, which allows subscribers to curate their own season.
‘Create Your Own’ packages, in which three or more performances are discounted when purchased together, will be released for sale on April 16, 2019.
The Rush Tickets program returns in 2019–20, making more than 30,000 $25 tickets available to the general public. Rush Tickets can be purchased on a first-come first-served basis by visiting metopera.org at 12 p.m. for weekday performances, 2 p.m. for Saturday evening performances, and 4 hours before curtain for matinee performances.
The Met Opera Students program also returns, offering $35 tickets to many operas to student members of the program. The Students program also offers invitations to artist lectures, discounts at the Met Opera Shop, and the opportunity to meet other opera lovers at special student events.
The ‘Fridays Under 40’ audience development program continues for a fourth season. Participants enjoy discounted tickets to all Friday performances, and themed receptions before ten shows. ‘Fridays Under 40’ tickets go on sale June 23, 2019.
For tickets and additional information, visit metopera.org or call 212.362.6000.
Front of House
The lobby of the Metropolitan Opera House will continue to be open to the public, free of charge, on weekdays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Sundays with no performance (noon to 4 p.m.) beginning Tuesday, September 24, and continuing through the end of the opera season; on Saturdays, the house is open only to ticket holders for one of the day’s two performances.
Visitors coming to the Met can walk up the famous grand staircase, admire the iconic crystal chandeliers, or step out onto the balcony overlooking Lincoln Center Plaza. Personal photography is permitted in all public areas of the house, allowing tourists and locals to capture a classic New York moment. A large monitor gives visitors a live look at what’s happening on the Met stage, where rehearsals take place every morning for the more than 200 opera performances the company presents each season.
For more complete 2019–20 season repertory and casting click here