Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, and Joyce DiDonato star in the world-premiere staging of Kevin Puts’s The Hours

  • Renée Fleming makes her highly anticipated return to the Met stage
  •  Director Phelim McDermott returns, following his Olivier Award–winning staging of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium
  •  The December 10 performance will be transmitted live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series

          New York, NY (November 4, 2022)—The Metropolitan Opera will present the world-premiere staging of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Kevin Puts’s The Hours, November 22–December 15. Adapted from Michael Cunningham’s acclaimed novel, this exciting co-commission by the Met marks the highly anticipated return of soprano Renée Fleming, starring alongside actress and singer Kelli O’Hara and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the opera’s trio of heroines—Clarissa Vaughan, Laura Brown, and Virginia Woolf.

          With Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium for this production by Phelim McDermott, the cast also features mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as Sally, Clarissa’s partner; soprano Kathleen Kim as Barbara and Mrs. Latch; soprano Sylvia D’Eramo as Kitty  and Vanessa; countertenor John Holiday as the Man Under the Arch and the Hotel Clerk; bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Richard, Clarissa’s best friend who is dying from AIDS; tenor William Burden as Louis, Richard’s ex-boyfriend; tenor Sean Panikkar as Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf’s husband; and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel as Dan Brown, Laura Brown’s husband.

          Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Cunningham’s novel was adapted into an Oscar-winning film version starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman. The powerful story takes place in a single day and concerns three women from different eras—Virginia Woolf (DiDonato) in London in 1923, as she struggles to write her masterpiece Mrs. Dalloway; Los Angeles housewife Laura Brown (O’Hara), in 1949, who yearns for an escape from her loving family at the same time as she prepares for her husband’s birthday; and, in 1999, editor Clarissa Vaughan (Fleming), a New Yorker haunted by the past as she plans a party to celebrate her closest friend in his final hours.

          In addition to McDermott, who received wide acclaim for his staging of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, the creative team includes set and costume director Tom Pye, lighting designer Bruno Poet, projection designer Finn Ross, choreographer Annie-B Parson in her Met debut, and dramaturg Paul Cremo.  

          Following opening night on November 22, seven additional performances run through December 15. Kensho Watanabe conducts the December 15 performance of The Hours.

          The Hours was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Hours Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online

          The performance of The Hours on Saturday, December 10, will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the globe as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.

          The November 22 and December 7 and 10 performances of The Hours will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 355. Audio from the November 22 and December 7 performances will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, The December 10 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, marking the work’s network broadcast premiere and the beginning of the 2022–23 season of Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts.

The Hours Biographies

          The 2022–23 season marks Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s fourth season as the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. Since his 2009 Met debut with Bizet’s Carmen, he has led more than 100 performances of 17 operas. He has served as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012 and artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal 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. In addition to The Hours, he takes the podium this season to lead the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Champion, a new production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, a revival of Puccini’s La Bohème, and concerts with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Europe.

          Japanese conductor Kensho Watanabe makes his Met debut leading The Hours. He served as assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2016 to 2019, making his acclaimed subscription debut with the orchestra and pianist Daniil Trifonov, taking over from his mentor, Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.  Equally at home in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, he has led numerous operas with the Curtis Opera Theatre, most recently Puccini’s La Rondine in 2017 and the composer’s La Bohème in 2015. Additionally, he served as assistant conductor to Maestro Nézet-Séguin on a new production of Strauss’s Elektra at Montreal Opera. Later this season, he is scheduled to conduct performances of Terence Blanchard’s Champion at the Met.           Beloved and celebrated American soprano Renée Fleming makes her highly anticipated return to the Met as Clarissa Vaughan for the world-premiere production of The Hours. Having made her Met debut in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in 1991, she has appeared in more than 250 performances with the company. A groundbreaking distinction came in 2008 when she became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an Opening Night gala. She has received America’s highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts, as well as four Grammy Awards. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014 as the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. Her recent triumphs have included a Tony-nominated appearance on Broadway in Carousel, the opening performances at the Shed opposite actor Ben Whishaw, and the London premiere of the musical The Light in the Piazza. She appeared at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. In January 2009, she was featured in the televised We Are One: The Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial concert for President Obama. She has also performed for the United States Supreme Court and, in 2009, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s Velvet Revolution at the invitation of Václav Havel. In 2012, in a historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for the late Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014, she sang in the televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

          Star of stage and screen, American soprano Kelli O’Hara returns to the Met as Laura Brown. In 2014, she made her company debut in Lehár’s The Merry Widow opposite Renée Fleming and returned as Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in 2018. She has established herself as one of Broadway’s greatest leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Loenowens in The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with nominations for Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics, and Olivier Awards. She reprised the role while making her West End debut and performed a limited engagement at Tokyo’s Orb Theatre. Additional Broadway credits include Kiss Me Kate (Tony, Drama League, OCC nominations), The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work if You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. She received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series The Accidental Wolf. She was awarded the prestigious Drama League’s Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in 2019.

          Winner of three Grammy Awards as well as the 2018 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato appears as Virginia Woolf. She was the 2007 recipient of the Met’s Beverly Sills Artist Award and made her Met debut in 2005 as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Since then, she has appeared in more than 100 Met performances in 13 roles, including Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma, Elena in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, Sycorax in the Baroque pastiche opera The Enchanted Island, Isolier in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, and the title roles of Handel’s Agrippina, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and Massenet’s La Cenerentola. Other recent roles include Agrippina at Covent Garden and in concert with Il Pomo d’Oro, Didon in Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the Vienna State Opera, Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Madrid’s Teatro Real and London’s Barbican Centre, the title role in Rossini’s Semiramide at the Bavarian State Opera and Covent Garden, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther at Covent Garden. Her award-winning discography includes Les Troyens, which won the Recording (Complete Opera) category at the 2018 International Opera Awards, the Opera Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Gramophone’s Recording of the Year. Her other recent albums include Songplay and In War & Peace, which won the 2017 Best Recital Gramophone Award.

          Korean American coloratura soprano Kathleen Kim, a regular guest at the Met, returns in the roles of Barbara and Mrs. Latch. She made her company debut in 2007 as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and has appeared in Met productions as Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Blondchen in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Oscar in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, and Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. With contemporary music also being an integral part of her work, she has also performed the roles of Josephine in the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier and Madame Mao in John Adams’s Nixon in China, the latter on stage at the Met. Her upcoming engagements include a new production of Nixon in China with the Paris Opera in 2023, staged by Valentina Carrasco and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

          Lindemann Young Artist Development Program alumna and American soprano Sylvia D’Eramo appears as Kitty and Vanessa. She made her Met debut as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. She was a national semifinalist in the Met’s National Council Auditions (now Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition), as well as a winner of the Lois Alba Aria Competition, the Career Grant from the Giulio Gari Foundation, and the Jensen Foundation. Her recent engagements include Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen at the Santa Fe Opera and her role debut as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. During the 2018 season, she joined the Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice artist singing the Cousin in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; with the Yale Opera, she performed Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In concert, she was featured in the Marvin Concert Series in her home state of Texas for Verdi’s Requiem and with the Yale Philharmonia for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of Maestro Marin Alsop. She can be heard on Albany Record’s 2017 recording of Robert Ward’s The Crucible, singing the role of Abigail Williams. 

          American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves appears as Sally. She is best known for her portrayals of the title role of Bizet’s Carmen and Dalila in Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila. She made her Met debut as Carmen during the 1995–96 season and continued to perform around the world to critical acclaim. She also appeared in a new production of Samson et Dalila at the Met in 1998, followed by performances at Covent Garden and Washington National Opera. In 2001, she gave a series of appearances in response to the terror attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. She was invited by President Bush to participate in the internationally televised National Prayer Service in Washington’s National Cathedral in which she sang “America, the Beautiful” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” She also participated in The Oprah Winfrey Show’s live musical program of “Healing Through Gospel Music.” She was named one of the “50 Leaders of Tomorrow” by Ebony Magazine and was one of Glamour’s 1997 “Women of the Year.” In 1999, WQXR Radio in New York named her as one of classical music’s “Standard Bearers for the 21st Century.”

          American countertenor John Holiday appears as the Man Under the Arch and the Hotel Clerk. He made his Met debut in the 2021–22 season singing Orpheus’s Double in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice.  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 at Opera Philadelphia and Dutch National Opera; the title role of Handel’s Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival; Nerone in Agrippina with the Bavarian State Opera; and the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Utah Opera and the Dallas Opera. Later this season, he is scheduled to sing in the world premiere of Proximity at Lyric Opera of Chicago and in We Shall Not Be Moved at the Benedum Center. He was also a finalist in season 19 of NBC’s The Voice.

          American tenor William Burden returns to the Met as Louis. He made his company debut in 1996 singing Janek in Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. Since then, he has appeared as Tybalt in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Gilbert Griffiths in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, the King of Naples in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, and most recently Polonius in the Met premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet. He has also appeared in the U.S. premiere of Henze’s Phaedra at Opera Philadelphia, George Bailey in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life at Houston Grand Opera, Peter in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Dan Hill in Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier at San Francisco Opera, and Frank Harris in Theodore Morrison’s Oscar at the Santa Fe Opera. Later this spring, he is scheduled to sing Pylade in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Boston Baroque.

          American tenor Sean Panikkar appears as Leonard Woolf. He made his Met debut singing Edmondo in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut in 2008. Since then, he has appeared at the Met as Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Brighella in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Tybalt in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Molqui in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, and Rodolphe in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell. Later this season, he is scheduled to sing Don José in Bizet’s Carmen at English National Opera, the Drum Major in Berg’s Wozzeck at the Vienna State Opera, and Laertes in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Bavarian State Opera.

          American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen appears as Richard. He made his Met debut as Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca in 2006, followed by performances as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen, Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Mr. Flint in Britten’s Billy Budd, and Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. Recent performances include the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera, Dr. Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Kaspar in Weber’s Der Freischütz at the Bavarian State Opera.

          American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel appears as Dan Brown. He was a winner of the Met’s 2013 National Council Auditions (now the Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition). Recent performances at the Met include the Sergeant in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Later this season, he is scheduled to sing the title role of Don Giovanni at Atlanta Opera, the title role of Handel’s Hercules at Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe, and Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Glyndebourne Festival. 

          Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Kevin Puts has established himself as one of America’s leading composers. He has been commissioned by and performed with leading organizations around the world, including the Met, Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, and many more, and has collaborated with world-class artists such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Marin Alsop, among others. The Hours is Puts’s fourth opera. Other highlights of his 2022–23 season include the West Coast premiere of The Brightness of Light, featuring Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry with the LA Opera Orchestra. His triple concerto Contact had its world premiere in March 2022 with the Florida Orchestra; additional performances are scheduled with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Sun Valley Symphony.  

          American playwright, lyricist, and fiction writer Greg Pierce currently holds commissions from Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club / Sloan Foundation, and Vermont Stage Company. His play Slowgirl was the inaugural production at Lincoln Center Theater’s Claire Tow Theater (LCT3) and was subsequently produced by Steppenwolf Theatre and the Geffen Playhouse. His original musical The Landing, written with John Kander, premiered in the 2013–14 season at the Vineyard Theatre. His stage adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, written with director Stephen Earnhart, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival and Singapore Arts Festival. Pierce has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Yaddo, Djerassi Institute, New York Public Library, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Baryshnikov Arts Center.

          English director Phelim McDermott’s Met credits include Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Satyagraha, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island, and the 125th Anniversary Gala. He is co-founder of the theater company Improbable, with whom he has produced the Obie Award–winning 70 Hill Lane, as well as Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man, Theatre of Blood (in collaboration with London’s National Theatre), Panic, Beauty and the Beast, Shockheaded Peter, and Opening Skinner’s Box. His opera credits include Verdi’s Aida and Glass’s The Perfect American and Satyagraha at English National Opera, as well as Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern at the Spoleto Festival. He also directed BambinO, a classical opera by Lliam Paterson for children between six and 18 months old, for Scottish Opera. This season, he directs a new production of Aida at Houston Grand Opera. 

          English set and costume designer Tom Pye has previously designed Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte for the Met. He has worked around the world in theater, television, film, opera, and dance, with designs on Broadway for All My Sons, The Glass Menagerie, Cyrano de Bergerac, Medea, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night; for film and television in HBO’s Gentleman Jack and To Walk Invisible; and for operas including Verdi’s Aida, Julian Anderson’s Thebans, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Britten’s Death in Venice, Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea, and Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished

          English lighting designer Bruno Poet made his Met debut with the 2019 company premiere of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. His most recent work for opera includes Verdi’s Aida at English National Opera, Bizet’s Carmen at the Bregenz Festival, Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Israeli Opera, and Verdi’s Otello at Covent Garden. Other recent credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella and Tina: The Musical in the West End, designs for the world tour of the Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros, Julius Caesar for the Bridge Theatre, and St. George and the Dragon at the National Theatre in London.

          English projection designer Finn Ross made his Met debut with the 2013 production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Recognition of his stage productions include 2015 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 2016 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for American Psycho, and the 2018 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Recent West End and Broadway credits include the Olivier Award–winning Back to the Future: The Musical, director Casey Nicholaw’s Mean Girls, Mike Nichols’s Broadway production of Pinter’s Betrayal, and Rupert Goold’s London production of American Psycho. Additional credits include William Kentridge’s American Lulu and Weinberg’s Das Portrait (Bregenz Festival); John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer and Britten’s Death in Venice (English National Opera); Alexander Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Dutch National Opera); York Höller’s The Master and Margarita and Minoru Miki’s Shun-kin (Complicité); Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and Janáček’s The Adventures of Mr. Brouček (Opera North); Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict and Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (Theater an der Wien); Handel’s Rinaldo and Knight Crew (Glyndebourne Festival); Molina’s Damned By Despair and Alexander Hut Kono’s Green Land (National Theatre); and Craig Armstrong’s The Lady from the Sea (Scottish Opera).

          Choreographer Annie-B Parson makes her Met debut with The Hours. She has created choreography for opera, pop musicians, television, movies, theater, ballet, marching bands, and symphonies. Most recently, she choreographed David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway and for a work by David Lang at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. She co-founded Big Dance Theater in 1991 and has choreographed and co-created more than 20 works for the company. She has two large-scale works in repertory at the Martha Graham Dance Company, and she created a solo for Wendy Whelan commissioned by the Royal Ballet. Her awards include the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), an Olivier Award nomination in Choreography (2015), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2014), USA Artists Grant in Theater (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two BESSIE Awards (2010 and 2002), and three NYFA Choreography Fellowships (2013, 2006, and 2000). Big Dance Theater received an OBIE (2000), the first Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award (2007), and a Bessie Honoree (2020).

          As dramaturg and director of the Met’s Opera Commissioning Program, Paul Cremo has overseen projects developed through the Met / Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program, as well as full commissions for the Met stage, including Nico Muhly and Nicholas Wright’s Marnie,  Nico Muhly and Craig Lucas’s Two Boys, Jeremy Sams’s The Enchanted Island and the English-language version of Lehár’s The Merry Widow, J. D. McClatchy’s English-language adaptation of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Jeremy Sams and Douglas Carter Beane’s English-language version of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. In addition to this world-premiere production of Kevin Puts’s The Hours, his recent credits include contributions to Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, and Kelley Rourke’s English-language adaptation of Massenet’s Cinderella at the Met; Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater; and developmental workshops for the future Met premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s Grounded.  He is currently supervising development of new operas by Mason Bates, Valerie Coleman, David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Jessie Montgomery, Joshua Schmidt, and Joel Thompson, and working with librettists George Brant, Greg Pierce, Dick Scanlan, Gene Scheer, and Royce Vavrek. He has served on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee and the jury for the Pulitzer Prize for Music. 

For More Information

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