The Metropolitan Opera Cancels Its 2020–21 Season Due to the Ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, while also Announcing Its Lineup for 2021–22
September 23rd, 2020
- The Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions will return with ten presentations, including all six new productions.
- Maestro Nézet-Séguin will conduct Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Eurydice, Don Carlos, and revivals of Le Nozze di Figaro and Tosca.
- In addition to Fire Shut Up in My Bones, the 2021–22 season will feature five more new productions: the Met premieres of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and the original five-act French version of Verdi’s Don Carlos, and new stagings of Verdi’s Rigoletto and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
- A full slate of performances is announced for 2021–22, including three contemporary Met premieres—the most since 1928—starting with the Opening Night presentation of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on September 27, 2021.
New York, NY (September 23, 2020)—The Metropolitan Opera announced today that the ongoing health crisis has resulted in the cancellation of the entire 2020–21 season, but the company also announced ambitious artistic plans for its 2021–22 season, which will open with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Blanchard’s opera is the first by an African American composer to be performed at the Met.
The Met made its painful decision to cancel the balance of the 2020–21 season based on the advice of health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center. Because of the many hundreds of performers who are required to rehearse and perform in close quarters and because of the company’s large audience, it was determined that it would not be safe for the Met to resume until a vaccine is widely in use, herd immunity is established, and the wearing of masks and social distancing is no longer a medical requirement. Health officials have said this will likely take at least five to six months after a vaccine is initially made available.
“The inability to perform is taking a tremendous toll on our company,” said the Met’s General Manager, Peter Gelb. “Our future relies on making strong artistic strides, while collectively reducing our costs until the audience has fully returned,” he continued, citing audience surveys that indicate it will take time before the Met’s box office returns to pre-pandemic levels. “But we have faith that the members of our company and the public will understand why and how our return to normalcy must be managed. Meanwhile, we will continue with all of our digital media initiatives, which have kept the Met connected with our audiences here and abroad throughout the closure.”
As part of the Met’s efforts to make opera more equitable, the company has named three Black composers—Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery, and Joel Thompson—to the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater New Works commissioning program, while also announcing the commission of the noted African American visual artist Rashid Johnson to create large-scale artworks that will be on display inside the opera house during the 2021–22 season.
Gelb also explained several other plans meant to be responsive to an audience that will at least initially be more cautious, including a large number of earlier 7PM curtain times, as well as several operas with reduced running times. As examples, Gelb said, “We will be presenting Boris Godunov in its original two-and-a-quarter-hour version without intermission, making cuts in the Baroque opera Rodelinda, and removing the intermission between Acts II and III in Madama Butterfly. We’ll also be presenting a 90-minute English-language version of Cinderella, an adaptation of Massenet’s Cendrillon, as a holiday entertainment for families.”
“It is devastating to have to cancel the 2020–21 season, which we were all so looking forward to,” said Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. “But I am extremely excited about the plans for 2021–22 and cannot wait for the chance to reunite with the great Met Orchestra and Chorus, which will be showing new sides of their extraordinary artistry. To be on the podium for the Opening Night premiere of Fire Shut Up in My Bones is sure to be an absolute thrill, and I’m very pleased that our programming will be more responsive to the important social changes that are taking place. I’m happy too that five distinguished conductors—Jane Glover, Karen Kamensek, Susanna Mälkki, and, in their company debuts, Eun Sun Kim and Nathalie Stutzmann—will all perform at the Met in 2021–22, the most women on the podium in a single season in Met history.”
The 2021–22 season will open with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, with a libretto by Kasi Lemmons, based on the memoir by Charles M. Blow. The opera will be conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin and will star Angel Blue, Latonia Moore, and Will Liverman. The opera is one of three contemporary works to have premieres in 2021–22, the greatest number of new operas to premiere in a single Met season since 1928–29. The other new works are Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, set to a libretto by Sarah Ruhl, also conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin and starring Erin Morley in the title role, and Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn and with Allan Clayton as the tortured Dane. The season also features new productions of Verdi’s Rigoletto, starring Rosa Feola, Piotr Beczała, and Quinn Kelsey, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, with Nadine Sierra in the title role, opposite Javier Camarena. The Met premiere of the original five-act, French-language version of Verdi’s Don Carlos will also have Nézet-Séguin on the podium leading an all-star cast: Sonya Yoncheva, Elīna Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, Etienne Dupuis, Günther Groissböck, and John Relyea.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones will be co-directed by James Robinson and Camille A. Brown, building on their collaboration with The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in the 2019–20 season. Brown becomes the first Black director in Met history to create a mainstage production; she is also the production’s choreographer.
Three new productions come from returning directors: Mary Zimmerman will direct the Met premiere of Eurydice, Bartlett Sher will direct the new Rigoletto, and Sir David McVicar is back for Don Carlos. Lucia di Lammermoor will see the highly anticipated Met debut of director Simon Stone. Neil Armfield also debuts, bringing to the Met his acclaimed Glyndebourne Festival production of Dean’s Hamlet.
In addition to these new productions, the Met will offer an abridged, English-language holiday presentation of Cinderella, an adaptation of Laurent Pelly’s witty 2018 production of Massenet’s Cendrillon, with a new translation by Kelley Rourke.
Sixteen revivals (detailed below) round out the season, which also features a concert by Anna Netrebko and the Met Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin, and a solo recital by soprano Sonya Yoncheva.
In advance of the season opening, the Met is planning a performance of the Verdi Requiem to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Maestro Nézet-Séguin will conduct, and soloists include Ailyn Pérez, Matthew Polenzani, and Eric Owens. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The new productions that were to have premiered during the now-canceled 2020–21 season—Verdi’s Aida, Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni, and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking—will all be rescheduled for future seasons.
The Met Orchestra’s three concerts at Carnegie Hall scheduled for June 2021 have all been canceled, though the series will return in the 2021–22 season, with dates to be announced later. The Met Orchestra’s international tour, also planned for June 2021, has been canceled as well.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones — Terence Blanchard MET PREMIERE
Opening: September 27, 2021
Librettist: Kasi Lemmons
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production: James Robinson and Camille A. Brown
Choreographer: Camille A. Brown
Set Designer: Allen Moyer
Costume Designer: Paul Tazewell
Lighting Designer: Christopher Akerlind
Projection Designer: Greg Emetaz
Live in HD: October 23, 2021
Opening Night of the 2021–22 season marks the first time an opera by an African American composer will appear on the Met stage. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Grammy Award–winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard’s acclaimed adaptation of the celebrated memoir by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow. Featuring a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, the opera tells the story of a young man’s journey to overcome a life of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown—two of the creators of the Met’s recent production of Porgy and Bess—co-direct this new staging. Baritone Will Liverman stars as Charles, alongside sopranos Angel Blue as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta and Latonia Moore as Billie. The opera (in this expanded version) is commissioned by the Met with the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, co-commissioned by Jazz St. Louis.
The production is a gift of The Ford Foundation.
Eurydice — Matthew Aucoin MET PREMIERE
Opening: November 23, 2021
Librettist: Sarah Ruhl
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production: Mary Zimmerman
Set Designer: Daniel Ostling
Costume Designer: Ana Kuzmanic
Lighting Designer: T.J. Gerckens
Projection Designer: S. Katy Tucker
Choreographer: Denis Jones
Dramaturg: Paul Cremo
Live in HD: December 4, 2021
The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, has inspired composers since opera’s earliest days. Rising American composer Matthew Aucoin now carries that tradition into the 21st century with a new take on the story—a product of the Met’s commissioning program. With a libretto by MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Sarah Ruhl, adapted from her acclaimed 2003 play, the opera re-imagines the familiar tale from Eurydice’s point of view. Yannick Nézet-Séguin oversees the momentous Met premiere from the podium, leading Aucoin’s evocative music and an immersive new staging by Mary Zimmerman. Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role, opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński as his otherworldly alter-ego. Bass-baritone Nathan Berg is Eurydice’s father and fellow resident of the underworld, with tenor Barry Banks as Hades himself. Eurydice, originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program, with support from the Opera America Repertoire Development Grant, is a co-production of the Met and LA Opera.
The production is a gift of Robert L. Turner.
Rigoletto — Giuseppe Verdi
Opening: December 31, 2021
Conductor: Daniele Rustioni
Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Donald Holder
Live in HD: January 29, 2022
The Met rings in the new year with the gala premiere of a new take on Verdi’s timeless tragedy, from Bartlett Sher. The Tony Award–winning director resets the opera’s action in the 1920s, with Art Deco sets by Michael Yeargan and elegant costumes by Catherine Zuber, themselves boasting a combined 11 Tony Awards. Baritone Quinn Kelsey brings his portrayal of the title role to the Met for the first time, starring alongside soprano Rosa Feola as Gilda and tenor Piotr Beczała as the Duke of Mantua. Daniele Rustioni conducts. A second run of performances in the spring features baritone Ludovic Tézier, soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan, and tenor Stephen Costello, conducted by Karel Mark Chichon. The new Rigoletto is created in collaboration with the Staatsoper Berlin.
The production is a gift of Paul and Sandra Montrone.
Don Carlos — Giuseppe Verdi MET PREMIERE
Opening: February 28, 2022
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production: Sir David McVicar
Set Designer: Charles Edwards
Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Movement Director: Leah Hausman
Live in HD: March 26, 2022
For the first time in company history, the Met presents the original five-act French version of Verdi’s epic opera of doomed love among royalty, set against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role, soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Élisabeth de Valois, and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča as Eboli. Basses Günther Groissböck and John Relyea are Philippe II and the Grand Inquisitor, and baritone Etienne Dupuis rounds out the principal cast as Rodrigue. Sir David McVicar’s new staging marks his 11th Met production, placing him among the most prolific directors in recent Met history.
The production is a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund and the Estate of Edwin C. Holmer, III.
Lucia di Lammermoor — Gaetano Donizetti
Opening: April 23, 2022
Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Production: Simon Stone
Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
Costume Designer: Alice Babidge
Lighting Designer: James Farncombe
Live in HD: May 21, 2022
In recent seasons, soprano Nadine Sierra has captivated Met audiences as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Ilia in Idomeneo. Now, she takes on one of the repertory’s most storied roles, the haunted heroine of Lucia di Lammermoor, in a new staging by Australian theater and film director Simon Stone, in his Met debut. Tenor Javier Camarena brings his bel canto mastery to the role of Lucia’s beloved, Edgardo, with baritone Artur Ruciński as her brother, Enrico, and bass Matthew Rose as her tutor, Raimondo. Riccardo Frizza conducts.
The production is a gift of the Rosalie J. Coe Weir Endowment Fund.
Hamlet — Brett Dean MET PREMIERE
Opening: May 13, 2022
Librettist: Matthew Jocelyn
Conductor: Nicholas Carter
Production: Neil Armfield
Set Designer: Ralph Myers
Costume Designer: Alice Babidge
Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
Movement Director: Denni Sayers
Live in HD: June 4, 2022
Australian composer Brett Dean’s Hamlet had its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2017, and now it arrives at the Met, with Neil Armfield, who directed the work’s premiere, bringing his staging to New York. Many of the original cast members have followed, including tenor Allan Clayton in the title role. Nicholas Carter makes his Met debut conducting the ensemble, which also features soprano Brenda Rae as Ophelia, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, baritone Rod Gilfry as Claudius, and bass Sir John Tomlinson as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.
Hamlet is a Glyndebourne production.
Abridged English-Language Production
Cinderella — Jules Massenet
Opening: December 17, 2021
Abridged English Version: Kelley Rourke
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Production: Laurent Pelly
Set Designer: Barbara de Limburg
Costume Designer: Laurent Pelly
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Laura Scozzi
Live in HD: January 1, 2022
The Met’s holiday presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is joined by Cinderella, a shortened, English-language version of Laurent Pelly’s charming 2018 production of Massenet’s Cendrillon, which will also run at holiday time. Cinderella features a new translation by acclaimed librettist Kelley Rourke. Isabel Leonard sings the title role, joined by Emily D’Angelo as Prince Charming, Jessica Pratt as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe and Laurent Naouri as Cinderella’s feuding guardians. Emmanuel Villaume conducts.
The opening week of the 2021–22 season features revivals of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, both seen in productions by Stephen Wadsworth. René Pape reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Boris, under the baton of Sebastian Weigle. In a nod to audiences’ desire for shorter running times in the midst of the health crisis, the Met will present the original 1869 version, which runs two-and-a-quarter hours and will have no intermission. Iphigénie stars Kate Lindsey in the title role, opposite Etienne Dupuis as her brother, Oreste, and Ben Bliss as his companion, Pylade. Nathalie Stutzmann makes her Met debut conducting.
On October 7, Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Puccini’s Turandot returns, with Christine Goerke in the title role. Later performances feature Anna Netrebko as the legendary Chinese princess. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Later in October, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is back for the first time in seven years, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, with the esteemed maestro returning to the Met for the first time since his company debut leading Eugene Onegin nearly 25 years ago. The cast is led by Lise Davidsen, Klaus Florian Vogt, and Michael Volle.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess—the sold-out hit of the 2019–20 season—once again stars Angel Blue and Eric Owens in the title roles, joined by Janai Brugger as Clara, Latonia Moore as Serena, Denyce Graves as Maria, Frederick Ballentine as Sportin’ Life, Alfred Walker as Crown, and Ryan Speedo Green as Jake. John Wilson takes the podium in his Met debut.
The Met celebrates the 40th anniversary of Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved staging of La Bohème, with three casts appearing as Puccini’s young bohemians. Anita Hartig, Maria Agresta, and Eleonora Buratto trade off as Mimì, alongside Charles Castronovo and Yusif Eyvazov as Rodolfo. Federica Lombardi, Gabriella Reyes, and Aleksandra Kurzak are Musetta, and Artur Ruciński, Lucas Meachem, and Quinn Kelsey sing Marcello, with Eun Sun Kim, in her Met debut, and Carlo Rizzi sharing conducting duties.
Starting in December, Sondra Radvanovsky, Elena Stikhina, and Aleksandra Kurzak share the title role of Puccini’s Tosca, opposite Brian Jagde, Joseph Calleja, and Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi and Evgeny Nikitin, George Gagnidze, and Željko Lučić as Scarpia. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Carlo Rizzi share conducting duties.
For the first time, the Met will offer two abridged, English-language holiday presentations for families. In addition to Cinderella, Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a holiday favorite since its premiere in 2006, returns, starring Matthew Polenzani as Tamino, Hera Hyesang Park as Pamina, Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Morris Robinson as Sarastro, and—in a notable return to the Met stage—Rolando Villazón in the baritone role of Papageno. Jane Glover conducts.
Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro returns in the new year with Maestro Nézet-Séguin conducting rotating casts that include Christiane Karg, Federica Lombardi, Lucy Crowe, Aida Garifullina, Christian Gerharer, Gerald Finley, Ryan McKinny, and Christian Van Horn.
In March, Lise Davidsen brings her much-heralded interpretation of the title role of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos to the Met for the first time. Isabel Leonard is the Composer, Brenda Rae is Zerbinetta, and Brandon Jovanovich is Bacchus. Marek Janowski conducts.
Later that month, Elza van den Heever sings her first Met performances of the title role of Handel’s Rodelinda, under the baton of Harry Bicket. Jamie Barton, Iestyn Davies, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Paul Appleby, and Adam Plachetka also star in the revival, which will have a shortened running time.
Eleonora Buratto sings the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, opening March 19, opposite Brian Jagde as Pinkerton and with Alexander Soddy conducting.
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin returns March 25, with Ailyn Pérez as Tatiana, Piotr Beczała as Lenski, and Igor Golovatenko in the title role. James Gaffigan conducts.
On April 1, Nina Stemme reprises her thrilling portrayal of the title role of Strauss’s Elektra, partnering with another formidable soprano, Lise Davidsen, as her sister, Chrysothemis. Donald Runnicles conducts Patrice Chéreau’s landmark production, which also features Michaela Schuster as Klytämnestra, Stefan Vinke as Aegisth, and Greer Grimsley as Orest.
A sold-out sensation in its 2019 premiere run, Philip Glass’s Akhnaten returns on May 19—complete with juggling—with Anthony Roth Costanzo again portraying the ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the title. Rihab Chaieb is Nefertiti, and Karen Kamensek once again conducts Phelim McDermott’s acclaimed production.
The final revival of the season is Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which opens May 30 with Susanna Mälkki conducting. Golda Schultz is Anne Trulove, Alice Coote is Baba the Turk, Ben Bliss is Tom Rakewell, and Christian Van Horn is Nick Shadow.
In addition to these revivals, soprano Anna Netrebkowill give a concert with the Met Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin, on October 10, 2021.
Soprano Sonya Yoncheva will give a solo recital on the Met stage on Sunday, January 23, 2022, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau.
The Met: Live in HD
While the opera house remains dark over the next 12 months, the company will offer encore screenings in select cinemas from the Met’s collection of Live in HD presentations. The encore schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2021–22 Live in HD season opens on October 9, 2021, with Boris Godunov and continues with Fire Shut Up in My Bones (October 23, 2021), Eurydice (December 4, 2021), Cinderella (January 1, 2022), Rigoletto (January 29, 2022), Ariadne auf Naxos (March 12, 2022), Don Carlos (March 26, 2022), Turandot (May 7, 2022), Lucia di Lammermoor (May 21, 2022), and Hamlet (June 4, 2022).
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, 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. The HD Broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.
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 on the Radio
The Met’s 90th consecutive Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season runs as originally scheduled from December 5, 2020 through June 5, 2021 with a series of special encore broadcasts. The 2021–22 season of Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts will kick off live from the Met stage on December 4, 2021 and run through June 11, 2022. The broadcast season will once again be heard over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Mary Jo Heath returns as host and Ira Siff returns as commentator for the broadcasts. The Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast series 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 continues as the country’s premier subscription radio channel dedicated to opera with encore presentations 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. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM is available to subscribers in the United States and Canada.
Met Opera on Demand
The Met’s exclusive streaming service now features more than 700 full-length Met performances, available worldwide on multiple platforms that include computers; Amazon Fire TV and Tablet; iPad, iPhone and Apple TV; Android; Roku; and Samsung Smart TV. The Met Opera on Demand library includes more than 130 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 eighth year, Student Access is currently available at nearly 160 schools around the world.
This past summer, in response to the sudden closure of schools and performing arts organizations nationwide, the Metropolitan Opera’s Education department launched its first-ever Global Summer Camp. Each week for eight weeks, campers explored an opera through hands-on lessons with award-winning educators and artists, interviews with world-famous opera stars and directors, and a free stream of the opera. The Met’s Global Summer Camp boasted more than 3,400 registrants, aged 8–18, from nearly 70 countries.
In light of the exceptional success of the Global Summer Camp and Free Student Streams, Met Education is expanding both the content and reach of the HD Live in Schools program for the 2020–21 season, despite the closure.
Starting in the fall of 2020, Met Education will provide access to Met Opera on Demand for all HD Live in Schools district partnerships, which now includes 55 districts in 42 states.
As always, participation in HD Live in Schools will come with free access to the Met’s Educator Guides and the annual National Teachers Conference, which this year will be hosted on a virtual platform.
The Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program
The Met’s commissioning program with Lincoln Center Theater continues with three African American composers joining the program roster. Valerie Coleman is a composer, flutist, a founding member of the highly regarded Imani Winds (a chamber wind ensemble whose members are all people of color). Jessie Montgomery is a Juilliard-trained violinist and a sought-after soloist and chamber musician, who was selected by the New York Philharmonic as one of the featured composers for their Project 19, which marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting equal voting rights in the United States to women. Joel Thompson, who composed the choral/orchestral piece “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” (which was the subject of a New York Times profile) was also recently commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write an opera, The Snowy Day, based on the classic children's book about a Black child’s winter adventures.
Joshua Schmidt continues work on Fallingwater, with a libretto by Dick Scanlan, about the creation of the iconic house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
David T. Little is working on a soon-to-be-announced project in collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek.
Lindemann Young Artist Development Program
Despite the cancellation of the 2020–21 season, the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program will nevertheless continue during that period, under the guidance of Maestro Nézet-Séguin. The program will feature socially distanced coaching sessions in the Met’s large rehearsal rooms.
National Council Auditions
With the cancellation of the 2020–21 season, the National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert on May 16, 2021, has also been canceled. However, the regional auditions will continue. The auditions will begin with a pre-screening round consisting of one to two arias pre-recorded on video. The next two rounds of the competition will be held via livestream video. We will be announcing alternative arrangements for the finals in the coming months.
The company’s contemporary art initiative will continue in 2021–22 with a new commission from acclaimed artist Rashid Johnson, whose mixed-media work explores the Black experience. His pair of monumental works will be on view on the Grand Tier and Dress Circle levels of the opera house, where Cecily Brown’s pieces have been on display.
Engaging with Audiences during the Closure
When the Met was forced to close its doors in March, the company right away began streaming encore presentations from its vast collection of Live in HD transmissions and classic telecasts, all for free on the Met’s website. To date, the Nightly Met Opera Streams series has presented 27 weeks’ worth of free performances, with more than 14.4 million total views. The free streams will continue while the opera house remains dark.
On April 25, 2020, the Met further connected with its audience with the groundbreaking At-Home Gala, which featured dozens of opera’s greatest artists performing live from their home quarantines around the world via Skype.
In the summer of 2020, the Met’s Education department launched Global Summer Camp, an eight-week program of daily activities that reached thousands of students around the world.
On July 18, 2020, the company launched Met Stars Live in Concert, a new pay-per-view series of live-streamed performances featuring some of opera’s leading artists in notable locations around the world. So far, the series has featured performances by Jonas Kaufmann, Renée Fleming, Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak, Lise Davidsen, and Joyce DiDonato. The series will continue into January, with such artists as Anna Netrebko, Diana Damrau, Sonya Yoncheva, and Bryn Terfel, among others, scheduled to perform.
The Met will be prioritizing Patrons, Subscribers, and ticket buyers who have money on account from fall 2020 performances cancelled due to the health crisis. For the 2021–22 season, the Met will be eliminating all handling charges and exchange fees.
Tickets go on sale for Met Patrons on October 12, 2020, for Subscribers on October 19, and for ticket buyers who currently have money on account on October 26. The on-sale date for single tickets, as well as Live in HD tickets for the 2021–22 season, will be announced at a later date.Casting and performance dates for the 2021–22 season are available at metopera.org.