The Metropolitan Opera premiere of Medea, starring Sondra Radvanovsky, opens the company’s 137th season September 27 at 6pm
- Cherubini’s masterpiece is directed by David McVicar, with Carlo Rizzi on the podium
- A live simulcast of the opening night performance will again be relayed to Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and Times Square, free to the public
- The October 22 performance will be transmitted live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series
New York, NY (September 13, 2022)—The Metropolitan Opera opens its 2022–23 season with the company premiere of Cherubini’s masterpiece Medea Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Following triumphant performances at the Met as some of the repertory’s most dramatic heroines, Sondra Radvanovsky sings Medea for the first time, taking on the tour-de-force role made famous by Maria Callas.
Joining Radvanovsky is tenor Matthew Polenzani as Medea’s husband, Giasone (Jason the Argonaut); soprano Janai Brugger as the rival for his love, Glauce; bass Michele Pertusi as her father, Creonte, the King of Corinth; and mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as Neris, Medea’s servant.
The opera marks Radvanovsky’s fourth appearance in a new production at the Met by David McVicar, who designed the sets for this staging as well. The performances are led by Carlo Rizzi, who also conducts Verdi’s Don Carlo and Puccini’s Tosca at the Met this fall.
In this fiery retelling of the Greek myth, the sorceress Medea embodies the archetype of a woman betrayed by powerful men and shunned by society. She embraces her rage, in the end murdering her two children as a supreme act of vengeance against her faithless lover Giasone, their father.
Originally sung in French at its Paris premiere in 1797, the Met’s production will be performed in the Italian translation by Carlo Zangarini, a hybrid version that was revived for Maria Callas in 1953. The music by Cherubini (1760–1842)—a composer who was born four years after Mozart and died as Verdi was entering his middle period— bridges the Classical and Romantic eras.
Medea is a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, Greek National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition to McVicar, the creative team includes costume designer Doey Lüthi, lighting designer Paule Constable, projection designer S. Katy Tucker, and movement director Jo Meredith.
Following opening night on September 27, seven additional performances run through October 28.
For the 2022–23 season, audience members will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination to attend a performance or event. While inside the opera house, however, everyone is required to wear a mask, except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
Opening Night Simulcast in Marcus Garvey Park and Times Square
A live simulcast of the opening night performance on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00 pm ET will be presented free to the public in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park for the second year, in partnership with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage and NYC Parks. The performance also will be seen on multiple screens in Times Square, a tradition that returns for the 16th season. Approximately 1,700 seats will be available in Marcus Garvey Park, and 2,000 seats will be available in Times Square, all on a first-come, first-served basis. These audiences will be joining the 3,800 audience members attending inside the opera house.
Seating at Marcus Garvey Park and Times Square will open at 5:00 pm. Seating is available on Duffy Square and the Broadway Plazas between 43rd and 44th Streets and 46th and 47th Streets in Times Square. The participating screens in Times Square include ABC SuperSign; American Eagle Times Square; Branded Cities’ NASDAQ Tower; Clear Channel Spectacolor HD 126, 127, and 128; and EXPRESS Times Square. Masks are recommended in Times Square, but neither vaccinations nor tests are required there.
The Marcus Garvey Park live transmission is presented in partnership with NYC Parks and Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage.
The live transmission to Times Square is made possible with the cooperation of the City of New York, with leadership support provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and additional support from Bank of America.
The simulcast is presented in partnership with the Times Square Alliance.
Medea Special Events
Works and Process panel: Medea
Monday, September 19 at 7:30pm ET
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Peter B. Lewis Theater, 1071 Fifth Avenue
Met General Manager Peter Gelb moderates an evening of conversation and performance at the Guggenheim Museum, featuring the production’s creative team and cast members. Covid-19 vaccination is recommended, but not required, for audience members, and masks will be required. For more information and tickets, please click here.
Pasolini’s Medea film screening at Film at Lincoln Center
Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 pm ET
Film at Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th St
Starring the legendary Maria Callas, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s interpretation of Euripides’s play shifts the tragedy away from Medea’s betrayal by Jason and her bloody revenge to the loss of her mystical homeland of Colchis. A glorious performance by Callas and superb costuming mark this film, shown in a 35mm print restored by S.N.C. Presentation of the film in its original 35mm format is made possible by Gucci. The post-screening panel will be moderated by Met Opera dramaturg Paul Cremo, with special guest appearances by NYU’s Ara H. Merjian and author Nick Gage.
Medea Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online
The performance of Medea on Saturday, October 22, will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the globe as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.
The September 27 and October 13 performances of Medea will be broadcast live on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel. Audio from the September 27 performance will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, metopera.org. The October 22 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers—Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network on Saturday, January 7.
Medea Artist Biographies
Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi made his Met debut conducting La Bohème in 1993. Since then, he has conducted more than 200 performances with the company, including Norma, La Traviata, Aida, Turandot, and Tosca. The Italian conductor was music director of Welsh National Opera from 1992 to 2001 and 2004 to 2008, and has conducted at opera houses including La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Paris Opera, and Covent Garden. Also this season, he is conducting Tosca and Don Carlo at the Met.
Most recently at the Met, American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky starred in the title role of Puccini’s Tosca in the 2021–22 season. She made her debut with the company in 1996 as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto and has sung more than 200 performances of 28 roles, including Elizabeth I in Roberto Devereux, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Elvira in Ernani, and the title roles of Tosca, Aida, Norma, Maria Stuarda, and Anna Bolena. She has also appeared to acclaim at the Paris Opera, Spain’s Castell de Peralada Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Edinburgh International Festival, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera, and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, among many others. She is a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Also this season, she sings Tosca at Opernhaus Zürich and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Naples’s Teatro di San Carlo, and the Canadian Opera Company; and the title role of Turandot at Opernhaus Zürich.
American soprano Janai Brugger sings Glauce. A winner of the Met’s National Council Auditions in 2012, she made her Met debut that year as Liù in Turandot, and her other Met roles have included Helena in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island, Jemmy in Guillaume Tell, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Micaëla in Carmen, and most recently Clara in the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Other recent roles include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Clara at Cincinnati Opera, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito at LA Opera and Dutch National Opera, and Ilia in Idomeneo at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Later this season, she will sing Susanna at LA Opera.
Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova sings Neris. In 2008, she made her company debut as Hélène Bezukhov in War and Peace, followed by Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Princess Eboli in Don Carlo, Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, and Amneris in Aida. Following her performances as Neris, she will perform the role of Adalgisa in Norma at the Met. Other performances this season include Venus in Tannhäuser at Covent Garden and Kundry in Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera.
American tenor Matthew Polenzani sings Giasone. He has sung more than 400 performances of 41 roles with the company since his debut in 1997 as Boyar Kruschov in Boris Godunov. Other Met roles include Macduff in Macbeth, the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, the title role of Idomeneo, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the Duke in Rigoletto, and role debuts as Nadir in the Met new-production premieres of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, the title role of Roberto Devereux, and most recently the title role of Don Carlos. He has appeared at most of the world’s greatest opera houses, including the Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Salzburg Festival, and in Madrid, Palermo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, Rome, and Florence, among many others. This season, he sings the title role of Don Carlo at Naples’s Teatro di San Carlo, the title role of Werther at Houston Grand Opera, and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto and Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Staatsoper Hamburg.
Italian bass Michele Pertusi sings Creonte. He made his Met debut singing Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1997. Other roles with the company have included Alidoro in La Cenerentola, the Tutor in Le Comte Ory, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro, and Giorgio in I Puritani. This season, he sings Filippo II in Don Carlo at Naples’s Teatro di San Carlo, Moïse in Moïse et Pharaon at Opéra National de Lyon, and Don Ruy Gomez de Silva in Ernani at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice.
Medea is the 12th production that David McVicar has directed at the Met. He made his company debut with Il Trovatore during the 2008–09 season, followed by stagings of Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca, Norma, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, and Giulio Cesare. He also directed the Met premieres of Roberto Devereux, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Agrippina, and Don Carlos. His productions have appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including the Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, Salzburg Festival, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, English National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. He was knighted in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Honors List and also made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. This season, he also directs Fedora at the Met, Il Trittico at Scottish Opera, and Macbeth at the Canadian Opera Company.
Costume Designer Doey Lüthi makes her Met debut with Medea. Most recent credits include Braunfels’s Die Vögel at Opéra National du Rhin; Madama Butterfly, and Cimarosa’s L’Iitaliana in Londra, and Handel’s Tamerlano at Oper Frankfurt; and Cavalli’s La Calisto at La Scala. In 2022, she was a winner of the Abbiati Award for Best Costumes by the Associazione Nazionale Critici Musicali for La Calisto at La Scala.
Two-time Tony Award–winning lighting designer Paule Constable returns to the Met after designing productions of Agrippina, Così fan tutte, Norma, Roberto Devereux, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, The Merry Widow, Le Nozze di Figaro, Giulio Cesare, Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena, and Philip Glass’s Satyagraha (which marked her debut in 2008). This season, her work also appears in productions of Le Nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne Festival and Houston Grand Opera, Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro at Covent Garden, Idomeneo at Staatsoper Berlin, and Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera. She received Tony Awards for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (for which she also won a Drama Desk Award) and War Horse, and Tony nominations for Angels in America, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and Coram Boy.
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 and Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice last 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.
Movement Director Jo Meredith makes her Met debut with Medea. She has worked closely with David McVicar on various productions, including Verdi’s I Masnadieri at La Scala and Rigoletto at Savonlinna Opera. Her most recent credits include Eugene Onegin at Opera Holland Park, Cavalli’s La Calisto at La Scala, and Norma and Siegfried at Teatro Real de Madrid. She is also creative director at National Youth Ballet since 2020 and English National Ballet from 2015 to 2019.
For More Information
For further details on Medea, including casting by date, please click here.