The Met Orchestra: European Tour
June 27–July 2, 2023
The Met Orchestra makes a major return to international touring this summer, visiting three countries immediately following its performances at Carnegie Hall in June. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, will conduct all five concerts—at the Philharmonie de Paris on June 27 and 28, the Barbican Centre in London on June 29, and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in Germany on July 1 and 2. Originally scheduled for summer 2021, the tour was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programs will feature Act IV of Verdi’s Otello, featuring tenor Russell Thomas as Otello and soprano Angel Blue as Desdemona; selections from Berlioz’s Les Troyens, featuring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Matthew Aucoin’s Heath (King Lear Sketches), and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.
“It has been more than 20 years since the Met Orchestra was last on tour in Europe, and I am so delighted to lead these wonderful musicians in programs that reflect the new vision of the Met,” Nézet-Séguin said. “We spend many hours together in the pit, and it is a joy to stand before them as they bring their unique artistry to the greatest stages of the world.”
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s European tour is generously sponsored by The Metropolitan Opera’s International Council, Cindy Bagby, and Mr. and Mrs. John French III.
Tour Schedule and Tickets
June 27: Paris (Philharmonie)
June 28: Paris (Philharmonie)
June 29: London (Barbican Centre)
July 1: Baden-Baden (Festspielhaus)
July 2: Baden-Baden (Festspielhaus)
Click the venue links above for ticketing information.
The Met Orchestra Tour Biographies
Angel Blue’s most recent Met appearance was as Violetta in La Traviata this season, when she also sang the role at Houston Grand Opera. She has performed the title role of Tosca at LA Opera and will reprise her portrayal at the Santa Fe Opera this summer; the title role of Aida at Covent Garden and in concert at Detroit Opera; concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and a recital at the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Other Met appearances include Bess in Porgy and Bess, Destiny/Loneliness/Greta in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, and Musetta and Mimì (debut, 2017) in La Bohème. Other recent performances include Marguerite in Faust at the Paris Opera; Mimì at the Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Dresden State Opera; Violetta at Covent Garden, Seattle Opera, and La Scala; Tosca in Aix-en-Provence; Liù in Turandot at San Diego Opera; Myrtle Wilson in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby in Dresden; and the Peri in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri in concert with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She was the 2020 recipient of the Met’s Beverly Sills Artist Award, established by Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman
This season at the Met, Joyce DiDonato appeared as Virginia Woolf in Kevin Puts’s The Hours. She also toured with Il Pomo d’Oro throughout Europe and the United States, created the role of Patricia Westertord in Tod Machover’s Overstory Overture at Alice Tully Hall and the Seoul Arts Center, and a held a residency at Switzerland’s Musikkollegium Winterthur. Since her 2005 Met debut as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, she has sung more than 100 performances of 14 roles at the house, including Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Adalgisa in Norma, Elena in La Donna del Lago, Isolier in Le Comte Ory, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sycorax in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island, and the title roles of Agrippina, Cendrillon, La Cenerentola, and Maria Stuarda. Elsewhere, she has appeared with most of the world’s leading opera companies, including the Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, Paris Opera, and Salzburg Festival. She has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning in 2012, 2016, and 2020, and in 2018, she received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. She was the 2007 recipient of the Met’s Beverly Sills Artist Award, established by Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman.
Russell Thomas sang the title role of Don Carlo at the Met this season, along with the title role of Ernani at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino at the Paris Opera, Calàf in Turandot at Covent Garden, and the title role of Otello and a recital at LA Opera. Other Met appearances include Rodolfo in La Bohème, Ismaele in Nabucco, Andres in Wozzeck, Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, Tamino in The Magic Flute, and the Steersman in Der Fliegende Holländer. He has appeared at the Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dutch National Opera, Salzburg Festival, English National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Washington National Opera, among others. In 2021, he became artist-in-residence at LA Opera, where he curates the After Hours recital series, mentors members of the Russell Thomas Youth Artist Training Academy, and leads the HBCU Opera Career Comprehensive, which supports singers from historically Black colleges and universities. He is a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
In his fourth season as the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, Canadian-born Yannick Nézet-Séguin has increasingly focused on supporting the creation of new works. 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. This season at the Met, he conducted the company premieres of Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Kevin Puts’s The Hours, a new production of Lohengrin, a revival of La Bohème, and For Ukraine: A Concert of Remembrance and Hope. Since his 2009 Met debut leading Carmen, he has conducted more than 150 performances of 20 operas at the house, including Don Carlos, La Traviata, Tosca, Turandot, Eurydice, Wozzeck, Dialogues des Carmélites, Pelléas et Mélisande, Elektra, Parsifal, and Der Fliegende Holländer. Maestro Nézet-Séguin also enjoys close collaborations with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics and Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the BBC Proms, as well as the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Grafenegg, Lanaudière, Vail, and Saratoga. Other operatic appearances have included performances at La Scala, Covent Garden, Dutch National Opera, and the Vienna State Opera. In 2011, he began a cycle of seven Mozart operas for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, which Deutsche Grammophon recorded live.
The Met Orchestra is regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras. From the time of the company’s inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances, and has acquired enormous technical polish, style, and versatility. The Met Orchestra maintains a demanding schedule of performances and rehearsals during its 33-week New York season, when the company performs as many as seven times a week in repertory that this season encompassed 23 operas. In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Arturo Toscanini made his American debut as a symphonic conductor with the Met Orchestra in 1913, and the impressive list of instrumental soloists who appeared with the orchestra includes Leopold Godowsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Casals, Josef Hofmann, Ferruccio Busoni, Jascha Heifetz, Moriz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. In recent years, instrumental and vocal soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, Evgeny Kissin, Christian Tetzlaff, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau, Christine Goerke, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, and Peter Mattei. The group has also performed six world premieres: Milton Babbitt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), William Bolcom’s Symphony No. 7 (2002), Hsueh-Yung Shen’s Legend (2002), Charles Wuorinen’s Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009), and John Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life (2011).