Damrau was already at the house, singing Pamina in the very same production over the past three weeks. She hadn't planned to sing the Queen at all, let alone during the same run. "I was originally scheduled to sing concerts in Europe on the dates of the final two performances [of Zauberfl‹te this season]," she told the Met's Philipp Brieler recently. "When those fell through, Pamina had already been given to someone else, but the Queen hadn't. I had planned to retire this role after the Mozart year of 2006, but this offer was too good to refuse. What a place for my final Queen!"
She'll be performing with colleagues Genia K‹hmeier (Pamina), Joseph Kaiser (Tamino), St_phane Degout (Papageno) and Reinhard Hagen (Sarastro). Kirill Petrenko conducts.
This evening's performance, beginning at 8 p.m. US Eastern time, will be offered for free in live streaming audio on the Met's website — go to www.metopera.org and click on "Watch & Listen" underneath the logo near the top of the screen.