Doyle, Zimmerman, Noble, McDermott, Wilson to Direct for Met; McDonald Sought for Adams Opera

News   Doyle, Zimmerman, Noble, McDermott, Wilson to Direct for Met; McDonald Sought for Adams Opera Theatre vets John Doyle, Mary Zimmerman, Adrian Noble and Phelim McDermott (Shockheaded Peter) will be among the directors helming new productions during the Metropolitan Opera's 2007-08 season as part of the famed company's general effort to hire directors with non-opera experience.

Peter Gelb, the Met's general manager, is also trying to get Broadway star Audra McDonald to play Kitty, the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in John Adams' opera Doctor Atomic during the 2008-09 season, according to The New York Times.

The avant-garde theatre and opera director Robert Wilson (Woyzeck and Peer Gynt at BAM) will stage Bellini's Norma with Renée Fleming in 2011.

Four-time Tony winner Zoe Caldwell will star in the speaking role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp in Donizetti’s Fille du Régiment, beginning April 21, 2008. The French opera and theatre director Laurent Pelly helms the co-production with the Royal Opera in London and Vienna State Opera.

Doyle, who won a Tony Award for directing the recent revival of Sweeney Todd, will helm Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, premiering Feb. 28, 2008. Doyle and his Tony-winning designers Scott Pask (sets) and Ann Hould-Ward (costumes) will be making their Met debuts (lighting is by Peter Mumford).

Zimmerman, who won a Tony for directing Metamorphoses, will make her Met debut with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor to kick off the season Sept. 24. The production also marks the Met debuts of Zimmerman's Metamorphoses design team of Daniel Ostling (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes) and T.J. Gerckens (lights), plus the debut of choreographer Daniel Pelzig (A Year With Frog and Toad). Noble, the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare company, will stage Verdi's Macbeth, premiering on Oct. 22, 2007. In addition to his many RSC credits, Noble has directed the Broadway shows Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and A Midsummer Night's Dream, which received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play.

As previously reported by Playbill Arts, Phelim McDermott will direct Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, which will premiere April 11, 2008, with a design by Julian Crouch. Both are co-artistic directors (along with Lee Simpson) of the London theatre company Improbable and helped create Shockheaded Peter, which ran Off-Broadway at the Little Shubert in 2005, and Spirit, which went up at New York Theatre Workshop later that year.

Richard Jones — the British opera director who also staged the Broadway musical Titanic and received a Tony nomination for Best Direction of a Play for La Bête in 1991 — will helm an English-language version of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. The production, which will go up Dec. 24, is originally by the Welsh National Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Met is reconceiving it for holiday performances.

Stephen Wadsworth, who is known for adapting and directing plays by Marivaux and Molière, will direct Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, which will go up at the Met Nov. 27 after its run at the Seattle Opera, also previously reported by Playbill Arts.

The Met has recently hosted productions by such theatre veterans as Julie Taymor (Mozart's The Magic Flute) and Bartlett Sher (Rossini's The Barber of Seville), with Jack O'Brien (Puccini's Il Trittico, premiering April 20) still to come.

For more information visit www.metopera.org.

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