Great Performances at The Met Series Launches January 5 With Manon Broadcast on PBS

Opera   Great Performances at The Met Series Launches January 5 With Manon Broadcast on PBS
 
The Massenet opera is one of five that will be seen on PBS during the 14th season. Also scheduled is Eric Owens and Angel Blue in Porgy and Bess.
Lisette Oropesa and cast of <i>Manon</i>
Lisette Oropesa and cast of Manon Marty Sohl/Met Opera

The 14th season of the Great Performances at The Met series launches January 5 with the French tale of Manon, one of five operas that will air on PBS in 2020.

Soprano Lisette Oropesa starred in the title role in Laurent Pelly's production this past fall, alongside tenor Michael Fabiano as Chevalier des Grieux. They are joined by Artur Ruciński as Lescaut, Brett Polegato as de Brétigny, Kwangchul Youn as Comte des Grieux, and Carlo Bosi as Guillot de Morfontaine. Maurizio Benini conducted, with soprano Nadine Sierra hosting.

The series will continue March 20 with Puccini's final opera, Turandot. Christine Goerke stars in the title role. The company also includes tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who plays Calàf, and gets to perform what is perhaps the most famous tenor aria of all time, “Nessun Dorma.” Also featured: soprano Eleonora Buratto as Liu and bass-baritone James Morris as Timur, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Akhnaten, starring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as the radical pharaoh of ancient Egypt, airs April 5. Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges makes her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti. Akhnaten is the third work in composer Phillip Glass’ series of three operas (preceded by Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha) and explores the complicated force that ensues when power and faith clash. Making her Met debut, Karen Kamensek conducts.

Porgy and Bess_Metropolitan Opera_Production Photos_2019_X_HR
Eric Owens and Angel Blue in Porgy and Bess Ken Howard

Agrippina, which will be broadcast June 7, stars Joyce DiDonato in the title role with mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as Ottone, and Matthew Rose as Claudius. Although based on serious events, Handel crafted a black comedy, offering a lighthearted and satirical spin on this tale of a ruthless mother determined to make her son the emperor of Rome.

The season concludes July 17 with the broadcast of the George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward opera Porgy and Bess, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles.

The classic opera, set on Catfish Row—a fictional town inspired the African-American “Gullah” culture of South Carolina—also features Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Donovan Singletary. The James Robinson-helmed production made its New York premiere in September 2019 following runs at the English National Opera and Dutch National Opera. The staging also features choreography by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy, Once on This Island).

(Updated January 5, 2020)

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