As previously announced, Villaz‹n has pulled out of all performances through 2009 due to necessary throat surgery. He plans to return to the stage in 2010. Pape has voluntarily withdrawn from the production, deciding not to add the roles to his repertory.
Joseph Calleja sang the Duke in Rigoletto and Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore during the 2008-09 season at the Met. He also appeared in the company's 125th Anniversary Gala, singing Rodolfo's Act I aria from La Bohme. The Duke was the role of his company debut in 2006, and he sang Macduff in Macbeth in the 2007-08 season. This will mark his role debut as Hoffmann.
Alan Held sang the four villain roles in Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Met in 1993 and 1998. He has performed numerous roles with the company including the title role in Wozzeck, Orest in Elektra, Gunther in G‹tterd‹mmerung, Pizarro in Fidelio, and Peter in the new production of Hansel and Gretel in 2007, a performance that was also part of The Met: Live in HD series. Held made his Met debut in 1989 as Mr. Redburn in Britten's Billy Budd.
The new production, conducted by James Levine and directed by Bartlett Sher, opens on December 3, 2009, and runs through January 2, 2010. The cast includes Kathleen Kim as Olympia, Anna Netrebko as Antonia, Ekaterina Gubanova as Giulietta, and Elīna Garanča as Nicklausse. The December 19 matinee performance will be transmitted into movie theaters worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
For information visit the Metropolitan Opera.