Mark Lamos will stage The Great Gatsby as the centerpiece, world premiere production in the Metropolitan Opera's 1999-2000 season, it was announced March 4.
Composer-librettist John Harbison's operatic adaptation of the classic Jazz Age novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald will debut Dec. 20 and play in repertory to Jan. 15, 2000.
Lyricist Murray Horwitz will contribute popular song lyrics for the tale of jealous love and shady characters in New York City and Long Island in the 1920s.
Dawn Upshaw, the soprano who enjoys a crossover career in opera stagings and popular American song recordings, will play delicate Daisy Buchanan and Jerry Hadley will be mysterious millionaire and Daisy's lost love, Jay Gatsby. Also in the cast: Susan Graham is Jordan Baker, Dwayne Croft is Nick Carraway (narrator of the book), Lorraine Hunt is Myrtle Wilson and Mark Baker is Tom Buchanan. James Levine will conduct.
Lamos, former artistic director of Hartford Stage, will be represented on Broadway in April with The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, at the Longacre Theatre. Rhythm previews begin April 2, with an opening of April 25. Designers for The Great Gatsby are Michael Yeargan (set), Milena Canonero (costumes) and Duane Schuler (lighting). Robert LaFosse will choreograph.
Also on the Met's 1999-2000 season, on a repertory schedule:
MefistofeleNov. 5-Feb. 26, 2000.
Tristan and Isolde Nov. 22-Dec.18
The Merry Widow (Met premiere) Feb. 17, 2000-March, 18, 2000.
Aida Oct. 8-Nov. 20
Il Barbiere Di Siviglia March 13, 2000-April 12, 2000
La Boheme March 24, 2000-May 5, 2000
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci Sept. 27, 1999-Jan. 26, 2000
La Cenerentola Feb. 24, 2000-March 15
Les Contes D'Hoffmann Jan. 27, 1999-Feb. 19, 2000.
L'Elisir D'Amore Nov. 30-Dec. 22
Giulio Cesare April 28, 2000-May 6, 2000
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk March 9-30, 2000
Lucia Di Lammermoor Sept. 29-Dec. 18
Madama Butterfly Jan. 6, 2000-March 4, 2000
Moses Und Aron Sept. 28-Oct. 7
Le Nozze Di Figaro Oct. 21-Dec. 25
Otello Oct. 2-Dec. 2
Pelleas Et Melisande April 3-20, 2000
Der Ring Des Nibelungen Feb. 3, 2000-May 6, 2000.
Rigoletto Dec. 24-April 21, 2000
Der Rosenkavalier Jan. 20, 2000-Feb. 10, 2000
Tosca Oct. 14-Jan. 8, 2000
La Traviata Jan. 13, 2000-March 11, 2000
For information about Met season tickets, call Met Ticket Service at (212) 362-6000.
In other Met news, Playbill magazine will publish house programs for the Metropolitan Opera beginning in July 1999. The world's largest theatrical program publisher will use the banner of Playbill Classic Arts for all performances that take place in the Metropolitan Opera House, including the summer 1999 engagement of the Kirov Ballet and the annual New York season of American Ballet Theatre.
-- By Kenneth Jones