Wadsworth, a director well known for his work in both opera and spoken theater, will be joined on the production team by Obie Award-winning set designer Thomas Lynch, Tony Award-winning costume designer Martin Pakledinaz and lighting designer (and fellow Tony winner) Peter Kaczorowski. The four worked together on Seattle Opera's widely-praised "green" production of Wagner's Ring cycle created in 2001 and revived in 2005.
Soprano Nuccia Focile, one of the leading lights of the highly regarded Welsh National Opera, will sing the role of Iphigenia in Seattle, with baritone Brett Polegato as Orestes and tenor William Burden as Pylades. Gary Thor Wedow conducts eight performances October 13-27, 2007.
The Met will provide a very high-powered cast for its performances beginning the following month. Susan Graham will take the title role, with Plšcido Domingo singing Orestes in the tenor version Gluck wrote for Vienna in 1781. Tenor Paul Groves will sing Pylades. On the podium, in his Met debut, will be Louis Langr_e, music director of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival.
This role will be a new one for Domingo — his 125th, a spokesperson told the Associated Press. (He debuts his 124th, the title role in Tan Dun's new opera The First Emperor, three days from now.) Seattle Opera will be presenting this opera for the first time, while the Met's only previous production was in 1916-17, in a version by Richard Strauss.
Graham, on the other hand, is making a specialty of Gluck's Iphigenia. She sang the role (with Groves and Thomas Hampson as colleagues) in a 2000 Salzburg Festival production now available on CD, she sang it with period instruments in Paris this past June with conductor Marc Minkowski, and she starred earlier this fall in a staging at Lyric Opera of Chicago by director Robert Carsen. That production will travel to San Francisco Opera next June.