Met Premieres Fresh Carmen at New Year's Eve Gala

Classic Arts Features   Met Premieres Fresh Carmen at New Year's Eve Gala
 
Richard Eyre's new production of Bizet's Carmen, starring Elīna Garanča in the title role and Roberto Alagna, premieres as the Met's New Year's Eve gala performance.


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Garanča makes her Met role debut as the gypsy femme fatale, reuniting with Alagna following their recent success in these parts at London's Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Acclaimed young Canadian conductor Yannick N_zet-S_guin makes his Met debut leading a cast that includes Barbara Frittoli as MicaêŠla and Mariusz Kwiecien in his Met role debut as Escamillo. Eyre makes his Met debut with the new production, as does set and costume designer Rob Howell. Peter Mumford designs the lighting, and Christopher Wheeldon creates the choreography for the new staging. Performances run through May 1, with later casts featuring Olga Borodina and Angela Gheorghiu in the title role, the latter for the first time in her stage career. Maija Kovalevska reprises her MicaêŠla, joined by Brandon Jovanovich in his Met debut and Jonas Kaufmann in his company role debut as Don Jos_. Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings his first Escamillo with the company, and Alain Altinoglu makes his Met debut as conductor.

Richard Eyre, the renowned British director of theater and film, explores the grand scale of Carmen and the power of her desires in his new production. "Her sexuality is a lifeforce, it's a defining force," he explains. "Carmen is about sex, violence, and racism: and its corollary: freedom." As for her portrayal of the free spirited gypsy, Elīna Garanča says, "You don't get to develop productions of Carmen from scratch too often. Carmen is defined by her unwillingness to settle. She is constantly searching and never satisfied. It may be sex or, more broadly, approval by men. It could also just be a zest for life, and in that she is uncompromising."

The January 16 matinee performance of Carmen will be transmitted to more than 1,000 movie theaters in 42 countries as part of The Met: Live in HD series, with soprano Ren_e Fleming as host.

Live Broadcasts Around the World
Carmen will be experienced by millions of people around the world this season in movie theaters and on the radio and the internet, through distribution platforms the Met has established with various media partners. The January 16 matinee will be transmitted to over 1,000 movie theaters worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series. The premiere on December 31 will be broadcast live on the Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79, as will the performances on January 12, 16, 21, February 1 and 9.

The performances on December 31 and February 9 will also be available via RealNetworks internet streaming on the Met's website www.metopera.org.

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