The production is also the Met's first original staging of a Handel opera. The company has presented four productions of Handel works that originated at other companies.
The title role is sung by soprano Ren_e Fleming, in her first Baroque role at the opera house, and countertenor David Daniels, singing Bertarido for the first time. The cast also includes mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as Eduige and countertenor Bejun Mehta as Unulfo. The conductor is Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, appearing at the Met for the first time.
Wadsworth, a leading theater and opera director who staged Wagner's Ring at Seattle Opera in 2001, also makes his Met debut, as do set designer Thomas Lynch and lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski.
The production returns seven times through January 6, 2005.