Michael Mayer Will Make Metropolitan Opera Debut in 2013; Bartlett Sher, Robert Lepage Will Also Direct

By Kenneth Jones
February 24, 2012

Tony Award-winning directors Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) and Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) will direct classics in the 2012-13 season of The Metropolitan Opera.



There will be seven new productions — two of them Met premieres — and 21 revivals, including three complete Ring cycles, the Met announced on Feb. 23.

Twelve of the season's Saturday matinees will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met's series "Live in HD."

The new productions begin on Sept. 24, opening night of the season, with a staging of Donizetti's comic masterpiece L'Elisir d'Amore, directed by Tony Award winner Sher, the Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatre director known for The Light in the Piazza, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, South Pacific, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Blood and Gifts. It will be conducted by Maurizio Benini and star Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani.

Sher's designers include three Tony winners: set designer Michael Yeargan (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), costume designer Catherine Zuber (South Pacific, Awake and Sing!, Light in the Piazza) and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton (Jerome Robbins' Broadway). L'Elisir d'Amore will be transmitted Live in HD Oct. 13.

On Jan. 28, 2013, conductor Michele Mariotti, who makes his Met debut this season, leads the premiere of a new production of Verdi's Rigoletto, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, in his Met debut. Mayer won the Best Director Tony for Spring Awakening. He co-created, co-wrote and directed the musical American Idiot. His Broadway credits also include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Side Man, After the Fall and A View From the Bridge. Željko Lučić, Diana Damrau and Piotr Beczala will star.

Mayer wil team with his Tony-winning American Idiot set designer Christine Jones (also of Mayer's Everyday Rapture, On a Clear Day and Spring Awakening), plus Tony-winning Broadway costume designer Susan Hilferty (Wicked, Spring Awakening, The Road to Mecca and 2002's Into the Woods) and Tony-winning lighting designer Kevin Adams (Spring Awakening, American Idiot, The 39 Steps). Choreographer Steven Hoggett (Once, American Idiot, Black Watch) is also on the team.

Mayer's production will be transmitted "Live in HD" Feb. 16, 2013.

Acclaimed Canadian stage director Robert Lepage will stage the Met premiere of Thomas Adès' opera The Tempest starting Oct. 23. The new take on the Shakespeare classic received its world premiere in 2004 at London's Royal Opera House. It will star Simon Keenlyside as Prospero.

The libretto, by Meredith Oakes, features new text set to the story of Shakespeare’s play. It's a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, L'Opéra de Québec and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna, in collaboration with Ex Machina.

For complete information about the Metropolitan Opera's new season, visit metopera.org.