A First Look at the Met's 2011 _12 Season

Classic Arts Features   A First Look at the Met's 2011 _12 Season
The Met's 2011 _12 season has been announced. The lineup features seven new productions, including one world premiere, one Met premiere, and the first complete new Ring cycle in more than 20 years. Here's a preview.

Donizetti's Anna Bolena
Opens September 26, 2011
Anna Netrebko (above) opens the Met season with her portrayal of the ill-fated queen driven insane by her unfaithful king. She sings one of opera's greatest mad scenes in a production by David McVicar that also stars Elīna Garanča as her rival, Jane Seymour, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry VIII. Marco Armiliato conducts.

"Donizetti takes the bel canto form and explores every possible dramatic opportunity within it. The lynchpin of the story is Anna Bolena's inability to provide Henry VIII with the male heir that he craves. And, of course, to be a wife of Henry VIII is to risk as much as you gain." : David McVicar

Mozart's Don Giovanni
Opens October 13, 2011
Mariusz Kwiecien (left) brings his youthful and sensual interpretation of Mozart's timeless antihero to the Met for the first time, under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage and with James Levine conducting. A troupe of refined Mozartians appears in this new production, including Marina Rebeka, Barbara Frittoli, Isabel Leonard, Matthew Polenzani, Ram‹n Vargas, and John Relyea. Gerald Finley steps into the title role later in the season and Andrew Davis conducts.

"Don Giovanni has a charismatic lust for life, but he's not just some serial seducer; he's a dark, complex individual. The starting point of Don Giovanni is a death, and the brilliance of the opera is that Mozart then takes us to a play about life." : Michael Grandage

Wagner's Siegfried
Opens October 27, 2011
In part three of the Ring, Wagner's cosmic vision focuses on his hero's early conquests, while director Robert Lepage's revolutionary stage machine transforms itself from bewitched forest to mountaintop love nest. Gary Lehman (left) sings the title role, Deborah Voigt is Br‹nnhilde, and Bryn Terfel is the Wanderer. James Levine conducts.

"The first act of Siegfried plays like a virtuoso concerto, and Act II is like a natural pastoral, a tone painting. In a way, the prelude to the third act of Siegfried is the most exciting and sophisticated musical crossing of all the various worlds of the Ring." : James Levine

Gounod's Faust
Opens November 29, 2011
With Jonas Kaufmann (left) in the title role, Ren_ Pape as the devil, and Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite, Gounod's classic retelling of the Faust legend couldn't be better served. Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff updates the story to the first half of the 20th century with a production that won praise in London last season. A later run features Roberto Alagna, Joseph Calleja, Marina Poplavskaya, and Ferruccio Furlanetto. Yannick N_zet-S_guin conducts on the heels of his Don Carlo success.

"I think Faust is truly one of the great masterpieces of the mid-19th century. And I'm interested in its pertinence to today. With any great work of art, it's about using it as a window to our own lives and times. I'm getting to work with the finest performers in the world, so it's tremendously exciting." : Des McAnuff

The Enchanted Island
Opens December 31, 2011
Inspired by the musical pastiches of the 18th century, the Met presents an original Baroque fantasy, featuring a who's who of Baroque stars led by eminent conductor William Christie. With music by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, and others, and a new libretto by Jeremy Sams based on Shakespeare, The Enchanted Island stars David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato (left), Danielle de Niese, Luca Pisaroni, and Plšcido Domingo in a special appearance. The production is directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Satyagraha).

"The Enchanted Island gives us a real opportunity to do the traditional things that happen in Baroque entertainment: spectacular costumes and amazing set pieces. It's an extraordinary operatic entertainment that includes some of the best Baroque music." : Phelim McDermott

Wagner's G‹tterd‹mmerung
Opens January 27, 2012
Complete Ring cycle performances in April/May 2012
With its cataclysmic climax, the Met's new Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage, comes to its resolution. Deborah Voigt stars as Br‹nnhilde and Gary Lehman is Siegfried: the star-crossed lovers doomed by fate. James Levine conducts.

"G‹tterd‹mmerung is different from the other Ring operas because it is about society. The more the story progresses, the more it moves away from the realm of the gods to focus on the power and ambition of human beings." : Robert Lepage

Massenet's Manon
Opens March 26, 2012
Anna Netrebko's dazzling portrayal of the tragic heroine in Laurent Pelly's new production travels to the Met from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Piotr Beczala and Paulo Szot also star, with the Met's Principal Guest Conductor Fabio Luisi on the podium.

"Manon is an adventure that amuses, moves, and frightens us. The title character is lively, free, young, and feckless: and she manipulates all the men around her purely for her own pleasure. Anna Netrebko is remarkable in the part: she has sex appeal, a bewitching voice, and she is an extraordinary actress." : Laurent Pelly

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