Metropolitan Opera Season Opens With Gala

Classic Arts News   Metropolitan Opera Season Opens With Gala
The Metropolitan Opera opens its season tonight with a gala performance featuring Angela Gheorghiu, Bryn Terfel, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Plšcido Domingo, and others.

The program includes Act II of Tosca with Gheorghiu and Terfel; Act I of Le nozze di Figaro with Isabel Bayrakdarian, Graham, Dwayne Croft, and Terfel; and Act III of Samson et Dalila with Graves and Domingo. Met music director James Levine will conduct.

The most anticipated event of the new season is the world premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy, a new opera based on Theodore Dreiser's novel, on December 2. Francesca Zambello directs; the cast includes Patricia Racette, Graham, Nathan Gunn, Dolora Zajick, and Jennifer Larmore. James Conlon will conduct.

Other highlights include new productions of Gounod's Rom_o et Juliette and Donizetti's Don Pasquale, the company premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, and a gala performance bidding farewell to Joseph Volpe, who retires next year after 42 years with the company, 16 of them as general director.

Rom_o et Juliette will be directed by European theater and opera director Guy Joosten, making his Met debut. Ram‹n Vargas and Natalie Dessay will star. Betrand de Billy is the conductor. Don Pasquale will be directed by Otto Schenk; Levine conducts. Simone Alaimo, Anna Netrebko, and Juan Diego Fl‹rez star. Yuri Alexandrov, making his Met debut, will direct Mazeppa; principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev will conduct.

Revivals include Manon with Ren_e Fleming and Marcelo êlvarez; Samson et Dalila with Domingo and Olga Borodina; La forza del destino with Deborah Voigt, Salvatore Licitra, and Samuel Ramey; and Luisa Miller with Barbara Frittolo and Neil Shicoff. Fleming will also reprise her role in the Met's new production of Handel's Rodelinda, which premiered in December.

The Met will mark the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth with revivals of three of his operas: CosÐ fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Die Zauberfl‹te, in Julie Taymor's much-praised staging.

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