Classic Arts NewsPorgy and Bess, an Anna Netrebko Puccini Triple Bill, More Set for Metropolitan Opera’s 2019–2020 SeasonThe new lineup includes the Met premieres of two operas written nearly three centuries apart: Handel’s Agrippina and Philip Glass’ Akhnaten.
February 20, 2019
The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019–2020 season will open September 23 a new production of the Gershwin’ Porgy and Bess. The previously reported production, directed by James Robinson, makes its New York premiere following runs at the English National Opera and Dutch National Opera.
The cast, under the baton of David Robertson, will include Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, with Golda Schultz as Clara, Latonia Moore as Serena, Denyce Graves as Maria, and Ryan Speedo Green as Jake.
The classic 1935 piece opera was first announced to play the Met in the 2019–2020 season in 2017; at the time, Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher was attached to helm. While Sher will no longer direct, many of his frequent Broadway collaborators comprise the design team, including costume designer Catherine Zuber, set designer Michael Yeargan, and lighting designer Donald Holder.
Owens addresses the genre-blurring qualities of the piece in the video below, pondering its positioning as either an opera or a musical. "It's whatever who's putting it on wants it to be," he says. "After so long, a piece of art is birthed to the world and it's a gift, and people are going to interpret it in different ways."
The 2019–2020 lineup—the first to incorporate Sunday matinees to the performance schedule— includes four additional new productions, including the Met premieres of Philip Glass’ Akhnaten and Handel’s Agrippina.
Karen Kamensek makes her Met debut to conduct Phelim McDermott’s production of Akhnaten. Featuring a cast including countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role, J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti, and Disella Lárusdóttir as Queen Tye. Performances begin November 8. Agrippina will begin February 6, 2020, with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato singing the title role of the conniving empress in David McVicar’s new production. Among those joining her on stage will be Iestyn Davies (Broadway’s Farinelli and the King), Kate Lindsey, Brenda Rae, and Matthew Rose.
Rounding out the new stagings are Alban Berg’s Wozzeck directed by William Kentridge and starring Peter Mattei and Elza van den Heever (beginning December 27) and Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer, directed by François Girard and starring Bryn Terfel (beginning March 2). Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct Wozzeck, with Valery Gergiev taking the podium for the latter.
Rather than premiere one of the new productions on New Year’s Eve, the Met will instead present a one-night-only gala performance December 31 as Anna Netrebko takes on three Puccini heroines. Nézet-Séguin will conduct the triple bill, consisting of Act I of La Bohème (with Netrebko singing Mimì), Act I of Tosca, and Act II of Turandot.
Netrebko will also sing Tosca in full as part of the new season and is also set to sing Lady Macbeth opposite Plácido Domingo as the two share the Met stage for the first time.
Additional repertory highlights include Diana Damrau and Jamie Barton squaring off as Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth, respectively, in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (Damrau will also offer a recital in March); Lisette Oropesa making her Met role debuts in both Manon and La Traviata; Domingo making his role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (sharing the role with Tony winner Paulo Szot); Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme both singing the title role in Turandot; and Nézet-Séguin conducting a revival of Werther with Piotr Beczala, DiDonato, and Aida Garifullina.
See below for the full season lineup. *Porgy and Bess (begins September 23) Manon (begins September 24) Macbeth (begins September 25) Turandot (begins October 3) Madama Butterfly (begins October 11) Orfeo ed Eurydice (begins October 20) La Bohème (begins October 25) *Akhnaten (begins November 8) Le Nozze di Figaro (begins November 16) The Queen of Spades (begins November 29) Der Rosenkavalier (begins December 14) The Magic Flute (begins December 15) *Wozzeck (begins December 27) La Traviata (begins January 10, 2020) La Damnation de Faust (begins January 25) *Agrippina (begins February 6) Così fan tutte (begins February 15) La Cenerentola (begins March 12) *Der Fliegende Holländer (begins March 2) Werther (begins March 16) Tosca (begins March 26) Simon Boccanegra (April 10) Maria Stuarda (begins April 19) Manon Lescaut (begins April 28) Kát’a Kabanová (begins May 2)
Aida Garifullina: Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera