The Metropolitan Opera celebrated New Year's Eve 2023 with opening night of a new production of Fedora, Umberto Giordano's 1898 opera based on the play Fédora by Victorien Sardou—and the reviews are in!
The opera follows Princess Fedora Romazoff, who, when her husband-to-be is killed on the night before their wedding, vows revenge on the assassin. Count Loris Ipanoff is presumed to be the most likely suspect, and Fedora sets about obtaining proof, but the makings of a tragedy ensue when she realizes she has begun to fall for the man upon whom she has vowed revenge.
Sardou's play in its original 1882 production starred Sarah Bernhardt, and the opera has no less impressive a history of divas taking on the title role, including Lina Cavalieri and Maria Jeritza. This production is the first time the opera has been seen on the Met's stage since 1997, when it was produced as Mirella Freni's last full opera with the company. (She would return for one-night gala performances in 2002 and 2005.) The new production stars soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Fedora, opposite tenor Piotr Beczala as Loris. Performances run through January 28.
Read the reviews here.
Broadway World (Richard Sasanow)
Financial Times (George Loomis)
New York Classical Review (Rick Perdian)
The New York Times (Zachary Woolfe)*
*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.
Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.
Rounding out the cast of Fedora are soprano Rosa Feola as Countess Olga Sukarev, Fedora's cousin and avid bicyclist; and baritone Lucas Meachem as Giovanni De Siriex, a French diplomat who assists in Fedora's investigation. On January 28, De Siriex will be played by Sergio Vitale in his Met debut. The creative team includes set designer Charles Edwards, costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting designer Adam Silverman, and movement director Sara Erde.
Fedora is directed by David McVicar, whose production of Medea opened the season. This is the second time that the Met has rung in the new year with Sonya Yoncheva starring in a David McVicar production, as the two of them teamed up in the 2017-18 season with a new production of Puccini's Tosca, also based on a play by Sardou. Like the 2022-23 season, the 2017-18 season also opened with a McVicar production (Bellini's Norma) which, like this season's opening night Medea, starred Sondra Radvanovsky. Later this season, McVicar's productions of both Tosca and Norma will be revived, the latter starring Sonya Yoncheva.
The Metropolitan Opera's season continues through January with revivals of Verdi's La Traviata, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, and Bartlett Sher's production of Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. The company will go dark in February, before kicking off the second half of the season with a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin, directed by François Girard, and starring Piotr Beczala as the titular knight. The back half of the season will also include the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard's Champion and new productions of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte, directed respectively by Ivo van Hove and Simon McBurney.