Met Announces Lineup for Salute to Joe Volpe on May 20

Classic Arts News   Met Announces Lineup for Salute to Joe Volpe on May 20
The Metropolitan Opera's gala concert bidding farewell to retiring general manager Joseph Volpe on May 20 will feature dozens of star singers, including Ren_e Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa, Plšcido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, the Met announced.

Also scheduled to appear are Natalie Dessay, Mirella Freni, Karita Mattila, Ruth Ann Swenson, Deborah Voigt, Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Waltraud Meier, Dolora Zajick. Juan Diego Fl‹rez, Marcello Giordani, Ben Heppner, Salvatore Licitra, Ram‹n Vargas, Dwayne Croft, Thomas Hampson, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov, James Morris, Ren_ Pape, and Samuel Ramey.

The inclusion of Pavarotti is particularly notable. The superstar tenor drew Volpe's ire when he failed to appear for scheduled appearances as Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Met in 2002. But two years later, he returned and sang the same role in his final opera appearance. He is currently making a farewell concert tour.

With music director James Levine sidelined by an injured shoulder, the concert will be conducted by principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev, Marco Armiliato, James Conlon, and Patrick Summers.

The program, which has not yet been announced, will include arias, duets, and ensembles, according to a press release.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. It will be broadcast over the Met's international radio network starting at 8 p.m., and will be taped for telecast on PBS on June 1 at 9 p.m. (check local listings). Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and an opera lover, will host the television broadcast.

Volpe, the Met's 16th general manager, has served in the post since 1990; only Rudolf Bing and Giulio Gatti-Casazza have had longer tenures. He is also the first person to rise to the top job from within the organization, having served as apprentice carpenter, master carpenter, technical director, and assistant manager for operations over a 42-year career.

Peter Gelb, most recently the president of Sony Classical, will replace him on August 1.

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