New Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches his tenure by conducting Verdi’s timeless tragedy. Worldly courtesan Violetta, sung by soprano Diana Damrau, has grown tired of her dissolute life. When the pure-hearted Alfredo—tenor Juan Diego Flórez—declares his love for her, she leaves everything behind to live with him. But his family’s reputation is ruined by his association with her, and Violetta is torn between her feelings for Alfredo and her desire to protect him from scandal. Urged by the young man’s father, she tears herself away and returns to her old life. Alfredo, not knowing the real reason for her apparent betrayal, is heartbroken – and bent on revenge. Directed by Michael Mayer, this new production features a dazzling eighteenth-century setting that changes with the seasons.
For the first time at the Met, soprano Anna Netrebko sings the role of Adriana Lecouvreur, the eighteenth-century actress whose real-life intrigues inspired Cilea’s tragic opera. Adriana is adored by many but loves only Maurizio, sung by tenor (Piotr Beczała), who adores her in return. Maurizio desperately tries to extricate himself from his previous lover, the Princess deof Bouillon— mezzo-soprano (Anita Rachvelishvili). When the princess discovers that Adriana is her rival, she takes desperate measures of her own. In this new production directed by Sir David McVicar, the action is partially set in a working replica of a baroque theatre. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the riveting score.
Love is a wild bird… Don’t miss this revival of Sir Richard Eyre’s dynamic production. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine plays opera’s ultimate seductress, while Roberto Alagna returns to the role of Don José, the good-hearted soldier with whom she unleashes an uncontrollable passion. Don José breaks the law, goes to prison, deserts the army and loses everything to be with Carmen. But the capricious Carmen gypsy soon tires of him and takes up instead with the bullfighter Escamillo—bass (Alexander Vinogradov). She has ruined his life, but still, Don José adores her, with a fierceness that can only lead to catastrophe. Composer Bizet died just three months after Carmen’s disastrous premiere, never knowing that his creation would become one of the most popular operas of all time.
Full of wit and invention, Donizetti’s comic opera is a delight. The famous aria “Ah, Mes Amis,” with its nine high Cs, is known as the Mount Everest for tenors one of opera’s most show-stopping numbers. Bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena takes on the challenging vocal fireworks in this revival, a co-production with London’s Royal Opera House and the Wiener StaatsoperLaurent Pelly’s hilarious staging. Orphaned as a small child and raised by an entire army regiment, the spirited Marie has grown up as the regiment’s ‘daughter’, raising morale and spreading joy. Tonio, a local man, falls in love with her and even joins the army for her sake. But a chance encounter with a noblewoman sparks a sudden revelation, and a tale unfolds of secret identities, long-lost family, and murky pasts.
Featuring some of the most glorious music ever written—including, of course, the Ride of the Valkyries —Die Walküre is the second of the four operas that comprise Wagner’s Ring cycle, a story of monsters, gods, and humans on a superhuman scale. When twins Siegmund and Sieglinde find each other at last, Siegmund promises to release Sieglinde from her forced marriage by killing her husband, Hunding. The god Wotan instructs Valkyrie warrior Brünnhilde to defend Hunding. But, moved by the twins’ mutual devotion, Brünnhilde refuses to obey, forging an alliance with Sieglinde that has far-reaching consequences for them both. Soprano Christine Goerke sings Brünnhilde, tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek are the love-struck twins, and Ring cycle veteran Philippe Jordan conducts.
Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads Poulenc’s masterpiece. As the French Revolution begins, shy Blanche, sung by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, becomes a novice nun under an elderly prioress—Met legend Karita Mattila. Blanche’s aristocratic family flees the Terror, but she remains behind, struggling between her fear of the guillotine and her duty to the convent. When the nuns are expelled from the convent and threatened with death, Blanche must make an agonising decision. In the shattering final scene, the nuns walk towards the guillotine singing Salve Regina: Their voices are cut off, one by one, with each stroke of the blade, until all are silenced. Poulenc’s devastating portrayal of faith and martyrdom is live in HD for the first time.