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Poulenc’s devastating tragedy returns, with soprano Ailyn Pérez as the young woman at the center of the harrowing, quasi-historical tale of an order of Carmelite nuns martyred in Paris during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. The remarkable cast also features soprano Sabine Devieilhe in her Met debut as Blanche’s fellow novice Constance, soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as the unshakeable Madame Lidoine, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Mère Marie, and mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in her role debut as Madame de Croissy. Maestro Bertrand de Billy conducts John Dexter’s striking and timeless staging. World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1957. One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality: Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.
Donizetti’s heartwarming comedy stars some of today’s most celebrated bel canto singers as the spunky landowner and the hapless peasant in search of love. Radiant sopranos Golda Schultz and Aleksandra Kurzak alternate as Adina, trading barbs and embraces with tenors Javier Camarena and Xabier Anduaga, in his Met debut, as Nemorino. Italian maestro Michele Gamba also makes his company debut conducting Bartlett Sher’s madcap staging, which features baritones Davide Luciano and Joshua Hopkins as the swaggering Sgt. Belcore and baritone Ambrogio Maestri and bass-baritone Alex Esposito as the lovable huckster Dr. Dulcamara. World premiere: Teatro Cannobiana, Milan, 1832. L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic comedy film today—the joy is in the journey, and Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.
Verdi's Rigoletto has been reimagined in a new production for The Metropolitan Opera, directed by Bartlett Sher. Rigoletto is an opera in which the Duke of Mantua and his court jester, the titular Rigoletto, become cursed when the Duke's philandering offends the wrong person. The action is now set in 1920s Europe amid ornate Art Deco sets. Rigoletto tickets are on sale now on New York Theatre Guide. After a lauded premiere on New Year’s Eve 2021, Bartlett Sher’s Art Deco–inspired production of Verdi’s ever-popular masterpiece returns for its first revival. Baritone Quinn Kelsey and soprano Rosa Feola reprise rapturously acclaimed turns as the tragic jester Rigoletto and his headstrong daughter, Gilda, and two artists make noteworthy Met debuts: tenor Benjamin Bernheim as the promiscuous Duke of Mantua, and Maestro Speranza Scappucci on the podium. Bass Andrea Mastroni is Sparafucile, and mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina also debuts as Maddalena. Later performances feature four additional stars, with baritones Luca Salsi and Michael Chioldi, soprano Lisette Oropesa, and tenor Stephen Costello taking over as Rigoletto, Gilda, and the Duke. World premiere: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 1851 A dramatic journey of undeniable force, Rigoletto was immensely popular from its premiere and remains fresh and powerful to this day. The story, based on a controversial play by Victor Hugo, tells of an outsider—a hunchbacked jester—who struggles to balance the dueling elements of beauty and evil that exist in his life. Written during the most fertile period of Verdi’s artistic life, the opera resonates with a universality that is frequently called Shakespearean.
The mighty walls and towering monuments of ancient Egypt once again fill the Met stage, as Verdi's great spectacle returns. Soprano Latonia Moore—hailed for her performances in Porgy and Bess and Fire Shut Up in My Bones—stars as the Ethiopian princess torn between love and country, sharing the role with rising soprano Michelle Bradley. Mezzo-sopranos Anita Rachvelishvili and Olesya Petrova alternate as Aida's implacable Egyptian counterpart Amneris, with tenors Brian Jagde and Marcelo Álvarez as the warrior Radamès, the object of both of their affections. Baritones George Gagnidze, Quinn Kelsey, and Luca Salsi portray Aida's father, Amonasro, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn is the iron-fisted priest Ramfis. Maestro Paolo Carignani conducts.World premiere: Opera House, Cairo, 1871. This grandest of grand operas features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, Aida never loses sight of its three protagonists. Few operas have matched Aida in its exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty, and perhaps no other has remained to the present day so unanimously appreciated by audiences and critics alike.
Mozart's The Magic Flute continues The Metropolitan Opera's annual holiday tradition of presenting abridged English-language operas suitable for young audiences. The Magic Flute is an opera about a brave prince who goes to rescue the daughter of the fearsome Queen of the Night, only for him and the princess to find that the queen is the enemy. The Magic Flute tickets are on sale now on New York Theatre Guide.
Three captivating sopranos with many previous triumphs to their names—Nadine Sierra, Ermonela Jaho, and Angel Blue— star as the self-sacrificing courtesan Violetta, one of opera's ultimate heroines. Tenors Stephen Costello, Ismael Jordi (in his Met debut), and Dmytro Popov share the role of her self-centered lover Alfredo, alongside baritones Luca Salsi, Amartuvshin Enkhbat (another debut), and Artur Ruciński as his disapproving father. Michael Mayer's vibrant production also features three maestros: Daniele Callegari, Marco Armiliato, and Nicola Luisotti.World premiere: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 1853. Verdi's La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his most profound and heartfelt music. The title role of the "fallen woman" has captured the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Violetta is considered a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire.
Tosca is an opera in which the titular singer's future with her lover, Cavaradossi, is threatened by a corrupt police chief who wants Tosca for herself and seeks to get Cavaradossi convicted of a crime. Three sopranos share the leading role, known as one of opera's most famous divas, in The Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini's drama. Tosca tickets are on sale now on New York Theatre Guide.