Leading sopranos Hui He and Ana María Martínez share the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenors Piero Pretti and Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her. The great Plácido Domingo makes his role debut as Sharpless, alternating with Paulo Szot and Markus Brück. Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favorite.
Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’s masterpieces, following the now-legendary Met staging of Satyagraha. Star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is the title pharaoh, the revolutionary ruler who transformed ancient Egypt, with the striking mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti. To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic music, McDermott has created an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts in her Met debut.
After wowing audiences with his astounding production of Lulu in 2015, South African artist William Kentridge now focuses his extraordinary visual imagination on Berg’s other operatic masterpiece, set in an apocalyptic pre–World War I environment. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium for this important event, with baritone Peter Mattei making his highly anticipated role debut as the title character. Soprano Elza van den Heever is Wozzeck’s unfaithful mate, and the commanding cast also includes tenor Christopher Ventris as the Drum-Major, bass-baritone Christian Van Horn as the Doctor, and tenor Gerhard Siegel as the Captain.
Porgy and Bess
One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.
Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome receives its first Met performances, with star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina and Harry Bicket conducting. Sir David McVicar’s production ingeniously reframes the action of this black comedy about the abuse of power to “the present,” where it should loudly resonate. The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s son and future emperor Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary emperor Claudius.
DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER
The great bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel returns to the company for the first time since 2012, in the title role of the cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity. Valery Gergiev conducts a new production by François Girard, whose visionary 2013 take on Parsifal set the recent Met standard for Wagner stagings. With sweeping sets by John Macfarlane, Girard’s new production turns the Met stage into a rich, layered tableau reminiscent of a vast oil painting. The gifted German soprano Anja Kampe, in her Met debut, is the devoted Senta, whose selfless love is what the Dutchman seeks, with bass Franz-Josef Selig as her father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov as her deserted former lover, Erik.
Soprano Anna Netrebko, whom the New York Times hailed as “magnificent” when she made her role debut as Tosca in 2018, returns as Puccini’s explosive diva, back by popular demand. Tenors Najmiddin Mavlyanov and Brian Jagde alternate as the idealistic painter Cavaradossi, and baritones George Gagnidze and Michael Volle complete the opera’s fatal love triangle as the sinister Scarpia. Bertrand de Billy conducts Sir David McVicar’s stunning production.
Soprano Diana Damrau, following her triumph as Violetta in last season’s new production of Verdi’s La Traviata, stars as the martyred Mary, Queen of Scots, in Donizetti’s bel canto showcase. Star mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is her imperious rival Queen Elizabeth I, and the silken-voiced tenor Stephen Costello is the noble Earl of Leicester. Maurizio Benini conducts Sir David McVicar’s handsome production.