Tickets: $20 adult, $12 student
Oct. 12 – 11:55 a.m.
Thrilling dramatic soprano Christine Goerke brings her fierce portrayal of the title princess with Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium for Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling production of Puccini’s final masterpiece. Tenor Roberto Aronica is the mysterious prince Calàf, alongside soprano Eleonora Buratto as Liù and bass-baritone James Morris as Timur. Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody.
Oct. 26 – 11:55 a.m.
Exhilarating soprano Lisette Oropesa returns as the irresistible title character, the tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life. Tenor Michael Fabiano is the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate love for Manon proves their undoing. Maurizio Benini conducts Massenet’s sensual score. A take on the quintessentially French tale of the beautiful young woman who is incapable of forsaking both love and luxury, Massenet’s Manon features one of the truly unforgettable, irresistible, and archetypal female characters in opera. While the story is firmly set in class and gender issues of the past, the character of Manon herself is timeless, convincing, and familiar. The opera has been a success ever since its premiere, championed by a diverse roster of singers who have cherished its dramatic opportunities, exalted style, and ravishing music.
Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
Nov. 9 – 11:55 a.m.
Soprano Hui He takes on the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenor Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her—in cinemas November 9. The great Plácido Domingo makes his role debut as Sharpless, and Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favorite. The title character of Madama Butterfly—a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage—is one of the defining roles in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.
Nov. 23 – 11:55 a.m.
Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’s modern masterpieces, with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as the revolutionary title ruler who transformed ancient Egypt. Disella Larusdottir performs as Queen Tye, and J’Nai Bridges plays the role of Nefertiti. Aaron Blake is the High Priest of Amon, and Will Liverman is Horemhab. To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic music, McDermott offers an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts.
Jan. 11 – 11:55 a.m.
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. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium for this important event, with baritone Peter Mattei as the disturbed title character. Soprano Elza van den Heever is Wozzeck’s unfaithful mate, alongside a commanding cast that also includes tenor Christopher Ventris, bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, and tenor Gerhard Siegel. One of the emblematic achievements of the thriving artistic forces in Germany and Austria during the brief period between world wars, Wozzeck was a sensation and a scandal at its premiere. Remarkably, it has lost none of its power to fascinate, shock, and engage audiences, and its status as one of the defining musical works of the 20th century has not blunted its vitality.
Porgy and Bess (Gershwin)
Feb. 1 – 11:55 a.m.
One of America’s favorite operas takes the big screen on Feb. 1. 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, and Alfred Walker.
Feb. 29 – 11:55 a.m.
Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome arrives on Feb. 29, 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 (Wagner)
March 14 – 11:55 a.m.
The great bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel brings his acclaimed portrayal of the doomed title sea captain. 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 run, 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. Der Fliegende Holländer is the earliest of Wagner’s operatic creations to remain in the repertory. The two lead roles represent archetypes to which the composer would return, in one form or another, in most of his later works: the “otherworldly stranger” and the woman who sacrifices herself for his salvation. The work’s unearthly ambience is impressive but only one aspect of it: Both the world of nature and of the supernatural are magnificently evoked in the score.
April 11 – 11:55 a.m.
Soprano Anna Netrebko, whom the New York Times hailed as “magnificent” when she made her role debut as Tosca in 2018, returns to the Met as Puccini’s explosive diva. Tenor Brian Jagde is the idealistic painter Cavaradossi, and baritone Michael Volle completes the opera’s fatal love triangle as the sinister Scarpia. Bertrand de Billy conducts Sir David McVicar’s stunning production. Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Critics, for their part, have often had problems with Tosca’s rather grungy subject matter, the directness and intensity of its score, and the crowd-pleasing dramatic opportunities it provides for its lead roles. But these same aspects have made Tosca one of a handful of iconic works that seem to represent opera in the public imagination. Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.
Maria Stuarda (Donizetti)
May 9 – 11:55 a.m.
Soprano Diana Damrau, following her triumph as Violetta in last season’s new production of Verdi’s La Traviata, returns to the Met 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. A searingly dramatic setting of Friedrich Schiller’s play about Mary, Queen of Scots, and her political and personal rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I of England, Maria Stuarda had a troubled genesis, despite its musical and theatrical brilliance, and only recently achieved a place in the repertory. These two fearsome rivals embody different perceptions of royalty, which were very much in direct conflict at that moment in time, and the opera’s drama is true to history in a way the facts are not.