Today the Met announced their 2016-17 season. Here is the full press release, here are some highlights. What are you looking forward to?
- Opening night: Wagner, Tristan und Isolde with Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, conducted by Simon Rattle. That Levine is again not conducting an opening night is unsurprising though dismaying. But we haven’t heard much Rattled Wagner in New York so I am intrigued. The director is Mariusz Trelinski, of last season’s very good Iolanta and Bluebeard, and the production is arriving via Baden Baden and Warsaw. I am fairly optimistic about this one. I like Stemme’s Isolde. And René Pape’s Marke, too.
- Rossini, Guillaume Tell. A Pierre Audi production from Amsterdam (2013). I will totally go to this opera to hear Gerald Finley in the title role again. Marina Rebeka and Bryan Hymel are also involved.
- Saariaho, L’Amour de loin. The Met’s first performance of an opera by a woman since 1903. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. As Will Robin said, welcome to the twentieth century, Met. Also, why Robert Lepage again? Production is coming from Québec.
- Gounod, Roméo et Juliette. This Bart Sher production was not a well-reviewed success in Salzburg back in 2008, but here it is. Damrau, Grigolo.
- Dvorak, Rusalka. Mary Zimmerman, the Met’s go-to director for magical enchantment? Kristine Opolais sings the title role and I suspect this production is going to be a lot more decorative than when I last saw her in this opera. Major bonus: Jamie Barton as Jezibaba.
- Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier. Not that k.u.k. Robert Carsen Rosenkavalier, a new and different Robert Carsen Rosenkavalier! Why not get someone who hasn’t already directed this opera? Fleming as the Marschallin, Elina Garanca should sound very, very good as Octavian, and Günther Groissböck is the Ochs of the Future. ROH and Torino co-pro.
- Gala. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New Met. It seems like it’s been a few years since they’ve had one of these.
- I will pie chart the season at some point but for now I would like to note that it is somewhat more linguistically diverse than the current season with Salome, more Wagner in Der fliegende Holländer (with Michael Volle and the promising Amber Wagner and conducted by YNS!), Janáček, and Tchaikovsky.
- I am actually counting Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Strauss as out of the box choices, which tells you something about the current season.
- On the bright side, Klaus Florian Vogt is back! He’s singing Florestan in Fidelio, which isn’t really his role, but any Klaus Florian is preferable to no Klaus Florian (why not get him to do the Prince in Rusalka? he’s a good Prince). This is some recompense for another season ohne Kaufmann.
- Karita Mattila will be an absolutely terrifying Kostelnička in Jenůfa and I mean that in the best possible way.
- If you are ready to see Manon Lescaut again/can put off seeing Manon Lescaut until next season, you can see Netrebko in it!
- Those who like me missed Sonya Yoncheva’s first set of Met Violettas will have another chance.
- Catherine Naglestad sings Salome. Interesting! She is making her Met debut but has had a respectable, eclectic career in Europe. I’ve heard her as Tosca and Siegfried-Brünnhilde, both times in Munich, and both times she was compelling.
- There still isn’t any baroque opera and the only post-1930 operas are the Saariaho and Cyrano de Bergerac, the latter of which doesn’t really count.
- A few names to watch: Clémentine Margaine as Carmen, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller as Marzelline, Russell Thomas as Ismaele in Nabucco
- 16 performances of Don Giovanni?!?!?
The question of James Levine’s involvement remains unanswered, and I wish they would figure this out before all the good candidates tire of waiting. (They already missed the boat on getting Fabio Luisi, who seems to have gotten a pretty poor deal.)
That’s it. I don’t anticipate returning to the Met until Elektra in April but I should have some other subjects well before then!
Photo copyright Kristian Schuller/Met