Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 2011-2012 Met season announcement, annotated

This is getting to be a habit. Ring cycles are at the end; other operas are listed in the order of their first appearance. Some one-off cast combinations are omitted.

Anna Bolena (new David McVicar production)
Netrebko, Garanca, Mumford, Costello, Abdrazakov / Armiliato (opening night through October, February)
Meade, Garanca, Mumford, Costello, Abdrazakov / Armiliato (October)
Not thrilled with the performers (Netrebko's bel canto days are long past), but McVicar should make even a non-Levine opening interesting.

Lucic, Guleghina, Lee, Colombara / Carignani (September through early November)
Lucic, Cornetti, Diegel, Belosselskiy / Carignani (November)
Many, many more chances to see Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee. Russian bass Dimitry Belosselskiy debuts in the November performances.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Mattei, Leonard, Camarena, Muraro, Burchuladze / Benini (October)
Pogossov, Leonard, Kudrya, Muraro, Ramey / Benini (late October)
Pogossov, Damrau, Lee, Del Carlo, Furlanetto / Benini (February)
Mezzo Isabel Leonard plays opposite two debuting tenors -- Javier Camarena and Alexey Kudrya -- in the fall; soprano Diana Damrau takes over as Rosina in February with a non-Korean tenor named Lee (Colin, in this case).

Don Giovanni (new Michael Grandage production)
Kwiecien, Pisaroni, Rebeka, Frittoli, Erdmann, Vargas, Bloom, Kocán / Levine (October-November)
Kwiecien, Pisaroni, Rebeka, Frittoli, Erdmann, Vargas/Sledge, Bloom, Kocán / TBA (November)
Finley, Relyea, Rebeka, Dasch, Leonard, Polenzani, Shenyang, Morris / Davis (February-March)
Rumor had Maija Kovalevska as Anna, but fellow Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka sings all performances in this debut run. Elvira is less promising, with Barbara Frittoli hit-and-miss and Annette Dasch inexplicably back after being utterly unable to sing Mozart in tune in her debut. And no Peter Mattei? At least the tenors (including Bruce Sledge, officially scheduled for a show after filling in admirably this season in Cosi) should be good -- and James Levine, whose Mozart has been missed.

Siegfried (new Robert LePage production)
Voigt, Bardon, Lehman, Siegel, Terfel, Owens / Levine (October-November)
Gary Lehman made his Met debut subbing for Ben Heppner three years ago, and he gets his first headlining Wagner run here in Heppner's place (though switched in rather further in advance). In fact, Lehman's the only tenor scheduled to sing Siegfried (the opera) at all next season, with the alternate Siegfried (the character) -- Stephen Gould -- only doing some Götterdämmerung performances.

Croft, Durkin, Josephson, Walker / Anzolini (November-December)
For those now hooked on minimalism, the Phelim McDermott/Julian Crouch production of Glass' opera returns.

Fleming, Blythe, Scholl, Davies, van Rensburg, Shenyang / Bicket (November-December)
The last Stephen Wadsworth production I actually liked, back at the start of this blog, though again the Met will miss a chance to showcase a star mezzo as Bertarido. Not sure what Fleming's vocal glamor quotient will be this fall in this elaborate part. Met Council winner Anthony Roth Costanzo has one scheduled debut performance in December replacing debuting countertenor Iestyn Davies.

La Boheme
Hong, Pittas, Phillips, Markov / Langree (November)
Gerzmava, Pittas, Phillips, Markov / Langree (November-December)
Mostly Mozart director Louis Langree is about the last person I would have pegged as a Puccinian, but I'm sure he'll show better than Roberto Rizzi Brignoli did this season... Hibla Gerzmava made a big debut impression as Antonia in this season's Hoffmann revival.

Faust (new Des McAnuff production)
Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Braun, Pape / Nézet-Séguin (end November-December)
Byström, Alagna, Mulligan/Braun, Pape / Nézet-Séguin (December)
Poplavskaya, Calleja, Petean, Furlanetto / Altinoglu (January)
Another semi-new production by way of ENO, but the casts promise much. The Gheorgiu/Alagna avoidance contortions allow Swedish soprano Malin Byström to make her debut beside the big names.

Madama Butterfly
Zhang, Smith, Salsi / Domingo (December)
Zhang, Smith, Salsi / Abel (December)
Racette, Giordani, Naouri / Domingo (February-March)
Just a reminder: Domingo can't conduct. If you must see Racette, go February 25 when Marco Armiliato leads things. French baritone Laurent Naouri (Dessay's husband) makes his debut in February as Sharpless.

La Fille du Regiment
Machaidze, Brownlee, Muraro, Te Kanawa / Abel (December-January)
Can the Met really sell this with only one big name (and in a non-singing part!)? We'll see. Meanwhile, this isn't exactly the meatier role I wanted for the interesting newcomer Machaidze.

Hansel and Gretel
Kurzak, Lindsey, Brubaker, Martens / Ticciati (December)
Kurzak, Coote, Brubaker, Martens / Ticciati (end December-January)
The season's childrens' presentation features several casts and the debut of British conductor Robin Ticciati. I'm guessing that the one performance in which soprano Aleksandra Kurzak is listed as conducting herself is a database glitch.

The Enchanted Island (new McDermott & Crouch production)
de Niese, Oropesa, DiDonato, Daniels, Costanzo, Domingo, Pisaroni / Christie (NYE through January)
Another New Year's Eve gala premiere, but this one looks hard to dislike in any case. Jeremy Sams wrote the Shakespeare-flavored libretto for this baroque mash-up -- amazingly, it's the first presentation of Joyce DiDonato in baroque music at the Met.

Racette, Alagna, Gagnidze / Franck (January)
Racette, Antonenko, Morris / Franck (January)
Young Finnish conductor Mikko Franck debuts.

Götterdämmerung (new Robert LaPage production)
Voigt, Harmer, Meier, Lehman, Paterson, Owens, König / Levine (January-February)
Voigt/Dalayman, Harmer, Meier, Gould, Paterson, Owens, König / Levine (end January-early February)
The last installment of LePage's Ring cycle. Katarina Dalayman (magnificent in this piece two years ago) has one performance and Stephen Gould two.

Meade, Licitra, Hvorostovsky, Furlanetto / Armiliato (February)
Angela Meade gets her own run (except February 10, which is TBA) of the early Verdi cabaletta classic. Not sure how Licitra's going to manage the ferociously difficult title tenor part.

Urmana, Blythe, Álvarez, Ataneli, Morris, Bisch / Armiliato (February-March)
A solid lineup for the old war-horse. February seems to be Armiliato month at the Met.

Borodina, Didyk, Galouzine, Gagnidze, Kotscherga, Abdrazakov / Petrenko (February-March)
Borodina and her husband headline the all-former-Soviet cast for this gloomy exploration of a puritanical old-Russian death cult.

L'elisir d'amore
Damrau, Flórez, Kwiecien, Corbelli / Renzetti (March)
Well-sung, I'm sure, though I'm not sure how convincingly a Damrau-played Adina will fall for the dope. Conductor Donato Renzetti hasn't been at the Met since his debut over 20 years ago.

Michael, Pittas, Hampson, Groissböck / Noseda
Having done really difficult mezzo/soprano roles all over Europe, Nadja Michael debuts in another one here (Lady Macbeth). Thomas Hampson as Macbeth himself? Huh. Maybe, though I wouldn't have thought of it.

Manon (new Laurent Pelly production)
Netrebko, Beczala, Szot, Pittsinger / Luisi
The second semi-new-from-London show of the season, this one from Covent Garden. The last (Massenet) Manon I remember here had Renee Fleming and Marcelo Alvarez in their very best form, maybe ever. I'm not terribly enamored with either of this new couple, but it may add up to something, particularly led by Luisi.

Das Rheingold
Terfel, Owens, Margita, Siegel, Blythe / Levine (April)
One non-cycle night in revival before the sequential Rings begin.

La Traviata
Dessay, Polenzani, Hvorostovsky / Luisi (April-May)
Though it may be interesting to see what Dessay and Hvorostovsky do with the brutalism of the show, and though the musical side is well-covered, don't go. A review of last month's run will be posted here soon.

The Makropulos Case
Mattila, Streit, Reuter, Fox / Bělohlávek (April-May)
Judging by the ecstatic reviews of Mattila and Bělohlávek in San Francisco's production a few months back, this should be the highlight of the season (as their collaboration in Janacek's Jenufa was in 2007).

Billy Budd
Gunn, Daszak, Morris / Robertson (May)
John Daszak debuts as Captain Vere in this infrequent Britten revival.

*     *     *

The Ring (complete cycles)
Voigt, Lehman/Gould, Terfel, König, Westbroek, Skelton, et al. / Levine (April 7-24)
Dalayman, Lehman, Terfel, König, Westbroek, Kaufmann, et al. / Levine (April 26-May 3)
Voigt, Lehman/Gould, Terfel, König, Westbroek, Kaufmann, et al. / Levine (May 5-May 12)
Dalayman makes Cycle 2 the best choice.

1 comment:

  1. Reader "I.M.", who's been having trouble logging in, sent this comment by email...

    "Anyways, your annotated Met list is interesting. My annotation would have been:

    If I had to choose one of all of the above, I would choose the 3 Fausts, Kaufmann, Alagna, Calleja. Comparasion should be really interesting. Also, they have very interesting casts aside from themselves.
    Re Khov., Petrenko conduting should be VERY interesting. He is THE it- conductor in Europe at the moment heard him live yet). Check Frankfurt Tosca reviews to get an impression maybe
    Re Billy, John Daszak is a very good C. Vere
    Re Hampson as Macbeth, there is a DVD out with him as that, from Zurich Operhaus, if you want to get an impression. Actually Paoletta Marrocu as the Lady  on that DVD is rather freaky in a good way :)


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.