Met Live in HD Season 2015-16
Hey opera lovers!
Today I’m gonna talk with you about one of my favorite topics ever aka new Live in HD season 2015-16 at Metropolitan Opera! The other day Met has officially announced the schedule of the next season including operas which will be broadcasted. That day of the announcement is like Christmas to me! I breathe faster, I can’t talk about anything else, I search the Net for official photos and there are a lot of other symptoms which you can observe in me on that special day:). So now when finally I can think and speak rationally, let’s discuss the glorious season 2015-16 together!
We will be presented 10 operas in cinema theatres: six absolutely new productions and four well-known stagings.
The revivals include Verdi’s «Il Trovatore», Wagner’s «Tannhäuser», Puccini’s «Turandot» and «Madama Butterfly».
We all can guess why «Il Trovatore» is here when we look at the cast sheet. And the answer is Anna Netrebko! I think in the nearest future there’ll be no HD season without her and she opens it again! That’s good news for me. I adore her and Leonora suits her voice perfectly but another benefit of this production is Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna:). Anna and Dmitri will steal the show, I’m sure!
|Dmitri Hvorostovsky in "Il Trovatore"/Metropolitan Opera|
I’m really looking forward to «Madama Butterfly» as well! I’ve wanted to watch this beautiful production for a long time…I don’t know why but I don’t wanna watch it with Patricia Racette and Marcelo Giordano, as this duet doesn’t seem impressive to me. Whereas in the new season we have Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna in the title roles! They are both very good singers and actors, so it’s gonna be amazing!
|Kristine Opolais in "Madama Butterfly"/Metropolitan Opera|
Wagner’s «Tannhäuser» and Puccini’s «Turandot» are not in my must-see list for the next year. I don’t feel like watching a lot of Wagner now and even if I did I’d choose another opera. Even the cast doesn’t make me change my mind (Eva-Maria Westbroek sings Elisabeth and Johan Botha takes on Tannhäuser). As for «Turandot» I love Zeffirelli’s production but I’ve already seen it two times. I’m not very curious about how Nina Stemme will perform this role so I doubt that I’ll watch it.
Of course, my biggest excitement concerns new stuff in the season 2015-16, i.e. Verdi’s «Otello», Berg’s «Lulu», Bizet’s «Les Pêcheurs de Perles», Puccini’s «Manon Lescaut», Donizetti’s «Roberto Devereux», Strauss’s «Elektra». I’ve never heard or watched any of these operas, so I can hardly imagine what music is gonna be like! And I like when I can start getting to know a piece from scratch.
The season opens with new «Otello». I’ve already seen Macbeth and I can say that Verdi is a perfect composer for making this immortal Shakespeare’s work as a music drama. And I guess «Otello» is the same case. But at first I have to watch the production with Placido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa cause I’ve heard that they are legendary at these roles. The cast of the opening night 2015 seems promising: Aleksandrs Antonenko as Otello, Sonya Yoncheva sings Desdemona, Željko Lučić plays Iago. Honestly, I would prefer Hvorostovsky to Lučić. To my mind, Russian baritone looks more convincing in this part than his Serbian colleague. But Antonenko and Yoncheva is an interesting duet, we’ll see what they’ll show us at the premiere. The director of «Otello» Bartlett Sher decided to create a sort of a glass maze on stage. I’m really confused how they’ll make the set work for the audience in the auditorium and in the cinema but we’ll find it out soon:). Anyway, I totally rely on Mr Sher cause his previous works like «L’elisir d’amore» and «Il barbiere di Siviglia» didn’t disappoint me!
|Aleksandrs Antonenko as Otello|
Berg’s «Lulu» is back to Met! I have to say that I’m a little bit scared of operas of the XXth century but in this case I wanna try it out. Marlis Petersen will play controversial Lulu and maestro James Levine will bring out the best from Berg’s score. William Kentridge is assigned for the production. He did «The Nose» for Met several years ago. And according to his video interview, he’ll stick to his own style, so there will be black-and-white portraits of Lulu’s lovers, visual effects etc. The plot is very modern and sometimes provocative but I’m really interested in seeing it staged!
|Marlis Petersen as Lulu|
Bizet’s «Les Pêcheurs de Perles» also fascinate me! «Carmen» is one of my favorite operas and I think Bizet is already genius for this only piece. But despite my admiration I haven’t heard his other works…yeah…shame on me! I don’t know how it’s happened but I just saw him as a composer of one opera. Now I’m really excited to learn who Bizet is outside «Carmen». The cast is cool: Diana Damrau, Mariusz Kwiecien, Matthew Polenzani. I have no idea about its plot or music so it’s gonna be a huge surprise for me:). I’m not familiar with Penny Woolcock’s productions but I like what I’ve heard in her interview about «Les Pêcheurs». I hope for the best!Another mysterious opera for me is Strauss’s «Elektra». I’m a complete beginner at Strauss and again I don’t know what to expect from him. But I’d love to make this journey. And why shouldn’t I start with «Elektra»?) Of course, the main star of this production is Nina Stemme who is one of the leading interpreters of Wagner and Strauss in the world. The director Patrice Chéreau has already staged «Elektra» in Milan and now this production is gonna be presented at the Met.
|Diana Damrau as Leila|
|Nina Stemme as Elektra|
And now we’ve come to the last but not least operas - Puccini’s «Manon Lescaut» and Donizetti’s «Roberto Devereux». If you ask me what production I’m waiting for the most, I’ll say these two pieces!!! I love Puccini and I love Donizetti and to my joy these two composers come to the fore in the upcoming season as Met is going to show five operas of each of them.
At this moment, «Manon Lescaut» is my primary task in discovering Puccini’s music. This opera is undeservedly staged very seldom so I couldn’t have found a good production with a great cast and…God, bless Met! Now I have all I want: Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann in the title roles and my favorite operatic director Richard Eyre!!! Mr Eyre has already created three amazing productions for the Met: «Carmen», «Werther» and «Le nozze di Figaro». I enjoyed them very much and I’m excited to see his next work. He decided to set the action in the 40s of the XXth century in Paris. It’ll look like a film noir that, I think, suits such a character like Manon very well.
|Kristine Opolais as Manon Lescaut|
«Roberto Devereux» is the final opera in Donizetti’s «royal» trilogy. Sondra Radvanovsky is going to perform all three queens during one season! This is insane!!! But I’m sure she’ll make it work! (Such a pity that there won’t be live in HD transmissions of other two operas:(). Sir David McVicar has staged «Anna Bolena» and «Maria Stuarda» before and they are just gorgeous! I bet this time it’s gonna be at the same level. Matthew Polenzani, Elina Garanca, Mariusz Kwiecien will join Sondra on stage. They are very good interpreters of belcanto repertoire, so definitely it’ll be one of the best performances in the season 2015-16! Now we just have to wait:).
|Sondra Radvanovsky as Elizabeth I|
P.S. How do you feel about new Met season 2015-16? What transmissions are you gonna watch for sure?