The Merry Widow: I’m glad the Met has realized that cheerful operettas are the best choice for New Year’s Eve performances. Tony-winner Susan Stroman’s new production opens with Renee Fleming as Hanna and Broadway debutant and personal favorite Kelli O’Hara as Valencienne in a cast that also stars Nathan Gunn and Alek Shrader. Later in the run, Susan Graham, Danielle DeNiese, Rod Gilfry, and Stephen Costello take over. Sir Andrew Davis and Paul Nadler conduct. December 31- May 7
Les Contes d’Hoffmann: Matthew Polenzani and Vittorio Grigolo sing that vaguely irritating poet. Polenzani should be a real treat to hear as Hoffmann. Grigolo is a singer whom, while very capable, also appeals to the playfulness of the audience, which is easier done in Boheme as opposed to Hoffmann, so it should definitely stretch his limits. Hibla Gerzmava, Susannah Philips, Erin Morley, Audrey Luna, Christine Ride, and Elena Maximova are singing the four heroines(Gerzmava has unfortunately decided not to attempt all three at four at once) and Kate Lindsey brings her smoldering Niklaus back to the Met. Thomas Hampson plays the four villains and Yves Abel and James Levine share score duties. January 12- March 21
Iolanta/ Bluebeard’s Castle: The Met is lucky to get Netrebko in such a wide variety of rep that she has become known for. Here, she sings the blind princess Iolanta opposite Piotr Beczala. On the other half of the double bill, Nadja Michael, one of the most derided singers that I’ve come across in my time in the opera world, sings Judith opposite Mikhail Petrenko as her super creepy husband. Valery Gergiev conducts both of Mariusz Trelinski’s new productions. January 26- February 21
Don Giovanni: Michael Grandage’s blah production returns with a strong cast. Tough-as-nails soprano Elza van den Heever sings Donna Anna, Emma Bell is Donna Elvira, and Kate Lindsey is Zerlina. Peter Mattei and Luca Pisaroni sing Don Giovanni and Leporello. However, the most exciting aspect may be that Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, is making his Met debut conducting the score. February 4- March 6
La Donna del Lago: Joyce DiDonato can continue to check the boxes on her “Bel Canto Mezzo Role Domination” sheet as she brings her Elena to the Met in a supposedly boring production by Paul Curran. She is joined by a battalion of bel-canto superstars like Juan-Diego Florez, Daniela Barcellona, and John Osborn in what promises to be some of the best music making of the season. February 16- March 14
Manon: While Netrebko and Beczala’s performances of the unfortunate lovers in Manon may be as thrilling as it gets for the Met, Laurent Pelly’s half-baked(but not in the good way of the ice cream flavor way) production returns with two singers who will make equally interesting statements in the roles. Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo sing the parts for the first time at the Met. Russell Braun and Nicholas Teste join the cast with Emmanuel Villaume conducting. March 9- 28
Lucia di Lammermoor: Albina Shagimuratova, last season’s successful Queen of the Night, sings the title role in Mary Zimmerman’s production which isn’t nearly as bad as her Sonnambula. Joseph Calleja is Edgardo and Fabio Capitanucci is Enrico. Bel-canto specialist Maurizio Benini conducts. March 16- April 10
Ernani: Of all the early Verdi operas that the Met could pick to perform on a regular basis, why do they choose this one? Placido Domingo sings more baritone rep in the role of Carlos. Francesco Meli sings the title role and Angela Meade sings Elvira, which has become a signature role of her’s and for good reason. James Levine conducts. March 20- April 11
Don Carlo: Barbara Frittoli is a seriously underrated artist. While Elisabetta might be too demanding a sing for her, she’s nonetheless a hugely affecting performer. Yonghoon Lee sings Carlos, Ekaterina Gubanova sings Eboli, and Feruccio Furlanetto sings his signature King Philip in another routine revival of Nicholas Hytner’s Blokus-like production. A bright spot, however, it the conducting of Yannick Nezet-Seguin. March 30- April 25
Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci: Those of you who are new here might not know how fiercely defensive I am of these two operas. Well, I am. David McVicar, please do a good job. Get intense. Get loud. Get dangerous. It’s verismo and no choice is too audacious. Marcelo Alvarez sings both Turridu and Canio and his supporting women are the lovely Eva- Maria Westbroek and Patricia Racette, whose Tosca last season showed signs of vocal uneasiness. Zeljko Lucic and George Gagnidze round out the cast with Fabio Luisi conducting. April 21- May 8
Un Ballo in Maschera: James Levine conducts the return of David Alden’s film-noir inspired production which stars Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Piotr Beczala, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky in what promises to be a night of fine Verdi singing.
The Rake’s Progress: The Met once again remounts Stravinsky’s neoclassical masterpiece. Sparkling soprano Layla Claire is Anne Trulove and Paul Appleby is Tom Rakewell. Gerald Finley is Nick Shadow and the always-on-point Stephanie Blythe is Baba the Turk. James Levine conducts Jonathan Miller’s production.
There you have it! An abbreviated version of the season that will start in the blink of an eye. As is Opera Teen tradition, I’ll be livetweeting and liveblogging opening night before, during the intermissions, and after the performance. The afternoon before, I’ll post a series of helpful links so everyone’s equipted for the broadcast, and then liveblogging will begin! See you then!