The start of the Met seasons is always an exciting time. A new production of a major classic to kick off the year, followed, usually, by a slew of other classic productions. Usually, we also get a new star making a prominent debut, as is the case with mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, who is coming to the Met as Nicklausse in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”
It’s going to be a rather unique Met debut as Nicklausse is not a role she has sung all that often. Conversely, she will be taking on the role of Hansel later in the Met season, and that is a role that she has sung dozens of times in Munich.
Munich is the site of many of Erraught’s early career successes as she has made a whopping 33 role debuts as resident principal soloist at the Bayerische Staatsoper throughout her career, including Kathy in Poul Rouders’ “Selma Jezkova,” Carlotta in Strauss’s “Die Schweigsame Frau,” Op. 80, Christa in Janacek’s “The Makropulos Affair,” Despina in Mozart’s “Così fan tutte,” Prince Orlovsky in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, as Hansel in “Hansel und Gretel,” and Sifare in Mozart’s “Mitridate, re di Ponto,” among others. Her work is so extensive with the company that she has been awarded a Pro meritis scientiae et litterarum award. She is only the fifth musician, and the youngest recipient, to be honored with the annual award since its inception in 2000.
A graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Erraught has also been granted the Dublin’s National Concert Hall’s Rising Star Award in 2010, first prize and the Zdar nad Sazavou Audience Prize in the Jakub Pustina International Singing Competition in the Czech Republic in 2008, and the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Prize and the Washington National Opera Prize at the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. She was also given the Dermott Troy Award for the Best Irish Singer in 2007.
In addition to her Met performances, she is slated to appear in Barcelona, Munich, and Berlin in such operas as “Parsifal,’ “Così fan tutte,” “Roméo et Juliette,” “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” and “Orlando Paladino” throughout 2017-18.