James Levine will conduct the New Year’s Eve gala of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Metropolitan Opera replacing Andris Nelsons.
The Metropolitan Opera announced the news with Nelsons citing no reason for the cancellation. Nelsons is the third major cancellation of the star-studded production. Earlier this year Jonas Kaufmann stunned the world when he opted out of the production, telling reporters he wanted more time with his family. Then a few weeks ago Kristine Opolais dropped out for personal reasons.
The production will now star Sonya Yoncheva in the title role in her role debut. She will also become the first soprano at the Metropolitan Opera to headline three HD productions. Vittorio Grigolo will sing the role of Cavaradossi marking his role debut as well.
Levine adds yet another assignment to his busy schedule which already includes Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” “Luisa Miller,” “Requiem” and Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte.” Levine first led “Tosca” at the Met in 1971 and this will mark his return to the opera after conducting opening night in 2009.
The production is set to be directed by Sir David McVicar and will also star Sir Bryn Terfel. Anna Netrebko will make her role debut later on in the season alongside Marcelo Alvarez.