The Metropolitan Opera is slated for its latest premiere this week when it showcases Massenet’s “Cendrillon.” The opera, which is based on the tale of Cinderella will star Joyce DiDonato and is set to run between April 12 and May 11. The opera will also feature Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, Kathleen Kim, Laurent Naouri, all under the musical direction of Bertrand de Billy.
In sum, this will be the eighth Massenet premiere at the Met and the first in 40 years. Here is a rundown of the other Massenet Met premieres and their corresponding casts.
The first Massenet opera to get a showcase is arguably his best. The work had its first performance with the company on March 29, 1894, though it was performed in Chicago, Illinois. The performance, which starred Jean de Rszke and Emma Eames, was also the US Premiere of the opera.
The first Massenet opera to get a formal premiere at the Met was “Manon,” with Sibyl Sanderson, in her Met debut, in the title role. De Reszke starred as Des Grieux. The performance took place on Jan. 16, 1895.
On Dec. 11, 1895, “La Navarraise” had its US premiere in a double bill performance alongside “Orfeo ed Euridice.” Emma Clavé, Albert Lubert, Pol Plancon, Armand Castelmary, Georges Mauguière, and Maurice Devries starred in that performance. The opera has gotten 12 performances total at the Met, the last coming in 1922.
Jean de Reszke also appeared in “Le Cid,” which had its Met Premiere on Feb. 12, 1897. The cast also starred Edouard de Reszke, Félia Litvinne, and Clémentine De Vere. The opera has gotten only 11 performances with the company.
The courtesan arrived at the Met on Feb. 16, 1917, with Geraldine Farrar in the title role, one which she would dominate with the company for years. The performance would also star Pasquale Amato and Luca Botta.
Le Roi de Lahore
This opera would get its Met premiere on Feb. 29, 1924, with a wide range of artists making their respective debuts. Giacomo Lauri-Volpi would headline the cast, accompanied by Delia Reinhardt, Giuseppe De Luca, and José Mardones. The opera would get six performances and would never return to the Met.
Another opera destined for a brief history at the Met, the famed “Don Quichotte” would first arrive with the company on April 3, 1926, and get a total of nine performances in that year; four of the performances did not even take place at the Met but in other cities. The headliner of the opening night cast was Fyodor Chaliapin, who performed alongside Florence Easton, and Giuseppe De Luca.
Joan Sutherland would get the Met to premiere this opera on Nov. 19, 1976, alongside Giacomo Aragall. The opera would get 10 performances that season and would also never return to the Met.