Often when we react to a flood of news, like a new opera season, it is easy to dwell on some of the negatives, such as which of your favorites are now showing up or which operas got the boot for yet another season.
But the beauty of a new season is ultimately the gems that we will get to experience on stage. And the Met’s 2017-18 season has quite a few. Here are the productions / run of performances that we are most excited for next season.
The two runs of Puccini’s opera will feature strong casts all around. The winter season sees Jonas Kaufmann make a return to the Met after two seasons of absence. He will be paired with Kristine Opolais with whom he showed tremendous chemistry in “Manon Lescaut” a few years ago and Bryn Terfel, who is arguably the best Scarpia around.
The Spring run has us pumped because Anna Netrebko sings her first Tosca at the Met with Michael Volle as the villain.
Most exciting of all? Not having to see the Luc Bondy production ever again.
A cast that stars Sondra Radvonovsky, Joyce DiDonato and Joseph Calleja is one to treasure. Throw in the fact that Marina Rebeka takes on the role at a later date and then the duo of Jamie Barton and Angela Meade partner in the final run and you have strong casts all-around.
This opera is a gem among the gold mine that is Verdi’s canon and it has gone missing from the Met stage for far too long. Seeing a cast that includes Sonya Yoncheva, Piotr Beczala and Plácido Domingo is the recipe for brilliance.
Le Nozze di Figaro
Isabel Leonard, Nadine Sierra, Luca Pisaroni, Ildar Abdrazakov and Sonya Yoncheva onstage at the same time? Sign us up right now. This might be the best cast of any opera this season.
We would much rather have seen “La Forza del Destino” in a production by Calixto Bieto, but this Verdi masterwork is one to be cherished and adored. The cast is quite strong, especially appearance of Ekaterina Semenchuk who has been absent from the Met stage for far too long.
Another opera that often gets ignored, it is refreshing to see it return to the stage with singers we have never heard sing it. Ailyn Pérez has seen her star grow in the opera world over the last few years while Gerald Finley was fantastic since season as Guillaume Tell. Throw in Jean-François Borras and this opera promises to be a solid, if possible under-the-radar success.
Anything Joyce DiDonato touches turns to gold and this rare Massenet work is no different. But the supporting cast, with Kathleen Kim, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe and Laurent Naouri makes for a well-rounded evening. And then there is the question of Laurent Pelly who always finds ways to make his productions interesting.
Klaus Florian Vogt and Evelyn Herlitzius put this one over the top for us. The remaining cast members were all a part of the original production of this opera and they were brilliant. And I personally adore this production and especially, this opera. Looks like a slam dunk.
It seemed like for years we were not getting any other Strauss opera but “Rosenkavalier.” While it is undoubtedly a glorious work, it is wonderful to see “Elektra” getting more shots on the Met stage, especially in the brilliant production Patrice Chereau. Throw in Christine Goerke as the headline role and we should be in for a vocally-fulfilling evening. Elza van den Heever, Michaela Schuster and Jay Hunter Morris represent luxury casting, as does Mikhail Petrenko.
Seeing the Rossini opera make its return is exciting enough. “Semiramide” also has another contender for best cast of the season with Meade in the title role, Elizabeth DeShong as Arsace, Javier Camarena as Idreno, Ildar Abdrazakov as Assure and Ryan Speedo Green as Oroe.