Lucia Lucas, Benjamin Bernheim & 7 Exciting Debuts of the Met Opera’s 2020-21 Season

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: J. Henry Fair/Victor Santiago/Manon Leprévost/Johannes Kaplan)

One of the most exciting aspects of a new season is the fact that audiences will get an opportunity to experience new and exciting artists for the very first time.

This is also the case at the Metropolitan Opera, which will feature a plethora of debuts in numerous major productions. Here is a look at seven stars that we are excited to see performing on the Met stage for the first time in the coming season.

Varduhi Abrahamyan – Carmen/Nabucco

The Armenian mezzosoprano is one of the upcoming singers of her generation having made stellar debuts at Opéra Royal de Wallonie,  the Donizetti Opera Festival, Teatro Regio di Torino, Bayerische Staatsoper, Canadian Opera Company, Opéra de Marseille, and Gran Teatre del Liceu. OperaWire raved about Abrahamyan at the Donizetti Opera stating she sang with “allure, brightness and clear coloratura.” This season the mezzo sings the role of Fenena in “Nabucco” and the title role of “Carmen,” a part she has already performed in Munich, Oviedo, Paris and Palermo to great acclaim.

Migran Agadzhanyan – La Traviata

In 2018 Agadzhanyan won second prize at the Operalia competition establishing himself as one of the promising tenors of his generation. Since that win he has worked at some of the major houses in the world including the Mariinsky Theatre, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra Royal de Versailles, and Royal Swedish Opera. He is also scheduled to make major debuts at the Royal Danish Opera, Opera di Roma, and the  Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Svetlana Sozdateleva – The Fiery Angel

Since her second prize win at the Russian Competition For Young Vocalists in 1995 in Moscow, the Russian soprano has become one of the most acclaimed dramatic sopranos in the world. She has performed at the Radio France Festival in Montpelier, Ravenna Festival, Mariinsky theatre of St. Petersburg., La Monnaie, and Glyndebourne. She is also a soloist of the Helikon-opera where she has performed multiple opera such as Wagner’s “Das Liebesverbot.” Sozdateleva is one of today’s leading interpreters of Renata in Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel,” having performed at the Komische Oper, Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Now Met audiences are in for a treat.

Ismael Jordi – Roméo et Juliette

The Spanish tenor is a household name in Europe having performed in some of the world’s greatest theaters and conquering the lyric repertoire. He has appeared at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Real, Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Opéra-Comique, Opéra Bastille, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Beloved in Spain he has also appeared in Seville, Oviedo, Bilbao and Valencia, as well as other important cities.  Jordi reprises his Roméo, which he last performed in Montreal in 2018 to great acclaim.

Benjamin Bernheim – Roméo et Juliette

Over the past year Benjmain Bernheim has established his status as a star in the world of opera. He has headlined high profile new productions in Paris, made major role debuts and signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. He recently released his first album this past fall. Bernheim has also made major house debuts and has performed at the Opéra national de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Berlin, Opéra national de Bordeaux and the Royal Opera House. With his Metropolitan Opera debut, he will no doubt become a U.S. household name.

Alex Esposito – Don Giovanni

The Italian bass-baritone is a specialist in the Bel Canto repertoire performing the works of Rossini and Donizetti. He is a frequent guest of the Rossini Opera Festival having performed in productions of  “La Gazza Ladra,” “La Cenerentola,” “Mosè in Egitto,” and “L’Italiana in Algeri.” But is no stranger to the works of Mozart. He has become one of the leading interpreters of Leoporello in “Don Giovanni” around the world having performed it at the Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bayerische Staatsoper. This season he brings what critics call a super, virile, and fluid interpretation to the Met stage.

Lucia Lucas – Billy Budd

The Transgender singer made history this past year becoming the first Trans singer to take on a leading role in the U.S where she sang the title role of “Don Giovanni” at the Tulsa Opera. Lucas has also performed such roles as Wotan in “Die Walküre,” the four villains in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” Sharpless in “Madama Butterfly,” and Escamillo in “Carmen.” One of the most groundbreaking singers of her generation, Lucas has performed at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Lyric Opera of Dublin, Oper Wuppertal, and Tulsa Opera. Lucas will become one of the first Transgender singers to grace the Metropolitan Opera when she debuts as Bosun in “Billy Budd.”