Met Opera 2019-20 Preview: Yannick Nézet-Séguin Set For First Puccini Experience In NYC With ‘Turandot’

By David Salazar
(Credit: Marty Sohl / Met Opera)

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Opera will open its fourth production of the season – Puccini’s “Turandot.”

This run of performances is unique because they represent the first time that the Met Opera’s music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts an opera by Puccini at the famed house. To this point, he has tackled works by Bizet, Verdi, Wagner, Poulenc, Debussy, Strauss, Dvorak, and Gounod since his debut back in 2010.

Marco Armiliato will get two performances near the end of the run while Carlo Rizzi will engage with the work during the Spring’s series of performances; both conductors have taken on the work throughout their respective Met careers.

In the title role, the Met’s audiences will hear Goerke in the title role during the fall performances with Nina Stemme as the Icy princess in the spring. Goerke appeared in the opera four times during the 2015-16 season with Stemme getting six performances that same season; Stemme’s performance on Jan. 30, 2016 was recorded live in HD. This time around, Goerke’s interpretation will be the one broadcast around the globe. Together, the duo has performed the title role 10 times at the Met; they will more than double that number by the end of this run.

Eleonora Buratto, Gabriella Reyes, and Hibla Gerzmava will take turns as Liù. Gerzmava has 13 performances of the role at the Met under her belt; Buratto and Reyes will be singing their first Met Liù’s during this run.

As Calaf, Yusif Eyvazov, Marco Berti, and Riccardo Massi will be alternating the role with another unannounced tenor. Eyvazov made his Met debut in the role back in 2015, performing it just twice; he will get four more performances this time around. Massi has just four Met performances to date, all in Verdi’s “Aida,” he gets three showcases as Calaf. Berti is the experienced veteran in the role at the Met, getting 10 performances to date and an HD showcase to boot back in 2016.

James Morris will perform the role of Timur, as he has done 34 times in his career, to date.