Metropolitan Opera 2018-19 Preview: Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky & The Numerous Casts For ‘Aida’

By David Salazar

There will be 14 performances of Verdi’s “Aida” at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2018-19 season spanning from September through March.

On the surface, 14 performances might not really be all that much, except when one considers that there will be what ultimately amounts to two very different casts with variations spread across three different periods of the season.

So to settle the confusion, here is a look at the two casts.

Fall Cast – Sept. 26, 29, Oct. 2, 6, 11

Anna Netrebko’s first “Aida” at the Met (she did her first ever interpretation of the opera last summer in Salzburg) is the big story of this season’s revival. She’s usually in brand-new productions or at least one of the runs that has been brought in for the first time within this millenia (“La Bohème” is the exception because it is the exception for everything at the Met). She gets the first five performances and will be joined by Anita Rachvelishvilli, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Quinn Kelsey, and Dmitry Belosselskiy. Nicola Luisotti conducts and Ryan Speedo Green appears as the King.

Tamara Wilson steps in for two performances on Oct. 15 and 18.

Winter Cast – Jan. 7, 11, 14, 18, Feb. 28, March 4, 7

So here’s where it gets a bit more confusing. Sondra Radvanovsky is the fundamental piece of this cast as she appears in all seven performances of the title role (four in January and three in February / March).

For the first four performances in January she gets Yonghoon Lee as her Radamès and then for the final three, she gets Antonenko to return to the role.

Dolora Zajick will be her Amneris for the January performances with Olesya Petrova coming in for the last three showcases.

As Amonasro, Roberto Frontali gets the January shows and then Kelsey, like Antonenko, returns from the fall cast to finish out the season’s performances of “Aida.”

This does not happen with the role of Ramfis as Vitalij Kowaljow takes on the January showcases and Stefan Kocan appears in February / March.

Finally, Solomon Howard will be the only constant for Radvanovsky across the seven performances; he plays the King.

Luisotti will conduct the January performances with Radvanovsky while Plácido Domingo takes over maestro duties for February and March’s three presentations.