Metropolitan Opera 2018-19 Preview: Clémentine Margaine Returns to Signature Role

The Numbers Behind the Two Casts

By David Salazar

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Met Opera opens “Carmen,” which will be the sixth opera of its season.

The revival will feature a total of 13 performances across two runs, with two decidedly different casts, with one exception.

Clémentine Margaine will return to the Met with her signature role, which she has performed around the globe. Per Operabase, Margaine has appeared as the doomed heroine in at least 15 productions since 2014 at such venues as the Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, San Carlo Opera Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Canadian Opera Company, among others.

Margaine has but nine performances to her Met resume, all of them coming during the 2016-17 season when she took over a full run of “Carmen” from Sophie Koch. She will be singing all 13 performances of “Carmen” this season.

Her two Don José’s will be Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna, both familiar to the Met production. Lee, who gets the October and November performances of the show has appeared eight times in the role at the Met, all of them from 2012. He has 54 performances to date at the Met, appearing in such works as “Don Carlo (15 times),” “Il Trovatore (13 times),” “Nabucco (nine times),” and “Cavalleria Rusticana (nine times).”

Alagna has 137 Met performances to his credit and has appeared in “Carmen” 20 times between 2000-2015. He opened this production alongside Elina Garanca, his performance immortalized in the Met’s Live in HD series. He will get another crack at the simulcast during this season’s January run.

Guanqun Yu and Aleksandra Kurzak will split duties as Michaëla, both taking on the role for the first time at the Met. Susanna Phillips takes on one performance of the role in January.

As for the Escamillo interpreters, Kyle Ketelsen, Alexander Vinogradov, and Michael Todd Simpson will split the role. Simpson gets one performance in January while Ketelsen takes the fall run and Vinogradov the winter shows. Ketelsen has performed the role 13 times at the Met; this is a first for Vinogradov at the Met.

Omer Meir Wellber conducts the fall performances while Louis Langrée takes on the winter ones.