Metropolitan Opera 2019-20 Preview: La Bohème

Metropolitan Opera Revives Franco Zeffirelli’s Classic Production With All Star Line Ups

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera)

On Oct. 25, 2019 Puccini’s “La Bohème” will open at the Metropolitan Opera reviving Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production.

The Mimì’s

This season the production will feature three acclaimed Mimì interpreters who have performed the role throughout their Met careers.

Ailyn Pérez will open the production in a role she has been hailed for. OperaWire stated, “Pérez’s Mimì isn’t only a fresh and intelligent portrayal, a vocally intense one.” The soprano first took on the role at the Met in 2016 during the 2016-17 season and has since performed it 13 times, reprising it during the 2018-19 season. She adds another 10 performances to her Met career this season.

Maria Agresta returns to the role of Mimì for the first time at the Met since 2016. The soprano made her Met debut in “La Bohème” during the 2015-16 season and performed it nine times. She sings five performances this season.

Hei Kyung-Hong also returns to the role of Mimi. The soprano first performed the part in during the 1986-87 season and went on to sing it a whopping 66 times with the company. She last performed it during the 2016-17 season. Kyung-Hong adds one performance this season.

The Rodolfo’s

The season will also feature three leading tenors.

Matthew Polenzani will sing his first Puccini role at the Met in his 384th performance with the company. He has already performed the role of Rodolfo at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to great success.

Roberto Alagna will reprise his signature Rodolfo. The tenor made his debut in the role of Rodolfo in 1996 in a historic run. The tenor performed the opera only five times in his Met career in that season. Twenty-three years later, Alagna will sing another five performances of the leading role.

Joseph Calleja rounds out the cast of tenors with three performances at the end of the season. The tenor sang the role during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons. He has performed the role a total of nine times with the company.

The Musetta’s

Four Mussetas’ will light up the stage including one debutant.

Olga Kulchynska makes her Met debut as Musetta, a role she has performed to great acclaim at the Liceu. The soprano will perform seven times.

Jacqueline Echols will get one performance in her first lead role at the Met in what is her debut season.

Susanna Phillips returns to her signature role after having performed it 51 times. The soprano made her Met debut in the role during the 2008-09 season and has been featured in two HDs alongside Vittorio Grigolo and Kristine Opolais and in 2018 with Michael Fabiano and Sonya Yoncheva. She gets another five performances this season.

Jennifer Rowley rounds out the line up returning to the role of her Met debut. The soprano made her Met debut during the 2014-15 season and got seven performances. This season, she sings the role three times.

The Marcello’s

Three Marcellos make up this season’s revival.

First up will be David Bizic who returns to the role he first sang at the Met during the 2014-15 season and later reprised during the 2016-17 season. He has taken on the work 13 times and adds another eight performances this season.

Artur Ruciński continues his season at the Met in his second Puccini role with the company. He made his Met debut during the 2015-16 season and has performed with the company 13 times. He sings his first Met Marcello in five performances.

Legendary baritone Carlos Álvarez returns to the Met for the first time since 2008. He sings his first Marcello’s with the company for three performances.

“Bohème” opens on Oct. 25, 2019 and runs through May 7, 2020.