Weekend Preview (12/30 – 1/1) – USA: New York Galas Dominate New Year’s Weekend

By David Salazar

New Years weekend will not be particularly active in the American opera scene. Only three major companies will make their respective presences felt as the calendar turns from 2016 to 2017.

The Metropolitan Opera will continue its full slate of operas, showcasing three works to end the year. There will be two performances given on Friday, December 30. At 12 p.m. EST, the company will showcase Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” The production will star Janai Brugger as Pamina, Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Ben Bliss as Tamino, Christopher Maltman as Papageno and Morris Robinson as Sarastro. Anthony Walker conducts.

In the evening, “Nabucco” returns to the stage with Željko Lučić in the title role, Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaile, Jamie Barton as Fenena and Russell Thomas as Ismaele. James Levine will be in the put, conducting a production that OperaWire stated was “grand opera executed with care, passion and virtuosity.”

New Year’s Eve will feature a new production of Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” starring Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo. Bartlett Sher directs the new production with Gianandrea Noseda in the pit. That performance kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile Amore Opera will have its own double bill heading into the weekend. “Hansel and Gretel” will play on Friday at 2:30 p.m. EST while “Die Fledermaus” takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Saturday features a New Year’s gala performance of “Fledermaus” with tickets starting at $125.

The New York Philharmonic will also feature major opera stars Joyce DiDonato and Paolo Szot in a sold-out concert event. The concert will feature selections from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” and “The Sound of Music.” She will also perform alongside Szot in pieces from Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.” Alan Gilbert will conduct. The concert will be broadcast live on PBS starting at 8 p.m. EST.