Metropolitan Opera New York

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2015-16 season will present 227 opera performances in a varied repertory, ranging from rarely performed masterpieces to perennial audience favorites. The season features six new productions and 18 revivals, starring the world’s greatest singers and conductors, many of them in repertory they have not previously performed with the company.

The six new stagings will be, in chronological order, Verdi’s Otello, opening the season on September 21, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Bartlett Sher; Berg’s Lulu (November 5), conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and directed by visual artist William Kentridge in his first Met staging since the acclaimed company premiere of The Nose; Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles (December 31), which will have its first Met performances in nearly a century, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Penny Woolcock; Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (February 12), conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Richard Eyre; the company premiere of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (March 24), conducted by Maurizio Benini and directed by David McVicar; and Richard Strauss’s Elektra (April 14), conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in the final opera production by the late Patrice Chéreau.

All six new productions will be featured in the tenth season of The Met: Live in HD series, which will feature ten transmissions beginning on October 3 with Il Trovatore, starring Anna Netrebko as Leonora.

The 2015-16 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb and Met Music Director James Levine, whose conducting duties for the season include the new production of Berg’s Lulu; revivals of Wagner’s Tannhäuser; Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus; Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, with Plácido Domingo in the title role; and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail; and a series of three MET Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.

The majority of ticket prices will remain unchanged in 2015-16 with an average increase of 1 percent overall. In addition to the ongoing rush and student ticket programs, the company will debut a series of new audience-building initiatives:

•an expansion of the popular tradition of Holiday Presentations
•two “Family Day” open houses at Christmas week matinees of The Barber of Seville
•a half-off ticket offer for patrons under 18 during the peak tourism season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s
•“Fridays Under Forty,” a special series of 8 p.m. Friday performances designed for young professionals who may be experiencing the Met for the first time

The New Productions

Otello – Giuseppe Verdi
Opening: September 21, 2015
Conductors: Yannick Nézet-Séguin/Adam Fischer
Production: Bartlett Sher
Set Designer: Es Devlin
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Donald Holder
Projection Designer: Luke Halls
Live in HD: October 17, 2015

The season will open with a new staging of Verdi’s masterpiece Otello, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his first Met opening night. Bartlett Sher’s new production will star Aleksandrs Antonenko in his first Met performances of the tormented Moor of Venice, with Sonya Yoncheva in her role debut as his wife, Desdemona, and Željko Lučić as Otello’s sinister rival, Iago. The staging, also featuring Dimitri Pittas as Cassio and Günther Groissböck as Lodovico, will mark the Met debut of set designer Es Devlin, whose previous designs include the 2014 revival of Machinal on Broadway and numerous opera productions for Covent Garden, La Scala, and other leading companies.

Otello returns in April and May with Antonenko and Lučić leading a new cast, conducted by Adam Fischer. The singers include Hibla Gerzmava as Desdemona, Alexey Dolgov as Cassio, and James Morris as Lodovico.

Lulu – Alban Berg
Opening: November 5, 2015
Conductor: James Levine
Production: William Kentridge
Co-Director: Luc De Wit
Projection Designer: Catherine Meyburgh
Set Designer: Sabine Theunissen
Costume Designer: Greta Goiris
Lighting Designer: Urs Schönebaum
Live in HD: November 21, 2015
William Kentridge returns to the Met for his first new production since the company premiere of The Nose, which caused a sensation when it opened in 2010. The inventive visual artist will stage Berg’s shocking masterpiece about a sexually irresistible young woman whose wanton behavior causes destruction for those who fall under her spell. James Levine conducts one of the operas with which he is most identified; he has led 30 Met performances of the work, including the company premiere in 1977. Marlis Petersen reprises her acclaimed interpretation of the title role, with Susan Graham as the Countess Geschwitz, one of Lulu’s most devoted admirers, and Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber among the men who fall victim to her charms.

Les Pêcheurs de Perles – Georges Bizet
Opening: December 31, 2015
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
Production: Penny Woolcock
Set Designer: Dick Bird
Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard
Lighting Designer: Jen Schriever
Projection Design: 59 Productions
Movement Director: Andrew Dawson
Live in HD: January 16, 2016
For the first time since Enrico Caruso starred in the opera in 1916, the Met will present Bizet’s lush, melodic romance Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers), in a production by director Penny Woolcock, who made her Met debut staging John Adams’s Doctor Atomic. Gianandrea Noseda conducts a cast led by Diana Damrau as the beautiful priestess Leïla. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien sing the roles of Nadir and Zurga, the two pearl fishers whose friendship is tested by their rivalry for Leïla’s affections; their “Au fond du temple saint” is one of the most beloved duets in opera. Nicolas Testé sings the high priest Nourabad in the new production, which will have its premiere on New Year’s Eve.

Manon Lescaut – Giacomo Puccini
Opening: February 12, 2016
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Sir Richard Eyre
Set Designer: Rob Howell
Costume Designer: Fotini Dimou
Lighting Designer: Peter Mumford
Choreographer: Sara Erde
Live in HD: March 5, 2016
Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann star as the ill-fated lovers at the center of Manon Lescaut, Puccini’s passionate adaptation of the classic novel about a free-spirited country girl who becomes the toast of Paris. Richard Eyre’s new production, set in the 1940s, reunites him with set designer Rob Howell, his collaborator on recent Met productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Werther, and Carmen. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi conducts the new staging, which also stars Massimo Cavalletti as Manon’s cousin, Lescaut, and Brindley Sherratt as Geronte, her wealthy older lover.

Roberto Devereux – Gaetano Donizetti
Opening: March 24, 2016
Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Production: Sir David McVicar
Set Designer: Sir David McVicar
Costume Designer: Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Leah Hausman
Live in HD: April 16, 2016
The final opera in Donizetti’s “Tudor trilogy” focuses on the older Queen Elizabeth I, who is forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves. Sir David McVicar, who directed the Met premieres of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, returns to stage the final installment in the series. Acclaimed bel canto soprano Sondra Radvanovsky will sing Elizabeth I in Roberto Devereux as well as the title roles in Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda over the course of the season, a famous feat performed by Beverly Sills at New York City Opera in the 1970s and not repeated in New York since. Roberto Devereux also stars Matthew Polenzani as the title character; Elīna Garanča as Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham and the queen’s secret rival; and Mariusz Kwiecien as the Duke of Nottingham. Maurizio Benini conducts the first-ever Met performances of this work.

Elektra – Richard Strauss
Opening: April 14, 2016
Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Production: Patrice Chéreau
Stage Director: Vincent Huguet
Set Designer: Richard Peduzzi
Costume Designer: Caroline de Vivaise
Lighting Designer: Dominique Bruguière
Live in HD: April 30, 2016

Strauss’s blazing tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge comes to the Met in the final opera production by the legendary director Patrice Chéreau, who died in 2014. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who made a riveting Met debut leading Chéreau’s production of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead in 2009, returns to conduct an extraordinary cast headed by Nina Stemme as the obsessed and bloodthirsty title character. Waltraud Meier sings her first Met performances of Klytämnestra, Elektra’s mother and the object of her fury, with Adrianne Pieczonka as Elektra’s sister, Chrysothemis; Eric Owens as her exiled brother, Orest; and German tenor Burkhard Ulrich, in his Met debut, as the corrupt monarch Aegisth. Chéreau’s longtime collaborator Vincent Huguet will stage the production at the Met.

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