Tickets: $20 adult, $12 student
La Traviata (Verdi)
Dec. 15 – 11:55 a.m.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Michael Mayer’s richly textured new production, featuring a dazzling 18th-century setting that changes with the seasons. Soprano Diana Damrau plays the tragic heroine, Violetta, and tenor Juan Diego Flórez returns to the Met for the first time in five seasons to sing the role of Alfredo, Violetta’s hapless lover. Verdi’s La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his most profound and heartfelt music. The title role of the “fallen woman” has captured the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Violetta is considered a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire.
The Magic Flute (Mozart)
Dec. 29 – 1 p.m.
Now a holiday tradition, Julie Taymor’s beloved production of Mozart’s enchanting fairy tale returns in its abridged, English-language version for families. Soprano Erin Morley, last seen at the Met as a brilliant Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, is the empowered Pamina, and tenor Ben Bliss is the valiant Tamino. Baritone Nathan Gunn is the comic birdcatcher Papageno, and soprano Kathryn Lewek reprises her hair-raising rendition of the malevolent Queen of the Night. A sublime fairy tale that moves freely between earthy comedy and noble mysticism, The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte in the original German) was written for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a singspiel (“song-play”) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score.
Adriana Lecouvrear (Cilea)
Jan. 12 – 11:55 a.m.
Adriana Lecouvreur occupies a unique place in the repertory: largely dismissed by experts from its premiere to the present day yet cherished by its fans for the dramatic possibilities provided by the lead roles. The opera is a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle. Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role.
Feb. 2 – 11:55 a.m.
Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera’s ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenors Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Bizet’s masterpiece of the gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules has had an impact far beyond the opera house. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining female cultural figure. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere but soon after became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world.
La Fille du Régiment (Donizetti)
March 2 – 11:55 a.m.
This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy) ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.
Die Walküre (Wagner)
March 30 – 11 a.m.
In what is expected to be a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke plays Brünnhilde, Wotan’s willful warrior daughter, who loses her immortality in opera’s most famous act of filial defiance. The second opera in Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Die Walküre has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theater. Part of this appeal lies in its focus on some of the Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader of the gods; his wife, Fricka; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde; and, above all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde. These characters and others follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.
Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc)
May 11 – 11 a.m.
One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality: Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.