The Met stage ignites when soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann join forces in Puccini’s obsessive love story. Opolais sings the title role of the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress, while Kaufmann is the dashing student who desperately woos her. Director Richard Eyre places the action in occupied France in a film noir setting. “Desperate passion” is the phrase Puccini himself used to describe the opera that confirmed his position as the preeminent Italian opera composer of his day. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the stirring score.
Approximate runtime: 3 hours, 8 minutes
Saturday Mar 5 12:55pm
Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. Two of the world’s foremost Butterflys, sopranos Kristine Opolais and Patricia Racette, share the title role. Tenors Massimo Giordano and Roberto Alagna sing Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly’s heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.
Approximate runtime: 3 hours, 18 minutes
Saturday Apr 2 12:55pm
Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky takes on the extraordinary challenge of singing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens in the course of a single season, a rare feat made famous by Beverly Sills—and not attempted on a New York stage since. In this climactic opera of the trilogy, she plays Queen Elizabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves, Roberto Devereux. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini. As with the earlier Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, the production is by Sir David McVicar, who with this staging completes an enormously ambitious directorial accomplishment.
Approximate runtime: 3 hours, 5 minutes
Saturday Apr 16 12:55pm
Saturday Apr 30 12:55pm
The genius director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme—unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner—who portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra’s fearsome mother, Klytämnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass-baritone Eric Owens are Elektra’s troubled siblings. Chéreau’s musical collaborator Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Strauss’s mighty take on Greek myth.
Approximate runtime: 1 hours, 45 minutes