‘Ring’ cycle, ‘Nixon in China’ part of Metropolitan Opera’s 2010-11 season


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The first two operas of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cycle and John Adams’ ‘Nixon in China’ are among the highlights of the Metropolitan Opera‘s 2010-11 season, which was announced Monday afternoon in New York.

The company said it would produce seven new productions in the upcoming season, including two company premieres -- Rossini’s ‘Le Comte Ory’ directed by Bartlett Sher, and Adam’s 1987 ‘Nixon in China,’ which will be directed by Peter Sellars in a production from the English National Opera.


Adams will conduct his own opera, which will begin performances Feb. 2, 2011.

The roster represents a decline from the Met’s current season, which has eight new productions, four of which are premieres.

The 2010-11 season will open Sept. 27 with ‘Das Rheingold,’ the first installment in Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cycle, which is receiving a new production directed by Robert Lepage. ‘Rheingold’ will feature Bryn Terfel in his first U.S. appearance as Wotan and Stephanie Blythe as Fricka.

‘Die Walküre,’ the second opera in the cycle, will open April 22, 2011, and star Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde and Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund.

Both ‘Rheingold’ and ‘Walküre’ will be broadcast to cinemas on Oct. 9 and May 14, 2011, respectively, as part of the Met’s Live in HD program.

A new production of Mussorgsky’s ‘Boris Godunov’ will open Oct. 11, conducted by Valery Gergiev. René Pape will sing the title role for the first time at the Met.


Verdi’s ‘Don Carlo’ will open Nov. 22 in a new production, directed by Nicholas Hytner, that ran at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in 2008. The production will star Roberto Alagna in the title role and Marina Poplavskaya as Elisabeth de Valois.

A new production of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ will play at a New Year’s Eve gala performance at the Met. The production by Willy Decker ran at the 2005 Salzburg Festival, but the production has been modified for the Met. The production will feature Poplavskaya as Violetta -- a role that she played to acclaim last season at Los Angeles Opera -- and Matthew Polenzani as Alfredo.

Rossini’s ‘Le Comte Ory’ will have its Met premiere on March 24, 2011. The production will star Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle and Joyce DiDonato as Isolier. The production will be broadcast to cinemas on April 9, 2011.

The season will also feature appearances by Renee Fleming in productions of Rossini’s ‘Armida’ and Strauss’ ‘Capriccio’; Susan Graham in ‘Iphigénie en Tauride’ alongside Plácido Domingo; Natalie Dessay in the title role of ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’; Anna Netrebko in ‘Don Pasquale’; Karita Mattila in ‘The Queen of Spades’; Angela Gheorghiu in ‘Juliette’ and Marcelo Álvarez in ‘Il Trovatore.’

Music director James Levine, who will be celebrating his 40th anniversary season at the Met, will conduct a total of six productions in the 2010-11 season, including the first two operas of the ‘Ring’ cycle.

Making their Met conducting debuts will be Simon Rattle, of the Berlin Philharmonic, in Debussy’s ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’ and William Christie, of Les Arts Florissants, in Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte.’


-- David Ng