Opera aficionados from around the world dream of watching their favorite operas at the Met in NYC. New York City's Metropolitan Opera House is one of the world's best auditoriums in which to listen to music. The Met is known for its phenomenal acoustics and audience friendly sight lines; no matter where you sit, you should be able to enjoy not only hearing the performance, but seeing it as well. The opera is also known for attracting the most talented singers, composers, and musicians from around the world to perform its expansive repertory. The Met, located in the Lincoln Center, presents nearly 30 operas every single year. From September through May, you can choose from four different operas every week. The Met's singers perform Monday through Saturday evening, with an additional matinée performance on Saturday afternoon. With so many operas to choose from, you might have a difficult time narrowing down your selection. Here is a list of 7 must-see operas at the Met in NYC.
Opera fans all over the world are looking forward to the Met's staging of Anna Bolena, starring international sensation Anna Netrebko. Anna Bolena is Donizetti's finest opera and first worldwide success. In the 1950s, the lead was famously played by Maria Callas at La Scala. Anna Netrebko's turn will mark the first time Anna Bolena will be performed at the Met. The opera is the first in a trilogy based upon the lives of Tudor queens, and in years coming the Met has plans to stage the second and third parts, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux.
Mozart's comic opera about a legendary seducer is also new to the Met's repertory. The Met is staging two productions of Don Giovanni, both of which promise to be interesting, and both of which are directed and produced by Michael Grandage. One production is conducted by James Levine and stars Maruisz Kwiecien as the Don. Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka debuts in the role of Donna Anna. Mojca Erdmann, Ramón Vargas, Luca Pisaroni and Štefan Kocán also make their Met debuts. The second production is conducted by Andrew Davis and stars Gerald Finley and Annette Dasch.
Puccini's classic tragedy is a Met repertory standard, always sung by operatic superstars. La Bohème is the story of Mimi, a poor seamstress living in the Latin Quarter of Paris and Rodolfo, her poet neighbor and boyfriend. This season, Franco Zeffirelli stages the production with Hibla Gerzmava and Hei Kyung Hong singing the female lead, the role of Mimi. Dimitri Pittas sings as Rodolfo in both productions, while Susanna Phillips performs her award winning Musetta and Patrick Carfizzi, Matthew Rose, and Alexey Markov play Rodolfo's bohemian friends.
Make sure to catch Plácido Domingo conducting Madama Butterfly, Puccini's renowned tragedy. Madama Butterfly is about an American Lieutenant who tricks a young Japanese girl into marrying him, only to abandon her and then return three years later with an American wife. This revival will be produced by Anthony Minghella and stars Liping Zhang and Patricia Racette as Madama Butterfly. Robert Dean Smith and Marcello Giordani play the male lead, Lieutenant Pinkerton.
If you're looking for something a little bit different, pick up tickets for the Met's production of Billy Budd. Billy Budd is a modern opera by Benjamin Britten based upon Melville's novella of the same name. The story concerns men in the British Navy. This opera is sung in English and is particularly remarkable because it doesn't have a single female character. Billy Budd is a revival for the Met, but the opera hasn't been performed since 1997.
Verdi fans are going to want to catch Natalie Dessay singing the role of Violetta for the first time at the Met in La Traviata. La Traviata is based on Alexandre Dumas' novel, The Lady of the Camellias. In this story, a courtesan with tuberculosis falls in love with a younger, less wealthy, provincial man. The man's father puts an end to the relationship and the story ends in tragedy. The opera will be conducted by the Met's Principal Guest Conductor, Fabio Luisi.
Every year, the Met stages a special holiday production that is the perfect way for you to introduce your children to the opera. From Hansel and Gretel to recitals, this holiday production only runs around Christmas time and is always in English and family friendly. The ticket prices for the Holiday Presentation are also very family friendly. Make it a yearly tradition for your family to get all dressed up and spend an evening together with your kids at the opera.