The Met: Live in HD is New York-based Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live high-definition cinema broadcasts, distributed in the UK by Trafalgar Releasing. Now in its 16th year, the series is already underway.
Next on the roster is a world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts’s The Hours, led by Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Adapted from Michael Cunningham’s acclaimed novel of the same name, and inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, this powerful opera follows three women from different eras who each grapple with their inner demons and their roles in society. It was made famous in the Oscar-winning 2002 film version starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.
The production stars American sopranos Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara as Clarissa Vaughan and Laura Brown, respectively, and American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Virginia Woolf. Phelim McDermott directs.
The Met: Live in HD broadcast takes place on 10 December.
Giordano’s Fedora (1898) returns to the Met for the first time in 25 years, with David McVicar’s new production to be broadcast on 14 January 2023. Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva sings the title role of the 19th-century princess who falls in love with Count Loris – sung by Polish tenor Piotr Beczała – the man who murdered her fiancé.
The ingenious fixed set unfolds to reveal the opera’s settings: a palace in St Petersburg, a fashionable Parisian salon, and a picturesque villa in the Swiss Alps.
Also returning to the Met’s stage after a long break – this time of 17 years – is Wagner’s Lohengrin (1850), in an atmospheric new production by François Girard. Nézet-Séguin conducts a cast led by Beczała in the title role of the mysterious swan knight.
American soprano Tamara Wilson is the virtuous duchess Elsa, falsely accused of murder, going head-to-head with American soprano Christine Goerke as the cunning sorceress Ortrud. Russian bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin is Ortrud’s power-hungry husband, Telramund, and Austrian bass Günther Groissböck is King Heinrich.
The live broadcast takes place on 18 March 2023.
A revival of Robert Carsen’s celebrated staging of Verdi’s Falstaff will be broadcast as part of The Met: Live in HD on 1 April 2023. Verdi’s Shakespearean comedy features an ensemble cast that includes German baritone Michael Volle in his first Verdi role at the Met as the caddish eponymous knight.
He is gleefully tormented by a trio of clever women who deliver his comeuppance: American sopranos Ailyn Pérez and Jennifer Johnson Cano are Alice Ford and Meg Page, respectively, while Canadian mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux is Mistress Quickly.
South Korean soprano Hera Hyesang Park and Ukrainian-born Russian tenor Bogdan Volkov are the young couple Nannetta and Fenton. Daniele Rustioni conducts.
Another revival, to be broadcast on 15 April 2023, is Robert Carsen’s production of Strauss’s grand Viennese comedy Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose, 1911). This popular opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover but ultimately forced to give him up to a pretty young heiress.
The production stars Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen as the wise Marschallin, opposite American mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as her young lover Octavian; both are making their Met role debuts. American soprano Erin Morley sings the part of Sophie, the beautiful younger woman who steals his heart. Maestro Simone Young takes the podium.
On 29 April 2023 is a Met premiere: Terence Blanchard’s Champion (2013). American bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green is the young boxer Emile Griffith, who rises from obscurity to become a world champion; American bass-baritone Eric Owens portrays Griffith’s older self, haunted by the ghosts of his past.
American soprano Latonia Moore plays the part of Emelda Griffith, the boxer’s estranged mother, and American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is bar owner Kathy Hagan. Nézet-Séguin conducts, while director James Robinson oversees the staging.
The Met: Live in HD season closes with the new productions of two Mozart favourites. Making his Met debut, Ivan van Hove directs a new version of the tragicomic Don Giovanni (1787). This tale of deceit and damnation is set in an abstract architectural landscape that explores the dark corners of the story and its characters.
Swedish baritone Peter Mattei is a magnetic Don Giovanni, alongside the Leporello of Czech bass-baritone Adam Plachetka. Sopranos Federica Lombardi, Ana María Martínez and Ying Fang are Giovanni’s conquests – Donna Anna, Donna Elvira and Zerlina – and American tenor Ben Bliss sings Don Ottavio. Nathalie Stutzmann makes her Met debut conducting this star-studded cast.
The production will be broadcast on 20 May 2023.
Finally, Simon McBurney’s new version of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute, 1791) will be broadcast on 3 June 2023. This magical fairytale tells the story of handsome Prince Tamino in his quest to rescue Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, who has been kidnapped by High Priest Sarastro, a powerful sorcerer.
The cast includes American soprano Erin Morley as Pamina, American tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Tamino, Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans in his Met debut as Papageno, American soprano Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, and Danish bass Stephen Milling as Sarastro.
In addition to the operas, cinema audiences will also enjoy exclusive backstage content. Met artists serve as hosts for the Live in HD series, providing background on the operas, introducing exciting behind-the-scenes features and conducting live interviews with stars, crew and production teams.
The Met: Live in HD productions are being broadcast to cinemas across the UK. Times and ticket prices vary; tickets are on sale now. Visit the Met: Live in HD website to find a cinema near you.
Eve Gigliotti and Joyce DiDonato in an early rehearsal for Kevin Puts’s The Hours; the opera will be broadcast to UK cinemas as part of The Met: Live in HD. (Jonathan Tichler, Met Opera).