Programming Notes: April 2016

Apr 1, 2016

The 2015/2016 Metropolitan Opera season is winding down and April will be the last full month of opera broadcasts. After the final Met opera of the season on May 7th, we will return to our normal programming. Some may be overjoyed by the return of Radio Deluxe to the Saturday 2 p.m.- 4p.m. airtime once the opera season is over but don’t lament opera fans, The Met will return in December!

Saturday, April 2nd @1 p.m.: Madama Butterfly. Anthony Minghella's breathtaking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. Kristine Opolais reprises her acclaimed portrayal of the title role, opposite Roberto Alagna as Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly's heart. Hei-Kyung Hong, Roberto De Biasio, and Gwyn Hughes Jones star in a second set of performances. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.

Saturday, April 9th @1 p.m.: Simon Boccanegra. The legendary pair of James Levine and Plácido Domingo have defined Verdi’s art for more than four decades. They demonstrate their mastery with this remarkable character study of the wise Doge forced to confront his past. The spectacular cast includes tenor Joseph Calleja and another legend, bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, as Boccanegra’s rival, Fiesco.

Saturday, April 16th @1 p.m.: Roberto Devereux. 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.

Saturday, April 23rd @1 p.m.: Otello. Director Bartlett Sher’s new production of Verdi’s masterful Otello, which opened the Met season last September, returns for a second run, with Aleksandrs Antonenko in the title role and Željko Lučić as Iago reprising their performances. Hibla Gerzmava joins the cast as Desdemona, and Adam Fischer conducts.

Saturday, April 30th @1 p.m.: Elektra. 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.

Join us Saturday, May 7th at 1PM for the final live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's 2015/2016 season as they present Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Met Music Director James Levine returns to a work he has long cherished, Mozart’s delightful comic gem of wily captives in a harem. Coloratura soprano sensation Albina Shagimuratova stars in the bravura role of Konstanze. Rising tenor Paul Appleby is her lover, Belmonte, soprano Kathleen Kim is her shrewd maid, Blondchen, and bass Hans-Peter König delivers comic gravitas as the overseer of the harem.