L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) (September 24th - February 9th)
Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in one of the greatest comic gems in opera, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino. Bartlett Sher, whose previous productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le Comte Ory and Les Contes d’Hoffmann have delighted Met audiences, guides this lively staging, where surface charm will meet with real emotion. Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir.
The Tempest (October 23rd - November 17th)
Composer Thomas Ades conducts the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his own work, which has been widely praised as a modern masterpiece. Director Robert Lepage recreates the interior of 18th century La Scala, including the hidden workings underneath the stage, where Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, practices his otherworldly arts. The magnetic baritone Simon Keenlyside stars as Prospero, a role he has sung to great acclaim in London.
Un Ballo in Maschera (November 8th - December 14th)
Accompanied by a thrilling score, Verdi’s vivid characters grapple with life and love, betrayal and death. Director David Alden’s dreamlike setting provides a compelling backdrop for this dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance. Marcelo Alvarez stars as the conflicted king; Karita Mattila is Amelia, the object of his secret passion; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is her suspicious husband. Kathleen Kim is the page Oscar, and mezzo-soprano powerhouses Dolora Zajick and Stephanie Blythe take turns singing the fortuneteller Ulrica.
Maria Stuarda (December 31st - January 26th)
Fresh from her triumph in the Met’s The Enchanted Island, mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the world’s most exciting singers, takes on the virtuosic bel canto role of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots. Having scored a major success with his production of Anna Bolena, director David McVicar now turns to the second opera of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, which explores regal characters at fateful moments of their lives.
Rigoletto (January 28th - May 1st)
Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdi’s towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960—an ideal setting for this eternal conflict of depravity and innocence. In this production, inspired by the antics of the Rat Pack, Piotr Beczala is the womanizing Duke of Mantua, with Zeljko Lucic as his tragic sidekick, Rigoletto. Diana Damrau is Rigoletto’s daughter—and their victim.
Parsifal (February 15th - March 8th)
Director Francois Girard’s timeless new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece explores the many facets of this mystical score, while designer Michael Levine (Eugene Onegin ) creates a surreal landscape. Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of the innocent who finds wisdom. His fellow Wagnerian luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas, Evgeny Nikitin as the wicked Klingsor and Ren. Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz.
Giulio Cesare (April 4th - May 10th)
The opera that conquered London in Handel’s time comes to the Met in David McVicar’s inventive production – which triumphed at its Glyndebourne premiere in 2005. The Guardian praised McVicar’s “witty, sexy and tragic post-colonial framing of Handel’s Caesar and Cleopatra tale,” which incorporates elements of Baroque theater and 19th-century British imperialism to illuminate the opera’s ideas of love, war, and empire building. The world’s leading countertenor, David Daniels, sings the title role opposite Natalie Dessay as an irresistibly exotic Cleopatra.
Der Ring des Nibelungen (April 6th - May 11th)
Robert Lepage’s landmark production of Wagner’s Ring is back for three complete cycles in spring 2013, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium for this visionary staging of opera’s ultimate epic, leading a cast of some of the world’s greatest Wagner singers.
Aida (November 23rd - December 28th)
The Met’s unforgettable production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska and Hui He. They share the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radames, played by Marco Berti and Roberto Algana, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina.
Carmen (September 28th - March 1st)
Anita Rachvelishvili, the sultry Carmen who made a sensational Met debut in 2010, sings the title role in Richard Eyre’s fast-moving hit production of the tragic tale. Rising tenor Yonghoon Lee is Don Jose, whose doomed love for Carmen destroys them both. Kate Royal is the loyal Micaela and Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings the swaggering bullfighter Escamillo.
La Clemenza di Tito (November 16th - December 10th)
The virtuosic Elina Garanca sings Sesto in Mozart’s drama set in ancient Rome. Giuseppe Filianoti is the noble Tito and Barbara Frittoli is Vitellia, in this handsome revival of one of the composer’s final masterpieces.
Le Comte Ory (January 17th - February 5th)
Reviving his turn in the comic sensation of the 2010–11 season, tenor Juan Diego Florez once again demonstrates his unsurpassed bel canto mastery in this Rossini gem, rediscovered—and reinvigorated— in Bartlett Sher’s charming and witty production. Maurizio Benini leads the ensemble, which includes Nino Machaidze as Countless Adele, Karine Deshayes in the trouser role of the page Isolier, and Nathan Gunn as the raffish Raimbaud.
Dialogues des Carmélites (May 4th - May 11th)
In one of the Met’s greatest productions, Poulenc’s masterpiece makes a rare return to the repertory with a fine cast led by Patricia Racette, Felicity Palmer, and Isabel Leonard. Louis Langree conducts this dramatic work with one of the most haunting final moments in opera.
Don Carlo (February 22nd - March 16th)
Nicholas Hytner’s powerful 2010 production features a strong cast for Verdi’s epic vision of the Spanish Inquisition. Ram.n Vargas sings the title role, joined by Barbara Frittoli, Anna Smirnova, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson.
Don Giovanni (November 28th - December 20th)
Michael Grandage’s elegant production returns with the charismatic Ildar Abdrazakov as the world’s most famous lover. Rising star Susanna Phillips is Donna Anna, Emma Bell is Donna Elvira, Charles Castronovo is Don Ottavio, and Erwin Schrott is Giovanni’s lieutenant, Leporello.
Faust (March 21st - April 5th)
The gifted tenor Piotr Beczala sings his first Met Faust in Des McAnuff’s inventive production, updated to the birth of the atomic age. Marina Poplavskaya is the captivating Marguerite, and John Relyea is the dashing devil.
Francesca da Rimini (March 4th - March 22nd)
Zandonai’s compelling opera, inspired by an episode from Dante’s Inferno, returns in the Met’s ravishingly beautiful production, last seen in 1986. Dramatic soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and tenor Marcello Giordani are the doomed lovers.
Le Nozze di Figaro (October 26th - November 17th)
Ildar Abdrazakov stars as the subversive Figaro in Mozart’s sublime masterpiece. Mojca Erdmann is his clever bride, Susanna, Christine Schafer is the randy pageboy, Cherubino, Maija Kovalevska is the long-suffering Countess, and Gerald Finley is her husband, the Count, who must be taught a lesson.
Otello (October 9th - March 30th)
Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece returns to the Met with two exciting casts. Johan Botha sings the title role opposite the acclaimed Desdemona of star soprano Renee Fleming, with Falk Struckmann as Iago and Semyon Bychkov conducting. Later in the season, Jose Cura, Krassimira Stoyanova, and Thomas Hampson take on the principal roles, with Placido Domingo on the podium.
La Rondine (January 11th - January 26th)
This is Puccini at his melodic best, as soprano Kristine Opolais makes a notable debut in the title role of this romantic, bittersweet comedy. Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti is her passionate but mismatched lover.
La Traviata (March 14th - April 6th)
Soprano Diana Damrau tackles Verdi’s eternal heroine for the first time at the Met in Willy Decker’s inspiring production. Placido Domingo expands his repertoire to sing the baritone role of Germont, Violetta’s tormentor. Tenor Saimir Pirgu sings Alfredo, her naive lover.
Il Trovatore (September 29th - January 24th)
David McVicar’s vivid production keeps the action moving in Verdi’s intense melodrama, which includes some of the composer’s most memorable music. Carmen Giannattasio, Sondra Radvanovsky, Patricia Racette, Angela Meade, Marco Berti, Franco Vassallo, and Alexey Markov take on leading roles, with a pair of star mezzos sharing the role of the gypsy Azucena: Stephanie Blythe and Dolora Zajick.
Les Troyens (December 13th - January 5th)
The Met offers a rare opportunity to witness Berlioz’s vast epic, last performed at the Met in 2003. Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft lead the starry cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War.
Turandot (September 26th - January 10th)
Franco Zeffirelli’s breathtaking production features Maria Guleghina and Ir.ne Theorin in the title role of the fatally beautiful Chinese princess. Sharing the role of Calaf, Marco Berti and Marcello Giordani sing the famous “Nessun dorma,” just one of the treasures of Puccini’s score.
The Barber of Seville (December 18th - January 5th)
This season’s holiday entertainment, Bartlett Sher’s production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece, has an abridged running length of two hours and is sung in English. It’s the perfect opera for kids and adults, featuring slapstick comedy and pure romance. The charming and irresistible cast of young stars includes Isabel Leonard as the lovely Rosina, Alek Shrader as the Count who woos her, and Rodion Pogossov as the conspiring barber.