Kelli O'Hara, Susan Stroman to Make Met Opera Debuts in THE MERRY WIDOW on New Year's Eve

Kelli O'Hara, Susan Stroman to Make Met Opera Debuts in THE MERRY WIDOW on New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve, Tony Award-winning director Susan Stroman will make her Metropolitan Opera debut with a new production of Lehár's The Merry Widow, conducted by Andrew Davis.

Opening December 31, 2014, the production will feature set design by Julian Crouch, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Paule Constable and choreography by Susan Stroman. The show will broadcast Live in HD on January 17, 2015.

Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman, whose many credits include the Tony Award-winning musicals Crazy For You, Contact, and The Producers, makes her Met debut with a lavish new staging of Lehár's effervescent operetta The Merry Widow. The operetta will be performed in English, in a translation by Jeremy Sams. Lehár's best-known composition has been an audience favorite since its 1905 premiere and features a great deal of well-known music, including "Vilja," "You'll Find Me at Maxim's," and "The Merry Widow Waltz."

As Hanna, the widowed Parisian millionairess, Renée Fleming will add a new character to her wide-ranging Met repertory of 22 roles. Andrew Davis will conduct a cast that also includes Nathan Gunn as Hanna's lover, Danilo; Alek Shrader as the young nobleman, Camille de Rosillon; and Thomas Allen as the scheming Baron Zeta.

As well as soprano Kelli O'Hara, currently starring on Broadway in the new musical The Bridges of Madison County, in her Met debut as the Baron's coquettish wife, Valencienne. O'Hara has also starred on Broadway in Nice Work If You Can Get It, South Pacific, The Pajama Game, The Light in the Piazza, Dracula, Sweet Smell of Success, Follies and Jekyll & Hyde.

In April, Fabio Luisi leads a new cast in the principal roles, headed by Susan Graham as Hanna, a role she sang at the Met to acclaim in 2004. The cast also includes Rod Gilfry as Danilo, Stephen Costello as Camille, Alan Opie as Baron Zeta, and Danielle de Niese as Valencienne.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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