Kristine Opolais Makes Met Debut in Puccini's LA RONDINE Tonight
Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais makes her Met debut as the courtesan Magda in Puccini's La Rondine tonight, January 11, in a production conducted by Ion Marin and also starring Giuseppe Filianoti as Ruggero, the man Magda loves. Anna Christy sings the role of Lisette, Magda's maid; Marius Brenciu sings the poet Prunier; and DWayne Croft is Rambaldo, the wealthy older man whose love for Magda threatens to compromise her happiness. This season's performances are the first revival of Nicolas Joël's Art Deco-inspired production, which premiered at the Met on New Year's Eve 2008. The opera was performed at the Met frequently in the early 20th century but was then absent from the repertory for more than 70 years.
Kristine Opolais has won acclaim for both her dramatic and vocal skill in numerous leading opera houses in Europe. Her recent appearances include the title role in Janácek's Jen?fa at Zurich Opera, in a season-opening new production conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov; the title role in Dvo?ák's Rusalka at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at Deutsche Oper Berlin and for her debut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème at the Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Latvian National Opera; the title role in Puccini's Tosca at the Cologne Opera; and Nedda in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at La Scala. Later this season, she will sing Tosca at Covent Garden and Mimì at Vienna State Opera.
Anna Christy made her Met debut in 2004 as Papagena in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. She sang Hortense in the world premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy in 2005, and returned as Olympia in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann in the Met's 2010-11 season. This season, she also sings Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare at the English National Opera and the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Toronto's Canadian Opera Company.
Giuseppe Filianoti also sang Ruggero in the premiere season of this production of La Rondine. Last month, he made his Met role debut as Tito in a revival of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. He first appeared with the company in 2005 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and returned to sing Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto, and the title role in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Later this season, he sings the Duke at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Hoffmann at the Bavarian State Opera.
Marius Brenciu made his Met debut as Prunier in the 2008 new production premiere of La Rondine. His recent performances include Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Romanian National Opera in Bucharest, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and Zurich Opera; Rodolfo in La Bohème at La Monnaie in Brussels, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, and San Francisco Opera; and Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata at San Diego Opera.
DWayne Croft made his Met debut in 1990 as Fiorello in Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia and has since sung more than 450 performances with the company, including Figaro in IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pelléas in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, and the title roles of Don Giovanni and Britten's Billy Budd. This season at the Met, he also sings Ping in Turandot, Coroebus in Berlioz's Les Troyens, and Donner in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Ion Marin debuted at the Met in 1992, leading a series of performances of Rossini's bel canto rarity Semiramide. He has also conducted Met performances of Die Zauberflöte and Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. His recent performances include Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress at the Royal Theater Copenhagen and Massenet's Werther at Bavarian State Opera. This spring, he will conduct Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Hungarian State Opera.