Ailyn Perez to Make Title Role Debut in THAIS at The Metropolitan Opera
American soprano Ailyn Pérez makes her role debut as the glamorous courtesan in the title role of Thaïs, opening November 11 for seven performances.
Massenet's intriguing exploration of the conflict between religious faith and sensual desire also stars Canadian baritone Gerald Finley, as ascetic monk Athanaël. French maestro Emmanuel Villaume conducts John Cox's production, not seen at the Met in almost a decade, with French tenor Jean-François Borras as Nicias and American bass-baritone David Pittsinger as Palémon.
Ailyn Pérez will be seen in leading roles in three productions at the Met this season. In addition to Thaïs, she sings the Countess in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. Pérez made her company debut in 2015 as Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen. In 2016, she won the Beverly Sills Artist Award and starred as Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème, and the following year, she sang Mimì in La Bohème with the company.
Acclaimed as one of opera's finest singing actors, Gerald Finley's recent performance in the title role of Aribet Reimann's Lear at Salzburg Festival attracted outstanding reviews. He sings his first Met performances as Athanaël, a role he has previously sung in concert at the Châtelet in Paris. Finley has sung eight roles at the Met, including the title roles of Rossini's Guillaume Tell and Mozart's Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Golaud in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, J. Robert Oppenheimer in the Met premiere of John Adams' Doctor Atomic, and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
Jean-François Borras has previously sung Nicias at the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo. He made his Met debut in 2014 in the title role of Massenet's Werther, and his other company credits include the Duke in Verdi's Rigoletto and Rodolfo in La Bohème, a role he reprises in the Met's current season.
David Pittsinger has sung 11 different roles with the company, including Colline in La Bohème, the Speaker in The Magic Flute, and Trulove in The Rake's Progress.
Emmanuel Villaume is Music Director of the Dallas Opera and Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia. He made his Met debut in 2004 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and his subsequent performances with the company have included Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila, Carmen, Massenet's Manon, and Roméo et Juliette.
The November 11 matinee performance will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75, as will the performance on November 22. The November 11 matinee performances will also be streamed live on the Met's Web site, www.metopera.org.
A previously recorded performance will be broadcast January 20 over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
For more information on Thaïs, including casting by date, click here.
Composer: Jules Massenet
Libretto: Louis Gallet
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 1:00 pm
Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8:00 pm
Wednesday, November 22, 2017, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 25, 2017, 8:00 pm
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 8:00 pm
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume
Production: John Cox
Costumes for the role of Thaïs: Christian Lacroix
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Sara Jo Slate
Thaïs: Ailyn Pérez
Nicias: Jean-François Borras
Athanaël: Gerald Finley
Palémon: David Pittsinger
La Charmeuse: Deanna Breiwick
Crobyle: France Bellemare
Myrtale: Megan Marino
Nicias' Servant: Jeongcheol Cha
Cenobite T1: Daniel Clark Smith
Cenobite T2: Patrick Miller
Cenobite T3: Marco Jordäo
Cenobite B1: Edward Hanlon
Cenobite B2: Mark Sullivan
Pictured: A scene from Act II of Massenet's "Thaïs." Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.