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Fabio Luisi Conducts First Met Performances of Ariadne auf Naxos 5/10

Met Principal Guest Conductor Fabio Luisi will conduct his first house performances of Richard Strauss's tragicomic opera-within-an-opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, in a revival opening Saturday, May 10. The three-performance run will feature the Met role debuts of Joyce DiDonato as the Composer and Robert Dean Smith as Bacchus, opposite the acclaimed interpretations of Violeta Urmana as Ariadne, Kathleen Kim as Zerbinetta, and Thomas Allen as the Music Master.

The Composer is the first Strauss role at the Met for DiDonato, who recently starred in the Met premiere of Rossini's Le Comte Ory and has been a notable Rosina, Cherubino, and Stéphano in recent seasons. She last sang the trousers role-a sensitive artist who is shattered to learn that his serious opera will be combined with a musical-comedy burlesque to save time-at Madrid's Teatro Real in 2006. Smith made an unexpected Met debut as Tristan in the 2007-08 season, substituting for a series of indisposed tenors for a Saturday matinee performance that was transmitted to movie theaters worldwide through The Met: Live in HD. Next season, he will add the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly to his Met repertoire. Luisi has conducted a variety of operatic styles at the Met, ranging from Turandot and Tosca to Lulu and Elektra. He led the new production premiere of Strauss's Die Ägyptische Helena in 2007 and, earlier this season, conducted performances of Rigoletto and Das Rheingold.

Urmana last sang Ariadne at the Met in the 2005-06 season. The Lithuanian singer began her Met career as a mezzo-soprano, singing Kundry, Eboli, and Santuzza, but soon transitioned to dramatic soprano roles like Gioconda, Aida, and Odabella in the Met premiere of Verdi's Attila. Earlier this season, she made her house role debut as the title character in Tosca. Kim sang her first Met Zerbinettas in the 2009-10 season. She was critically acclaimed for her performance as Chiang Ch'ing, the fearsome wife of Mao Tse-Tung, in this season's Met premiere production of John Adams's Nixon in China.

Elijah Moshinsky's production features sets and costumes by Tony Award winner Michael Yeargan and lighting design by Gil Wechsler.

Live Broadcasts Around the World
Ariadne auf Naxos will be experienced by millions of people around the world this season on the radio and on the internet, through distribution platforms the Met has established with various media partners.

The May 7 opening performance will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. The May 7 and 10 performances will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM 74.

The May 10 performance will also be available via internet streaming at the Met's web site www.metopera.org.


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