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Met Music Director James Levine to Conduct His First Met Performances of DIE FLEDERMAUS

After a 44-year career at the Met, during which he has led performances of more than 85 operas, James Levine expands his company repertory with his first-ever Met performances of the sparkling Johann Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus. Levine leads all ten performances of Die Fledermaus at the Met this season, where it is being performed as part of the company's recent tradition of holiday presentations. The comic operetta, set at a glamorous New Year's Eve party rife with romantic complications and mistaken identities, is being performed at reduced ticket prices in an English version featuring dialogue by Broadway playwright Douglas Carter Beane. Die Fledermaus opens December 4 and plays 10 performances through January 7.

Two of the original stars of the 2013 new production premiere of Jeremy Sams's staging reprise their roles this season: Susanna Phillips as Rosalinde and Paulo Szot as Dr. Falke. New cast members include Toby Spence as Eisenstein, Lucy Crowe as the clever maid Adele, Dimitri Pittas as the singing teacher Alfred, Alan Opie as the prison governor Frank, Christopher Fitzgerald in his Met debut as the drunken jailer Frosch, and Susan Graham in her first Met performances of the party host, Prince Orlofsky.

Artist Biographies

James Levine has conducted more than 2,500 performances over the course of his Met career. Not since the 2010-11 season, when Maestro Levine conducted Donizetti's Don Pasquale, has he added a new opera to his repertory. Earlier this season, he led a revival of Wagner's Tannhäuser, and this spring he will also conduct Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the MET Orchestra in three concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Susanna Phillips starred as Rosalinde in the 2013-14 new production premiere of Die Fledermaus. She has sung more than 75 Met performances. Past roles with the company include Stella and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. This season, she will also sing Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème at the Met.

Lucy Crowe made her company debut in 2012 as Servilia in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. Recent appearances with other companies include Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen and the title role in Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore at Royal Opera, Covent Garden. She can be seen later this season as Pamina in The Magic Flute at the English National Opera.

Susan Graham previously sang Prince Orlofsky at the Houston Grand Opera. She has sung over 150 Met performances, most recently the role of Hanna Glawari in Lehár's The Merry Widow, Sycorax in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island, Dido in Berlioz's Les Troyens, and Countess Geschwitz in this season's new production of Berg's Lulu. She will perform with the New York Philharmonic for a New Year's Eve La Vie Parisienne recital and sing a recital at Carnegie Hall next year.

Toby Spence makes his role debut as Eisenstein. He made his company debut in 2010 as Laërte in Thomas's Hamlet, followed by Antonio in Adès's The Tempest, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Recent credits with other companies include Tito in La Clemenza di Tito at the Vienna State Opera and Bavarian State Opera and reprising the role of Tamino at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Dimitri Pittas adds the role of Alfred to his Met repertory. He made his company debut in 2005 as Herald in Don Carlo followed by roles such as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Tamino in The Magic Flute. At the beginning of the season, he starred as Cassio in the Met's new production premiere of Verdi's Otello and can be seen later this season reprising the role of Alfred at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.

Tony Award winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific) previously sang the role of Dr. Falke in the 2013-14 new production premiere of Die Fledermaus. He made his Met debut in 2010, singing Kovalyov in the company premiere of Shostakovich's The Nose, and then sang Escamillo in Carmen and Lescaut in the 2012 new production premiere of Massenet's Manon. He can be seen later this season as Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Opéra de Marseille.

Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Young Frankenstein, Finian's Rainbow) makes his Met debut as Frosch. As a veteran of Broadway, he originated the roles of Boq in Wicked and Igor in Young Frankenstein and has played Og in the revival of Finian's Rainbow and Billy Flynn in Chicago. In addition to his theatre credits, Fitzgerald has also starred in the films Boiler Room, Personal Velocity, and Girl Most Likely and guest starred on television in episodes of The Good Wife, Elementary, and Almost There.

Alan Opie makes his role debut as Frank. Last season at the Met, he sang Baron Zeta in the company's new production of The Merry Widow and the title role in the Met premiere of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer. He has sung four other roles at the Met including his company debut as Balstrode in Britten's Peter Grimes, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier, and Fieramosca in the 2003 Met premiere of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini.

Holiday Presentations

Continuing a tradition inaugurated in 2006, the Met offers holiday presentations this December and January: English-language performances of operas with special discounted pricing. This is the first time the Met is offering a holiday presentation geared toward adults in addition to a holiday presentation for families, The Barber of Seville, which also runs throughout December and January.

For performances from Thanksgiving through December 30, audience members 18 and younger pay half price for all holiday performances (subject to availability). The Holidays at Half Price promotion is available by calling 212-362-6000 or at the Met Opera Box Office.

Die Fledermaus Fun Facts

Die Fledermaus first premiered at the Vienna State Opera in 1874 conducted by the composer, Johann Strauss, Jr. with Marie Geistinger as Rosalinde and Jani Szika as Eisenstein. The operetta premiered at the Met in 1905 and has been performed 223 times with the company since. Barbara Daniels sang Rosalinde a record 23 times with the company and Charles Kullman sang the role of Eisenstein a record 42 times at the Met.

Die Fledermaus Radio Broadcasts

The December 4 performance of Die Fledermaus will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performance on January 2. The performances on December 23 and January 7 will also be streamed live on the Met's website, www.metopera.org.

The January 2 matinee performance will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.



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