Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Nina Stemme To Sing 'Ariadne auf Naxos' For The First Time at The Met Opera

Acclaimed soprano Nina Stemme returns to the Met for the first time in nine years, adding the demanding title role of Ariadne auf Naxos to her company repertoire. Renowned for her portrayals of Wagner heroines, the Swedish soprano has previously appeared at the Met as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer in 2000. Kathleen Kim, who performed Olympia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann earlier this season to great acclaim, sings her first Zerbinetta. Sarah Connolly returns to the Met stage as the Composer. The cast features two notable Met debuts: Lance Ryan as Bacchus and Jochen Schmeckenbecher as the Music Master. Kirill Petrenko conducts all five performances, which run through February 20. The 1993 production is by Elijah Moshinsky. Michael Yeargan designed the sets and costumes, and the lighting is by Gil Wechsler.

About the Performers
Nina Stemme made her Met debut in 2000 as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer. The Swedish soprano is noted for her Wagner roles, particularly Isolde, which she has sung to great acclaim at Glyndebourne (issued on DVD), Bayreuth, Zurich, and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Other notable roles include Sieglinde and Brünnhilde in the Vienna State Opera's Ring cycle, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and Elsa in Lohengrin. Stemme's upcoming engagements include Isolde in Tristan und Isolde at the Bavarian State Opera and Houston Grand Opera, the title role of Salome at Teatro Real Madrid, and Brünnhilde at both La Scala and San Francisco Opera.
Kathleen Kim sings Zerbinetta. Earlier this season, the Korean-American soprano appeared in Bartlett Sher's new production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. The New York Times wrote of her performance, "In a delightful performance, Kathleen Kim nails the coloratura roulades as the mechanical doll Olympia." Kim made her Met debut in 2007 as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Later that season she returned as Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera and was again seen on the Met stage in 2008 as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Last season, Kim was featured in two Met productions, as First Sprite in Rusalka and as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. In 2006, Kim made her debut with the Chicago Opera Theatre as Madame Mao Zedong in Nixon in China. Her other operatic roles include Queen of the Night and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, the Dew Fairy and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Following her Met debut in 2005 as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, Sarah Connolly returns as the Composer. The British mezzo-soprano is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music and has performed at La Scala and Glyndebourne. Her concert and recital programs have taken her to Carnegie Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Elsewhere this season, Connolly will sing the title role in Maria Stuarda for Britain's Opera North as well as a series of concerts, including Bach's B minor Mass at the Barbican Center, London, Mahler's Resurrection Symphony No.2 with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and Handel duets with Rosemary Joshua at London's Wigmore Hall. Next season Connolly reprises her role of the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos for the Welsh National Opera.
Lance Ryan, a principal artist with the Badisches Staatstheater in Germany, makes his Met debut as Bacchus. The Canadian tenor repertoire includes Cavaradossi in Tosca, Siegmund in Die Walküre, Calàf in Turandot, the title role in Siegfried, Siegfried in Götterdämmerung, and the title role of Otello. Elsewhere this season, Ryan appears as Apollo in Daphne at the Frankfurt Opera, Calaf in Turandot at the Amsterdam Opera, and Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Cologne Opera. Next season, Ryan performs Don José in Carmen at La Scala. He will also perform Siegfried in Götterdämmerung at Strasbourg and at the Frankfurt Opera.
Jochen Schmeckenbecher makes his Met debut as the Music Master. His repertoire includes the roles of Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), the Count (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus). In 1992 he sang his first Papageno in Die Zauberflöte in Düsseldorf. He later reprised the role at Berlin's State Opera, the Karlsruhe Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Florida Grand Opera. Schmeckenbecher has also appeared at the Hamburg State Opera, Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Grand Théâtre de Genève. His recent engagements have included appearances at La Scala in Die Frau ohne Schatten and Ariadne auf Naxos, at the Dallas Opera as Schaunard in La Bohème and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, and at the Santa Fe Opera as the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Kirill Petrenko made his Met debut in 2003 conducting The Merry Widow and has since led the 2005 revival of Ariadne auf Naxos and the 2007 revival of Die Zauberflöte. Petrenko made his opera debut in 1995 with Britten's We Make an Opera in Vorarlberg. From 1997 to 1999, the Russian conductor was the Director of Music at the Vienna Volksoper, and from 1999 to 2002 he served as General Music Director of Germany's Meiningen Theater before going on to take the same position at the Komische Oper Berlin from late 2002 to 2007. Petrenko has also conducted performances with many international opera companies and orchestras, including the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Dresden State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Paris Opera, the Lyon Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, the Munich State Opera, the KlangBogen Festival, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Live Broadcasts Around the World
The February 4 premiere of Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as performances on February 8 and 20, will be broadcast live on the Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79. The February 8 and 20 performances will also be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio.
The premiere will be streamed live via RealNetworks internet streaming on the Met's website
The February 20 matinee will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company's repertory. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world.
The Met's 2009-10 season features eight new productions, four of which are Met premieres. Opening night was a new production of Tosca starring Karita Mattila, conducted by Levine and directed by Luc Bondy. The four Met premieres are: Janá?ek's From the House of the Dead, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Patrice Chéreau, both in Met debuts; Verdi's Attila starring Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by Pierre Audi, with set and costume design by Miuccia Prada, Jacques Herzog, and Pierre de Meuron, all in their Met debuts; Shostakovich's The Nose featuring Paulo Szot, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed and designed by William Kentridge in his Met debut; and Rossini's Armida with Renée Fleming, conducted by Riccardo Frizza and directed by Mary Zimmerman. Other new productions are Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann starring Joseph Calleja, Anna Netrebko, and Alan Held, conducted by Levine and directed by Bartlett Sher; Carmen with El?na Garan?a and Roberto Alagna, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Richard Eyre, both in Met debuts; and Thomas's Hamlet with Natalie Dessay and Simon Keenlyside, conducted by Louis Langrée and directed by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser in their Met debuts.
Building on its 78-year radio broadcast history-currently heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network-the Met now uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to attract new audiences and reach millions of opera fans around the world.
The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Met: Live in HD series returns for its fourth season in 2009-10 with nine transmissions, beginning October 10 with the new production of Tosca and ending with the new production of Rossini's Armida on May 1. The productions are seen in more than 1000 theaters in 44 countries around the world and last season sold more than 1.8 million tickets. These performances began airing on PBS in March 2008, and ten HD performances are now available on DVD. The Magic Flute was released by the Met and is available at the newly renovated Met Opera Shop. In addition, two classic Met performances from 1978 have recently been released by the Met: Otello, conducted by Levine with Jon Vickers and Renata Scotto; and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci conducted by Levine, with Tatiana Troyanos and Plácido Domingo in the first part of the double bill and Teresa Stratas, Plácido Domingo, and Sherrill Milnes in the latter. The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation. Bloomberg L.P. is the global corporate sponsor of The Met: Live in HD.
HD Live in Schools, the Met's program offering free opera transmissions to New York City schools in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, continues for a third season. This season, for the second consecutive year the program will reach public school students and teachers in 18 cities and communities nationwide. HD Live in Schools is made possible by Bank of America.
Continuing its innovative use of electronic media to reach a global audience, the Metropolitan Opera last season introduced Met Player, a new subscription service that makes much of the company's extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public for the first time online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. The new service currently offers more than 190 historic audio recordings, and almost 100 full-length opera videos are available, including 27 of the company's acclaimed The Met: Live in HD transmissions, known for their extraordinary sound and picture quality. New content, including HD productions and archival broadcasts, are added monthly.
Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Radio is a subscription-based audio entertainment service broadcasting an unprecedented number of live performances each week throughout the Met's entire season, as well as rare historical performances, newly restored and remastered, spanning the Met's 78-year broadcast history.
In addition to providing audio recordings through the Met on Rhapsody on-demand service, the Met also presents free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the opera season with support from RealNetworks®.
The company's groundbreaking commissioning program in partnership with New York's Lincoln Center Theater (LCT) provides renowned composers and playwrights with the resources to create and develop new works at the Met and at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater. The Met's partnership with LCT is part of the company's larger initiative to commission new operas from contemporary composers, present modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, and provide a venue for artists to nurture their work. A new work by composer Nico Muhly and playwright Craig Lucas was workshopped this fall.
The Met audience development initiatives include Open House Dress Rehearsals, which are free and open to the public; the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, which exhibits contemporary visual art; the immensely successful Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program; and an annual Holiday Presentation for families.

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Opera Stories

More Hot Stories For You