STAGE TUBE: First Look at Rehearsal Footage for THE MERRY WIDOW Starring Renee Fleming, Kelli O'Hara & More!

Renée Fleming will add a new role to her extensive repertory when she sings her first-ever performances of Hanna Glawari, the title role in Lehár's The Merry Widow, at the Met this season. Four-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman makes her Met debut as director and choreographer of a new production of the comic operetta, in which a wealthy widow's countrymen launch a romantic plot to keep her -- and her tax dollars -- within their borders.

Check out footage from the rehearsal below!

Highlights of the score include the familiar "Vilja Song" for the title character as well as a climactic song-and-dance set piece featuring a chorus line of grisettes at the legendary Parisian restaurant Maxim's. Sir Andrew Davis conducts a cast that also includes Broadway star Kelli O'Hara in her Met debut in the comic role of Valencienne, Nathan Gunn as the handsome Danilo, Alek Shrader as Camille, and Thomas Allen as Baron Zeta. The Merry Widow will be performed in a new English translation by Jeremy Sams and will feature set design by Julian Crouch, costume design by William Ivey Long in his Met debut, and lighting design by Paule Constable. The January 17 matinee performance will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met's Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 1,900 movie theaters in 69 countries around the world.

Susan Stroman is the director and choreographer of nine Broadway musicals, most recently Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, The Scottsboro Boys, Young Frankenstein, and The Frogs. She is the winner of four Tony Awards, including one each as director and choreographer for her work on the 2001 hit The Producers, and has been nominated an additional 12 times, for directing or choreographing a variety of productions including The Music Man, Steel Pier, Show Boat, Contact, and Crazy For You.

The January 17 matinee performance of The Merry Widow will be transmitted live around the world at 12:55 p.m. ET as part of the Met's Live in HD series. The transmission, hosted by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, will be seen in more than 2,000 movie theaters in 69 countries around the world.

The December 31 opening performance will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on January 6, 13, and 17, April 28, and May 7. The December 31 and May 7 performances will also be streamed live on the Met's Web site, www.metopera.org.

The January 17 performance will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

For more information on The Merry Widow, including casting by date, click here.




Related Articles View More Opera Stories

More Hot Stories For You