Seven New Productions, Including Two Met Premieres, Headline Met's '10-11 Season

Seven New Productions, Including Two Met Premieres, Headline Met's '10-11 Season

Seven new productions, including two company premieres and the first two parts of a new Ring cycle, featuring many of the world's greatest singers and conductors, will highlight the Metropolitan Opera's 2010-11 season. General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine announced plans for the Met premieres of John Adams's Nixon in China and Rossini's Le Comte Ory, the first two installments of Robert Lepage's new production of Wagner's epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, with stagings of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and new productions of three repertory classics by debuting directors-Boris Godunov by Peter Stein, Don Carlo by Nicholas Hytner, and La Traviata by Willy Decker. With Nixon in China, Peter Sellars will also make his Met directorial debut, and Bartlett Sher, director of Le Comte Ory, will return for his third production here following his recent successful stagings of IL Barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

In his 40th anniversary season, Maestro Levine, who has conducted nearly 2,500 performances at the Met, more than any conductor in the company's 126-year history, will conduct six operas across a range of repertory. The Met will celebrate the music director's extraordinary, record-breaking Met career with historical DVD and CD releases of his performances, as well as a new documentary film about the maestro by award-winning director Susan Froemke. Levine will launch the 2010-11 season on Monday, September 27, 2010, with a gala performance of Das Rheingold. The first installment of the new Ring cycle by Robert Lepage, the opera will star Bryn Terfel in his first appearance as Wotan in the U.S. and Stephanie Blythe as Fricka. The new staging of Die Walküre will open on April 22, 2011, with Levine conducting a cast that includes Deborah Voigt in her first Met Brünnhilde, Eva-Maria Westbroek in her company debut as Sieglinde, Blythe as Fricka, Jonas Kaufmann in his first Siegmund at the Met, and Terfel as Wotan. Levine will also lead revivals of Don Pasquale, Il Trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, and Wozzeck. On the actual date of his anniversary, June 5, he will conduct Don Carlo with the company on tour in Japan.

Acclaimed German director Peter Stein will make his Met debut with a new production of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, opening October 11, conducted by Valery Gergiev. René Pape will sing the monumental title role for the first time at the Met. Verdi's Don Carlo will premiere on November 22 in a new production by Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of London's National Theatre, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The co-production, which opened at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in 2008, will star Roberto Alagna in the title role, Marina Poplavskaya as Elisabeth de Valois, Simon Keenlyside as Rodrigo, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as King Philip. The new La Traviata will premiere at a New Year's Eve gala performance of Willy Decker's hit production from the 2005 Salzburg Festival that has been modified and rebuilt for the Met, with Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta and Matthew Polenzani as Alfredo; Gianandrea Noseda conducts.

Celebrated composer John Adams will make his Met debut on the podium on February 2, conducting the Met premiere of his 1987 opera Nixon in China, in a production by Peter Sellars from the English National Opera. Rossini's rarely heard comic opera Le Comte Ory will have its Met premiere on March 24, featuring Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato as Isolier, in Bartlett Sher's new production.

Gelb said, "Maestro Levine's 40th anniversary and the beginning of a new Ring cycle, both extraordinary events in the life of this great company, will inspire us to artistic heights and hopefully stimulate the public to fill our seats."

Levine said, "After forty years of working with this great company, I am still excited by the prospect of a new season that introduces new repertory, new artists, and new challenges. And I couldn't ask for a better way to celebrate my anniversary than beginning a new Ring cycle."

The Met's conducting roster will feature a number of notable debut artists in the 2010-11 season, including Simon Rattle, who leads Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, and William Christie, who conducts Mozart's Così fan tutte. Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, Edward Gardner, Patrick Fournillier, Erik Nielsen, and Paolo Arrivabeni also make their Met debuts leading important revivals during the season. Maestros returning to conduct revivals will include: Marco Armiliato, Andrew Davis, Plácido Domingo, Riccardo Frizza, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Andris Nelsons, and Patrick Summers.

Highly acclaimed recent portrayals by some of the Met's most popular stars will be reprised this season. Star soprano Renée Fleming performs the virtuoso title role of Rossini's Armida, then switches gears to sing the Countess in Richard Strauss's Capriccio (her first complete account of the role, though she sang the final scene at the Opening Night Gala in 2008). Susan Graham returns to the title role of Iphigénie en Tauride with Plácido Domingo repeating his noble Oreste. Natalie Dessay once again offers her brilliant portrayal of the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, and El?na Garan?a gives the audience another chance to witness her magnetic Carmen. Anna Netrebko reprises her tour-de-force Norina in Don Pasquale, and Karita Mattila takes the stage as Lisa in The Queen of Spades, a role she has not sung here since 1995. Angela Gheorghiu comes back for Gounod's Juliette for the first time since 1998, and Marcelo Álvarez again sings the title role in Il Trovatore.

Many of the world's most prominent singers will be taking on roles they have never sung at the Met before, including Piotr Becza?a as Roméo, Joseph Calleja as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Danielle De Niese as Despina in Così fan tutte, Joyce DiDonato as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Giuseppe Filianoti in the title role of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, opposite Olga Borodina as Giulietta and Ildar Abdrazakov as the Four Villains. Also in Met role debuts, Dmitri Hvorostovsky will sing the title role and Barbara Frittoli is Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, Magdalena Kožená is Mélisande, Peter Mattei is Yeletsky and Dolora Zajick is the Countess in The Queen of Spades. Patricia Racette sings Leonora in Il Trovatore, Sondra Radvanovsky and Violeta Urmana share the title role of Tosca, Deborah Voigt sings the title role and Marcello Giordani is Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West, and Waltraud Meier is Marie and Matthias Goerne is the title role in Wozzeck.

The Met: Live in HD 2010-11 Series

The 2010-11 season of The Met: Live in HD will feature 11 transmissions, beginning on October 9 with Das Rheingold and continuing with Boris Godunov (October 23), Don Pasquale (November 13), Don Carlo (December 11), La Fanciulla del West (January 8), Iphigénie en Tauride (February 26), Lucia di Lammermoor (March 19), Le Comte Ory (April 9), Capriccio (April 23), Il Trovatore (April 30), and Die Walküre (May 14).

The company's enormously successful, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series of live transmissions into movie theaters in 44 countries and more than 1000 theaters around the world has sold more than 1.8 million tickets so far during the 2009-10 season. With two transmissions remaining in the fourth season of the popular series (Hamlet on March 27 and Armida on May 1) attendance is expected to exceed two million, effectively tripling the Met's paying audience (approximately 800,000 people attend performances in the opera house in a Met season).

Ticket Prices

In the face of difficult economic conditions, the Met is sustaining its recent box office success as a result of new artistic and public initiatives. After four years without any across-the-board increases, ticket prices for the Met's 2010-11 season will go up an average of 6% for subscription tickets and 11% for individual tickets.

Even with these new prices, about one third of the seats in the house cost less than $100. The Met continues to offer reduced-price tickets for selected performances for full-time students, age 29 and under, at $25 for weekday performances and $35 for Friday and Saturday performances.

The Met's successful Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program will continue for a fifth season, thanks to the support of Met Board member Agnes Varis and her husband, Karl Leichtman. The program provides up to two tickets per customer for selected orchestra seats at the sharply discounted price of $20, available two hours before curtain time. The Met also reserves 50 Varis Rush tickets per performance for senior citizens. To date this season, the Met has provided 15,600 Varis Rush tickets to 78 performances.

New Productions

The 2010-11 season opens on September 27 with James Levine conducting the gala premiere of Wagner's Das Rheingold, in a production by internationally renowned director, writer, and performer Robert Lepage. Known for his visually stunning and technologically advanced theater works, Lepage made his Met debut in 2008 with Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust. His production team for the Ring includes set designer Carl Fillion, costume designer François St.-Aubin, and lighting designer Étienne Boucher, the latter two in their Met debuts. Holger Förterer is the interactive projection artist, and video images are by Boris Firquet. Bryn Terfel sings his first Wotan at the Met, and the cast also includes Wendy Bryn Harmer as Freia, Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Patricia Bardon as Erda, Adam Diegel as Froh, Eric Owens as Alberich, Richard Croft as Loge, Gerhard Siegel as Mime, DWayne Croft as Donner, and Franz-Josef Selig and Hans-Peter König as the giants Fasolt and Fafner. Levine, who has conducted every complete cycle of Wagner's masterpiece at the Met since 1989, says, "The Ring is one of those works of art that you think you know, but every time you return to it you find all kinds of brilliant moments that hadn't struck you with the same force before." In what has become a Met tradition, the opening night performance will be transmitted live to large outdoor screens in Times Square and at Lincoln Center, which the public can attend for free. Das Rheingold is produced in collaboration with Ex Machina and is a gift of Ann Ziff and the Ziff family, in memory of William Ziff.

The new production of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, conducted by Valery Gergiev, will be staged by Peter Stein, one of the world's leading theater directors. German bass René Pape takes on the iconic title role for the first time with the company. His portrayals of such roles as King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Méphistophélès in Faust, Gurnemanz in Parsifal, and King Philip in Don Carlo have made him an audience favorite at the Met and won extraordinary critical acclaim. Also making Met role debuts are Ekaterina Semenchuk as Marina, Aleksandrs Antonenko as Dimitri, Oleg Balashov as Shuisky, Evgeny Nikitin as Rangoni, and Mikhail Petrenko as Pimen. Vladimir Ognovenko sings Varlaam. Set designer Ferdinand Wögerbauer, costume designer Moidele Bickel, and choreographer Apostolia Tsolaki make their Met debuts. Lighting design is by Duane Schuler. Boris Godunov will be performed with Mussorgsky's original orchestration. The production is a gift of Karen and Kevin Kennedy and Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer J. Thomas, Jr.

Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of London's National Theatre, makes his Met debut with the new production of Don Carlo, a notable success when it opened in London in 2008. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who triumphed in his recent Met debut leading a new production of Carmen, conducts. The production stars Roberto Alagna, who sings the title role for the first time at the Met, Marina Poplavskaya as Elisabeth de Valois, Simon Keenlyside as Rodrigo, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II. Anna Smirnova makes her Met debut as Princess Eboli, and Eric Halfvarson is the Grand Inquisitor. YongHoon Lee makes his Met debut as Don Carlo in later performances. Bob Crowley, set and costume designer, and Mark Henderson, lighting designer, both make their Met debuts with this production. Don Carlo is a co-production with London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, and is a gift of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller.

German director Willy Decker's theatrically powerful production of La Traviata was widely praised at its Salzburg Festival premiere in 2005. Redesigned and rebuilt to fit the Met stage, it opens on New Year's Eve with a gala performance conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and starring Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta. Matthew Polenzani is Alfredo for the opening series of performances with Francesco Meli taking over later in the run, and Andrzej Dobber is Giorgio Germont. The members of the production team all make their Met debuts: Wolfgang Gussmann as set and costume designer, Hans Toelstede as lighting designer, and Athol Farmer as choreographer. The production is presented with thanks to De Nederlandse Opera. It is a gift of Karen and Kevin Kennedy and Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Montrone.

John Adams's landmark 1987 opera Nixon in China has its Met premiere under the composer's baton in a production by acclaimed director Peter Sellars created for the English National Opera, based on the original Houston Grand Opera production. Nixon in China, with a libretto by Alice Goodman, explores President Nixon's 1972 encounter with Mao Tse-tung and Communist China. Adams's work, says Sellars, "shows you what opera can do to history, which is to deepen it and move into its more subtle, nuanced and mysterious corners." James Maddalena, who sang the role of Richard Nixon at the world premiere, reprises his interpretation here, opposite Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon and Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung. Kathleen Kim is Mao's wife Chiang Ch'ing and Russell Braun portrays Chou En-lai. Richard Paul Fink is Henry Kissinger. Sellars's creative team includes set designer Adrianne Lobel, costume designer Dunya Ramicova, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, choreographer Mark Morris, and sound designer Mark Grey.

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher returns to the Met with a new production of Rossini's rarely heard Le Comte Ory, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Three bel canto virtuosos star in the new staging: Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, Diana Damrau as Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato as Isolier. Stéphane Degout is Raimbaud and Michele Pertusi portrays the Tutor. Sher's Tony Award-winning team includes veteran collaborators Michael Yeargan and Catherine Zuber, who create the sets and costumes, respectively, and Brian MacDevitt, who designs the lighting. Rossini's final comic masterpiece, in which a count disguises himself as a nun to gain access to the object of his affection, is a natural for Sher, whose inventive direction of IL Barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffmann has charmed Met audiences. He describes the world of Le Comte Ory as, "a place where love is dangerous. People get hurt. That can be very funny and very painfuL. Rossini captures both-with the most beautiful love music he ever wrote." The production is a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund.

Die Walküre, the second part of Wagner's Ring cycle, comes at the close of the Met's 2010-11 season, completing the first two installments of Robert Lepage's highly anticipated new production. (The Met will present the full cycle in the 2011-12 season.) James Levine conducts a star cast that includes Deborah Voigt in her first Met Brünnhilde, Eva-Maria Westbroek in her Met debut as Sieglinde, Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, and Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund. Bryn Terfel takes on the towering role of Wotan, the king of the gods, and Hans-Peter König is Hunding. The Rheingold production team returns: Carl Fillion as set designer; François St.-Aubin as costume designer; and Étienne Boucher as lighting designer. The production is a gift of Ann Ziff and the Ziff family, in memory of William Ziff.

Repertory

Twenty-one revivals are featured in the Met's 2010-11 season, including some of the most recent new productions. Rossini's Armida returns, starring Renée Fleming in the title role, with Lawrence Brownlee, Bruce Ford, John Osborn, Barry Banks, and Kobie van Rensburg making up the cohort of tenors in the extraordinary cast. Riccardo Frizza conducts the bel canto showpiece in a production by Mary Zimmerman.

The current season's hit production of Carmen also returns, with El?na Garan?a and Kate Aldrich in the title role, Nicole Cabell and Genia Kühmeier singing Micaëla for the first time at the Met, Brandon Jovanovich and Roberto Alagna reprising their passionate portrayals of Don José, and John Relyea singing his first Escamillo with the company.

Bartlett Sher's acclaimed production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann will also be seen again in the new season, starring Giuseppe Filianoti in the title role. Hibla Gerzmava makes her Met debut as Antonia, Anna Christy and Elena Mosuc are Olympia, Olga Borodina is Giulietta, and Ildar Abdrazakov sings the Four Villains. Kate Lindsey again sings the roles of Nicklausse and the Muse. French conductor Patrick Fournillier makes his Met debut leading Offenbach's score.

Two divas take on the title role of Tosca for the first time at the Met in Luc Bondy's production, which opened the current season: Sondra Radvanovsky and Violeta Urmana. Marcelo Álvarez returns to the role of Cavaradossi, this time alternating with Salvatore Licitra. Falk Struckmann, last heard at the Met in 2003, shares the role of Scarpia with James Morris, who will be celebrating his 40th season at the Met. Paul Plishka is again the Sacristan, and Marco Armiliato conducts.

Eighteenth-century opera has a significant place in the season repertory, with two operas each by Gluck and Mozart. Mark Morris's acclaimed production of Orfeo ed Euridice stars countertenor David Daniels, who sang the title role at the staging's 2007 premiere. This time his beloved Euridice is debuting soprano Kate Royal, and Lisette Oropesa sings Amor.

Gluck's sublime Iphigénie en Tauride also returns in the 2007 production by Stephen Wadsworth, conducted this season by Patrick Summers. Susan Graham sings the title role opposite the Oreste of Plácido Domingo, the pair repeating their highly praised portrayals from the production's premiere. Paul Groves returns to the role of Pylade, and Gordon Hawkins sings Thoas.

Conductor William Christie, who is widely acclaimed for his performances of Baroque and Classical operas, makes his Met debut leading the revival of Mozart's Così fan tutte. His youthful cast includes Miah Persson as Fiordiligi, Isabel Leonard as Dorabella, Danielle De Niese as Despina, and Pavol Breslik as Ferrando, all singing their roles for the first time at the Met. Nathan Gunn reprises his Guglielmo and Wolfgang Holzmair makes his company debut as Don Alfonso.

Italian bel canto opera is also on the schedule this season. In addition to Rossini's Armida, two Donizetti operas return to the repertory in recent productions. Otto Schenk's hilarious staging of Don Pasquale has its first revival since its 2006 premiere, with James Levine conducting the opera for the first time at the Met. Anna Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecien return from the premiere cast, Matthew Polenzani takes on a new Met role as Ernesto, and John Del Carlo sings the title role.

Natalie Dessay portrays the fragile title heroine of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, a role in which she triumphed at the premiere of Mary Zimmerman's new production on opening night of the 2007-08 season. Joseph Calleja adds a new role to his Met repertory as her lover, Edgardo. Ludovic Tézier sings Enrico, and Kwangchul Youn is Raimondo. All three men are new to their roles with the company. Patrick Summers conducts.

Verdi operas, always a core of the repertory, are represented by three powerful and popular works. Rigoletto opens in the season's first week, with another run in January and yet another in April and May. Casts for each series of performances include Christine Schäfer, Nino Machaidze (debut), and Diana Damrau as Gilda; Francesco Meli (debut), Joseph Calleja, and Giuseppe Filianoti as the Duke; Lado Ataneli, George Gagnidze, Carlos Alvarez, and Željko Lu?i? in the title role; with Nino Surguladze (debut), Kirstin Chávez, and Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Maddalena, and Andrea Silvestrelli (debut), and Stefan Kocán as Sparafucile. Paolo Arrivabeni makes his Met debut conducting the first run, with Fabio Luisi taking over for later performances.

David McVicar's production of Il Trovatore also has numerous performances, conducted by Marco Armiliato and James Levine. Marcelo Álvarez sings the title role. Alternating casts include Patricia Racette, Julianna di Giacomo, and Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora; Marianne Cornetti and Dolora Zajick as Azucena; Željko Lu?i?, Vitaliy Bilyy, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna; and Alexander Tsymbalyuk (debut) and Stefan Kocán as Ferrando.

Maestro Levine again conducts when Hvorostovsky makes his Met role debut in the demanding title role of Simon Boccanegra. Also new to their roles in this opera are Barbara Frittoli as Amelia and Ramón Vargas as Gabriele Adorno. Ferruccio Furlanetto returns with his powerful portrayal of Jacopo Fiesco.

French Romantic repertoire is represented by Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Piotr Becza?a in the title roles. Julie Boulianne as Stéphano and Lucas Meachem as Mercutio are new to their roles, and James Morris returns as Frère Laurent, a role he last sang here in 1974. Plácido Domingo conducts.

Tchaikovsky's haunting masterpiece The Queen of Spades boasts a cast that includes Karita Mattila as Lisa, Dolora Zajick in a Met role debut as the Old Countess, Tamara Mumford as Paulina, Vladimir Galouzine as Ghermann, Peter Mattei as Prince Yeletsky, and Alexej Markov as Tomsky. Andris Nelsons, who received critical acclaim for his Met debut leading Turandot this season, conducts.

Puccini's ever-popular La Bohème, in Franco Zeffirelli's classic production, is on the calendar for 17 performances with alternating casts: Maija Kovalevska and Krassimira Stoyanova as Mimì; Ellie Dehn as Musetta; Joseph Calleja, Piotr Becza?a, and Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo; Peter Mattei as Marcello; Edward Parks, Dimitris Tiliakos (debut), and Trevor Scheunemann as Schaunard, Shenyang and Gunther Groissböck (debut) as Colline, and Paul Plishka as Benoit/Alcindoro. Some notable debuts are scheduled for the run, including that of conductor Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, tenor Vittorio Grigolo as Rodolfo, soprano Kristine Opolais as Musetta, and Fabio Capitanucci as Marcello.

Another Puccini opera this season, La Fanciulla del West, has not been heard at the Met since 1993. Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani make their company role debuts as Minnie and Dick Johnson, under the baton of Nicola Luisotti. Juha Uusitalo takes the role of the Sheriff Jack Rance. Also singing Minnie and Dick are Elisabete Matos, in her company debut, and Carl Tanner. The return of Giancarlo del Monaco's widely acclaimed 1991 production celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met.

Two operas by Richard Strauss are featured in the 2010-11 season. In Ariadne auf Naxos, Violeta Urmana reprises her acclaimed portrayal of the title role and Kathleen Kim again sings Zerbinetta. Joyce DiDonato adds the role of the Composer to her Met repertory, while Robert Dean Smith returns for Bacchus (his first role with the Met since his single Tristan in 2008), and Thomas Allen sings the Music Master.

Renée Fleming dazzled the audience when she sang the final scene of Strauss's Capriccio on the opening night of the 2008 season. In the new season, she sings the complete opera in John Cox's production, with Andrew Davis conducting. She is joined by cast members Sarah Connolly, Joseph Kaiser, Russell Braun, Morten Frank Larsen (debut), and Peter Rose.

Simon Rattle, music director of the Berlin Philharmonic and one of the world's foremost conductors, make his Met debut leading Debussy's ethereal Pelléas et Mélisande. The cast includes Stéphane Degout and Magdalena Kožená in the title roles, with Felicity Palmer as Geneviève, Gerald Finley as Golaud, and Willard White as Arkel-all singing their roles for the first time at the Met.

James Levine brings his searing interpretation of Alban Berg's Wozzeck back to the Met stage, with Matthias Goerne in the title role and Waltraud Meier as Marie, both in their Met role debuts. Stuart Skelton makes his company debut as the Drum-Major, with Gerhard Siegel as the Captain and Walter Fink as the Doctor.

Holiday Presentation: The Magic Flute

Julie Taymor's enchanting production of Mozart's The Magic Flute is this season's holiday presentation, in the Met's abridged version sung in English. The eight performances, given between December 21 and January 6, include five matinees. Nathan Gunn is again the bird-catcher Papageno, a role he shares with John Moore. Susanna Phillips and Ying Huang revive their admired portrayals of Pamina, with Erika Miklósa as the Queen of the Night, Russell Thomas and Bruce Sledge as Tamino, and Morris Robinson as Sarastro. American conductor Erik Nielsen, who is Kapellmeister of the Frankfurt Opera, makes his Met debut leading the performances.
The Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met

Gallery Met will present a special exhibition of work by Julie Mehretu to coincide with Robert Lepage's new production of Das Rheingold. Mehretu, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Michigan, will create a new body of work inspired by Wagner's Ring cycle. A show of new paintings by this internationally renowned artist also opens in May 2010 at the Guggenheim Museum. Other Gallery Met exhibitions for the 2010-11 season and banners designed for the front of the house will be announced at a later date. Gallery Met, a contemporary art space, is located in the Met's south lobby. Admission is free.

The Met: Live in HD Series

Tickets for the 11 transmissions in The Met: Live in HD 2010-11 series will go on sale in September; Met members in the U.S. and Canada will have ticket priority before tickets are made available to the general public.

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Bloomberg is the global corporate sponsor of The Met: Live in HD.

The Met: Live in HD began airing on PBS in January 2007. The series is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America's luxury home builder®. Thirteen of these HD performances are now available on DVD. Also available is The Audition, a feature-length documentary directed by Susan Froemke. All DVDs are available at the newly renovated Met Opera Shop in the opera house lobby and online at metoperashop.org. Archival video and audio recordings will continue to be released by the Met during the 2010-11 season.
Met Player

Continuing its innovative use of electronic media to reach a global audience, the Metropolitan Opera last season launched Met Player, an online streaming subscription service that offers the company's extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances online, on-demand, and in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Nearly 200 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. New content, including HD productions and archival broadcasts, are added monthly. For selected titles, Met Player now offers subtitles in Spanish, French, and German.

The Met on the Radio and the Web

The Met's 80th consecutive Saturday afternoon radio broadcast season kicks off on December 18 with Verdi's Don Carlo and concludes on May 14 with Wagner's Die Walküre. The broadcast season will once again be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Margaret Juntwait returns for her seventh season as host, and Ira Siff returns for his fourth season as commentator for the broadcasts, which feature a range of dynamic intermission features, live backstage interviews with artists, and the ever-popular Opera Quiz. The 2010-11 Metropolitan Opera Saturday afternoon radio broadcast season will be sponsored by Toll Brothers, America's luxury homebuilder®, with generous long-term support from the Annenberg Foundation and the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM Radio channel 79 is planning its fifth season as the country's premier subscription radio channel dedicated to opera. Up to three live performances will be broadcast each week during the season, beginning with the Met's Opening Night performance of Das Rheingold on September 27, in addition to historic broadcasts from the Met's vast collection. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM is available to subscribers in the United States and Canada. The subscription requires a satellite radio or is available via the internet or the Dish Network satellite television service.

In partnership with RealNetworks®, metopera.org will continue to stream one live performance per week during the 2010-11 season, and offer historic performances from the Met's rich archive of radio broadcasts on the Met on Rhapsody. The Met's robust website also features artist interviews, video and audio clips, photo galleries, blogs, and other information about Met productions and initiatives.

The MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

The MET Orchestra continues its highly acclaimed annual series of concerts at Carnegie Hall with three performances conducted by James Levine. The January 23 concert features Mozart's Serenade No. 9 in D major, K.320 ("Posthorn"), followed by Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, with soloists Michelle DeYoung and Simon O'Neill. On April 10, Levine again conducts, joined by Evgeny Kissin as piano soloist in a program consisting of Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16, Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11, and Brahms's Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73. The May 15 concert features Natalie Dessay as the soloist in Berg's symphonic suite from Lulu, followed by Ravel's Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera, Glière's Andante from Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 82. Also featured will be Rachmaninoff's Op. 34, No. 14 and Poulenc's "Non, monsieur mon mari" from Les Mamelles de Tirésias, to be followed by Massenet's "Je marche . . .Obéissons" from Manon and Debussy's Images pour orchestre.
The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater "Opera/Theater Commissions" Program

Met/LCT Opera/Theater Commissions program continues, with 11 composer/librettist teams participating. The first work to be produced from this program will be Nico Muhly's debut opera (as yet untitled), set to a libretto by Craig Lucas. The opera is a fictionalized piece based on a true story of a teenager who attempts to arrange his own murder via the Internet. A co-production with the English National Opera, the opera will be directed by Bartlett Sher, debuting at the ENO's London Coliseum in June 2011 and at the Met during its 2013-14 season. Five others have identified subjects for their collaborations and have signed on to develop their projects. The teams of composer Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie (librettist), composer Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson (librettist), composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Tony Kushner, composer Michael Torke, librettist Michael Korie and co-librettist/director Des McAnuff, and composer Scott Wheeler and playwright Romulus Linney have begun work on their projects. Composer Jake Heggie and Richard Greenberg (librettist), composer Adam Guettel, composer Wynton Marsalis, composer Rachel Portman and Nick Wright (librettist), and composer Bill Whelan and Paul Muldoon (librettist) are currently exploring ideas. The Met/LCT Opera/Theater Commissions program is funded by a generous gift to the Met from the Francis Goelet Charitable Trusts.
Other Audience Development Initiatives

The Met will host Open House dress rehearsals free to the public for three new productions in 2010-11, with the operas and dates to be announced before the opening of the new season.

The Met's HD Live in Schools program will continue for its fourth season, offering free opera transmissions to New York City schools in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. The program now enters its third season nationally, partnering with 18 school districts across the country to bring The Met: Live in HD to students and teachers. The Met's HD education program includes backstage visits for students, where they learn about how costumes and scenery are constructed, Q&As with artists, access to final dress rehearsals, and teacher training workshops. Program and curriculum guides are created for in-school use in conjunction with HD screenings. HD Live in Schools is made possible by Bank of America.

The Met Opera Shop

After an extensive renovation last year, the Met Opera Shop features a wide variety of CDs, DVDs, and one-of-a-kind merchandise. Now online (at metoperashop.org) as well as in the opera house lobby, the Met Opera Shop presents a collection of exclusive products that are inspired by what's on stage at the Met. The store also showcases DVDs of performances from the Met's award-winning Live in HD series. The Met Opera Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (or the end of second intermission) and Sundays from noon to 6:00 pm. Met Opera Shop can be reached at (212) 580-4090.

For more information, visit http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/