Susan Graham to Star in THE MERRY WIDOW, Helmed by Susan Stroman, at The Met Opera

By: Dec. 08, 2017
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Susan Graham to Star in THE MERRY WIDOW, Helmed by Susan Stroman, at The Met Opera

Tony Award winner Susan Stroman's staging of Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow, which premiered in the Met's 2014-15 season, has its first revival beginning December 14, with nine performances through to January 11.

Susan Graham reprises her acclaimed interpretation in the title role of the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari, opposite Paul Groves as her commitment-phobic former lover, Danilo. Sir Thomas Allen sings the role of the ambassador, Baron Mirko Zeto, determined to play matchmaker while unaware that he is in danger of losing his wife, Andriana Chuchman's Valencienne, to the flirtatious Count de Rosillon, a role shared by David Portillo and Taylor Stayton.

Making his Met debut, American conductor Ward Stare leads the comic operetta, performed in an English translation by Jeremy Sams, featuring set design by Julian Crouch, costume design by William Ivey Long, and lighting design by Paule Constable.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham made her company role debut as Hanna Glawari in the Met's 2003-04 season and reprised the role during the 2014-15 season. She has sung more than 175 Met performances of a wide variety of roles, including Sondra Finchley in the world premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy and Jordan Baker in the world premiere of John Harbison's The Great Gatsby; the Composer in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos; Marguerite in Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust; Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni; Sycorax in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island; the title character in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride; Dido in Berlioz's Les Troyens; Charlotte in Massenet's Werther; Octavian in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier; and Prince Orlofsky in Strauss's Die Fledermaus.

Tenor Paul Groves makes his Met role debut as Danilo and has previously sung the role of the Count de Rosillon with the company. He made his Met debut in 1992 as Steuermann in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer and has sung over 170 performances with the company. Recent performances with the Met include Pylade in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, Gao Jianli in Tan Dun's The First Emperor, Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte, and the Painter/African Prince in Berg's Lulu.

Baritone Sir Thomas Allen previously sang the role of Baron Mirko Zeta in the 2014-15 new production premiere. He made his Met debut in 1981 as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and has since sung nine additional roles with the company, including the title characters in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Britten's Billy Budd; Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte; Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus; Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro; and Beckmesser in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Ward Stare is the Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has conducted at various opera houses around the United States, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and Opera Theater of St. Louis.

The December 14 performance will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75, as will the performances on December 30. The December 14 performances will also be streamed live on the Met's website:

The December 30 matinee 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.

Pictured: Susan Graham as Hanna in Lehár's The Merry Widow. Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera.