The Met Announces 2012-13 Season, Features Seven New Productions

The Met Announces 2012-13 Season, Features Seven New Productions

An abundance of Verdi and Wagner, in celebration of their 200th birthdays, will be featured in the Metropolitan Opera's 2012-13 season, which will showcase the world's greatest singers, conductors, and directors in seven new productions-two of them Met premieres-and 21 revivals, including three complete Ring cycles. Twelve of the season's Saturday matinees will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met's increasingly popular, award-winning Live in HD series.

In chronological order, the new productions begin on September 24, opening night of the season, with a staging of Donizetti's comic masterpiece L'Elisir d'Amore, directed by Bartlett Sher, conducted by Maurizio Benini, and starring Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani. L'Elisir d'Amore will be Netrebko's second consecutive Met opening night, following last September's Anna Bolena.

On October 23, Thomas Adès will conduct the Met premiere of his opera The Tempest, the highly regarded new work that received its world premiere in 2004 at London's Royal Opera House. It will be directed by Robert Lepage and star Simon Keenlyside as Prospero.

Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the first of the season's two new Verdi productions, a staging of Un Ballo in Maschera directed by David Alden, starring Karita Mattila, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, opening on November 8.

This season's New Year's Eve gala will be the Met premiere of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, the second in the composer's trio of historical operas on Tudor queens. The production is by David McVicar, who directed last season's Met premiere of the first work in the trilogy, Anna Bolena, and who will stage Roberto Devereux in a future season. Maestro Benini conducts Joyce DiDonato as the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, opposite Elza van den Heever in her Met debut as Elizabeth I.

On January 28, conductor Michele Mariotti, who makes his Met debut this season, leads the premiere of a new production of Verdi's Rigoletto, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer in his Met debut and starring Željko Lu?i?, Diana Damrau, and Piotr Beczala.

French-Canadian director François Girard makes his Met debut with a new staging of Wagner's Parsifal on February 15, with Daniele Gatti conducting Jonas Kaufmann in his Met role debut as the title character. The cast also includes Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, and René Pape.

On April 4, McVicar premieres his second new production of the season, Handel's Giulio Cesare, in a staging that won acclaim when it premiered at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005. David Daniels stars as Caesar, opposite Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, with Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducting.

The 2012-13 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb. "We're staying true to our course of renewing the core repertoire, while also introducing works new to the Met," said Gelb. "We remain dedicated to upholding the Met's tradition of high musical standards through our casting of the finest singers in the world."

The 2012-13 season of The Met: Live in HD will feature 12 international movie theater transmissions of selected Saturday matinees. The HD season opens on October 13 with L'Elisir d'Amore and continues with Otello (October 27), The Tempest (November 10), La Clemenza di Tito (December 1), Un Ballo in Maschera (December 8), Aida (December 15), Les Troyens (January 5), Maria Stuarda (January 19), Rigoletto (February 16), Parsifal (March 2), Francesca da Rimini (March 16) and Giulio Cesare (April 27