The Met Sets 2015-16 Season: 25 Operas, 6 Premieres & More

By: Feb. 18, 2015
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The Metropolitan Opera's 2015-16 season will present 227 opera performances in a varied repertory, ranging from rarely performed masterpieces to perennial audience favorites. The season features six new productions and 18 revivals, starring the world's greatest singers and conductors, many of them in repertory they have not previously performed with the company.

The six new stagings will be, in chronological order, Verdi's Otello, opening the season on September 21, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and directed by Bartlett Sher; Berg's Lulu (November 5), conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and directed by visual artist William Kentridge in his first Met staging since the acclaimed company premiere of The Nose; Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles (December 31), which will have its first Met performances in nearly a century, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Penny Woolcock; Puccini's Manon Lescaut (February 12), conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Richard Eyre; the company premiere of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux (March 24), conducted by Maurizio Benini and directed by David McVicar; and Richard Strauss's Elektra (April 14), conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in the final opera production by the late Patrice Chéreau.

All six new productions will be featured in the tenth season of The Met: Live in HD series, which will feature ten transmissions beginning on October 3 with Il Trovatore, starring Anna Netrebko as Leonora. Netrebko will also make her New York recital debut in a solo concert on the stage of the Met on February 28, 2016.

The 2015-16 season was announced by Met General Manager Peter Gelb and Met Music Director James Levine, whose conducting duties for the season include the new production of Berg's Lulu; revivals of Wagner's Tannhäuser; Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus; Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Plácido Domingo in the title role; and Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail; and a series of three MET Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.

"It's a season that should please our audiences, both old and new," said Gelb. "We're showcasing our established and rising stars in new productions, and in both popular and rare revivals that should stimulate our singers and the opera-loving public that they serve."

"We have a great array of operas this season, ranging from Verdi and Puccini to Berg and Strauss," said Levine. "I'm really looking forward to working on pieces I've loved performing with this company for decades, like Lulu and Tannhäuser. I'm glad that we can present a Mozart gem our audience doesn't get to see often, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and do my first performances of a terrific piece I haven't been able to make a priority in the past, Die Fledermaus. And of course, it's exciting to be working with Plácido again on a work as rich and moving as Simon Boccanegra."

The Met's commitment to contemporary opera continues, with ongoing development of new pieces for the opera and music theater stages through the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works program and a new Met commission to announce: Nico Muhly's Marnie, based on the 1961 Winston Graham novel famously adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. Marnie, with a libretto by playwright Nicholas Wright, will come to the Met stage in 2019-20 in a production directed by Michael Mayer. For more on the Met's contemporary opera initiatives, see "Modern Opera at the Met" below.

The majority of ticket prices will remain unchanged in 2015-16 with an average increase of 1 percent overall. In addition to the ongoing rush and student ticket programs, the company will debut a series of new audience-building initiatives:

· an expansion of the popular tradition of Holiday Presentations

· two "Family Day" open houses at Christmas week matinees of The Barber of Seville

· a half-off ticket offer for patrons under 18 during the peak tourism season between Thanksgiving and New Year's

· "Fridays Under Forty," a special series of 8 p.m. Friday performances designed for young professionals who may be experiencing the Met for the first time