Met Opera and Juilliard School Join For The Bartered Bride
The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School jointly announced plans today to stage Bed?ich Smetana's The Bartered Bride, the first co-production between the two arts institutions. The performances, with James Levine conducting the Juilliard Orchestra in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth, will take place at Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on February 15, 17 and 20, 2011. The cast will feature current members and graduates of both the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. Casting details will be announced at a later date.
The production features a new English language translation by J.D. McClatchy that has been commissioned by the Met, and will include scenery by Thomas Lynch and costumes by
Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski. Benjamin Millepied is the choreographer; students from Juilliard Dance will perform. The same creative team also will collaborate on a larger scale production of The Bartered Bride in a later season at the Met. Wadsworth, Lynch, and Pakledinaz have worked together previously on the successful Met productions of Rodelinda in 2004, and Iphigénie en Tauride in 2007.
"This is what we had in mind when we announced our joint plans with Juilliard in 2008," said Peter Gelb the Met's general manager. "The Bartered Bride will expand the creative opportunities for members of our young artists program by giving them the chance to sing leading roles in a high level production while still enrolled."
The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Partnership was announced in February 2008. The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is under the leadership of James Levine, artistic director, and Brian Zeger, executive director. Zeger is also artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. This collaboration aims to use the resources of both institutions to identify and educate the finest young opera singers and collaborative pianists for careers in the world's great opera houses.
"This collaboration adds another dimension to the educational experience of Juilliard singers in the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute in a way no other conservatory can achieve. Access to the master artists and performances at the Met gives the students a unique insight into the profession and the art form at the highest level. Juilliard singers will have an extraordinary opportunity to augment their education as a result of this collaboration," commented Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi.
"The Bartered Bride is one of the great opera scores ever written, and I think it will be a wonderful learning opportunity for the young artists. This opera is always a pleasure for everyone," said James Levine.
The Bartered Bride had its Met premiere in 1909 and was given a new production by John Dexter in 1978 under the baton of James Levine, with Teresa Stratas, Nicolai Gedda, Jon Vickers, and Martti Talvela in the cast. Its most recent performances at the Met were in 1996, again with Maestro Levine conducting.
Director Stephen Wadsworth is the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow: Director of Opera Studies for The Juilliard School's Artist Diploma program in opera. He also is head of dramatic studies at the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. Wadsworth made his Met debut in 2004 with a new production of Rodelinda, and returned in 2007 with a new production of Iphigénie en Tauride. This season, Wadsworth will direct the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov. Elsewhere, Wadsworth has directed productions for La Scala; Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Vienna State Opera; Netherlands Opera; Edinburgh Festival; and Seattle Opera, where in 2004 he directed Wagner's complete Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Founded in 1980 by James Levine, the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program, named after benefactors Mr. and Mrs. George Lindemann, has served as a training program for many well known artists, including Stephanie Blythe, DWayne Croft, Anthony Dean Griffey, Paul Groves, Nathan Gunn, Aprile Millo, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw. Participants receive a yearly stipend in addition to musical and language coaching with the Met's artistic staff. Through the Juilliard partnership, the Met's Lindemann Program and Juilliard Vocal Arts share some full-time faculty, guest faculty, master classes, and a host of other resources, offering a rich educational environment to educate the next generation. Juilliard's related educational courses are available to the young artists, and participants also have access to the Juilliard library's extensive resources. Likewise, Juilliard students now enjoy access to master classes, dress rehearsals, and performances at the Met as a result of the new collaboration, enabling students at every level to take advantage of the world-class opera across the plaza. Juilliard students may participate as guest artists of Lindemann presentations, and Lindemann artists appear as guest artists at Juilliard performances, thus increasing the potential for performance opportunities for all participants. The Met's young artist program has always been open to participants with a variety of educational backgrounds from the United States and abroad. Auditions are held annually at the opera house. Participants take part in the program for a maximum of three years, with contracts renewed on an annual basis.
Juilliard's program for singers was renamed just this month as the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard in acknowledgement of their generous gift supporting new and expanded programs throughout Juilliard's curriculum for singers. The program annually enrolls more than 70 singers in a variety of undergraduate (bachelor of music, diploma) and graduate degree programs (master of music, graduate diploma, Artist Diploma). Juilliard Opera presents fully-staged productions each season, casting Juilliard students from both the School's Artist Diploma and master of music programs in all roles, working with prominent international guest conductors and directors. The Juilliard School has presented staged operas since 1929, with a full department created the following year. Among the world-renowned singers who have studied at Juilliard are Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Audra MacDonald, Leontyne Price, Risë Stevens,