A scene from Phelim McDermott's Coney Island-set Cosi fan tutte, from the original production at the English National Opera. Photo: Martin Smith

The Met Opera announces a safe line-up for 2017/2018 season

Upcoming productions in the schedule include a Cosi fan tutte set in Coney Island and versions of The Magic Flute, Il Trovatore and Luisa Miller

The Metropolitan Opera has announced a new season filled with stars and co-productions that seem more eager than ever to make a good impression.

There are five new productions, fewer than in past seasons: three pieces from the standard repertoire, one previously announced new work (Thomas Ades’ Exterminating Angel, a co-production with Covent Garden and Salzburg, where it had its premiere last year), and one Met premiere of an old work, Massenet’s Cendrillon, in the Laurent Pelly production seen at Santa Fe in 2006, with Joyce DiDonato in the title role.

Sir David McVicar will remain as busy as ever at the Met, with two of the new productions. The season opens with Norma, a co-production with Covent Garden, the Royal Danish Theatre, and the Salzburg Festival, starring Sondra Radvanovsky, with Angela Meade taking over later in the run, and DiDonato and Jamie Barton offering high-profile star wattage in the role of Adalgisa. Joseph Calleja will sing the part of Pollione.

On New Year’s Eve McVicar will replace the Luc Bondy Tosca, an early Peter Gelb project that drew a lot of heat, with a new one starring Kristine Opolais, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel, conducted by Andris Nelsons; in April 2018, Anna Netrebko will take over the title role.

The other standard opera to get a new production is Cosi fan tutte, which will arrive in the Phelim McDermott production that opened at the English National Opera in 2014. It is set on Coney Island, with Amanda Majeski as Fiordiligi and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara as Despina, under David Robertson’s baton.

The Met’s music director emeritus James Levine is very much in evidence, conducting four concert performances of the Verdi Requiem, and productions of The Magic Flute, Il Trovatore, and Luisa Miller, the last a relative rarity, in which Piotr Beczala will sing Rodolfo and Placido Domingo will take on the baritone role of Miller.

Domingo will also lead the revival of the new Romeo et Juliette, with Ailyn Perez and Bryan Hymel.

The real interest on the conducting front concerns two revivals led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the Met’s music director designate: the Francois Girard’s Parsifal, with Klaus Florian Vogt, and Patrice Chereau’s Elektra, with Christine Goerke.

Another notable revival is Rossini’s Semiramide, with Meade, Elizabeth DeShong, and Javier Camarena, conducted by Maurizio Benini.

Hong Kong opera lovers can catch productions from the 2016/17 season at The Met: Live in HD screenings organised by the Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia. Information on upcoming shows can be found here:

The Washington Post