ABC Classic FM presents another stellar season of live recordings from New York’s Metropolitan Opera between now and May.

 

The Metropolitan Opera’s innovative live cinema showings have been astonishingly successful,
and are a visionary extension of its regular Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts that began on Christmas Day in 1931. Satellite footprints and time-zone differences conspire against Australian audiences’ enjoying these live from New York but I’m delighted to be able to bring you another five-month season. Each opera is broadcast a fortnight after each performance – and in superb sound quality.

Verdi’s much-revised Don Carlo opens the series in one of seven new productions this year. This also includes Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov conducted by Valery Gergiev and Verdi’s La Traviata with Marina Poplavskaya in her first Met Violetta.

John Adams conducts his breakthrough Nixon in China in its first performance at the Met and Rossini’s rarely-performed comedy Le Comte Ory has another Met premiere, starring Juan Diego
Flórez and Diana Damrau.

The company’s music director James Levine celebrates his 40th anniversary by conducting six operas, including Donizetti’s playful Don Pasquale starring Anna Netrebko, and the first two instalments of Robert Lepage’s much-heralded new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Levine also conducts Verdi’s popular Il Trovatore and the powerful Simon Boccanegra with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role for the first time at the Met.

A personal highlight for me will be hearing the Berlin Philharmonic’s principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle make his Met debut in Debussy’s ravishing Pelléas et Mélisande with his wife Magdalena Kožená as Mélisande. This season is also the 100th anniversary of the Met’s world premiere of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West – Deborah Voigt sings the role of Minnie for the first time in the house.

There are many other delights and surprises in this season of 22 operas and I hope you’ll join me every Sunday night so that we can enjoy them together.