The Met: Live in HD Season 2016-17

The other day, the Met announced the schedule of its 2016-17 season. Of course, my biggest concern as a person who won't be able to visit this opera company in the nearest future is the list of productions for HD broadcasts.
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
In a whole, the upcoming season is gonna bring us a variety of operas to any taste. As for me, I have to say that the new season is not my cup of tea. In my previous reviews I told you how much I loved the compilation of operas or that "it's my dream season" and stuff like that. In a way this year will be an exception. It has a lot of new material for me to explore but I'm not so superexcited about it! Don't get upset though, it's just my point of view:). At the same time, I've read lots of feedbacks with phrases like "I wanna see them all already" or "the awesome season is coming". Anyway, let's look at what's coming up in the season 2016-17!

October 8 - Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" (New Production!)
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
Conductors: Sir Simon Rattle
Production: Mariusz Treliński
Cast: Nina Stemme (Isolde), Ekaterina Gubanova (Brangäne), Stuart Skelton (Tristan), Evgeny Nikitin (Kurwenal), René Pape (King Marke)

The season opening will be marked by Wagner. I'm not familiar with "Tristan und Isolde" yet but I'm looking forward to changing this situation. I have some doubts about the production for the reason that I was not impressed by Treliński's previous works for the Met ("Iolanta" and "Bluebeard's castle"). But we have a very good cast headed by Nina Stemme herself that gives me hope that it'll be a great performance!

October 22 - Mozart "Don Giovanni"

Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Production: Michael Grandage
Cast: Hibla Gerzmava (Donna Anna), Malin Byström (Donna Elvira), Serena Malfi (Zerlina), Rolando Villazón (Don Ottavio), Simon Keenlyside (Don Giovanni), Adam Plachetka (Leporello), Matthew Rose (Masetto), Kwangchul Youn (The Commendatore)

Despite the general dissapproval of Grandage's "Don Giovanni" among opera bloggers, personally I like his production. It's traditional, very minimalistic but it compelled my attention during the whole opera which had never happened to me before, concerning this Mozart's masterpiece. I'd love to rewatch this staging with a new sublime cast including our Russian diva Hibla Gerzmava and such a fantastic performer as Simon Keenlyside!
December 10 - Saariaho "L’Amour de Loin" (Met Premiere!)
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Production: Robert Lepage
Cast: Susanna Phillips (Clémence), Tamara Mumford (The Pilgrim), Eric Owens (Jaufré Rudel)

I know a little about this opera. Though the fact that it is a piece composed by a woman in 2000, sounds intriguing. I wanna give it a try, moreover it'll be my first opera of the 00s! This is the case when I don't know what to expect!

January 7 - Verdi "Nabucco"
Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: James Levine
Production: Elijah Moshinsky
Cast: Liudmyla Monastyrska (Abigaille), Jamie Barton (Fenena), Russell Thomas (Ismaele), Plácido Domingo (Nabucco), Dmitry Belosselskiy (Zaccaria)

"Nabucco" is also a mystery for me. Domingo, Monastyrska, Barton, Levine are a good reason to watch the broadcast of this opera, don't you think so? As I can judge from the photos, this production is conventional and I hope enterntaining as well. By and large, it'll all depend on my mood whether I'll watch it or not.

January 21 - Gounod "Romeo et Juliette" (New Production!)
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
Production: Bartlett Sher
Cast: Diana Damrau (Juliette), Vittorio Grigolo (Roméo), Elliot Madore (Mercutio), Mikhail Petrenko (Frère Laurent)

I have three productions of Gounod's opera to watch already and most likely I'll add this one to my list too. Bartlett Sher is not new to the Met audience. He has successfully staged operas like "L'elisir d'amore", "The barber of Seville". "Romeo et Juliette" is a co-production with La Scala and it looks very pretty. I love Diana Damrau, though I have to admit that the idea of her singing Juliette is rather odd. In my opinion, she is too mature for this role vocally and dramatically. Anyway, no doubts she'll make it sparkle. Grigolo is a good choice for the part of Romeo. It'll be interesting to see their duet on stage!

February 25 - Dvořák "Rusalka" (New Production!)
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Sir Mark Elder
Production: Mary Zimmerman
Cast: Kristine Opolais (Rusalka), Katarina Dalayman (The Foreign Princess), Jamie Barton (Ježibaba), Brandon Jovanovich (The Prince), Eric Owens (The Water Sprite)

I've seen Schenk's production with Renee Fleming before and to my mind, it lacks for what I usually expect to see in a fairy tale - magic! According to the interview, Mary Zimmerman is gonna bring magic into her version of "Rusalka". The set looks gorgeous! I liked Dvorak's music but I can't say that I was impressed (I don't know, maybe it was director's fault). Nevertheless, I want to give this opera another chance to surprise me, to change my opinion about it. Kristine Opolais says she loves Rusalka a lot and I believe she'll do her best in this miraculous staging!

March 11 - Verdi "La Traviata"
Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Nicola Luisotti
Production: Willy Decker
Cast: Sonya Yoncheva (Violetta Valéry), Michael Fabiano (Alfredo Germont), Thomas Hampson (Giorgio Germont)

The well-known Decker's "La Traviata" will be broadcasted again at the Met. I've watched it with Netrebko and Villazon many years ago. This time Sonya Yoncheva takes on a leading role. Since I'm not a big fan of hers, I'm gonna rely on critics. If there are enthusiastic reviews on this performance, I'll watch it. Otherwise, I'll skip it.

March 25 - Mozart "Idomeneo"
Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: James Levine
Production: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Cast: Elza van den Heever (Elettra), Nadine Sierra (Ilia), Alice Coote (Idamante), Matthew Polenzani (Idomeneo), Alan Opie (Arbace)

"Idomeneo" is a must for me in the 2016-17 season! I have a goal to listen to all Mozart operas. The traditional production with wonderful singers (like Matthew Polenzani, Alice Coote) is a good combination to accomplish my task. 

April 22 - Tchaikovsky "Eugene Onegin"
Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: Robin Ticciati
Production: Deborah Warner
Cast: Anna Netrebko (Tatiana), Elena Maximova (Olga), Alexey Dolgov (Lenski), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Onegin), Štefan Kocán (Gremin)

We all know what it is all about...Netrebko and Hvorostovsky! I didn't expect to see Dmitri as Onegin again 'cos he had planned to exclude it from his repertoire (that seems sensible to me) but...obviously, he changed his mind. Anna and Dmitri have chemistry on stage, so we'll see. As for Warner's vision of Pushkin's novel in verse...well, it's ok but not the best production I've seen so far. If you are interested in why I'm saying so, just read this. I'm not sure yet but I guess I'll sooner watch this "Onegin" than miss it.

May 13 - R. Strauss "Der Rosenkavalier" (New Production!)
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera
Conductor: James Levine
Production: Robert Carsen
Cast: Renée Fleming (Marschallin), Elīna Garanča (Octavian), Erin Morley (Sophie), Matthew Polenzani (A Singer), Marcus Brück (Faninal), Günther Groissböck (Baron Ochs)

This is a production I'm mostly excited about! First of all, amazing singers - Renée Fleming and Elīna Garanča, second of all, James Levine and finally, the presence of Robert Carsen whose "Falstaff" and "Eugene Onegin" are among my favorite stagings ever! Altogether they are a great team which can introduce this opera to me in the best way possible!

P.S. What productions are you mostly looking forward to? Leave comments below:)


  1. Seven out of ten repeats--ONEGIN 3rd time. Not as good a selection of the Met's season as in previous years. I know changes in cast are great, but I believe a
    better selection might have been made. Anyway, I'm grateful for the broadcasts.
    Thanks. (I do subscribe in a small way)


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