The Met: Live in HD supported financially by the Foundation of the Arts and Music in Asia, a Hong Kong-registered charity.

After a Met Opera Milestone, ‘Boris’ Brings Another

You may have heard about the widely publicized landmark with which the Metropolitan Opera opened its season on Monday: Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” its first work by a Black composer. Flying under the radar is the less momentous but still significant milestone that followed on Tuesday, when the company finally performed the original 1869 version of Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov.”

- from New York Times

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Quote from
The New York Times
A Historic Night as the Metropolitan Opera Tries to Ensure Its Future

With Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” the Met came back from its long pandemic shutdown more determined to draw new and more diverse audiences to opera.

After eight minutes of applause, the curtain had dropped for a final time, and many members of the cast of “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” the first opera by a Black composer in the 138-history of the Metropolitan Opera, began to cry.

“This is crazy,” said Terence Blanchard, the composer, as he embraced singers, dancers and musicians backstage during opening night on Monday. “This is amazing.”

- from New York Times

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Brenda Scofield
FAMA Vice-Chairman
The Met: Live in HD 2021 – 22 Season Announcement

Our new season includes four Met premieres, 
six works in brand new productions,
and stellar revivals featuring the world's leading artists
The series will be seen in more than 70 countries across the world in 2021 - 2022

After a turbulent year of 2020, The Metropolitan Opera of New York (The Met) will be reopening on September 27, 2021 with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. For 2021 – 22 season, the Met will be returning with an ambitious line up, comprising Met premieres of three contemporary operas, breaking the record for the number of new operas to premiere in a single season since 1928 – 29; six brand new productions including new works and all-time classics. In addition, the Met also offers an abridged, English-language holiday presentation of Cinderella, adapted from Laurent Pelly’s 2018 production of Massenet’s Cendrillon. All of these exciting new works, together with spectacular revivals, will be available as part of The Met: Live in HD 2021 – 22 season globally.

“The future of the Met relies upon it being artistically as powerful as ever, if not more so,” The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb commented in an interview. “The artistic experiences have to be better than ever before to attract audiences back.” The Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said, “I am extremely excited about the plans for 2021–22 and cannot wait for the chance to reunite with the great Met Orchestra and Chorus, which will be showing new sides of their extraordinary artistry.”

Foundation for the Arts and Music in Asia (FAMA) is delighted to present The Met: Live in HD 2021 – 22 season in Hong Kong. Local screening details to be announced.

The Met: Live in HD 2021 – 22 Season Titles
New Productions
Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Met Premiere / First Met: Live in HD appearance

Six Grammy Award jazz composer-trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones will be opening the 2021 – 22 season, marking the first time an opera by an African American composer appears on the Met stage. Adapted from the memoir of New York Times journalist Charles Blow, Fire Shut Up in My Bones looks into a defining moment of Blow’s life and how it leads up to deep discussions of sexual identity and masculinity throughout Blow’s youth. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown from The Met’s 2019 – 20 season Grammy Award winning Porgy and Bess will be co-directing this production. Baritone Will Liverman sings as Charles. The cast is also joined by Angel Blue and Latonia Moore. The Met’s Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this new work. The opera received positive reviews when it premiered in 2019. The New York Times described it as “bold and affecting”, while Wall Street Journal described it as “searing” and “remarkable”.

Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice

Met Premiere / First Met: Live in HD appearance

Commissioned by the Met, young rising American composer Matthew Aucoin join hands with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl in adapting her well-received play Eurydice into an opera. The opera Eurydice reimagine the classic Greek myth of Orpheus, who travels to the underworld to save his wife, but from Eurydice’s perspective. The story focuses on coming to terms with grief and loss. The Met’s Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts, while Mary Zimmerman directs this mesmerizing production. Erin Morley sings the titled heroine, with Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus and Jakub Józef Orliński as his alter-ego. Eurydice was highly praised when it premiered at Los Angeles in 2020. Los Angeles Times praised the production as “refined and elegant”, while Bachtrack described it is “moving”, “unique”, and “captivating”.

Verdi’s Rigoletto

Rigoletto, Verdi’s ever popular story of vengeance and sacrifice, is staged in a new production by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, who sets the action in 1920s Europe, complete with Art Deco sets and elegant costumes. Verdi baritone Quinn Kelsey sings the titled jester, whose portrayal has been highly praised by The Observer as “superb” and by The Guardian as “dramatically intense”. Rosa Feola sings the innocent daughter Gilda, and Piotr Beczała reprises one of his signature roles as the Duke of Mantua.

Verdi’s Don Carlos

Met Premiere / First Met: Live in HD appearance

For the first time in the Met’s history, Verdi’s Don Carlos, a story of forbidden love and political conflicts, is performed in its original French version. Sir David McVicar directs the new staging, praised by Operawire as “brilliant” when it was performed in Europe, taking the audiences back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an all star cast, including Matthew Polenzani singing the titled prince, Sonya Yoncheva as his lover Élisabeth de Valois, Elīna Garanča as Eboli, Günther Groissböck as Philippe II of Spain.

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor

After enrapturing the Met audiences with her Gilda (from Rigoletto) and Susanna (from Le Nozze di Figaro), soprano Nadine Sierra takes up the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, one of the most dramatically challenging operas in the repertoire. Praised by Operawire as “a legend in the making”, Sierra’s portrayal of the innocent girl who goes mad should be unmissable. Singing her lover Edgardo, Javier Camarena promises a performance full of bel canto fireworks. The cast is also joined by Artur Ruciński as Enrico. This brand new staging is directed by young in-demand Australian theater and film director Simon Stone.

Brett Dean’s Hamlet

Met Premiere / First Met: Live in HD appearance

Australian composer Brett Dean captivated the audiences when he presented his take on the classic Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet at Glyndebourne Festival in 2017. The Guardian claimed that “New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good … but Dean’s Hamlet rises to the challenge”, while Financial Times described it as “edgy and haunting”. The original director of the premiere, Neil Armfield, is bringing this riveting opera to the Met, together with most of the exciting original cast members. Allan Clayton reprises his highly praised portrayal of Hamlet, with Brenda Rae as Ophelia, Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, Rod Gilfry as Claudius, and Sir John Tomlinson as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

Abridged English-Language Productions
Massenet’s Cinderella

In an abridged version with English translation, Massenet’s adaptation of the classic Cinderella story is the Met’s latest installment in its series of family friendly abridged operas. Isabel Leonard sings the role of Cinderella, with young rising star Emily D’Angelo as Prince Charming, Jessica Pratt as the Fairy Godmother, Stephanie Blythe reprises her role as the wicked stepmother, and Laurent Naouri sings Pandolfe, Cinderella’s father. This performance will be presented in Laurent Pelly’s storybook staging, which was praised as “delightful” by The New York Times, and “luminous” by The Observer when it first premiered in 2017 – 18 season.

Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov

Considered to be Mussorgsky’s masterpiece and the greatest representation of Russian operas, Boris Godunov returns to the Met stage in Stephen Wadsworth’s poignant production, with Sebastian Weigle conducting the score in its original 1869 version. One of the best interpreters of Boris Godunov, bass René Pape, will reprise the title role. Back in 2010, Pape’s performance of the emotionally tortured Tsar thrilled critics and audiences alike. The New York Times described him as “ideal for the role” and Bachtrack praised his portrayal which “stands on a par with the great Shakespearean performances”.

Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos

First Met: Live in HD appearance

Strauss’s intriguing “opera within an opera” Ariadne auf Naxos will be making its first Met: Live in HD appearance in Elijah Moshinsky’s imaginative production. Young rising star Lise Davidsen sings the titled Greek heroine after achieving a triumph with the role in Europe, her performances being hailed as “gleaming and electric” (The Guardian) and “thrilling” (Bachtrack). Brenda Rae is Zerbinetta, Brandon Jovanovich is the god Bacchus who falls in love with Ariadne, and Isabel Leonard is the Composer. Marek Janowski conducts.

Puccini’s Turandot

Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of Turandot with its luxurious costumes and glamourous stage settings make it one of the most amazing spectacles for the audiences. In this performance, operatic superstar Anna Netrebko is making her anticipated Met role debut as the icy princess, after giving an “imposing” and “exciting” performance back in the Met’s 2019 New Year’s Eve Gala, as praised by Operawire and The New York Times. The cast is joined by Yonghoon Lee sings the role of Calàf, Ermonela Jaho as Liù, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Timur. Marco Armiliato conducts.

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