As we wind down the 2017-18 season and look forward our much-deserved vacations, there’s still a flicker of excitement that will remain with all of us in the Met Opera chorus, and that is the promise of an exciting season to come! The 2018-19 season line-up looks smashing: great casting, beautiful sets, exciting new productions, and, of course, the exquisite music itself. Trying to decide what shows to see can be daunting: I mean, why not see them all?! However, if you need some help deciding on your subscription package, why not get the inside scoop from some actual opera professionals? We're here to help, as always.
Here’s what members of the Met Chorus are particularly excited about, in their own words:
Dan Smith: "There are plenty of revivals I will love (La Fanciulla del West is one!), but I’m most looking forward to the new productions of Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Marnie & Adriana Lecouvreur. Samson has great choral music, a cool-looking, modern set, and Maestro Mark Elder, whom I remember fondly from doing the opera in 2001. We usually get the best seats in the house for the Bacchanale — I can’t wait to see how choreographer Austin McCormick treats the super-charged dance. And the singing will surely be phenomenal with Garanča and Alagna! The new La Traviata looks lush and stylish, and our new Music Director Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin will help us shape a new treatment of Verdi’s classic. Marnie will no doubt give us lots of musical textures to explore, since Nico Muhly has always been a champion of choral music. I always love diving into a brand new score! Adriana Lecouvreur features some of my favorite Met Opera singers — Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, who always bring dramatic involvement and supreme music making. It features a pretty small chorus — I sure hope I’m cast in that one!"
Mary Hughes: "Dialogues of the Carmelites! I have done it a few times and it’s an emotional roller coaster that has the most frenzied, brutal, and heroic end. I think that is the only show that I’ve ever cried in...maybe Suor Angelica, too, which is also coming back."
Liz Sciblo: "Dialogues of the Carmelites: one of the most exquisite pieces of music along with one of the saddest TRUE stories that many people don’t even know happened. This is an important piece that I wish was performed more often.
Falstaff: One of the best and most imaginative productions I’ve ever seen. This comedic opera is perfection.
Samson et Dalila: Two words - Elīna Garanča. Enough said."
Sara Heaton: "The show that pops out for me is Marnie. I saw Nico Muhly’s Two Boys at the Met before I was in the chorus and thought it was one of the most exciting opera experiences I’ve ever had. The story had me on the edge of my seat, and the music told the story in such a poignant and compelling way. I have no doubt that Marnie will be a similar experience, except that this time I (might) be experiencing it from the other side! Plus, it includes two other loves of mine: Hitchcock, and 1950's style. I have a feeling this will be a must-see for next season."
Lianne Coble-Dispensa: "As a lighter voiced soprano, I went through college unimpressed with anything Wagner wrote. ("Too loud." "God, just cadence already.") But this job has made me a complete Wagner convert, and I'm thankful for that, because the depth of feeling in his music is off the charts. One of my favorite pieces of orchestral music is Siegfried's Funeral March from Götterdämmerung. I absolutely cannot WAIT to see the show, and hear the world-class MET Orchestra play that stirring, exciting, heroic, unfathomably moving piece. I have goosebumps just thinking about it."
Edward Albert: "Boïto’s Mefistofele was part of the Met’s inaugural season in 1883, racking up 67 performances here to date. I’ve never seen the opera, but often listened to highlights from the Caballe/Domingo/Treigle recording (do you remember vinyl highlight LPs?). In the famous Prologue and Epilogue, I think we’ll all be carried aloft by tremendous waves of sound. To paraphrase a Met slogan, 'The music must be heard — LIVE'."
Lynn Taylor: "Marnie! My favorite author Winston Graham wrote the book, Hitchcock filmed it to rave reviews, and the leads are Isabel Leonard and Christopher Maltman; how could it not be fabulous? Also Mefistofele, a favorite opera of mine, in which I recently saw my favorite bass (husband Steven Fredericks)!"
Meredith Woodend: "What exciting programming the 2018-19 season holds! Here are just a few highlights that I think are worth running to the box office for:
Samson et Dalila opens the season. It’s a story of love, betrayal and duty with voluptuous music and an incredible cast. The role of Dalila will be split between Elīna Garanča and Anita Rachvelishvili, two powerhouse mezzo-sopranos that know how to tell a story. Roberto Alagna and Aleksandrs Antonenko will definitely be their equal in the role of Samson. This promises to be a spectacular start to the season.
La Clemenza di Tito brings forth a cast that will give new meaning to vocal acrobatics. Lead by Matthew Polenzani, Joyce DiDonato, Elza van den Heever, Christian Van Horn, Ying Fang and Paula Murrihy. I can't imagine better casting for this beautiful piece.
La Traviata gets a makeover with a gorgeous set designed by Michael Mayer. One of the most exciting things about this reimagining, aside from the aesthetics and the incredibly talented musicians, is that our fearless leader will join us in the pit. We are looking forward to Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading the extraordinary cast and incomparable MET orchestra.
Marnie is the new creation of composer Nico Muhly that will star the ever-talented Isabel Leonard.
Die Walküre is sure to blow the roof off the opera house. This will be an evening to remember."
Check out the exciting season to come, and pick up a subscription while you're at it, so you can lock down those seats for your favorite shows! We can't wait to see you in September!