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Met Opera's 2023-24 Season to feature Company Premieres of Dead Man Walking, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Florencia en el Amazonas and El Niño

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA’S 2023-24 season will feature new productions of Carmen and La Forza del Destino, as well as the company premieres of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas and John Adam’sEl Niño, the company announced today.


Next season’s four Met premieres, along with slated revivals of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones and Kevin Puts’s The Hours, mean that one-third of the offerings the company will present next season have been composed within the past four decades. Additional performances will include revivals of works by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Gounod, Mozart and Gluck.


On September 26, 2023, the company will open the season with the company premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. The work, based on the memoir by Sister Helen Prejean, originally premiered at San Francisco Opera in 2000. The Met premiere will star Joyce DiDonato at Sister Helen and bass-baritone Ryan McKinney as the death-row inmate Joseph De Rocher; the new production by Ivo van Hove will also feature Latonia Moore as Sister Rose and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham as De Rocher’s mother. Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the performances.


A new production of Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which first premiered in 1985, will take the Met stage in November in a new staging by Tony-nominated director Robert O’Hara. Kazem Abdullah will conduct a newly revised score, which will be performed by baritone Will Liverman in the title role, soprano Leah Hawkins as Louise, mezzo-soprano Rehang Bryce-Davis as Ella, bass-baritone Michael Samuel as Reginald and tenor Victor Ryan Robertson as National of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.


Florencia en el Amazonas, by the late Daniel Catán, will be the first Spanish-language opera to be performed by the company in nearly a century when it takes the Met stage on November 16 in Mary Zimmerman’s production. Nézet-Séguin will conduct a cast that  includes Ailyn Pérez as Florencia Grimaldi, Gabriella Reyes as Rosalba, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as the ship captain, Matt Olivieri as the first mate, Mario Chang as Arcadia and Nancy Fabiola Herrera and Michael Chioldi as the feuding couple Paula and Álvaro.


The Met premiere of John Adams’s Nativity opera-oratorio El Niño, slated to open on April 23, will play in a production by director Lileana Blain-Cruz, resident director at Lincoln Center Theater, and will be conducted by Marin Alsop, who will make her Met debut leading the performances. The work’s trio of principal singers will include soprano Julia Bullock and bass-baritone Davóne Tines, with J’Nai Bridges and mezzo Daniela Mack sharing the mezzo part.


The company’s new production of Carmen, which premieres on New Year’s Eve, will be directed by Carrie Cracknell, who makes her Met debut. The initial performances will be conducted by Daniele Rustioni and will star Aigul Akhmetshina in the title role, alongside Piotr Beczała as Don José, Angela Blue as Micaëla and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo; Diego Matheuz conducts subsequent performances in April and May, which will feature Clémentine Margaine in the title role, Michael Fabiano as Don José, Aileen Pérez as Micaëla and Ryan Speedo Green as Escamillo.


Nézet-Séguin will conduct the company’s new production of La Forza del Destino, which premieres in February. The production, directed by Marius Treliński, will star Lise Davidsen as Leonora, Brian Jade as Don Alvaro, baritone Igor Golovatenko as Don Carlo, mezzo Ekaterina Semenchuk as Preziosilla, bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Fra Melitone and bass Soloman Howard in the dual role of Leonora’s father and Padre Guardiano.


In September, Nézet-Séguin will conduct three performances of Verdi’s Requiem following the opening-night performance of Dead Man Walking. Leah Hawkins, Karen Cargill, Matthew Polenzani and Dmitry Belosselskiy will be the soloists for those performances.


Revivals of a dozen repertory productions round out the season, and will include performances of NabuccoLa BohèmeUn Ballo in MascheraTannhäuserThe Magic FluteMadama ButterflyTurandotRoméo et JulietteLa RondineFire Shut Up in My BonesThe Hours and Orfeo ed Euridice.


“The future of opera relies on a rebalance between the classics and relatable new work,” Met General Manager Peter Gelb said in today’s announcement. “With this lineup for 2023–24, we are addressing the needs of core opera lovers, who think of the Met as the home of the greatest operatic voices, while also embracing the younger and more diverse audiences that increasingly are responding to new musical and theatrical experiences.”


“We are thrilled that this season speaks to the world we live in, while pushing the boundaries of traditional opera in ways that challenge and invigorate us,” said Nézet-Séguin. “I am committed to conducting the music of our time and am personally excited to dive into these new works and help reveal their genius to the audience.”


In addition to the number of new operas slated to take the stage next season, the Met plans to present nearly twenty fewer performances in total, down approximately ten percent from the current season’s 215 performances. The reduction, which was announced in The New York Times in December, along with the company’s plans to withdraw nearly $30 million from its endowment, amount to cost-cutting measures that the Met has enacted following the pandemic.


The company will transmit nine Live in HD presentations to cinemas around the world next season, beginning with Dead Man Walking on October 21, 2023. Subsequent Live in HD shows include X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (November 18, 2023), Florencia en el Amazonas (December 9, 2023), Nabucco (January 6, 2024), Carmen (January 27, 2024), La Forza del Destino (March 9, 2024), Roméo et Juliette (March 23, 2024), La Rondine (April 20, 2024), and Madama Butterfly (May 11, 2024).


The company’s revival of Nabucco, which opens in September, will be conducted by Daniele Callegari and will feature George Gagnidze in the title role; Liudmyla Monastyrska sings Abigaille, Maria Barakova is Fenena, SeokJong Baek will share the role of Ismaele with Rafael Davila and Dmitry Belosselskiy sings Zaccaria.


Performances of La Bohème, which will play in October, November, December and January, will be conducted by Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato. Federica Lombardi, Anita Hartig and Elena Stikhina will share the role of Mimì; Olga Kulchynska, Heidi Stober and Kristina Mkhitaryan will sing Musetta; Matthew Polenzani, Stephen Costello and Joseph Calleja sing Rodolfo; Marcello will be performed by Adam Plachetka and Alexey Markov; Schaunard will be sung by Sean Michael Plumb and Rodion Pogossov; and Colline will be performed by Christian Van Horn and Krzysztof Bączyk.


Carlo Rizzi will also conduct October and November performances of Ballo in Maschera, which are slated to feature Elena Stikhina’s Amelia, Nina Minasyan’s Oscar, Olesya Petrov as Ulrica, Charles Castronovo as Gustavo and Quinn Kelsey as Anckarström.


Donald Runnicles returns to the Met in November and December to lead Tannhäuser performances that will feature Andreas Schager in the title role, Elza van den Heever’s Elisabeth, Ekaterina Gubanova as Venus, Christian Gerhaher in his Met debut as Wolfram and Georg Zeppenfeld as Hermann.


The company’s abridged, English-language presentation of The Magic Flute plays in December with Patrick Furrer and Gareth Morrell on the podium. Julie Taymor’s production will feature Janai Brugger and Liv Redpath singing Pamina; Kathryn Lewek and Jeni Houser as the Queen of the Night; Piotr Buszewski and Joshua Blue sharing the role of Tamino; and Rolando Villazón and Alexander Birch Elliott taking on the role of Papageno.


Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly will feature Aleksandra Kurzak, Eleonora Buratto and Asmik Grigorian sharing the title role; Matthew Polenzani and Jonathan Tetelman sing Pinkerton; Davide Luciano and Lucas Meachem sing Sharpless; and Elizabeth DeShong and  Eve Gigliotti will share the role of Suzuki. Xian Zhang, making her company debut, and Derrick Inouye will lead the performances.


Performances of Turandot in February, March, April and May will be conducted by Oksana Lyniv and Marco Armiliato. Elena Pankratova and Christine Goerke will share the title role, while SeokJong Baek and Roberto Alagna sing Calàf; Liu will be sung by Aleksandra Kurzak, Gabriella Reyes and Olga Kulchynska; and Timur will be sung by Vitalij Kowaljow, Peixin Chen and Soloman Howard.


In March, Nézet-Séguin will pace performances of Roméo et Juliette with Benjamin Bernheim and Nadine Sierra in the title roles; Samantha Hankey will sing Stéphano, Frederick Ballentine will play Tybalt and the role of Mercutio will be sung by Will Liverman.


Nicolas Joël’s production of La Rondine, which plays in March and April, will be conducted by Speranza Scappucci and will feature Angel Blue’s Magda, Emily Pogorelc’s Lisette, Jonathan Tetelman’s Ruggero and Bekhzod Davronov as Prunier.


Evan Rogister paces performances of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones in April and May, with Ryan Speedo Green as Charles, soprano Brittany Renee singing the role of Greta as well as the embodiments of Destiny and Loneliness; and Latonia Moore as Charles’ mother, Billie.


In May, the Met will revive Kevin Puts’s The Hours, with Kelli O’Hara, Renée Fleming and Joyce DiDonato reprising their roles as Laura Brown, Clarissa Vaughan and Virginia Woolf, respectively. William Burden will sing Louis, Sean Panikkar sings Leonard Woolf, Kyle Ketelsen is Richard and Brandon Cedel will sing the role of Dan Brown. Kensho Watanabe will conduct the performances.


The company will close its season with performances of Orfeo ed Euridice in May and June. Performances of Mark Morris’s production will be conducted by Christian Curnyn. Ying Fang will sing Eurydice, Villalón will appear as Amore and Orfeo will be taken on by Anthony Roth Costanzo.


More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera.