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The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

By Superconductor @ppelkonen

After spending the summer in deep negotiations with the various unions that make up the staff of the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center' sole remaining opera company is gearing up for an exciting 2011-2012 season.

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Ladies' Man: Mariusz Kwiecien is Don Giovanni.

The schedule this year is already fraught with drama, and the gold curtain has yet to rise on the company's new staging of Donizetti's Anna Bolena, the final chapters of the Robert Lepage Ring cycle, or The Enchanted Island, the "baroque pastiche" that opens on New Year's Eve.
There are a few things to note before we get to the season:
All performances now start at 7:30 instead of 8. Whether this is an attempt to appease bridge-and-tunnel opera lovers or get more people to watch the operas in the comfort of List Hall is anyone's guess.
Ticket prices are once again higher. Subscribers who want to change out an opera have to now pay a $7.50 service fee per ticket--a 50% increase.
The company is doing three full cycles of The Ring this year. Unfortunately, they've changed the scheduling of the operas so it's no longer possible to go to a complete cycle in the course of one week.

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Come blow your horn. Gary Lehman as Siegfried.

Here's a quick breakdown of the season by month:

Free Live in HD Festival Aug. 27-Sept. 5.
The pre-season kicks off on Aug. 27, a month before the first Anna Bolena, with a free series of Met Live In HD screenings. These will be mounted in Lincoln Center Plaza, on a big screen on the front of the opera house. The series includes:

Don Pasquale, Simon Boccanegra, La Rondine, Nixon in China, Carmen, La Fanciulla del West, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Don Carlo. Most of the screenings are at 8. Seating is first come, first served.

Note: Nixon and Carmen start at 7:45. Boris and Carlo start at 7:15.

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Queen Anna: Ms. Netrebko in Anna Bolena.

September; October:
The season starts on Monday, Sept. 26 with a gala performance of Anna Bolena with Anna Netrebko in the title role.
Repertory operas include Verdi's Nabucco, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and the new productions of Don Giovanni and Siegfried. Gary Lehman makes his house debut as the world's dumbest hero. There's also a recital featuring Jonas Kaufmann on Oct. 30.
As the leaves turn, revivals of Philip Glass' Satyagraha (part of the celebration of the composer's 75th birthday) and Handel's Rodelinda (starring Renée Fleming) join the repertory. La bohème returns (again) and the new "atomic age" production of Faust (imported from English National Opera and starring Mr. Kaufmann and Marina Poplavskaya has its premiere.

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Witchy Woman: Joyce DiDonato is Sycorax in the new pastiche The Enchanted Island.

Featured operas this month include revivals of Madama Butterfly, La Fille du Regiment and Hansel und Gretel. New Year's Eve marks the premiere of The Enchanted Island, a pastiche of works by Handel and Vivaldi starring David Daniels and Joyce DiDonato. It is a sort of Shakespearean prequel to The Tempest with a new libretto by Jeremy Sams.
January; February 2012:
The Luc Bondy Tosca gets another go, and probably another set of tweaks. The month ends with the premiere of the new Götterdämmerung, the last chapter of the Ring. February features a number of operas continuing in repertory, and revivals of Mussorgsky's Khovanschina along with two Verdi classics: Ernani and Aida.
In addition to continuing runs of other operas from earlier in the season, the busiest month on the Met calendar features revivals of L'Elisir d'Amore and a certain Scottish opera by Verdi. No. It's not Lucia. It's the one about the Scottish nobleman who goes whackadoo and kills his way to the throne. No. Y'know. The Shakespeare thing. Rhymes with "death."

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Is this a bust? Anna Netrebko as Manon.

April, May: 
This month is dominated by the three scheduled Ring cycles. But in between the clanks and thunks of Robert Lepage's whirring machine set, the company's new production of Manon and last year's La Traviata finds both of these ladies open for business. The very end of the season features revivals of Billy Budd and The Makropoulos Case, important operas that deserve more performances during the season.
To order tickets for the Metropolitan Opera's 2011-2012 season, visit the box office at Lincoln Center, or buy your seats at MetOpera.Org.

The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Season Preview

Come in and burn: Deborah Voigt is Brunnhilde in Götterdämmerung.

2011-2012 Live in HD Schedule:
Anna Bolena: Oct. 15, 2011
Siegfried: Nov. 5, 2011
Satyagraha: Nov. 19, 2011
Rodelinda: Dec. 3, 2011
Faust: Dec. 10, 2011
The Enchanted Island: Jan. 21, 2012
Götterdämmerung: Feb. 11, 2012
Ernani: Feb. 25, 2012
Manon: April 7, 2012
La Traviata: April 14, 2012

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