A French language opera by Luigi Cherubini, Medea is based on a dark chapter of Greek Mythology. Medea, a king’s daughter who possesses magical powers, falls in love and bears two sons with Thessalian prince Jason, bolstering his ambitions to seize the powerful Golden Fleece. However, when Medea is betrayed and ultimately spurned when Jason marries another, her horrifying act of vengeance destroys everything – and everyone – that binds them. Grand opera thinks big and Medea is as big as they get!
Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and made a household name by the Oscar-winning 2002 film starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman, the powerful story The Hours follows three women from different eras who each grapple with their inner demons and their roles in society. One of two operas sung in English this season, this exciting world premiere by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Kevin Puts is adapted from Michael Cunningham’s acclaimed novel.
Fedora, by Umberto Giordano, returns to the Met for the first time in 25 years. Fedora Romanzov, a Russian princess, tracks down Count Loris, the murderer of her fiancé. However, in true opera form, she falls in love with him, only to ultimately end her life after she mistakenly betrays him and he denounces her. The Italian hyper-romantic Fedora has been called “a sort of hot fudge sundae, nutritiously negligible yet positively irresistible.”
Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin may be most famous for introducing “Here Comes the Bride” to the world, but the storytelling is all about the nature of power – what it is, who has it, and who decides. Weaving together several medieval German myths, as well as the Arthurian Grail mythology, Lohengrin serves up passion, betrayal, vengeance, and redemption in hearty portions with timely-themed side orders of war and trusting in blind faith.
A deeply human comedy, Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera Falstaff is an Italian classic. The story is a blend of scenes from Shakespeare, primarily drawn from the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor. It centers on the remarkable personality of Sir John Falstaff, a buffoon nobleman whose arrogance and ego delusionally lead him to scheme for the affections of two married Windsor wives. With a supremely well-crafted score, it is among the greatest operatic comedies of all time.
Der Rosenkavalier has been called Richard Strauss’s most popular and lushest German opera. The story concerns wise woman Marschallin and her much younger lover Octavian. Ultimately forced to accept the laws of time, Marschallin must give up Octavian to a pretty young heiress, all amidst waltzes, fantastic arias, humor, and a darker social commentary that simmers beneath all that Viennese charm. Der Rosenkavalier has been called a “whipped cream-covered, liqueur-soaked confection emerging as the glorious piece of escapism its creators always intended.”
Six-time Grammy Award–winning composer Terence Blanchard brings his first opera to the Met. A groundbreaking work combining the disciplines of opera and jazz, Champion tells the real-life story of world champion boxer Emile Griffith, a man haunted by memories of his past who struggled to reconcile his sexuality in a hyper-macho world. Champion’s visually stunning production and soulful score illuminates Griffith’s triumphs and struggles that are still powerfully relevant today.
Downright deceit, charm, wronged women determined to avenge, a raging storm – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Italian opera about pathological liar Don Giovanni could hardly seem more contemporary. Often considered the greatest opera ever composed, Mozart’s masterpiece combines comedy, drama, and supernatural elements to capture the downfall of a serial womanizer. From its thrilling overture to its breathtaking final scene, Don Giovanni explores issues of amorality, power, and justice that are just as relevant to today as to Mozart’s time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s German-sung Die Zauberflöte follows Tamino, a prince lost in a foreign land, on his quest to save Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. With the gift of a magical flute, Tamino discovers that nothing, not even day and night, are quite as they first appear. Die Zauberflöte is technically not an opera at all, but a singspiel play that features spoken dialogue as well as traditional operatic singing—much like American musical theater. One of Mozart’s most celebrated pieces of music, it is a sublime fairy tale about the search for goodness, honesty, enlightenment, and truth.