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Casting Update News:
Due to Anna Netrebko’s recent decision not to add the title role in Bellini’s Norma to her repertory, the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden—where she was scheduled to debut the role—as well as the Vienna State Opera and Dallas Opera have announced several related cast changes.
Norma (2017-18 season)
Sondra Radvanovsky, who made a critically heralded Met role debut as Norma in 2013, will now star in the new production that will open the 2017-18 Met season. As previously announced, the new production will be directed by Sir David McVicar, and will also star Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa and Joseph Calleja as Pollione. Radvanovsky will now star in two new productions at the Met in 2017-18; as previously announced, in December 2017 she will make her company role debut as Leonora in Calixto Bieito’s staging of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino. The Met is grateful to the Vienna State Opera for releasing Radvanovsky from her contract to allow her to star in Norma at the Met. Netrebko will step into Radvanovsky’s Fall 2017 performances of Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore in Vienna.
Although she will not sing in Norma, Netrebko will star in two operas at the Met in 2017-18. She will reprise her acclaimed Leonora in a revival of Il Trovatore that has now been added to the season and, as previously scheduled, will debut a new Met role, the tempestuous diva of Puccini’s Tosca.
The new production of Norma will open the Met season on September 25, 2017. Further details on the Met’s 2017-18 season will be announced in February 2017.
La Bohème (2016-17 season)
In the Met’s 2016-17 season, Sonya Yoncheva will withdraw from five performances of Mimì in La Bohème so that she may make her role debut as Norma at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in the new production originally planned for Netrebko.
In her place, Ailyn Pérez, winner of the 2016 Beverly Sills Artist Award, will make her Met role debut as Mimì—a part she was scheduled to sing with the company later in the 2016-17 season. Pérez will sing Mimì on September 28; October 1, 6, 10, and 14, in addition to her previously announced dates: January 6, 11, and 14 matinee.
Pérez is available for the additional La Bohème performances because she had earlier made the decision to postpone her role debut as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, which she was to premiere at Dallas Opera this fall.
As previously announced, Yoncheva will appear at the Met in 2016-17, reprising her acclaimed portrayal of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata in a run of performances beginning in February 2017.
The September/October performances of La Bohème will be conducted by Carlo Rizzi and will also star Susanna Phillips as Musetta, Dmytro Popov in his Met debut as Rodolfo, David Bizic as Marcello, Rodion Pogossov as Schaunard, Ryan Speedo Green as Colline, and John Del Carlo as Benoit and Alcindoro.
Sondra Radvanovsky has sung more than 200 Met performances of 27 roles. Earlier this season, she made history by becoming the first soprano ever to star in all three leading roles of Donizetti’s “Tudor trilogy” at the Met, singing the title roles in Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, as well as Queen Elizabeth I in the company premiere of Roberto Devereux. In recent years, she has become one of the world’s leading interpreters of Norma, singing the famously demanding role at the Met, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. In the 2016-17 season, she will sing Norma at both the Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Ailyn Pérez made her Met debut in February 2015 as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen and returned this season as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème. She has recently sung Mimì at La Scala, Los Angeles Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, and the Bolshoi Theatre. Her other recent performances include Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust at Semperoper Dresden, the title role in Massenet’s Manon at Dallas Opera, and the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at Houston Grand Opera.
Anna Netrebko has sung 18 roles with the Met since her 2002 debut as Natasha in Prokofiev’s War and Peace. She is the first soprano in Met history to star in three consecutive opening night performances—the title role in Anna Bolena (2011), Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (2012), and Tatiana in Eugene Onegin (2013). Her other recent starring roles with the company have including Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth, the title role in the Met premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, and Leonora in Il Trovatore.
Sonya Yoncheva made her Met debut in 2013 as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, replacing another singer at short notice. She returned as Mimì in La Bohème and as Violetta in La Traviata in the Met’s 2014-15 season—again replacing colleagues who canceled the performances—and earned significant critical acclaim for both roles. She opened the Met’s current season as Desdemona in a new production of Verdi’s Otello and will reprise her Violetta in a 2016-17 series of performances that includes a global Live in HD transmission. —Met Opera