The Metropolitan Opera has announced its 2021-22 season and season tickets are on sale. Whether the season can take place or not depends entirely on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, but for now, it is on. Tickets at metopera.org
French Canadian music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the company again. 🇨🇦
The Met is working on racial and gender equity. Classical music leaders tend to be old White men, but the Met gets it. And they are not just saying it, they are implementing it. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
We should all go to the Metropolitan Opera and shout, “¡Bravo!” Seriously. If we want to see more Black Arts, we need to make these programs successful financially.
The Met has commissioned African American visual artist Rashid Johnson to create large scale artworks to display in the Metropolitan Opera House during the season. 🇺🇸
Fire Shut Up in My Bones
Monday, September 27, 2021 ~ The season opens with Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” 🇺🇸.
It’s the story of a young man’s journey through life – putting up with all the shit we have to deal with as people of color in a racist society – and overcoming it.
Fire in your bones is an accurate description of how it feels when you are being attacked racially. It puts you immediately on defense because you didn’t do anything to deserve the abuse. You want to respond, but you really can’t because the person attacking you is crazy and you can’t rationalize with crazy people. You just have to suck it up, but that fire burns.
This is the first opera by an African American composer to be performed at the Met. The libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons is based on the memoir of New York Times opinion columnist Charles M. Blow and stars Angel Blue, Latonia Moore and Will Liverman.
James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct. Brown is the Met’s first Black director and also did the choreography. The duo worked on the Met’s recent “Porgy and Bess.”
The production is a gift of the Ford Foundation. It’s worth mentioning because the Ford Foundation has a dream board of directors. It’s diverse in the way our societies are diverse, but our leadership is not. The Foundation is leading the way – and not just with money.
November 23, 2021 ~ Matthew Aucoin’s “Eurydice” with a libretto by Sarah Ruhl stars Erin Morley. Mary Zimmerman directs. This is the familiar Greek story of Orpheus who desperately tries to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld. This version reimagines the classic tale from her point of view.
May 13, 2022 ~ Brett Dean’s “Hamlet” with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn stars Allan Clayton. Neil Armfield directs his Met debut. This epic opera is about doomed royal love in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. It comes to the Met from the Glyndebourne Festival.
February 28, 2022 ~ The original five-act French version of Verdi’s “Don Carlos” stars Sonya Yoncheva, Elīna Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, Etienne Dupuis, Günther Groissböck, and John Relyea. Sir David McVicar directs.
December 31, 2021, 6pm ~ Verdi’s “Rigoletto” stars Rosa Feola, Piotr Beczala and Quinn Kelsey. Bartlett Sher directs. The last Met production was set in Las Vegas. Sher resets the tale in the Roaring Twenties (should those be happening about now?). 🇮🇹
April 23, 2022 ~ Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” stars Nadine Sierra and Javier Camarena. There is some Latin star power. Simon Stone directs his Met debut. 🇲🇽🇮🇹🇵🇷
Family Opera for the Holidays
December 17, 2021 ~ The Met is producing an English version of “Cinderella” based on Massenet’s “Cendrillon.” Isabel Leonard stars. 🇦🇷
OMG! The Met is growing up. Jane Glover, Karen Kamensek, Susanna Mälkki, Eun Sun Kim, and Nathalie Stutzmann will conduct. This is the most female conductors in a Met season ever.
Anna Netrebko performs with the Met Orchestra. Sonya Yoncheva gives a solo recital.
For the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the Met presents Verdi’s “Requiem” with Ailyn Pérez, Matthew Polenzani and Eric Owens. 🇲🇽
- Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” ~ September 28 – October 17, 2021 🇷🇺
- Gluck’s “Iphigénie en Tauride” ~ September 29 – October 15, 2021 🇫🇷
- Puccini’s “Turandot” ~ October 7 – May 14, 2021 🇮🇹
- Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” ~ October 26 – November 14, 2021 🇩🇪
- Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” ~ October 31 – December 12, 2021 🇺🇸
- Puccini’s “La Bohème” ~ November 9, 2021 – May 7, 2022 🇮🇹
- Puccini’s “Tosca” ~ December 2, 2021 – March 12, 2022 🇮🇹
- Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” stars Rolando Villazón ~ December 10, 2021 – January 5, 2022 🇲🇽
- Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” ~ January 28 – April 21, 2022 🇮🇹
- Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos” stars Isabel Leonard ~ March 1-17, 2022 🇩🇪🇦🇷
- Handel’s “Rodelinda” ~ March 11-31, 2022 🇮🇹
- Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” ~ March 19 – May 7, 2022 🇮🇹
- Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” stars Ailyn Pérez ~ March 25 – April 18, 2022 🇷🇺🇲🇽
- Strauss’s “Elektra” ~ April 1-20, 2022 🇩🇪
- Glass’s “Akhnaten” ~ May 19 – June 10, 2022 🇺🇸🇩🇪🇪🇸
- Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” ~ May 30 – June 11, 2022 🇺🇸
National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert ~ May 1, 2022
If we want to see more artists of color on the Met stage, let’s go to the opera.