In honor of this event, I am offering free downloads of my violin fantasy, Manon de fantasie based on the music of the opera.Following her star turn as the title character in the Metropolitan Opera’s season-opening production of Anna Bolena last fall, Anna Netrebko now returns to Lincoln Center to headline her second new production of the season, this time presenting her signature portrayal of the ill-fated Manon in Massenet’s eponymous opera for the first time in front of New York audiences. “Netrebko’s Manon has them in the palm of her hand, her control underlined by her formidable vocal delivery,” reported the London Evening Standard when the Russian soprano sang the role last season at Covent Garden in this new staging by director Laurent Pelly, which transfers to the Met for a nine-performance run beginning March 26. On April 7, the matinee will be transmitted live to more than 1,700 movie theaters around the world as part of the Met: Live in HD series, as well as broadcast live via the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
At the Metropolitan Opera, as in London, the innovative staging will feature Chantal Thomas’s scenic design with lighting by Joël Adam and costumes by Pelly himself. In his role debut as the ardent Chevalier des Grieux, Netrebko’s co-star – as in previous Met productions of La bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor – will be tenor Piotr Beczala. Both making house role debuts, Tony Award-winning baritone Paulo Szot will sing Manon’s cousin Lescaut and bass-baritone David Pittsinger the Chevalier’s father, the Comte des Grieux. On the podium, the Met’s Principal Conductor, Fabio Luisi, will lead his first Manon for the company. In addition to the Met: Live in HD transmission on April 7, four performances – including the opening night’s – will be broadcast live on Sirius XM radio.
The upcoming production marks Netrebko’s second engagement at Lincoln Center this month. Just named one of Newsweek’s “150 Fearless Women in the World,” the soprano sang at the third annual Women in the World Summit at Koch Theater, appearing as part of a three-day series of events that also featured Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and a host of other prominent leaders and activists from around the globe. Watch a video of the performance here.
Manon also represents Netrebko’s first Met appointment since proving herself an “undisputed superstar” (New York Post) in the company’s season-opening, premiere production of Anna Bolena, which, according to the New York Times, “may well be the defining moment of her career so far.” Later in 2012, Netrebko returns to New York to headline her second consecutive season-opening gala at the Met, when she makes her house role debut as Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in a new staging by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher.