PRESS RELEASES

2013-14 Season Opens Sept. 23 with New Production of Eugene Onegin

September 6, 2013

Mariusz Kwiecien as Eugene Onegin and Anna Netrebko as Tatiana. | Photo: Lee Broomfield/Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2013-14 Season Opens September 23
With a New Production of
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin by Deborah Warner

 Anna Netrebko Stars as Tatiana in Her
Third Consecutive Met Opening Night

 Mariusz Kwiecien Makes His Met Role Debut as Onegin;
Piotr Beczala Reprises His Celebrated Lenski

 Valery Gergiev Conducts Tchaikovsky’s Romantic Tragedy

The opening night performance will be transmitted live to
Times Square and Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza,
broadcast on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM, and
streamed live on the Met’s website

 Worldwide cinema transmission on October 5 launches
the new season of The Met: Live in HD series

New York, NY – The Metropolitan Opera will open its 2013-14 season on September 23 at 6:30 p.m. with a new production of Tchaikovsky’s romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin, directed by Deborah Warner in her Met debut. Valery Gergiev returns to the Met for the first time since 2010 to conduct the performance, which will feature Anna Netrebko—the first soprano in Met history to star in three consecutive opening night performances—in her first company performances as the naïve heroine Tatiana, whose infatuation with the title character has tragic repercussions. Mariusz Kwiecien brings his acclaimed interpretation of Onegin to the Met for the first time, opposite Piotr Beczala, who reprises his celebrated portrayal of Lenski. Oksana Volkova sings the role of Tatiana’s sister, Olga, and Alexei Tanovitski sings Prince Gremin, the older man who offers Tatiana security.  This cast sings eight performances of the opera through October 19, with the October 5 matinee performance transmitted live to more than 1,900 movie theaters in 64 countries around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Due to an unexpected surgical procedure, Warner was unable to travel to the Met to stage Eugene Onegin, which is being directed here by her longtime collaborator Fiona Shaw.

Beginning November 23, a new cast takes the starring roles in the production. Peter Mattei makes his company role debut as Onegin opposite Marina Poplavskaya as Tatiana and, in his first Met performances since 2009, Rolando Villazón as the doomed Lenski.  Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Maximova makes her Met debut as Olga and Štefan Kocán sings Prince Gremin in this cast, which will be conducted by Russian maestro Alexander Vedernikov in his Met debut.

Valery Gergiev has conducted more than 100 Met performances in a varied repertory, including the company premieres of Prokofiev’s The Gambler and War and Peace; Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa; and Shostakovich’s The Nose. He made his Met debut in 1994 leading a new production of Verdi’s Otello and also conducted the new production premieres of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Strauss’s Salome, and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. He conducted an acclaimed run of Eugene Onegin in the Met’s 2006-07 season that included a Live in HD transmission. Gergiev is the general director of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, the artistic director of St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival, and the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Also this season, Gergiev conducts the first Met revival of William Kentridge’s acclaimed staging of The Nose.

Deborah Warner makes her Met debut with this production, which premiered at the English National Opera in 2011. She has also staged Britten’s Death in Venice and Handel’s Messiah for ENO; Verdi’s La Traviata for the Vienna Festival; and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Paris’s Opéra Comique. Her staging of Death in Venice has also been seen at La Monnaie in Brussels, La Scala in Milan, and Der Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam.

Fiona Shaw’s previous directorial credits include Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at English National Opera, and an upcoming production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for the Glyndebourne Festival. Her 25-year working partnership with Deborah Warner started with a landmark production of Electra in 1988. Their many collaborations since then have included Medea, The Waste Land, Happy Days, and The Testament of Mary (all of which were seen in New York).

This season, Anna Netrebko becomes the first soprano in the Met’s 130-year history to star in three consecutive opening night performances. She starred as Adina in Donizetti’s comedy L’Elisir d’Amore last season, and opened the 2011-12 season with a celebrated company role debut as the title character in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. This is her first time singing the role of Tatiana at the Met; she debuted it to critical acclaim earlier this year at the Vienna State Opera. Netrebko made her Met debut in 2002 as Natasha Rostova in the Met premiere of War and Peace, conducted by Gergiev. This season marks Netrebko’s first Met performances in her native Russian since her debut season. Her 14 roles with the company have also included the title character in Massenet’s Manon, both Mimì and Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani. In January, she returns to the Met to reprise her Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore.

Mariusz Kwiecien makes his Met role debut as Onegin, a part he has sung to acclaim at numerous leading international opera houses, including the Bolshoi in Moscow; Paris Opera; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Teatro Real in Madrid; and Kraków Opera in his native Poland. A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, he has sung more than 150 Met performances include five roles in new production premieres: Belcore in last season’s L’Elisir d’Amore, the title character in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2011), Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen (2009), Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor (2007), and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale (2006). Kwiecien made his Met debut as Kuligin in a 1999 revival of Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová and has also starred at the Met in a variety of other roles, most frequently Marcello in La Bohème, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. In April, he will add the role of Riccardo in I Puritani to his Met repertory.

Piotr Beczala first sang Lenski at the Met in the 2008-09 season; he has also sung the role with San Francisco Opera and Zurich Opera. Last season, he sang the Duke in the Met’s new staging of Verdi’s Rigoletto and made his company role debut as the title character in Gounod’s Faust. His other Met appearances have included the Chevalier des Grieux in the new production premiere of Massenet’s Manon, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Rodolfo in La Bohème (all three opposite Netrebko), as well as Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. In January, he returns to the Met to sing the Prince in a revival of Dvořák’s Rusalka.

Peter Mattei sings his first Met Onegin this season. He has sung the role at the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna State Opera, and in concert at Tanglewood. Last season, he made an acclaimed role debut as Amfortas in the Met’s new production of Wagner’s Parsifal. His other Met roles have included Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and the title role in Don Giovanni; Figaro in the new production premiere of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Marcello in La Bohème; Shishkov in the Met premiere of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead; and Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades. On December 22, he will join the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the direction of James Levine for a concert featuring Mahler’s song cycle “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (“Songs of a Wayfarer.”)

Marina Poplavskaya makes her Met role debut as Tatiana, a part she sang in 2008 at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Her previous Met performances have included Natasha in War and Peace (the role of her debut), Liù in Puccini’s Turandot, and three roles in new production premieres: Elisabeth de Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Violetta in La Traviata, and Marguerite in Faust, which she reprised at the Met last season. Elsewhere this season, she sings a diverse repertory including Hélène in Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes (Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Elisabeth in Wagner’s Tannhäuser (Berlin State Opera), and Mathilde in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (Munich Festival).

Rolando Villazón, making his company role debut as Lenski, returns to the Met for the first time since 2009. He made his Met debut in 2003 as Alfredo in La Traviata and returned as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, a role he reprised on the Met’s tour to Japan in 2011. He has sung Lenski with the Berlin State Opera and will reprise it at the Vienna State Opera this spring opposite Kwiecien as Onegin. Also this season, he will sing Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Berlin and Vienna State Operas, Alfredo at Munich State Opera, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at La Scala.

Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov makes his Met debut. He has conducted Eugene Onegin at La Scala, Paris Opera, and the Bolshoi in recent seasons, as well as Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Zurich Opera; Salome, The Queen of Spades, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at Komische Oper Berlin; and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turandot, Verdi’s Macbeth, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh at the Bolshoi.

The design team for Eugene Onegin comprises scenic designer Tom Pye, whose numerous opera productions include Warner’s stagings of Death in Venice and the Messiah; costume designer Chloe Obolensky, whose credits include the1999 English-language film Onegin, a staging of Tchaikovsky’s opera by Andrei Serban, and numerous collaborations with Peter Brook; lighting designer Jean Kalman, whose previous Met credits include Robert Carsen’s staging of Eugene Onegin, Marthe Keller’s staging of Don Giovanni, and the recent new productions of Verdi’s Attila and Macbeth; video designers Ian William Galloway and Finn Ross, whose previous opera designs include Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne and Faust at the Mariinsky; and choreographer Kim Brandstrup, who made his Met debut with the 1994 new production of Death in Venice. Pye, Obolensky, Galloway, and Ross make their Met debuts with Eugene Onegin.

This production of Eugene Onegin was made possible by a generous gift from

Ambassador and Mrs. Nicholas F. Taubman. The Metropolitan Opera is grateful to Deutsche Bank for underwriting the Opening Night Gala for the thirteenth consecutive year. Additional funding for the Opening Night Gala is provided by Manhattan Jaguar.

Live Opening Night Screenings at Lincoln Center and in Times Square

In keeping with a tradition begun on Opening Night in 2006, the Eugene Onegin premiere will be transmitted live to large screens on Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza and in Times Square. Attendance is free at both locations. The Lincoln Center plazacast will accommodate more than 2,000 audience members. Free tickets, with a limit of two per person, will be distributed at the Met box office beginning at 12 p.m. on Sunday, September 22.

The Times Square relay of the Opening Night Gala is presented in cooperation with the City of New York and the Times Square Alliance.  Approximately 1,500 seats will be available on a first-come first-served basis in Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Streets), with additional seating available in the pedestrian zone between 44th and 45th Streets.  The 12 participating screens in Times Square, the most ever, include 21st Century Fox-Sony Times Square, ABC SuperSign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America Times Square, City Outdoor USA, Clear Channel’s Spectacolor HD 127, Clear Channel’s Spectacolor HD 128, Samsung Times Square, Timessquare2 (Reuters Sign and Nasdaq Tower), Times Square Visitor Center Marquee, and Toshiba Vision Times Square. 

Additional standing room viewing will be available at both locations. Composer Nico Muhly, whose opera Two Boys has its North American premiere at the Met this October, and mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, who stars this season in both Two Boys and  Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, will co-host the opening night pre-show and conduct intermission interviews during the performance.

The live transmissions to Times Square and the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center are made possible with the cooperation of the City of New York, with leadership support provided by Bloomberg and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. This program is also supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Eugene Onegin Special Events

On Monday, September 16 at 6:30 pm, MetTalks, the Met’s series of panel discussions related to new productions, will begin its season with a discussion of Eugene Onegin. Stars and members of the production team will discuss this staging in the Met auditorium. Tickets are available through the Met Guild at $20 for the general public, $15 for Met Subscribers, and $10 for Guild Members and Young Associates. MetTalks are free to all Met Patrons. To purchase tickets, call 212-769-7028 or visit www.metguild.org/lectures. Patrons may call 212-870-4502 to reserve tickets to MetTalks.

The Met’s eighth season of free open rehearsals begins on September 19 at 12 p.m. with the final dress rehearsal of Eugene Onegin. Tickets will be given away via a lottery on the Met’s website, www.metopera.org. Anyone may enter the lottery between Friday, September 6 at noon and Thursday, September 12 at 8 p.m. Winners will be notified on Friday, September 13 at noon and may pick up their tickets during box office hours anytime before Tuesday, September 17 at 8 p.m.

Eugene Onegin Banner

Acclaimed artist Dasha Shishkin has created an original work inspired by Eugene Onegin, which will hang as a banner on the Met façade throughout the first weeks of the season. The work of the New York-based, Moscow-born Shishkin, a rising star in the art world, has been presented in recent solo shows in New York, Milan, and Los Angeles, among others. Shishkin’s Onegin banner is the latest work in a series of initiatives, curated by Dodie Kazanjian, that pairs leading contemporary artists with operas from the Met’s season. For more on the Met’s visual arts initiatives, please visit www.metopera.org/gallerymet.

Eugene Onegin Live in HD and on the Radio

Eugene Onegin kicks off the eighth season of The Met: Live in HD series when it is transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on October 5 at 12:55 p.m EST. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, who sings the title roles in both Bellini’s Norma and Puccini’s Tosca this season at the Met, hosts the transmission. Since the Live in HD series launched in 2006, more than 13 million tickets have been sold to opera lovers worldwide. The Met: Live in HD is now seen in more than 1,900 theaters in 64 countries around the world.

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline and Paul G. Desmarais Sr.

The Eugene Onegin premiere on September 23 will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on October 1, 9, 16 and December 2. The September 23 and October 16 performances will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, www.metopera.org.

On January 18, an archived performance from the fall will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

The 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder, with generous long-term support from The Annenberg Foundation, the Neubauer Family Foundation, the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

Bank of America is the proud sponsor of The Met: HD Live in Schools, a national program that provides students, teachers, and administrators with educational resources tied to select live transmissions of The Met: Live in HD