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Anna Netrebko expands horizons with first U.S. Lady Macbeth at Met and more in 2014-15

Already the undisputed “reigning new diva of the 21st century” (Associated Press), Anna Netrebko scored a fresh triumph this past month, winning ECHO Klassik’s “Female Singer of the Year” award for a record-breaking third time. Never content to rest on her laurels, however, the ever-evolving Russian-born soprano continues expanding her horizons in 2014-15. She makes two American role debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in an all-star Macbeth that will be beamed live around the world to launch the company’s Live in HD season, and headlining a new staging of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta that will be broadcast Live in HD on Valentine’s Day. In Europe, she makes house role debuts in the title roles of a new Manon Lescaut at the Bavarian State Opera and Anna Bolena at the Zurich Opera, besides reprising her portrayal of Anna Bolena at the Vienna State Opera and completing her season’s quartet of leading roles as Mimì in La bohème at Covent Garden, where her final performance will again be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide. In concert this season, Netrebko remains the soprano of choice for gala appearances, in the Richard Tucker Gala at New York’s Lincoln Center and in Munich and Salzburg, as well as singing a recital in Colorado, “Verdi and Verismo” arias in Barcelona, selections from Macbeth in Rome, Strauss’s Four Last Songs in Paris, and revisiting her acclaimed Iolanta on a European concert tour that culminates at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Pouring out a gorgeous, aubergine tone, she imbues the character with an ethereal mix of strength and vulnerability.” So stated NPR on hearing Netrebko as Lady Macbeth on her Deutsche Grammophon album Verdi, which was released last year to a chorus of approval and went on to win her a tenth ECHO Klassik Award. Now, after taking Munich by storm in her first appearances in the role at the Bavarian State Opera, the soprano brings her searing portrayal of Verdi’s notorious anti-heroine to the Met, where she heads Adrian Noble’s chilling production opposite Zeljko Lucić as Macbeth, with the support of Joseph Calleja’s Macduff, René Pape’s Banquo, and Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi on the podium (Sep 24–Oct 18). Netrebko has graced at least one of the Met’s Live in HD transmissions each season since the program’s inception, and her October 11 performance in Macbeth launches the 2014-15 season for the Emmy Award-winning series. She also revisits her Lady Macbeth in concert, singing excerpts from the opera with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (Dec 20 & 22), and showcases the music of Verdi and his countrymen in an orchestral program of “Verdi and Verismo” arias at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana (Dec 17).

Last September, in her third consecutive season-opening production at the Met, critics were agreed that “the evening belonged to Netrebko” (Financial Times) as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. For her next Met engagement, the soprano turns to another of her compatriot’s leading ladies, assuming the title role of his one-act lyric opera Iolanta on a double-bill with Bluebeard’s Castle by Bartók. She will be joined by two of her frequent collaborators, tenor Piotr Beczala and conductor Valery Gergiev, in a new production from Mariusz Trelinski, who draws inspiration from 1940s film noir (Jan 26–Feb 21). The opera – Tchaikovsky’s final contribution to the genre – is also especially well-suited to concert performance, and following the success of their 2012 Iolanta concert tour, Netrebko looks forward to reuniting with conductor Emmanuel Villaume for a second one, this time with dates in Lucerne, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, and London, where they join forces with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (June 15–24).


It was the soprano’s performance in the Met’s season-opening, premiere production of Anna Bolena in 2012, now available on Deutsche Grammophon DVD, that helped to cement her “undisputed superstar” status (New York Post). Next spring she sings Donizetti’s tragic queen in two productions co-starring Luca Pisaroni, making her house role debut in Giancarlo del Monaco’s staging at the Zurich Opera (March 20–April 2), and revisiting the role in a treatment by Éric Génovèse at the Vienna State Opera (April 10–20), where she gave her acclaimed first performances as her Tudor namesake three years ago.

Netrebko’s signature roles also include the heroines of Puccini. After a recent success as the title character of his Manon Lescaut at the Rome Opera, she reprises her nuanced portrayal for her house role debut as Manon opposite Jonas Kaufmann at the Bavarian State Opera, in a new production of the work by Hans Neuenfels (Nov 15–Dec 7; July 28 & 31). The final performance will be transmitted live outdoors in central Munich as part of the company’s “Opera for All” series (July 31).

The New York Times considers Mimì one of the soprano’s finest roles, and her account of the part at the Salzburg Festival proved a knockout that has since, once again, been immortalized on Deutsche Grammophon DVD. For La bohème at London’s Royal Opera House (May 23–June 10), Netrebko reunites with Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, with whom she starred in Puccini’s masterpiece for her 2013 Lyric Opera of Chicago debut. Dan Ettinger conducts the John Copley production, and the closing night will be seen in cinemas worldwide in Covent Garden’s Live Cinema Season series (June 10).

The superstar soprano also appears extensively in concerts throughout the world, and this season brings prominent orchestral galas on both sides of the Atlantic. Highlights include her appearance at the 2014 Richard Tucker Gala at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, where she celebrates the legendary tenor’s legacy alongside Calleja and other of her fellow operatic luminaries, under Maestro Villaume’s direction (Oct 12). At the Whitsun Festival Salzburg, she is joined by Cecilia Bartoli, Juan Diego Flórez, and Christopher Maltman, with Louis Langrée leading the Camerata Salzburg (May 25), and at Munich’s Königsplatz she graces an open-air “Summit of the Stars” in company with Jonas Kaufmann, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Elena Zhidkova (June 27). Finally, the soprano rounds out the season with an account of Strauss’s Four Last Songs, in partnership with Daniele Gatti and the Orchestre National de France, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris (May 10).

Further details of Anna Netrebko’s upcoming engagements follow, and more information is available at the websites listed below.



Anna Netrebko: 2014-15 engagements


Sep 24, 27; Oct 3, 8, 11*, 15, 18

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Verdi: Macbeth (Lady Macbeth)

* Oct 11 performance will be broadcast worldwide in Met’s Live in HD series


Oct 12

New York, NY

Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center

Richard Tucker Gala


Nov 15, 19, 24, 27, 30; Dec 4, 7

Munich, Germany

Bavarian State Opera

Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Manon)


Dec 17

Barcelona, Spain

Palau de la Música Catalana

Concert: Verdi and verismo arias


Dec 20 & 22

Rome, Italy

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia / Sir Antonio Pappano

Verdi: Macbeth (excerpts in concert)


Jan 26, 29; Feb 3, 7, 10, 14*, 18, 21

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta (Iolanta)

* Feb 14 performance will be broadcast worldwide in Met’s Live in HD series


Feb 5

Beaver Creek, CO

Vilar Performing Arts Center



March 20, 24, 29; April 2

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Opera

Donizetti: Anna Bolena (Anna Bolena)


April 10, 13, 17, 20

Vienna, Austria

Vienna State Opera

Donizetti: Anna Bolena (Anna Bolena)


May 10

Paris, France

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Orchestre National de France / Daniele Gatti

R. Strauss: Four Last Songs


May 25

Salzburg, Austria

Whitsun Festival Salzburg

Gala Concert (with Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; Juan Diego Flórez, tenor; Christopher Maltman, baritone; Camerata Salzburg; Salzburger Bachchor / Louis Langrée)


May 23, 27, 30; June 2, 5, 8, 10*

London, UK

Royal Opera House

Puccini: La bohème (Mimí)

* June 10 performance will be broadcast worldwide in ROH’s Live Cinema Season series


June 15

Lucerne, Switzerland

Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta (Iolanta; concert performance)


June 18

Copenhagen, Denmark

DR Koncerthuset

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta (Iolanta; concert performance)


June 21

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Grimaldi Forum

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta (Iolanta; concert performance)


June 24

London, UK

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Emmanuel Villaume

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta (Iolanta; concert performance)


June 27

Munich, Germany


Outdoor concert (with Jonas Kaufmann, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Elena Zhidkova)


July 28 & 31

Munich, Germany

Bavarian State Opera

Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Manon)


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© 21C Media Group, September 2014

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