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Anna Netrebko kicks off 2012-13 with season-opening Met gala tonight

Proving herself, once again, “not just a Met star, but the Met star” (New York Observer), Anna Netrebko headlines her second consecutive season-opening gala for the Metropolitan Opera tonight, September 24. In her house role debut as Adina in Bartlett Sher’s new staging of L’elisir d’amore, the Russian soprano’s opening-night performance will be transmitted live starting at 7pm to open-air screens at both Lincoln Center and Times Square, broadcast on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM, and streamed live on the Met’s website. In addition, on Saturday, October 13, the production will launch the 2012-13 “The Met: Live in HD” series, airing live in movie theaters around the world. Meanwhile Netrebko remains equally dominant across the Atlantic. In November she embarks on a one-month concert tour of twelve major European musical capitals in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s rarely-heard one-act opera Iolanta, before making two important role debuts next spring, singing her first Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at the Vienna State Opera in April and her first Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro in Baden-Baden a month later. The soprano also reprises her signature portrayal of Mimì in La bohème, both for her house debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago and for her return to La Scala, and Deutsche Grammophon releases a DVD of her recent performance in the role at the 2012 Salzburg Festival.
It was a year ago that Netrebko confirmed her “undisputed superstar” (New York Post) status in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera’s season-opening, premiere production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, acquitting herself with such aplomb that the New York Times considered this “the defining moment of her career so far.” Clearly that moment has yet to pass; once again, the soprano has become synonymous with the Met’s new season, her face gracing billboards and buses across New York City, as well as advertisements in newspapers and online, and it has already been announced that Anna Netrebko will headline her third-consecutive season-opening night in 2013-14 as Tatyana in a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
While her upcoming appearances as L’elisir’s fickle Adina mark Netrebko’s Met debut in the role, she has already sung a portion of the opera in a 2006 Met gala and won kudos for her portrayal of Donizetti’s comic heroine at the Mariinsky Theatre, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera, where – as in New York – tenor Matthew Polenzani sang opposite her as Nemorino. In Tony-Award-winning director Bartlett Sher’s new Met staging, baritone Mariusz Kwiecien sings Sergeant Belcore, Nemorino’s romantic rival, and baritone Ambrogio Maestri plays the potion-peddling Doctor Dulcamara, with Italian maestro Maurizio Benini on the podium. Following their season-opening fall run, the principal singers and conductor will return to reprise these roles in January and February, with Netrebko’s real-life partner, internationally celebrated bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, replacing Maestri as Dulcamara.
The soprano’s next leading role is in Tchaikovsky’s lyric opera Iolanta. The opera – Tchaikovsky’s final contribution to the art form – is only seldom performed, being unusually short in duration for the opera house. It is, however, ideal for concert performance, and it was in concert last summer in Salzburg that Netrebko’s account of the title role prompted the Salzburger Nachrichten to observe: “Every note of her fabulous soprano is pure gold.” This November, she embodies Tchaikovsky’s blind princess again with conductor Emmanuel Villaume and the Orchestra of the Slovenian National Philharmonic on a European tour that takes in the principal concert halls of Paris, Vienna, Prague, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Essen, and Ljubljana.
It is also in Tchaikovsky that the soprano makes her first role debut of the season, when she sings Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at the Vienna State Opera (April 12–22). This Falk Richter production reunites Netrebko with Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, her partner in London, where their concert rendition of the opera’s final scene brought down the house two years ago. A second role debut follows when the soprano, already noted for her portrayal of Mozart’s Susanna, sings her first Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (May 17–26). This revival of Philipp Himmelmann’s staging will also feature bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni in the title role and Erwin Schrott as Count Almaviva.
March sees the soprano make her debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago, singing Mimì to tenor Joseph Calleja’s Rodolfo in a new-to-Chicago production of La bohème, with Emmanuel Villaume conducting (March 9–28). Puccini’s ill-fated heroine is also the vehicle for the soprano’s return to La Scala, where tenor Piotr Beczala is her co-star (Oct 19 & 22). The Polish tenor recently sang opposite Netrebko in a modern staging of the opera that premiered this past summer at the Salzburg Festival; a DVD of the production is slated to be released by Deutsche Grammophon this fall.
Further details of Anna Netrebko’s upcoming engagements follow, and more information is available at the web sites listed below.
Anna Netrebko: upcoming engagements
Sept 24 & 27; Oct 1, 5, 10 & 13*
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Adina)
*The Met: Live in HD broadcast to movie theaters
Oct 19 & 22
Milan, Italy
Teatro alla Scala
Puccini: La bohème (Mimi)
Oct 30 – Jan 13
European concert tour: Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (title role)
   Oct 30: Ljubljana, Slovenia (Cankarjev Dom)
   Nov 3: Stuttgart, Germany (Liederhalle)
   Nov 5: Munich, Germany (Philharmonie am Gasteig)
   Nov 8: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Concertgebouw)
   Nov 11: Paris, France (Salle Pleyal)
   Nov 14: Berlin, Germany (Philharmonie)
   Nov 18: Frankfurt, Germany (Alte Oper Frankfurt)
   Nov 21: Nuremberg, Germany (Meistersingerhalle)
   Nov 23: Prague, Czech Republic (Smetana Hall)
   Nov 27: Essen, Germany (Philharmonie Essen)
   Nov 30: Vienna, Austria (Konzerthaus)
   Jan 10 & 13: Barcelona, Spain (Gran Teatre del Liceu)
Jan 15
Hamburg, Germany
Concert with Erwin Schrott
Jan 30, Feb 2, 6 & 9
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Adina)
March 9, 12, 15, 18, 22 & 28
Chicago, IL
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Puccini, La bohème (Mimì)
March 25
Beaver Creek, CO
Vilar Performing Arts Center
Apr 12, 15, 18 & 22
Vienna, Austria
Vienna State Opera
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
May 17, 20, 23 & 26
Baden-Baden, Germany
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Contessa)


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