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Anna Netrebko returns to Met in Don Pasquale

Having kicked off the 2010-11 season singing Manon on a tour of Japan with the Royal Opera House, Anna Netrebko returns to the Metropolitan Opera this week to reprise her acclaimed portrayal of Norina, the scheming heroine of Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale.  “It’s so nice not to die for a change,” says Netrebko, who usually plays characters falling victim to either illness or suicide.  James Levine, in his first performances of the opera, conducts a cast that also features Matthew Polenzani as the lovelorn Ernesto, Mariusz Kwiecien as the clever Dr. Malatesta, and John Del Carlo as the buffoonish title character.  Renowned Austrian director Otto Schenk returns to direct the first revival of his Met production, which the New York Times praised as “wonderful” and “insightful” when it was premiered in 2006.  Don Pasquale opens on October 29 and runs through November 18, with a second run of performances resuming in February.  Tipping its hat to the production, Opera News puts Netrebko on the cover of its annual “diva issue” in November.
When Netrebko first portrayed Norina, in the 2006 premiere of the Met production, critics said she “negotiated Donizetti’s fearsome fioritura with flair and acted with rare abandon” (New York Post) in what was “simply one of the great comic performances to be seen on the legit stage” (Variety).  “This will go down as the season Metropolitan Opera audiences fell in love with Anna Netrebko,” wrote Mike Silverman of the Associated Press.  Opera fans around the world will join the throng of New York admirers on November 13 when Don Pasquale is transmitted around the globe as part of the Met: Live in HD series.
In another highlight of the season, Netrebko takes on the daunting title character in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for the first time.  Her debut as the Tudor queen belongs to the Vienna State Opera in April 2011, but she will also take the role to the Met later in the fall, opening its 2011-12 season.
Other notable opera engagements this season include Netrebko’s company debut in December with the Copenhagen Opera in La bohème and her return to the Bavarian State Opera for L’elisir d’amore in May.  On the concert stage this spring, the soprano performs Rossini’s Stabat mater at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Pergolesi’s Stabat mater on a European tour with the English Chamber Orchestra.  Recordings of both works, on EMI Classics and Deutsche Grammophon respectively, will be released to coincide with the performances.
In rare joint appearances with her off-stage leading man, Netrebko pairs with Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott for a concert in the Latvian capital of Riga in December and for gala performances opening the 27th annual Canary Islands’ Music Festival in January.  She also gives concerts in her native Russia and in Beaver Creek, Colorado, before returning to Japan at the end of the season to sing Mimì on tour with the Metropolitan Opera.

Anna Netrebko: season engagements
October 29; November 2, 6, 10, 13, & 18
Metropolitan Opera
New York, USA
Donizetti: Don Pasquale (Norina)
December 8
Latvian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Riga, Latvia
Erwin Schrott, baritone
Claudio Vandelli, conductor
December 16 & 19
Copenhagen Opera (company debut)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Puccini: La bohème (Mimì)
December 22
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Moscow, Russia
January 8 & 11, 2011
Canary Islands’ Music Festival
Erwin Schrott, baritone
Russian National Orchestra
Gala Concerts
January 18
Wiener Konzerthaus
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Chamber Orchestra
Rossini: Stabat Mater
February 4, 8, 11, 14, & 19
Metropolitan Opera
New York, NY
Donizetti: Don Pasquale (Norina)
February 22
Vilar Performing Arts Center
Beaver Creek, CO
Gala concert
April 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17
Wiener Staatsoper
Vienna, Austria
Donizetti: Anna Bolena (title role; role debut)

April 21
Berliner Philharmonie
Berlin, Germany
English Chamber Orchestra
Pergolesi: Stabat mater
April 23
Philharmonie München
Munich, Germany
English Chamber Orchestra
Pergolesi: Stabat mater
April 26
Salle Pleyel
Paris, France
English Chamber Orchestra
Pergolesi: Stabat mater
April 28
Victoria Hall
Geneva, Switzerland
English Chamber Orchestra
Pergolesi: Stabat mater
May 2
Capitole de Toulouse
Toulouse, France
English Chamber Orchestra
Pergolesi: Stabat mater
May 11, 14, 17
Bayerische Staatsoper
Munich, Germany
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Adina)

June 4, 8, 11, 17, 19
Metropolitan Opera, Japan tour
Nagoya (4) & Tokyo (8, 11, 17, 19), Japan
Puccini: La bohème (Mimi)

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