Press Room

Metropolitan Opera Guild News for September 2009

Exciting Finnish soprano Karita Mattila is the star on the cover of Opera News for September.  Her first Met Tosca opens the company’s 2009-10 season on September 21, in a new Luc Bondy production of Puccini’s masterpiece.  Oussama Zahr’s cover story about the electrifying Ms. Mattila reveals her approach to “the ultimate diva role” as she adds Tosca to her large Met repertoire.  Her portrayals of Salome, Tatyana, Musetta, Eva, Jenufa, Fidelio’s Leonora, and many other heroines have captivated Met audiences since her 1990 debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.  Swiss-born director Luc Bondy, making his Met debut with his staging of the new Tosca, is profiled by Paris-based writer William V. Madison.

There’s much to look forward to in the annual “Hot Tickets” guide, which gives the Editors’ picks for the must-see operatic attractions in 2009-10 throughout the world of opera.  Special excitement is brewing in Dallas, where the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House – the handsome and long-awaited new home of the Dallas Opera – is set to open on October 23.  Scott Cantrell introduces “A Very Fine House,” the first brand-new purpose-built opera house to open in the US this century.  Dallas’s opening night is a new production of Verdi’s Otello starring Clifton Forbis, staged by Tim Albery in his company debut.  Opera News features editor, Brian Kellow, presents the production’s young Cassio, tenor Sean Panikkar, in this month’s Sound Bites.

The happy development in Dallas is regrettably offset by the demise during the past season of four important US opera companies – Baltimore Opera, Connecticut Opera, Orlando Opera, and Opera Pacific.  Barry Singer describes American opera’s troubling financial picture in “Opera in the Age of Anxiety.”

Opera News focuses on many young singers, but also includes a visit with Teresa Zylis-Gara.  David Shengold writes up his Reunion with the Polish soprano, a veteran of more than 200 performances at the Met throughout the 1970s and ’80s.  Among the younger singers appearing in the magazine this month is Ms. Zylis-Gara’s countryman, tenor Piotr Beczala, who made a big splash at the Met last season as Edgardo and Lensky, and bows at Lyric Opera of Chicago this October in the title role of Gounod’s Faust; Louise T. Guinther gets the scoop.  Finally, coloratura soprano Anna Christy – Mozart’s Blonde in San Francisco Opera’s Entführung aus dem Serail in September – talks with William R. Braun about her fast-track career.

While the Guild’s ever-growing array of lectures, educational programs, and other events for the 2009-10 season begins on September 1, the season’s unofficial – but very exciting – curtain-raiser is on September 15: “Met Legends – James Levine,” when the Maestro will be onstage to watch rare video clips, and to discuss his life and career with the Guild’s Paul Gruber.  A number of Maestro Levine’s fellow artists will join in to help honor this extraordinary man, at 7:30pm at Alice Tully Hall.  Tickets are $45 for Met Patrons and Guild Members; $75 for all others.  Details are available on the Guild’s site

The Guild inaugurates a new series of lectures on September 1 at 6pm in the Learning Center on the 6th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose building at Lincoln Center, with a week of talks preceding each of The Met: Live in HD free screenings being shown on the Lincoln Center Plaza.  Tickets to each lecture are $10 ($5 for Guild members) and each includes an assigned seat at the subsequent screening.  (Reserved-seat passes will be available for pickup only after the lecture.)  In case of changes to the schedule, lecture dates will conform with screening dates.  Up-to-date schedule information is at  (Refunds available if screening is canceled due to bad weather.)  See below for further details.

“Met Legends – James Levine” is only the first of four major public Guild events planned throughout the season and honoring prominent figures in the world of opera (Opera News Awards (Nov 19); The Met Mastersingers: Renée Fleming (Feb 3); 75th Annual Luncheon, honoring Frederica von Stade (Apr 20).  A reception for Guild Young Associates takes place at the Met on September 10, with cocktails and performances by the members of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artists program; and the always-informative Lectures series starts on September 13, with a Master Class led by soprano Martina Arroyo from 4pm to 6pm.  The distinguished soprano digs into the nitty-gritty of high-note heroines during this appearance.  Like most of the Guild’s lectures, this one takes place in the Metropolitan Opera Guild Opera Learning Center on the 6th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose building at Lincoln Center.  Ms. Arroyo’s class is part of the Fall Master Class package, and those interested can save by buying tickets to the whole series.  Additional classes are:

Sunday, October 11: Character Crafting – led by Stephen Wadsworth

Sunday, November 8: Puccini’s Men – led by Ira Siff

Sunday, December 6: Spinning Strauss – led by Jane Marsh

Find Masterly Singing I at

Soprano Jane Marsh presents Women of Strauss and Mozart, opening on September 22, the day after the Met’s opening night Tosca.  “Cunning Little Vixens: The Women of Strauss and Mozart” takes place on four Tuesday evenings, September 22 – October 13, from 6pm to 7:15pm at the Learning Center.

The popular series Opera Boot Camp will be back in October!


Lectures before screenings of The Met: Live in HD! from 6–7pmTuesday, September 1: “Macbeth: The Scottish Story and Other Superstitions”
Wednesday, September 2: “Lights! Camera! Opera!: Beginning Barber for Kids and Families”
Thursday, September 3: “The Boroughs and the ’Burbs: Peter Grimes and Operas in Situ
Friday, September 4: “La Bohème: The Opera, Seen From Behind the Scenes”
Saturday, September 5: “Orfeo ed Euridice: Dancing About Architecture”
Sunday, September 6: “Il Trittico: Building the Barge”
Monday, September 7: “Opera as Cinema: Madama Butterfly

This innovative series of spirited pre-screening presentations is the companion and introduction to the Met’s first Summer HD festival, with seven consecutive evening conversations to get the party started on the plaza.  All events will be held in the Opera Learning Center from 6pm to 7pm. Tickets are $10 each ($5 for Guild Members), and each includes a premium reserved seat to the evening’s HD screening on the Lincoln Center Plaza.

Thursday, September 10

Young Associates Reception
Location: Metropolitan Opera House
Revlon Bar and Terrace on the Grand Tier
Musical Program by the Met’s Lindemann Young Artists begins at 7:15pm
Tickets: $50
RSVP by September 5
Business attire

Tickets must be purchased in advance (tickets will not be sold at the door)
Members of the Young Associates Program receive two complimentary tickets to this event.

To learn more about becoming a Young Associate, e-mail [email protected] or call (212) 870-4587.

Masterly Singingis a series of workshops and master classes probing areas of performance and preparation vital to the development of young performers, while showcasing opera’s most valuable assets – the directors, coaches, conductors, and singers of our stage.

Sunday, September 13 at 4–6pm

The Sopranos: A Master Class with Martina Arroyo
The hit television series The Sopranos was filled with passion, high drama, and tons of twists and turns.  Distinguished soprano Martina Arroyo “godmothers” her version of Soprano-dom as she digs into the nuts and bolts of high-note heroines.  It’s definitely not your average television drama!

This event will be held in the Metropolitan Opera Guild Opera Learning Center on the 6th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose building at Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, September 15 at 7:30pm

The Metropolitan Opera Guild Presents:


Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City

Maestro James Levine, Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is the subject of the Metropolitan Opera Guild’sfirst public event of the new season.  “Met Legends: James Levine” takes place at New York’s Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:30pm.  The “Maestro of the Met” himself will be the guest of honor, on stage with the Guild’s Paul Gruber to watch rare video clips and to discuss his life and unrivaled career.  Exclusive video footage will be shown, including a new video biography of the Maestro that incorporates rare footage of the young James Levine with his family.

Program tickets:

$45 for Guild members and Met patrons

$75 for others

$150 (members and nonmembers) for priority seating followed by artist’s reception with champagne and dessert

For more information and to order tickets by phone, call (212) 769-7009.

Cunning Little Vixens: The Women of Strauss and Mozart
Four Tuesday Evenings, September 22 – October 13, from 6–7:15pm
Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss lived in different centuries, Strauss combined experiments in the tonalities of his era with the sensibilities of Mozart’s time, openly drawing on the earlier composer for inspiration.  The female voice was central to the operatic ambitions of both composers, who created some of the most unforgettable heroines known to the lyric stage.

Purchasers of all four sessions save!  Go to the website here:

To purchase individual sessions, note the specific date below, and find it on the website calendar, beginning here:

This course is also offered on Thursday afternoons.  For the repeats, please go to the website here:

Tuesday, September 22, 6–7:15pm“Three’s Company: The Ladies of Don Giovanni” presented by Jane Marsh

Tuesday, September 29, 6–7:15pm

Ariadne auf Naxos and Elektra: Music of Mythic Proportions” presented by Jane Marsh

Tuesday, October 6, 6–7:15pm“Noblemen of a Certain Age” presented by Dr. W. Anthony Sheppard

Tuesday, October 13, 6–7:15pm“Sisters in Trousers: Cherubino, Octavian, and the Composer” presented by Martin Bernheimer

All events in this lecture course will be held in the Metropolitan Opera Guild Opera Learning Center on the 6th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose building at Lincoln Center.       

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© 21C Media Group, August 2009

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