A view of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera as the opera company prepares for its Opening Night Gala. (Photo : Latinospost/David Salazar)
The Metropolitan Opera opens its 2012-13 season with the first comedy under the Peter Gelb era.
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Since 2006, manager Peter Gelb's first year, dramas have permeated the opening night performances. Anthony Minghella's Madame Butterfly opened Gelb's tenure and he followed it up with a production of "Lucia Di Lamermoor" by Mary Zimmerman. The following year, soprano Renee Fleming had a gala dedicated to her, but even then the works chosen were dramas: La Traviata, Manon, and Capriccio. The following year, Gelb made the bold choice of retiring the crowd-pleasing Tosca directed by Franco Zefirelli and brought in a new production by Luc Bondy. In 2010 he premiered his new Ring Cycle on opening night with a performance of "Das Rheingold" and last season premiered "Anna Bolena" for the first time on the Met stage. The last time a comedy graced the stage of the Met on opening night was the first Act of Nozze Di Figaro in 2005. But even then acts from tragedies such as "Tosca" and "Samson et Dalilah" also comprised the opening night program.
Now comes "L'Elisir D'Amore" which is directed by Bartlett Sher. Sher has directed such hits as "Il Barbiere di Sivilgia," "Le Comte Ory," and "Les Contes d'Hoffman." Latinospost had a chance to attend the rehearsal for "Elisir" last Thursday and the response to the production was positive (To read the full reaction to the production, click HERE.)
The premiere also features the second straight year that Russian soprano Anna Netrebko premieres the season. She played the title role in last season's "Anna Bolena" and is also slated to open next season with another tragedy "Eugene Onegin."
The opening night premiere is of course more than just a performance. Before the curtain rises on "Elisir" there will be a full red carpet that will feature prominent celebrities that will also be part of an opening party afterward. Past guests include Juliana Margulies, John Turturro, Kanye West, Martha Stewart, John Lithgow, Barbara Walters, Helen Mirren, Rufus Wainwright, Meg Ryan, Patrick Stewart, Vera Farmiga, Katie Couric, Jane Fonda, and Fay Dunnaway. There is no information on which celebrities will be in attendance for tonight's Gala.
The red carpet starts at 6:30 PM and the performance starts at 7PM. The performance will be streamed in HD at Times Square and in Lincoln Center as has become tradition since the Gelb era started in 2006.
Watch a video of the Elisir D'Amore Rehearsal below