Soprano Anna Netrebko added to her list of cancellations, withdrawing from a new production of Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at the Metropolitan Opera that is among seven new stagings the company announced Wednesday for its 2022-23 season.
Nebrebko scrapped four performances of Verdi’s “Nabucco” at the Vienna State Opera from Nov. 1-12, saying she needed shoulder surgery. The 50-year-old then pulled out of four “Nabucco” performances at London’s Royal Opera from Jan. 14-24, with the company citing travel restrictions in Europe.
Netrebko did not respond to a request for comment made through her public relations representative, 21C Media Group.
Next season includes seven new-to-the Met productions, the most since 2012-13. Four are originating at the Met and three will move to New York after opening in Europe.
The Met, which resumes its season Monday following a scheduled four-week break, lost the entire 2020-21 season because of the pandemic.
While attendance was disrupted by the omicron variant, the Met has not missed a performance. Positive tests in the company had been under five per week early in the season but spiked to 70-120 from Dec. 11 to Jan. 15 before receding. The percentage of tickets sold dropped during that period, finishing the first half of the season at 64.2%.
Two of five new productions slated for the canceled season have been shifted to 2022-23: Ivo van Hove’s staging of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” starting May 5 and Simon McBurney’s version of “Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)” opening May 19. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Nathalie Stutzmann will make her Met debut. She is scheduled to conduct both productions.
“There were many challenges, the challenges of trying to reschedule casts, challenges of moving creative teams to different times,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said. “It’s sort of like three-dimensional chess.”
The Met said in October 2017 that Netrebko would star in three co-productions with Moscow’s Bolshoi Opera. She previously withdrew from Stauss’ “Salome” and remains scheduled for the Michael Mayer staging of Verdi’s “Aida,” postponed from 2020-21.
“Lohengrin” returns to the Met for the first time since 2006 in a François Girard staging that opens Feb. 26, 2023, a little more than a year after it bows at Moscow’s Bolshoi this Thursday. At the Met, Tamara Wilson replaces Netrebko as Elsa, Christine Goerke sings Ortrud and Piotr Beczala the title role.
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts “Lohengrin” as well as Kevin Puts’ “The Hours,” adapted from Michael Cunningham’s novel, and Terence Blanchard’s “Champion.”
“He’s realigned his schedule somewhat to put a greater emphasis of his time on the the Met premieres, not just revivals or new productions of the standard repertoire,” Gelb said.
“The Hours” gets its staged premiere on Nov. 22 starring Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato and Kelli O’Hara, with Phelim McDermott directing. It will receive concert performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra this March 18-20.
“Champion,” a 2013 work based on the boxer Emile Griffith, has its Met premiere on April 10, 2023.
“We’re not curators of a museum. We’re entrepreneurs of an art form that is advancing,” Gelb said. “We’re making a number of changes in future seasons to reflect our more intense effort to have more new work.”
Cherubini’s “Medea,” which premiered in its French version in 1797, makes its first Met appearance Sept. 27 in the Italian edition on opening night, starring Sondra Radvanovsky and Matthew Polenzani, with Carlo Rizzi conducting. Giordano’s “Fedora” opens Dec. 31 starring Sonya Yoncheva.
David McVicar directs “Medea” and “Fedora,” raising his Met productions to 13.
Mayer’s “Aida” and the company premiere of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” have been pushed back to future seasons. The Met is not certain whether it will reschedule Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel,” from the canceled season.
"Zauberflöte,” a staging that originated at the English National Opera in 2013, stars Erin Morley, Kathryn Lewek and Lawrence Brownlee. Van Hove’s “Don Giovanni,” seen at the Paris Opera in 2019, stars Peter Mattei, Adam Plachetka, Federica Lombardi and Ana María Martínez. Van Hove’s production of Weill’s “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” has been put on hold.
McVicar’s production of Verdi’s “Don Carlos,” which the Met presents in the original French for the first time next Monday, returns in the more familiar Italian “Don Carlo” on Nov. 3, starring Netrebko.
Gelb’s wife, Keri-Lynn Wilson, makes her Met debut conducting Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” starting Sept. 29. Speranza Scappucci’s pandemic-delayed debut will be leading Verdi’s “Rigoletto” on Nov. 10, and Simone Young returns to the Met podium for the first time since 1998 with Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” on March 27, 2023.
Five women are conducting at the Met in 2021-22, the most in a season.
“We need to have more equal representation of women conductors at the Met,” Gelb said.
Also debuting are Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck in Mozart’s “Idomeneo” on Sept. 28 and New York Philharmonic music director Jaap van Zweden in Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman”) on May 30, 2023.
Soprano Angela Gheorghiu returns for the first time since 2015 in Puccini's “Tosca” on April 8, 2023.