Opening Night features a new Aida, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Piotr Beczała, in a new staging by Michael Mayer.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin, in his third season as Music Director, will conduct six operas, including new stagings of Aida, Don Giovanni, and Dead Man Walking, as well as three classic revivals and two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.
The six operas conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin will all be featured in The Met: Live in HD series—the most transmissions ever led by a single conductor in an HD season.
Renowned directors Barrie Kosky (The Fiery Angel), Ivo van Hove (Don Giovanni and Dead Man Walking), and Simon McBurney (Die Zauberflöte) make notable Met debuts with new productions.
For the first time in recent decades, the Met season will extend into June and will include no performances in February.
There will be more weekend opera than ever before, with 22 Sunday matinee performances, plus onstage post-performance discussions with the stars of each Sunday matinee.
Notable debuts include conductors Hartmut Haenchen, Jakub Hrůša, Giacomo Sagripanti, Speranza Scappucci, and Lorenzo Viotti and singers Varduhi Abrahamyan, Benjamin Bernheim, Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Lucia Lucas, Thomas Oliemans, Svetlana Sozdateleva, and Okka von der Damerau.
Other notable conducting engagements include Harry Bicket (Giulio Cesare), Gustavo Dudamel (Die Zauberflöte), and Simone Young (Billy Budd), among others.
The 2020–21 season will be General Manager Peter Gelb’s 15th as the Met’s General Manager.
The Metropolitan Opera announced its 2020–21 season, the first in which Yannick Nézet-Séguin assumes his full breadth of musical duties as the company’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, conducting six productions. His schedule includes the Met premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the first contemporary opera conducted by the maestro on the Met stage, as part of his ongoing commitment to opera of our time at the Met, which will expand in the seasons to come.
The season—which includes five new productions and 18 revivals—kicks off on September 21 with the first new staging of Verdi’s Aida in more than 30 years, directed by Michael Mayer, conducted by Nézet-Séguin, and starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Piotr Beczała. Australian director Barrie Kosky makes his company debut with the Met-premiere production of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, with Michail Jurowski leading an extraordinary cast in his Met debut. Two Mozart operas will also be seen in new stagings: an acclaimed production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Simon McBurney and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and a sophisticated new take on Don Giovanni, Ivo van Hove’s highly anticipated Met-debut production, conducted by Nézet-Séguin and starring Peter Mattei, Gerald Finley, Ailyn Pérez, and Isabel Leonard in the leading roles. And in April, Nézet-Séguin conducts the Met premiere of Jake Heggie’s 21st-century masterpiece Dead Man Walking, with a new staging by van Hove featuring Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Latonia Moore, and Etienne Dupuis.
Following the successful addition of 16 new Sunday matinee performances last season, the Met will offer even more weekend options in 2020–21, with 22 Sunday matinee performances. Each Sunday matinee will be followed by an onstage post-performance discussion with the stars.
For the first time, the Met season will include no performances in February, with the company instead extending its performance calendar into the month of June.
In his third season as Music Director, in addition to the three new stagings, Nézet-Séguin conducts revivals of Fidelio, Roméo et Juliette, and Die Frau ohne Schatten, as well as two of three Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall in June. (Semyon Bychkov will conduct the first concert in the Carnegie Hall series, on June 10.)
“This is the season in which the Yannick era hits its stride,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “In conducting six operas, he will be present throughout the entire season, raising the artistic bar for the orchestra, the chorus, and the entire company.”
“The artistic excellence we achieve each season is due to the invaluable contributions in the pit and on stage by the great Met Orchestra and Chorus,” Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said. “This is an exciting time for opera, and I’m thrilled to be sharing my passion for it with the Met’s discerning and loyal audience, while deepening my relationship with this great institution. As we look forward to future seasons, we will not only continue to expand our repertoire with new commissions by living composers but will also be adding to our artistic ranks with more women on the podium and a greater emphasis on artistic diversity.”
Dozens of the world’s leading opera stars bring their artistry to 18 repertory revivals throughout the season, including Marcelo Álvarez, Jamie Barton, Piotr Beczała, Angel Blue, Stephanie Blythe, J’Nai Bridges, Lawrence Brownlee, Javier Camarena, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Stephen Costello, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley, Angela Gheorghiu, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Greer Grimsley, Günther Groissböck, Ekaterina Gubanova, Anita Hartig, Evelyn Herlitzius, Quinn Kelsey, Tomasz Konieczny, Isabel Leonard, Peter Mattei, Angela Meade, Latonia Moore, Erin Morley, Anna Netrebko, Lisette Oropesa, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, Anita Rachvelishvili, Brenda Rae, Golda Schultz, Nadine Sierra, Stuart Skelton, Nina Stemme, Krassimira Stoyanova, Elza van den Heever, Christian Van Horn, Klaus Florian Vogt, Michael Volle, Pretty Yende, and Sonya Yoncheva. They perform alongside a number of significant newcomers to the Met stage, including Benjamin Bernheim, Okka von der Damerau, and Varduhi Abrahamyan. This is also a remarkable season for new conductors, with Hartmut Haenchen, Jakub Hrůša, Michail Jurowski, Nimrod David Pfeffer, Giacomo Sagripanti, Speranza Scappucci, Lorenzo Viotti, and Kensho Watanabe all appearing for the first time on the podium.
OPENING NIGHT: Aida — Giuseppe Verdi
- Opening: September 21, 2020
- Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
- Production: Michael Mayer
- Set Designer: Christine Jones
- Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty
- Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
- Projection Designer: 59 Productions
- Choreographer: Oleg Glushkov
- Live in HD: October 10, 2020
Verdi’s opera receives its first new staging at the Met in more than three decades, with a season-opening premiere production directed by Michael Mayer, whose dazzling vision of ancient Egypt comes alive with intricate projections and eye-catching animations. Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili portray archrivals Aida and Amneris on Opening Night—reprising their acclaimed partnership in the same roles from the 2018–19 season—and Piotr Beczała completes the triumvirate as Radamès. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a benchmark cast that also includes Ludovic Tézier as Aida’s father, Amonasro, and Krzysztof Bączyk in his Met debut as the King of Egypt. A co-production with the Bolshoi Theatre, this Aida also features Latonia Moore and Hibla Gerzmava in later performances of the title role, as well as Ekaterina Semenchuk and Marcelo Álvarez as Amneris and Radamès.
MET PREMIERE: The Fiery Angel — Sergei Prokofiev
- Opening: November 12, 2020
- Conductor: Michail Jurowski
- Production: Barrie Kosky
- Set Designer: Rebecca Ringst
- Costume Designer: Klaus Bruns
- Lighting Designer: Joachim Klein
- Choreographer: Otto Pichler
Australian director Barrie Kosky, a bright and bold force in the opera world, makes his long-awaited company debut with the Met premiere production of Prokofiev’s devilish masterwork, conducted by Michail Jurowski, also in his Met debut. Portraying the vagabond knight Ruprecht, Evgeny Nikitin stars opposite Svetlana Sozdateleva, who makes her Met debut in the role of Renata, the pious young woman obsessed with a mysterious angelic lover. Kosky’s visually stunning production was hailed by the Financial Times as “a gripping evening” when it premiered in Munich in 2015.
Die Zauberflöte — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Opening: December 31, 2020
- Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel
- Production: Simon McBurney
- Set Designer: Michael Levine
- Costume Designer: Nicky Gillibrand
- Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman
- Projection Designer: Finn Ross
- Sound Designer: Gareth Fry
- Dramaturgs: Simon McBurney and Klaus Bertisch
- Live in HD: January 16, 2021
Making a rare appearance on the Met podium, renowned maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducts English director Simon McBurney’s insightful new staging, declared “the best production I’ve ever witnessed of Mozart’s opera” by The Wall Street Journal. Key to McBurney’s interpretation is a torrent of rich theatrical flourishes—a raised pit rendering the Met Orchestra visible to the audience, ghostly projections, acrobatics—as well as a brilliant cast of leading Mozarteans. Stanislas de Barbeyrac portrays the intrepid prince Tamino, opposite soprano Christiane Karg as Pamina, the daughter of the vengeful Queen of the Night, sung by Kathryn Lewek. Rounding out the cast is Thomas Oliemans in his Met debut as the bird catcher Papageno and Stephen Milling as the high priest Sarastro. McBurney, who marks his own Met debut with the production, premiered the production in Amsterdam. Die Zauberflöte is a co-production of Dutch National Opera, English National Opera, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
Don Giovanni — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Opening: March 1, 2021
- Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
- Production: Ivo van Hove
- Set and Lighting Designer: Jan Versweyveld
- Costume Designer: An D’Huys
- Projection Designer: Christopher Ash
- Dramaturg: Jan Vandenhouwe
- Live in HD: March 27, 2021
Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove, whose Broadway creations have included A View from the Bridge and the new West Side Story, makes his Met debut with a stirring new take on Mozart’s dark comedy. The staging, a co-production with Opéra National de Paris, sets the tale of deceit and damnation in a timeless architectural setting, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin bringing Mozart’s score to life from the podium. Leading the cast, Peter Mattei—an acclaimed interpreter of the title role—headlines as Don Giovanni alongside the Leporello of Gerald Finley (who takes over the title role later in the season); Ailyn Pérez as Donna Anna; Isabel Leonard as Donna Elvira; and Hera Hyesang Park as Zerlina. Tenor Ben Bliss completes the principal cast as Don Ottavio.
MET PREMIERE: Dead Man Walking — Jake Heggie
- Opening: April 8, 2021
- Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
- Production: Ivo van Hove
- Set and Lighting Designer: Jan Versweyveld
- Costume Designer: An D’Huys
- Projection Designer: Christopher Ash
- Live in HD: April 17, 2021
Based on Sister Helen Prejean’s bestselling memoir exploring the morality and personal impact of the death penalty, American composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally’s modern masterpiece was hailed at its San Francisco premiere as “the most compelling new American opera in decades” by The Wall Street Journal. This season, director Ivo van Hove gives Heggie’s masterpiece its Met premiere, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and starring Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen. The cast also features Etienne Dupuis as the condemned inmate Joseph De Rocher, Latonia Moore as Sister Rose, and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who sang Prejean at the 2000 world premiere, as De Rocher’s mother.
Matthew Polenzani stars in Bartlett Sher’s carnivalesque staging of Offenbach’s comic masterpiece Les Contes d’Hoffmann, which opens September 22, 2020, alongside Erin Morley as the beguiling living doll Olympia, Olga Kulchynska as the diva Antonia/Stella, Veronica Simeoni as the hedonistic Giulietta, and Luca Pisaroni as the four villains, with Daniele Rustioni on the podium.
Reprising their celebrated collaboration from the Met’s 2017 production of Norma, Angela Meade and Jamie Barton join forces in Roberto Devereux, the final installment of Donizetti’s Tudor Trilogy, starting September 23, 2020. Maurizio Benini conducts Sir David McVicar’s rich production, which also features Stephen Costello in the title role of a 17th-century earl caught between duty to Queen Elizabeth I (Meade) and his illicit love for Sara, the duchess of Nottingham (Barton), and Davide Luciano as the Duke of Nottingham.
J’Nai Bridges, who made her striking Met debut as Nefertiti inPhilip Glass’s Akhnaten last season, returns to portray the Gypsy temptress at the center of Bizet’s Carmen, in Sir Richard Eyre’s production, which opens October 2, 2020. Making his Met debut on the podium, Lorenzo Viotti leads a top-shelf rotating cast that later includes Ramona Zaharia, Clémentine Margaine, and the Met debut of Varduhi Abrahamyan in the title role; Yonghoon Lee, Marcelo Álvarez, and Russell Thomas as the hot-blooded soldier Don José; Kyle Ketelsen, Christian Van Horn, and Alexander Vinogradov as the vain toreador Escamillo; and Nicole Car, Olga Peretyatko, and Susanna Phillips as the forsaken Micaëla.
On the heels of her acclaimed star turn as Brünnhilde in the Met’s Ring cycle in 2019, Christine Goerke headlines Mariusz Treliński’s compelling production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde opposite Stuart Skelton, starting October 17, 2020. Hartmut Haenchen makes his Met debut conducting a cast that also includes Günther Groissböck as King Marke, Ekaterina Gubanova as Isolde’s servant Brangäne, and Greer Grimsley as Tristan’s loyal henchman Kurwenal.
In a run beginning on October 24, 2020, three sopranos—Ailyn Pérez, Anita Hartig, and Lisette Oropesa—take on the touchstone role of Violetta Valéry in Michael Mayer’s staging of Verdi’s La Traviata, with Atalla Ayan and Migran Agadzhanyan (the latter in his Met debut) trading off as Violetta’s suitor Alfredo, and Christopher Maltman, Igor Golovatenko, and Met debut artist Amartuvshin Enkhbat portraying his father, Germont. Carlo Rizzi, Speranza Scappucci (another Met debut), and Daniele Callegari conduct.
Two casts perform in a revival of Sir David McVicar’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, conducted by Michele Mariotti and opening on October 30, 2020. Sonya Yoncheva and Krassimira Stoyanova alternate in the role of the ardent young noblewoman Leonora, with Roberto Aronica and Russell Thomas portraying the outlaw Manrico, and Quinn Kelsey and Ludovic Tézier as the menacing Count di Luna. Performing the vengeful Gypsy Azucena are Ekaterina Semenchuk and Anita Rachvelishvili, the latter reprising her breakthrough 2018 performance in the role.
Franco Zeffirelli’s definitive staging of Puccini’s La Bohème returns for another season on November 21, 2020, this time with conductors Domingo Hindoyan, Nimrod David Pfeffer (in his Met debut), and Marco Armiliato leading three winning casts. Piero Pretti, Dmytro Popov, and Matthew Polenzani alternate as the tortured poet Rodolfo, with Angel Blue (star of last season’s Porgy and Bess), Nicole Car, Angela Gheorghiu, and Eleonora Buratto starring as the tragic seamstress Mimì.
Soprano Lise Davidsen, who made her acclaimed Met debut last season as Lisa in The Queen of Spades, returns to sing the Spanish noblewoman Leonore in Beethoven’s sole opera, Fidelio, which opens November 30, 2020. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a starry cast in Jürgen Flimm’s production—returning to the Met in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth—which includes Brandon Jovanovich as her incarcerated husband, Florestan, Franz-Josef Selig as the prison warden Rocco, Golda Schultz as Marzelline, and Alek Shrader as Jaquino. Tomasz Konieczny, last seen as Alberich in Wagner’s Ring, returns to perform the role of Don Pizarro, governor of the prison, and Christian Van Horn is Don Fernando.
Bartlett Sher’s production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia comes back to the Met on December 11, 2020, with Pretty Yende and Lawrence Brownlee heading an appealing cast as Rosina and Count Almaviva. Andrey Zhilikhovsky and Joshua Hopkins share the role of Figaro, the self-assured barber of Seville, and Ildar Abdrazakov and Maurizio Muraro are the scheming Don Basilio and Dr. Bartolo. Giacomo Sagripanti makes his Met debut conducting.
Ringing in the holiday season, the Met’s English-language staging of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel returns to the Met on December 15, 2020, with conductor Edward Gardner on the podium, Elizabeth DeShong as Hansel, and Hera Hyesang Park as Gretel. John Daszak appears for the first time as their nemesis, the wicked witch, for a deliciously entertaining production fit for audiences of all ages. An open house for families, another holiday tradition, takes place December 19, 2020, attracting hundreds of young audience members for pre-performance behind-the-scenes displays and demonstrations.
Starting January 12, 2021, Nézet-Séguin adds another French classic to his Met repertoire, leading Bartlett Sher’s production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Nadine Sierra makes her Met role debut as Juliette, opposite the Roméo of Stephen Costello, who later cedes the role to Ismael Jordi and Benjamin Bernheim, both making Met debuts, with Amanda Woodbury stepping into the final performance, as Juliette. Joshua Hopkins and Elliot Madore share the role of Mercutio, David Portillo portrays Tybalt, Juliette’s cousin, and Ildar Abdrazkov is Frère Laurent.
Not seen on the Met stage since its premiere in 2013, Sir David McVicar’s Bollywood-inspired take on Handel’s Giulio Cesare, which transports the tale of Caesar and Cleopatra to the age of British imperialism, returns to the Met on March 2, 2021. Iestyn Davies stars in the title role opposite Kristina Mkhitaryan as his queen, Cleopatra; Anthony Roth Costanzo—fresh off his performances as Akhnaten last season—is her Egyptian brother, Ptolemy; Karen Cargill portrays Cornelia, the widow of Pompey; and Kate Lindsey is Sesto, her stepson. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts.
Following the successful premiere of Wozzeck last season, the Met revisits artist and director William Kentridge’s 2015 production of Lulu, another Berg masterpiece, on March 5, 2021. Soprano Brenda Rae—captivating in her Met debut as Poppea in Agrippina last season—stars as the elusive title character, opposite Matthias Klink as Alwa, Johan Reuter as Dr. Schön, and Susan Graham reprising her portrayal of the intrepid Countess Geschwitz. Other Met favorites rounding out the ensemble include Gerhard Siegel and the legendary James Morris. Sebastian Weigle conducts.
Sonya Yoncheva returns this season to play the luminous water sprite at the center of Rusalka, Dvořák’s popular take on the Little Mermaid fable, in Mary Zimmerman’s staging, which opens March 16, 2021. Piotr Beczała is her smitten prince, Okka von der Damerau makes her Met debut as the sorceress Ježibaba, and Eric Owens returns to portray her father, the Vodník. Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša appears on the Met podium for the first time.
Anna Netrebko makes a highly anticipated role debut as Abigaille, the bloodthirsty Babylonian princess at the center of Verdi’s Nabucco; Oksana Dyka begins the run as Abigaille, opening March 26, 2021. Elijah Moshinsky’s production, conducted by Marco Armiliato, also serves as a towering backdrop for the performances of George Gagnidze as the tyrannical ruler of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar; Varduhi Abrahamyan as his other daughter, Fenena; Najmiddin Mavlyanov as Ismaele, the king of Jerusalem’s nephew; and Morris Robinson and Dmitry Belosselskiy as Zaccaria, the stormy high priest of the Israelites.
Starting April 16, 2021, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Strauss’s otherworldly vision of selfless love, returns to the Met, with Nézet-Séguin overseeing a cast of remarkable dramatic voices: Klaus Florian Vogt and Elza van den Heever are the Emperor and shadowless Empress of the title; Michael Volle and Nina Stemme are the earthbound Barak and his long-suffering wife; and Evelyn Herlitzius portrays the sinister nurse. Herbert Wernicke’s production offers visual thrills to support these commanding performers.
Soprano Diana Damrau stars in a rare revival of John Copley’s production of Il Pirata, Bellini’s showcase for bel canto fireworks, which opens on May 7, 2021. Maurizio Benini conducts this work—last seen at the Met in 2003—about a woman driven mad by love for an exiled pirate, which also features Javier Camarena in the title role and Christopher Maltman as the villainous Ernesto who thwarts their affair.
For the final production of the season, opening on May 21, 2021, John Dexter’s staging of Britten’s Billy Budd returns with an exceptional ensemble cast. Joshua Hopkins headlines as the innocent title character, wrongly accused of mutiny by the malevolent master-at-arms Claggart, performed by Matthew Rose, with Matthew Polenzani starring as Captain Vere, the honest commander forced to decide Billy’s fate. Conductor Simone Young conducts Britten’s unforgettable adaptation of Melville’s classic novel.
The Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
The Met Orchestra continues its highly acclaimed annual series at Carnegie Hall, launched in 1991, with three concerts. On June 10, 2021, Semyon Bychkov conducts a program that includes Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, featuring Waltraud Meier, plus Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C Major.
The program for the June 17, 2021 concert, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, includes selections from Berlioz’s Les Troyens, featuring Joyce DiDonato, as well as the composer’s Symphonie Fantastique.
The final concert of the season, on June 24, 2021, also conducted by Nézet-Séguin, features the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre and includes three star singers: Christine Goerke, Brandon Jovanovich, and Günther Groissböck. Also on the program are Missy Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) and Strauss’s tone poem Don Juan.
Two of the seven pieces—Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 and Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)—are performed by the Met Orchestra for the first time.
For tickets and additional information on the Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, visit www.carnegiehall.org or call 212.247.7800.
The many Met debuts this season include:
- Polish bass Krzysztof Bączyk as the King in Aida (September 21);
- Swiss conductor Lorenzo Viotti leading Carmen (October 2);
- German conductor Hartmut Haenchen leading Tristan und Isolde (October 17);
- Russian conductor Michail Jurowski leading The Fiery Angel with Russian soprano Svetlana Sozdateleva as Renata, and Croatian bass Ante Jerkunica as the Inquisitor (November 12);
- Ukrainian baritone Iurii Samoilov as Schaunard in La Bohème (November 21);
- Italian conductor Giacomo Sagripanti leading Il Barbiere di Siviglia (December 11);
- Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte (December 31);
- Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci leading La Traviata (January 13);
- Israeli conductor Nimrod David Pfeffer leading La Bohème (January 21); Armenian mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan in the title role of Carmen (March 3);
- American tenor Robert Watson as the Painter/African Prince in Lulu (March 5);
- Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša leading Rusalka with German mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau as Ježibaba (March 16);
- French tenor Benjamin Bernheim as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette (April 10);
- Belarussian tenor Migran Agadzhanyan as Alfredo Germont, and Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat as Germont in La Traviata (April 23);
- Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan as Don Ottavio and Italian bass Alex Esposito as Leporello in Don Giovanni (May 10); and
- American baritone Lucia Lucas as Bosun in Billy Budd (May 21).
The Met: Live in HD 2020–21
The 2020–21 season of The Met: Live in HD kicks off its 15th consecutive season on October 10 with Aida and continues with Il Trovatore (November 7), Fidelio (December 12), Die Zauberflöte (January 16), Roméo et Juliette (January 30), Don Giovanni (March 27), Dead Man Walking (April 17), Die Frau ohne Schatten (April 24), Nabucco (May 8), and Il Pirata (May 22).
In addition to the ten live transmissions, the Met will continue to offer a special holiday-time encore presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (originally transmitted in 2006), on December 5. And for the first time, the company will offer an additional encore, on February 27, of Lehár’s The Merry Widow (originally transmitted in 2015), which will also be featured as part of the HD Live in Schools program (see below). Dates of encore screenings vary from country to country.
A touchstone media program, The Met: Live in HD reaches more than 2,200 theaters in 70 countries. The series has sold more than 28.7 million tickets to date, with robust attendance in the world’s five largest cinema markets: the United States, Germany, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. In North America, weekend box office ratings also remain strong, often placing Live in HD presentations among the weekend’s top 15 grossing films.
Tickets for the 12 transmissions in the 2020–21 Live in HD season go on sale Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in the U.S. and Canada, with Met members offered advance access before tickets are made available to the general public. International ticket sales dates and ordering details vary from country to country and will be announced separately by individual distributors.
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, the Neubauer Family Foundation. Digital support of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Met: Live in HD series is supported by Rolex. Transmission of The Met: Live in HD in Canada is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jacqueline Desmarais, in memory of Paul G. Desmarais Sr. The HD broadcasts are also supported by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®.
Within months of their initial live transmissions, the Live in HD programs are shown on PBS in the United States. The PBS series Great Performances at the Met is produced in association with PBS and WNET, with support from Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Met: HD Live in Schools
The Met’s HD Live in Schools program continues for its 14th season, bringing the Met’s live HD transmissions to students and teachers in more than 50 school districts across the country. This season, Aida (October 10), Fidelio (December 12), Roméo et Juliette (January 30), The Merry Widow (February 27, in an encore screening originally captured in 2015), and Dead Man Walking (April 17) are included in the program. The Met’s HD education program includes backstage visits for students, who learn how costumes and scenery are constructed; Q&As with artists; access to final dress rehearsals; in-school workshops; and teacher training workshops. Program and curriculum guides are created for in-school use in conjunction with HD screenings. Program support for HD Live in Schools is provided through a partnership with the New York City Department of Education.
Live Simulcasts and Summer Events
In keeping with a tradition begun on Opening Night in 2006, the September 21 season premiere performance of Aida will be transmitted live to numerous large screens in Times Square. The Times Square relay of the Opening Night performance is presented in cooperation with the City of New York and Times Square Alliance. Leadership support of the Opening Night Times Square relay is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Additional funding is provided by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News. This program is also supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
In Summer 2020, the Met’s two free summer series will return. The Summer Recital Series will again present Met artists in each of the five boroughs, and the Summer HD Festival will show operas from the Live in HD series on a large screen at Lincoln Center Plaza to an audience of approximately 3,000 people per night. Together, the Met’s summer programs are expected to allow approximately 50,000 New Yorkers to experience the Met for free.
The Met’s Summer Recital Series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Major funding has also been provided by The Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation, in honor of Mrs. McGraw.
The Met on the Radio and the Web
The Met’s 90th consecutive Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season kicks off on December 5 with a live broadcast of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel and continues through June 5, 2021, with a live performance of Britten’s Billy Budd. The broadcast season will once again be heard over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. Mary Jo Heath returns for her sixth season as host and Ira Siff returns for his 14th season as commentator for the broadcasts, which feature a range of dynamic intermission features, live backstage interviews with artists, and the ever-popular Opera Quiz. The 2020–21 Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season will be sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury homebuilder®, with generous long-term support from the Annenberg Foundation and GRoW @ Annenberg, The Neubauer Family Foundation, and the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media, and through contributions from listeners worldwide.
Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75 will present its 15th season as the country’s premier subscription radio channel dedicated to opera. Up to three live performances will be broadcast each week during the season, hosted by Mary Jo Heath with commentator William Berger, as well as historic broadcasts from the Met’s vast collection, stretching back to 1931. The channel also features lively interviews and previews of upcoming Met performances. The live broadcast season begins with the Met’s Opening Night performance of Aida on September 21. Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM is available to subscribers in the United States and Canada.
The Met will continue to offer a free audio stream of one live performance per week during the 2020–21 season on its website at www.metopera.org.
Met Opera on Demand
The Met’s exclusive streaming service now features more than 700 full-length Met performances, available worldwide on multiple platforms that include computers; Amazon Fire TV and Tablet; iPad, iPhone and Apple TV; Android; Roku; and Samsung Smart TV. The Met Opera on Demand library includes more than 130 presentations from the Live in HD series, as well as hundreds of telecasts and radio broadcasts dating back to 1935.
Met Opera on Demand: Student Access allows university and college libraries to make this digital resource from the Met accessible to their student populations. Now in its seventh year, Student Access is currently available at nearly 160 schools around the world.
The Met will continue to release performances from its vast archive of current and historic performances on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms in the 2020–21 season, with the trademark artistic and production quality that earned the company three consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording.
There are 130 titles currently available for purchase through the iTunes store at www.iTunes.com/metopera, including Live in HD and standard definition video performances, as well as audio performances, with additional titles added throughout the year. Audio titles are also available to stream on Apple Music, www.applemusic.com/metopera.
Ticket Information and Audience Development Initiatives
Ticket prices for the 2020–21 season range from $25 to $480 for the 3,800 seats in the opera house. Approximately 40% of Met tickets cost less than $100, and approximately 60% of Met tickets cost less than $150.
The Met will continue offering Flex Subscriptions, which allow subscribers to curate their own season. “Create Your Own” packages, in which three or more performances are discounted when purchased together, will be released for sale on April 15, 2020.
The Rush Tickets program returns in 2020–21, making more than 30,000 tickets available to the general public for $25 each. Rush Tickets can be purchased on a first-come first-served basis by visiting www.metopera.org at 12 p.m. for weekday performances, 2 p.m. for Saturday evening performances, and 4 hours before curtain for matinee performances.
The Met Opera Students program also returns, offering $35 tickets to many operas to student members of the program. The Students program also offers invitations to artist lectures, discounts at the Met Opera Shop, and the opportunity to meet other opera lovers at special student events.
The “Fridays Under 40” audience development program continues for a fifth season. Participants enjoy discounted tickets to all Friday performances, and themed receptions before ten shows. “Fridays Under 40” tickets go on sale on June 21 with single tickets. For tickets and additional information, visit www.metopera.org or call 212.362.6000.
Front of House
With the aim of welcoming the public to the opera house during daytime hours, certain areas of the opera house will be open to the public starting Tuesday, September 22, free of charge, on weekdays from 10AM to 2PM. On Saturdays, the house is open only to ticket holders for one of the day’s two performances.
Visitors to the Met may climb the famous grand staircase, admire the iconic crystal chandeliers, and enjoy the Grand Tier and its terrace. A large monitor gives visitors a live look at what’s happening on the Met stage—typically, rehearsals for the more than 200 opera performances the company presents each season.