Adam Guettel and Michael John LaChiusa
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Adam Guettel and
Michael John LaChiusa
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
A new creative collaboration between The Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater, in which 12 noted artists will create new operas to be staged at either the Met or the Vivian Beaumont Theater, was announced today by Peter Gelb, the Met's new general manager-elect, and LCT heads Andre Bishop and Bernard Gersten.

The artists who will participate in the Met/LCT Opera Theater Commissions are Adam Guettel, Jake Heggie, Michael John LaChiusa, Wynton Marsalis, Rufus Wainwright, Scott Wheeler, and the writing teams of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, Michael Torke and Craig Lucas, and Rachel Portman and Nicholas Wright. No timetable was announced for these productions.

In addition, Gelb, who is taking over the reins at the Met next season from Joseph Volpe, announced the participation of many theater-based artists in the Opera's upcoming season. Light in the Piazza director Bartlett Sher will make his Met debut on November 10 with a new production of Rossini's Il Barbiere de Siviglia designed by Tony Award winners Michael Yeargan (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), and Christopher Akerlind (lighting). Meanwhile, Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien (Hairspray) will make his Met debut on April 20, 2007 with a new production of Puccini's Il Trittico, designed by Douglas W. Schmidt (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), and Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting).

In addition, Julie Taymor (The Lion King) will stage a family-friendly, 90-minute version of her renowned production of The Magic Flute on December 29, while Richard Jones will helm a family-oriented production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel in English during the 2007-2008 season. Noted choreographer Mark Morris will stage his first Met production, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, on May 2, 2007, starring Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Lisa Milne, and Heidi Grant Murphy. The design team will include Allen Moyer (sets), Isaac Mizrahi (costumes), and James F. Ingalls (lighting).

Two other upcoming productions of interest are Anthony Minghella's acclaimed Madama Butterfly featuring bunraku-inspired puppetry by the London-based theater company Blind Summit, which will open the 2006-2007 season on September 25, and the world premiere of The First Emperor to be composed and conducted by Tan Dun. The production, to be staged by legendary film director Zhang Yimou and to star Placido Domingo, will debut on December 21.

Other announcements of note include the creation of new gallery space in the Opera House lobby to open in September; the reduction of the Met's lowest ticket price to $15 and the increase of its highest ticket price to $375; a production of John Adams' Doctor Atomic during the 2008-2009 season; the commissioning of a new opera by Argentinean composer Osvald Golijov for the 2010-2011 season; and the hiring of director Robert Lepage to create a new Ring Cycle for the 2011-2012 season.

For more information, visit www.metopera.org.