Bryn Terfel and Stephanie Blythe
in Das Rheingold
(© Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
Bryn Terfel and Stephanie Blythe
in Das Rheingold
(© Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
The Metropolitan Opera has announced programming for its 80th season of Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts, which will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, beginning December 18.

The season will open with Nicholas Hytner's production of Don Carlo, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting a cast that includes Yonghoon Lee in the title role, along with Marina Poplavskaya, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto.

Among the season's highlights are the Saturday matinee broadcast premieres of John Adams conducting his own Nixon in China (February 12), and Bartlett Sher's production of Rossini's comedy Le Comte Ory (April 9), starring Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau, and Joyce DiDonato.

The first two installments of director Robert Lepage's new production of Wagner's four-part cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen will be conducted by James Levine, with Das Rheingold on April 2 and Die Walküre on May 14. The cast includes Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde, Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund, Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde.

Highlights will also include Plácido Domingo and Susan Graham reprising their star turns in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride (February 26); Renée Fleming as Rossini's Armida (March 5) and as the Countess in Richard Strauss's Capriccio (April 23); René Pape in the title role of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov (March 12); and Natalie Dessay as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (March 19).

Additional performers featured in the radio broadcasts will include Marcelo Àlvarez, Joseph Calleja, Vladimir Galouzine, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Mariusz Kwiecien, Nino Machaidze, Peter Mattei, Karita Mattila, Waltraud Meier, Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Violeta Urmana, and Dolora Zajick.

In addition, in honor of music director James Levine's 40th anniversary season with the Met, a special broadcast from the Met's archives will air on December 25: Smetana's The Bartered Bride, performed on December 2, 1978 with a cast that included Teresa Stratas, Nicolai Gedda, Jon Vickers, and Martti Talvela.

There will also be a series of intermission features in which Levine and a host of artists -- including Renée Fleming, James Morris, Renata Scotto, Christa Ludwig, Sherrill Milnes, Frederica von Stade, and former concertmaster Raymond Gniewek -- will share their reminiscences of working together.

For additional information, visit www.metopera.org.