Theater News

New Jeanine Tesori Opera Joins Met’s 2024-25 Season

Grounded is based on librettist George Brant’s play.

Emily D'Angelo as Jess in <i>Grounded</i> (© Paola Kudacki / Met Opera)
Emily D’Angelo as Jess in Grounded
(© Paola Kudacki / Met Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera announced its 2024-25 season, which will open on September 23 with the Met premiere of Grounded by Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Kimberly Akimbo). The opera was commissioned by the Met and based on librettist George Brant’s play.

Starring mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo as a hot-shot fighter pilot whose unplanned pregnancy takes her out of the cockpit and lands her in Las Vegas, operating a Reaper drone halfway around the world, the opera explores the ethical conflicts created by the use of modern military technology and the psychological and emotional toll supposedly safe remote technology takes on servicepersons.

Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a cast that also features tenor Ben Bliss as Eric, a Wyoming rancher who becomes Jess’s husband. Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) stages the production, presenting a variety of perspectives on the action, including the drone’s predatory view from above.

The creative team also includes set designer Mimi Lien, costume designer Tom Broecker, lighting designer Kevin Adams, co–projection designers Jason H. Thompson and Kaitlyn Pietras, sound designer Palmer Hefferan, choreographer David Neumann (Hadestown), and dramaturg Paul Cremo.

Grounded will be included in the The Met: Live in HD series on October 19.

Brant’s original play ran in New York in 2014 at Walkerspace, starring Hannah Cabell, and in 2015 at the Public Theater, starring Anne Hathaway.