Met Debuts also for Étienne Dupuis and Nicole Car
Later performances feature Ailyn Pérez and Michael Fabiano
New York, NY (September 7, 2018)—Puccini’s La Bohème, the most-performed opera in Met history, returns to the repertory in the opening week of the 2018-19 season, with 11 performances of Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved production from September 25. Initial performances feature three much anticipated Met debuts: American conductor James Gaffigan will lead two rising stars of the international opera stage, Australian soprano Nicole Car as Mimì, and her Canadian husband, baritone Étienne Dupuis, as Marcello. They perform alongside Vittorio Grigolo as Rodolfo, the role in which the Italian tenor made his company debut in in 2010, and American soprano Angel Blue, adding another role to her Met repertory as Musetta, following her debut as Mimì last season. Rodolfo and Marcello’s fellow bohemians are portrayed by Italian baritone Davide Luciano as Schaunard, and British bass Matthew Rose as Colline. Later performances, from November 29, will feature Ailyn Pérez, Michael Fabiano, Lucas Meachem, Duncan Rock and Christian Van Horn.
Nicole Car has previously sung the role of Mimì at Paris Opera and Royal Opera, Covent Garden, where her other roles have included Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, and Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. She performs regularly for Opera Australia, in roles including Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Leïla in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and Italian Singer in Stauss’s Capriccio. Appearances elsewhere include Donna Anna for West Australian Opera, Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for the Dallas Opera, Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma for Victorian Opera, and Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte at Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Angel Blue has previously sung the role of Musetta at La Scala. In addition to her debut last season as Mimì, she performed for the Met as part of the Summer Recitals series in 2016 at Central Park SummerStage and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Her recent credits with other companies include Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at Seattle Opera, and the role of Clara at La Scala and the Festival Napa Valley, Helena in Boito’s Mefistofele at the Baden-Baden Festival, and Liù in Puccini’s Turandot at San Diego Opera. Later this season, she will sing Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Vittorio Grigolo was seen last season in his role debut as Cavaradossi in the Met’s new production of Puccini’s Tosca, which was broadcast live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Other Met performances include Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon, Roméo in a new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and the title role of Massenet’s Werther. Later this season, he will reprise the role of Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Étienne Dupuis has recently appeared as Marcello at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He has appeared in various roles for Deutsche Oper Berlin, including Posa in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Zurga in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Renato in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Other appearances include Figaro for Bavarian State Opera, Marcello for Teatro Real, Madrid, Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride for Opéra National de Paris, Pink in the world premiere of Roger Waters’s Another Brick in the Wall for Opéra de Montréal, Claudio in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict for La Monnaie, Brussels, Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon for Opéra de Marseilles, Ramiro in L’Heure Espagnole and Grandfather Clock and Tom Cat in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges for Glyndebourne Festival, and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Calgary Opera.
Ailyn Pérez has previously sung Mimì in the 2016-17 season at the Met. Last season she had a break-out year, singing leading roles in three productions at the company; the title role in Massenet’s Thaïs, the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Pérez made her company debut in 2015 as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen. Later this season at the Met, she will sing Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff.
Michael Fabiano reprises the role of Rodolfo, which he also sang last season at the Met. He made his Met debut in 2010 as Raffaele in Verdi’s Stiffelio. Since being named one of the winners of the Met’s 2007 National Council Auditions, he has sung Verdi roles including Cassio in Otello, and Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, as well as Alfred in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met. This season, he also sings Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele at the Met.
Lucas Meachem reprises the role of Marcello, which he sang at the Met last season. Previous Met roles include General Rayevsky in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Silvo in Pagliacci. His other recent performances include Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Houston Grand Opera, Athanaël in Massenet's Thaïs at Minnesota Opera, and Chorèbe in Berlioz's Les Troyens at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Later this season at the Met he will be seen as Robert in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.
James Gaffigan is currently the chief conductor at Luzerner Sinfonieorchester and also holds positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne. Working both domestically and internationally, he has conducted with many other companies including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Hamburg State Opera. Later this season he will lead Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at Bayerische Staatsoper and Bizet’s Carmen at San Francisco Opera.