Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell brings a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Verdi’s grand tale of ill-fated love, deadly vendettas, and family strife, with stellar soprano Lise Davidsen as the noble Leonora, one of the repertory’s most tormented—and thrilling—heroines. Director Mariusz Treliński delivers the company’s first new Forza in nearly 30 years, setting the scene in a contemporary world and making extensive use of the Met’s turntable to represent the unstoppable advance of destiny that drives the opera’s chain of calamitous events. The distinguished cast also features tenor Brian Jagde as Leonora’s forbidden beloved, Don Alvaro; baritone Igor Golovatenko as her vengeful brother, Don Carlo; bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Fra Melitone; and bass Soloman Howard as both Leonora’s father and Padre Guardiano.