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‘Porgy And Bess,’ ‘Akhnaten’ To Lead Met Opera’s 2019-2020 Season

After almost three decades, the Charleston-set “Porgy and Bess” is coming back to the Upper West Side.

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-2020 season, announced on February 20, will open on September 23 with a new production of Ira and George Gershwin’s folk opera, the first since 1990. The staging, brought over by director James Robinson after a rave run at the English National Opera, promises to start the season on a high note, likely courtesy of lead soprano Angel Blue.

Other standouts include the Met’s first production of Philip Glass’s “Akhnaten” with a libretto co-written by Glass, choreographer and director Jerome Robbins, Shalom Goldman, Richard Riddell and Robert Israel. Phelim McDermott will stage the piece, which features a crew of acrobats and jugglers, with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as the titular monotheistic pharaoh.

Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” returns for its abridged and puppet-filled holiday presentation in 2019, maintaining its status an annual tradition. Less family-friendly is Arnold Schoenberg protégé Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck,” an adaptation of Georg Büchner’s play about a soldier tormented by visions of the apocalypse. In this expressionistic staging by director William Kentridge, baritone Peter Mattei’s eponymous infantryman is billeted in a haunting pre-World War I wasteland.

Michael Mayer’s celebrated production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” will return in the new year for encore performances through January and March of 2020. It will follow a dance-forward autumn run of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” helmed by legendary choreographer Mark Morris with costumes by Isaac Mizrahi.

Met veteran Elijah Moshinsky will direct Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s imperial melodrama “The Queen of Spades” in the winter of 2019. And in May the Met will welcome a rare three performances of Leoš Janáček’s domestic drama “Káťa Kabanová” directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.

2019 also marks the first year in which The Met will open its doors for Sunday matinees, good news for the Shabbat-observant who prefer an afternoon performance.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected]


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