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Avant Première 2022

Clasart Classic presents the following productions at Avant Première 2022



Oscar-nominated and five-time Grammy-winning composer and jazz musician Terence Blanchard made history when his FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES became the first opera by a Black composer to be performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Blanchard’s adaptation of New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s memoir features a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons. The work tells a profound story about a young man’s journey to overcome a childhood of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct the opera, and Brown, who is also the production’s choreographer, is the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production.



German bass René Pape reprises his acclaimed portrayal of the title role of Mussorgsky’s Russian historical drama BORIS GODUNOV, which is presented for the first time at the Met in its original 1869 version. Running just over two hours and presented without intermission, Stephen Wadsworth’s production is riveting and cinematic, brilliantly capturing Boris’s inner turmoil and the hope and suffering of the oppressed Russian people. Maestro Sebastian Weigle takes the podium to lead an outstanding ensemble cast.



The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, has inspired composers since opera’s earliest days. Brilliant American composer Matthew Aucoin now carries that tradition into the 21st century with a captivating new take on the story. With a libretto by Sarah Ruhl, adapted from her acclaimed 2003 play, the opera reimagines the familiar tale from Eurydice’s point of view. Yannick Nézet-Séguin oversees the momentous Met premiere from the podium, leading Aucoin’s evocative music and an immersive new staging by Mary Zimmerman.



From the MET STARS LIVE IN CONCERT series, the following programs deserve special mention:

ANNA NETREBKO gives a live performance from Vienna’s Spanish Riding School. With a program of Russian songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as selections by Strauss, Debussy, Fauré, audiences have a rare opportunity to hear one of opera’s greatest artists in Romantic music from the song repertoire.

SIR BRYN TERFEL performs a holiday program live from Brecon Cathedral in his native Wales. Joining Terfel are several musical guests: harpist Hannah Stone, pianist Jeff Howard, the Welsh traditional folk group Calan, and two rising young Welsh singers.

The dynamic husband-and-wife duo of ROBERTO ALAGNA and ALEKSANDRA KURZAK gives a concert of arias and duets, accompanied by the Vienna Morphing Quintet, from an outdoor terrace in Èze, France, with a spectacular view of the Mediterranean.

The Met rang in the new year with a gala performance featuring a dazzling quartet: ANGEL BLUE, PRETTY YENDE, JAVIER CAMARENA, and MATTHEW POLENZANI. The New Year’s Eve Gala program includes arias, duets, and ensembles from Donizetti to Puccini, as well as arrangements of operetta and Neapolitan songs.

SONYA YONCHEVA showcases her riveting artistry in a special program transmitted live from the breathtaking 18th-century Baroque library of the Schussenried Cloister in Germany. In this performance, audiences can expect some of the repertory’s most beloved soprano arias.