Met Opera Orchestra Plans First Tour in Nearly 20 Years

Met Opera Orchestra Plans First Tour in Nearly 20 Years


The last time the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra went on tour was in 2002. Since then, its appearances outside Lincoln Center have been relegated to annual postseason engagements at Carnegie Hall.

But that will change under the leadership of the Met’s new music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose influence on repertoire and performances will take shape in earnest beginning next season. That includes the first Met Orchestra tour in nearly 20 years, planned for summer 2021, the company announced on Monday.

“These concerts will show off the Met Orchestra at full capacity under Yannick,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in a statement, “demonstrating their dual strengths in symphonic and operatic repertoire.”

The tour, conducted by Mr. Nézet-Séguin, will take place soon after the ensemble’s three Carnegie appearances in June 2021, replicating two programs from that series in five concerts at the Barbican Center in London (June 29); the Philharmonie in Paris (June 30 and July 1); and the Festpielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany (July 3 and 4).

“It is important for the artistic development of the orchestra to perform internationally,” Mr. Nézet-Séguin said in a statement. “I have spent a lot of my career in Europe. So I know then that the Met Orchestra has a distinct musical voice that should be heard in these great European capitals.”

All three tour stops will feature an all-Berlioz program of “Symphonie Fantastique” and selections from the opera “Les Troyens,” with the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato (who sang the role of Didon in a celebrated recording from 2017).

In Paris and Baden-Baden, the orchestra will also offer a program of Strauss’s tone poem “Don Juan” and Act I from Wagner’s “Die Walküre,” sung by Christine Goerke (Sieglinde), Brandon Jovanovich (Siegmund) and Günther Groissböck (Hunding). It will also include “Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres),” a brief work by Missy Mazzoli — the contemporary composer who has quickly become a darling of the Met, with a commission in progress and the company performing her opera “Breaking the Waves” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June as part of BAM’s spring season.

“This is a major milestone in the Met’s recent history,” Mr. Nézet-Séguin said in a statement about the tour. “I am proud that the Met is continuing to reach audiences beyond Lincoln Center. This European tour is the perfect capstone to the coming season.”



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