James Gaffigan, Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis will all make their house debuts at the Metropolitan Opera this week in the season opening of La bohème. The revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s much-loved classic will be conducted by James, with Nicole and Etienne making their first appearances as Mimi and Marcello respectively. Soprano Ailyn Pérez takes over the role of Mimi later in the run.
Rehearsals began just a few weeks after James closed his debut production at Santa Fe Opera, where he led a critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos. Mundoclasico praised James’ performance stating, “the evening’s greatest asset may have been James Gaffigan, who led the smallish orchestra of around forty musicians through an intimate, beautifully proportioned performance of the score”. Opera Today also affirmed that James, “elicited admirably idiomatic playing from his pit musicians”.
Nicole and Etienne most recently performed as Mimi and Marcello in Richard Jones’ critically acclaimed new production at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in the 2017/18 season, where it received a ★★★★★ rating from the Independent, and the Evening Standard celebrated Nicole for her ability to, “[tug] at the heartstrings with the ebb and flow of her phrasing”. Duncan Rock, who also appeared in the Royal Opera’s recent staging as Schaunard, returns to the Met this autumn to sing the same role, joining the run on 29 November.
Also joining the cast as Colline is Matthew Rose, who returns to the Met this season in La bohème and as Ashby in La Fanciulla del West. Matthew appears regularly at the Met, and previously sang the role of Colline there in February 2018. Matthew’s close relationship with the Met saw him announced as the Artistic Consultant to the Lindemann Young Artists Development Programme in August 2018, a position he takes up this season.
The Metropolitan Opera’s production of La bohème runs from 25 September to 13 December 2018. For more information and tickets, please visit the Metropolitan Opera website