The Metropolitan Opera announced today (Sep 23, 2020) that the ongoing health crisis has resulted in the cancellation of the entire 2020–21 season, but the company also announced ambitious artistic plans for its 2021–22 season, which will open with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Blanchard’s opera is the first by an African American composer to be performed at the Met.
What will be available for the radio broadcasts? Rest assured that while we may not be live at the opera house, our complete 2020-21 Saturday matinee radio broadcast season will proceed as scheduled, running December 5, 2020 through June 5, 2021 with special encore broadcasts. These encore broadcasts will feature new commentary and intermission content from host Mary Jo Heath, commentator Ira Siff and the Met radio team. Although we do not yet have an update for the broadcasts, The Met assures us that the revised season broadcast schedule will be announced soon.
Highlights of the 2021-22 Season:
• A full slate of performances is announced for 2021–22, including three contemporary Met premieres—the most since 1928—starting with the Opening Night presentation of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on September 27, 2021.
• In addition to Fire Shut Up in My Bones, the 2021–22 season will feature five more new productions: the Met premieres of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and the original five-act French version of Verdi’s Don Carlos, and new stagings of Verdi’s Rigoletto and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
• Maestro Nézet-Séguin will conduct Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Eurydice, Don Carlos, and revivals of Le Nozze di Figaro and Tosca.
• The Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions will return with ten presentations, including all six new productions.
The Met responds to current events regarding diversity and inclusivity: As part of the Met’s efforts to make opera more equitable, the Met's General Manager Peter Gelb reports that the company has named three Black composers—Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery, and Joel Thompson (composer of The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed) —to the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works commissioning program, while also announcing the commission of the noted African American visual artist Rashid Johnson to create large-scale artworks that will be on display inside the opera house during the 2021–22 season.
“It is devastating to have to cancel the 2020–21 season, which we were all so looking forward to,” said Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. “But I am extremely excited about the plans for 2021–22 and cannot wait for the chance to reunite with the great Met Orchestra and Chorus, which will be showing new sides of their extraordinary artistry.
I’m very pleased that our programming will be more responsive to the important social changes that are taking place. I’m happy too that five distinguished conductors—Jane Glover, Karen Kamensek, Susanna Mälkki, and, in their company debuts, Eun Sun Kim and Nathalie Stutzmann—will all perform at the Met in 2021–22, the most women on the podium in a single season in Met history.”