The latest program in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in Concert series features Three Divas – sopranos Alyn Pérez and Nadine Sierra, and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. It will be filmed in the gorgeous setting of France’s Opéra Royal du Chateau de Versailles.
These three stars from the impressive list of artists who have performed at the Met, will sing arias from operas such as Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Bellini’s Norma, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Bizet’s Carmen – as well as a selection of songs.
Among the highlights of Alyn Pérez’s career are her performances at the Met – in Thaïs, as Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Other highlights include her portrayal of Violetta in La traviata for Opernhaus Zürich, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Teatro all Scala Milan, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, as well as debut performances as Mimì at the Bolshoi Theatre and as Alice Ford in the Glyndebourne production of Falstaff.
In concert, Ms Pérez – whose “lyric soprano is pure and honeyed in tone” and deployed “with elegance and tenderness” (Associated Press) – has appeared with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain in Verdi’s Requiem, in Mozart’s Requiem with Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, and in Mahler’s Symphony No 2 with Essen Philharmoniker. She has also sung in gala concerts at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and has made guest appearances at several gala concerts for the Metropolitan Opera.
Le Monde writes of Nadine Sierra: “Her voice with its pure, incisive and delicate timbre radiates tenderness in the middle register, while she floats her golden high register to the limits of audibility.” Ms Sierra’s most recent appearances have included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Chorégies d’Orange, Juliette at San Francisco Opera, and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera. She also sang this role at Staatsoper Berlin, where she appeared as Nanetta in Falstaff and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier as well. Other appearances include Juliette at Opéra National de Bordeaux, a house debut at Opéra de Las Palmas as Musetta in La bohème, and she sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
In recital, Nadine Sierra has recently appeared for the Metropolitan Opera and in concert at the Klangvokal Festival in Dortmund, and previous performances include those with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Antonion Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, in Teatro La Fenice’s televised Capodanno celebration, the Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall, and concert debuts in Prague, Bordeaux, and Baden-Baden.
Multiple Grammy Award-winning Isabel Leonard has a repertoire which ranges from the music of Vivaldi to Mozart to Nico Muhly. Roles in which she has appeared include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Charlotte in Werther, and the title roles in La Périchole and Der Rosenkavalier. In addition to the Metropolitan Opera, Ms Leonard has performed in many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Carnegie Hall, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Los Angeles Opera, and sung at the Salzburg, Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals.
In frequent demand as a recitalist, Isabel Leonard – whose voice, according to Vulture, “is purest vicuña: warm, fine, and naturally colored” – has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, among others.
Accompanying the Met’s Three Divas is pianist Vlad Iftinca – who is also on the assistant conductor roster at the Metropolitan Opera – and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas – “the global ambassador of Spanish guitar”, according to Billboard magazine.
The glorious Opéra Royal du Chateau de Versailles is one of the greatest works of the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Commissioned by Louis XV, it included a theatre hall, ballroom and a hall for feasts. The sculpted decoration was entrusted to Augustin Pajou and the paintings were commissioned from Louis-Jacques Durameau. The largest concert hall in Europe at that time, this elegant structure was also a great technical achievement and an impressive feat of decorative refinement.
Inaugurated on 16th May 1770 for the feast for the wedding of the Dauphin and the Archduchess Marie-Antoinette, it was used for royal weddings and to honour foreign sovereigns. The theatre was last used for a celebration of the French Court on 18th July 1784, when a ball was given in honour of the King of Sweden Gustave III. The Banquet of the Guards, five years later on 1st October 1789, was the last event held here during the Ancien Régime. Today the Palace of Versailles is home to operas, concerts, gala evenings and ballets.
The Metropolitan Opera concert will be hosted by Christine Goerke in New York City, and Gary Halvorson, the award-winning director of the Met’s Live in HD cinema transmissions, directs. The performance will be streamed live on the Metropolitan Opera website on Saturday, 22nd May, at 1.00 pm EST/6.00 pm BST/7.00 pm CEST, and will then be available on demand for 14 days.
Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased on the Met’s website at metopera.org. The program can be viewed on your computer, mobile device, or home entertainment system (via Chromecast or AirPlay).
Information sourced from:
Metropolitan Opera programme notes