The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School present a fully-staged production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, conducted by Alan Gilbert and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. The Mozart comedy premieres on Wednesday, November 14, and will be the third collaboration between the two institutions, following last season’s concert staging of Gluck’s Armide and Wadsworth’s 2011 production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.
Gilbert, who is in his fourth season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September and is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at Juilliard, will conduct the Juilliard Orchestra and a cast of gifted young singers in a new production by acclaimed director Wadsworth, who is the head of dramatic studies for the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow at Juilliard. The production will feature set design by Charlie Corcoran, lighting by David Lander, and costume design by Camille Assaf.
According to Mr. Gilbert, whose active participation at the School, in addition to teaching and conducting, has included coaching, performance master classes, and special projects, “I have found working with the incredibly dedicated instrumental students at Juilliard to be enormously inspiring, and I am very gratified now to be sharing my passion for opera not only with them but also with Juilliard vocal students and Lindemann Young Artists. This is precisely the sort of project for which the collaboration between The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School decided to join forces, and it reflects the chemistry that the founders of Lincoln Center envisioned when they brought all these cultural institutions together.”
The cast includes Emalie Savoy as Fiordiligi, Wallis Giunta as Dorabella, Naomi O’Connell as Despina, Alexander Lewis as Ferrando, Luthando Qave as Guglielmo, and Evan Hughes as Don Alfonso. Savoy, Giunta, Lewis, Qave, and Hughes are current members of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and O’Connell is a current Juilliard student. The opera will also feature a chorus composed of Juilliard students.
Così fan tutte will be performed at Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Wednesday, November 14 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 17 at 2 p.m.; and Monday, November 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 each and on sale at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, as well as through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500. For further information, please call (212) 769-7406 or visit Juilliard’s Web site.
The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Partnership was announced in February 2008. The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is under the leadership of James Levine, artistic director, and Brian Zeger, executive director. Zeger is also artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. This collaboration aims to use the resources of both institutions to identify and educate the finest young opera singers and collaborative pianists for careers in the world’s great opera houses.
Così fan tutte, Mozart’s third and final collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, had its United States premiere at the Met in 1922 with Arthur Bodanzky leading a distinguished cast that included Lucrezia Bori as Despina, Florence Easton as Fiordiligi, and Giuseppe De Luca as Guglielmo. Since then, the Met has performed it 178 times, most recently in the 2010-11 season, and it is one of the most frequently performed operas in America.
Alan Gilbert became director of conducting and orchestral studies at Juilliard in September 2011. He also holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at the School. Mr. Gilbert began his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2009. In the 2012–13 New York Philharmonic season, he conducts world premieres; conducts Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor as part of the orchestra’s “Bach Variations” festival; leads a European tour; and concludes the season with June Journey: Gilbert’s Playlist, programs showcasing themes he has introduced, including a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky ballets. Last season’s highlights included tours of Europe and California as well as Philharmonic 360, the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen. Mr. Gilbert is conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly conducts leading orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Gilbert made his Met debut in November 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, in the first New York staging of the opera, and the Met’s first production of an Adams opera; a recording of that production, conducted by Gilbert, won a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. In recent seasons, he has conducted a wide range of operatic repertoire in America and Europe, including his debut last season with the Royal Swedish Opera conducting Wagner’s Lohengrin, as well as the highly acclaimed New York Philharmonic productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.
Stephen Wadsworth is head of dramatic studies for the Met Opera’s Lindemann Program and is the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow at Juilliard where he guides the post-graduate advanced training (Artist Diploma of Opera Studies). In April 2012, he directed Juilliard Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Gary Thor Wedow. He recently directed Terrence McNally’s Master Class, starring Tyne Daly, on Broadway and in London. Wadsworth’s Met productions include Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (2010), Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (2007), and Handel’s Rodelinda (2004). He also has directed operas for La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, and many other companies, including Seattle Opera, where he has enjoyed a long association and staged ten new productions. Mr. Wadsworth is an artist-in-residence at the Aspen Institute and a script consultant for the Sundance Institute.
Founded in 1980 by James Levine, the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, named after benefactors Mr. and Mrs. George Lindemann, has served as a training program for many well-known artists, including Stephanie Blythe, Dwayne Croft, Paul Groves, Nathan Gunn, Mariusz Kwiecien, Aprile Millo, Sondra Radvanovsky, and Dawn Upshaw. Participants receive a yearly stipend in addition to musical and language coaching with the Met’s artistic staff. Through the Juilliard partnership, the Met’s Lindemann Program and Juilliard Vocal Arts share some full-time faculty, guest faculty, master classes, and a host of other resources, offering a rich developmental environment to educate the next generation. Juilliard’s related educational courses are available to the young artists, and participants also have access to the extensive resources of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Library. Likewise, Juilliard students now enjoy access to master classes, dress rehearsals, and performances at the Met as a result of the new collaboration, enabling students at every level to take advantage of the world-class opera across the plaza. Juilliard students may participate as guest artists of Lindemann presentations, and Lindemann artists appear as guest artists at Juilliard performances, thus increasing the potential for performance opportunities for all participants. The Met’s young artist program always has been open to participants with a variety of educational backgrounds from the United States and abroad. Auditions are held annually at the opera house. Participants take part in the program for a maximum of three years, with contracts renewed on an annual basis.
Juilliard’s program for singers was re-dedicated last season as the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard in acknowledgement of their generous gift supporting new and expanded programs throughout Juilliard’s curriculum for singers. The program annually enrolls more than 70 singers in a variety of undergraduate (bachelor of music, diploma) and graduate degree programs (master of music, graduate diploma, artist diploma). Juilliard Opera presents fully-staged productions each season, casting Juilliard students from both the School’s artist diploma and master of music programs in all roles, working with prominent international guest conductors and directors. The Juilliard School has presented staged operas since 1929, with a full department created the following year. Among the world-renowned singers who have studied at Juilliard are Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Isabel Leonard, Audra McDonald, Susanna Phillips, Leontyne Price, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, and Shirley Verrett.
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Janet Kessin / Gloria Gottschalk
The Juilliard School