Music

Here are the Canadians to be featured at the Metropolitan Opera next season

Joshua Hopkins, Étienne Dupuis and Gerald Finley will sing title roles.

Joshua Hopkins, Étienne Dupuis and Gerald Finley will sing title roles

A scene from the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. (Charles Duprat/Paris Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera has announced its 2020-21 season, which boasts five new productions and 18 revivals.

Canadians figure prominently, none more so than Yannick Nézet-Séguin who'll conduct opening night at the Met for the first time as the company's music director. That will be a grandiose new production of Verdi's Aïda by Michael Mayer starring Anna Netrebko. Opening night is Sept. 21.

Baritone Joshua Hopkins has been cast in three roles next season. He'll sing the title role in Britten's Billy Budd for the full run of that production, from May 21 to June 5. On Dec. 26, he takes a turn as Figaro in Rossini's Il barbieri di Sivigla, and then sings Mercutio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette for the month of January.

A new production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking will feature baritone Étienne Dupuis in the title role. (He sang it to great acclaim at Opéra de Montréal in 2013.) Nézet-Séguin will conduct all but one of the eight performances, beginning April 8.

Dupuis will also sing Marcello in Puccini's La bohème for seven performances in November and December with his wife, soprano Nicole Car, joining him as Mimi for six of those dates. Baritone Russell Braun sings three Marcellos in April.

Ivo van Hove's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni stars Gerald Finley as Leporello for half the run, and then in the title role for the rest. Nézet-Séguin conducts eight of the 14 performances, which run from March 1 to May 20.

The Met hops on the Beethoven 2020 train with Fidelio in November and December, which Nézet-Séguin conducts. He's also conducting Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with mezzo Julie Boulianne and baritone Brett Polegato joining the cast of the latter.

Wrapping up the season, bass-baritone John Relyea sings Sarastro in the final five performances of Simon McBurney's new production Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, which winds up June 5.

Explore the Metropolitan Opera's 2020-21 season here. You can hear live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera on CBC Music's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been directing ensembles since the age of 18, but a whole new challenge now lies ahead of him. The Canadian conductor is taking over the job of music director at the famed Metropolitan Opera, and he wants to make opera more appealing to a wider audience, particularly young people. 9:57