Metropolitan Opera: Janáček’s The Makropulos

Airs Saturday, May 5 at 12:00 noon. The 2011-12 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season comes to a close with a live broadcast of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case, starring Karita Mattila as the enigmatic diva Emilia Marty. This season’s performances—the first at the Met in more than a decade—are conducted by Czech specialist Jiří Bělohlávek and feature Richard Leech as Emilia’s admirer Albert Gregor, Danish baritone Johan Reuter in his Met debut as Gregor’s aristocratic rival, Jaroslav Prus; and Tom Fox as the lawyer Kolenaty. The Makropulos Case will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 5.

The Makropulos Caseis Mattila’s third Janáček opera at the Met, following Jenůfa and Kát’a Kabanová.  She took on the role of Emilia Marty for the first time last season, triumphing at the San Francisco Opera. With the Met, she has also starred in new productions of Puccini’s Tosca (2009), Strauss’s Salome (2004), Beethoven’s Fidelio (2000), Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (1995), Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1993), and Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1990). Her repertory with the company also includes Chrysothemis in Strauss’s Elektra, the title role in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin.

Leech has sung more than 150 Met performances in 12 roles, including Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, the title role in Gounod’s Faust, and Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Reuter appeared as Jaroslav Prus at the Salzburg Festival last summer, and in recent seasons he has also sung Wotan in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Bavarian State Opera; Jochanaan in Salome at Covent Garden; and the title role of Mussorgky’s Boris Godunov at the Royal Danish Opera. Fox has also sung the role of Jaroslav Prus, in two previous revivals of The Makropulos Case at the Met (1998 and 2001), in addition the Speaker in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Don Pizarro in Fidelio, and Alberich in Wagner’s Siegfried and Götterdämmerung.

Bělohlávek, the Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, made his Met debut in 2004 leading Kát’a Kabanová and returned to conduct revivals of Jenůfa, Eugene Onegin, and Dvořák’s Rusalka. Last season, he conducted The Makropulos Case at San Francisco Opera, featuring Mattila in her role debut. Later this year, Bělohlávek will become chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.

The intermissions will include artist interviews and the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz.