Metropolitan Opera: Massenet’s Manon

Airs Saturday, April 7 at 12:00 noon.  The 2011-12 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Massenet’s Manon. Anna Netrebko sings her first Met performances of the title role, with Piotr Beczala in his role debut as Manon’s lover, the Chevalier des Grieux, and Paulo Szot as her cousin, Lescaut. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the performance of Laurent Pelly’s striking new production, which opened March 26.  Manon will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 7. The performance will also be transmitted worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series, which is now seen in more than 1,700 movie theaters in 54 countries.

In recent years, Netrebko has sung the role of the hedonistic and irresistible Manon to great acclaim at the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, and in the premiere of Pelly’s staging at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. On opening night of this season, she sang the title character in the Met premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena.   The star soprano will open the 2012-13 season as Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.  Since her Met debut in Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 2002, she has sung ten additional roles with the company, including Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, the title character in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani.

Beczala sings his first-ever performances of the Chevalier des Grieux in this production. Since his 2006 Met debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto (a role he reprises in a new production at the Met next season), he has sung Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (including a 2009 broadcast opposite Netrebko), Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette. Szot made his Met debut starring as Kovalyov in the 2010 Met premiere of Shostakovich’s The Nose and returned last season as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. He won a 2008 Tony Award for his portrayal of Emile de Becque in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

This season, Luisi has led a diverse repertory of acclaimed performances at the Met, including the new production premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Wagner’s Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. In addition to Manon, Luisi’s spring Met engagements include a revival of Verdi’s La Traviata, which will be broadcast on the radio and transmitted Live in HD on April 14, and complete cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Pelly, a noted French opera and theater director, made his Met debut in 2008 with a highly praised new production of Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment.

The intermissions will include backstage interviews led by HD host Natalie Dessay, and the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz, featuring tenor Matthew Polenzani.