Airs Saturday, February 4 at 12:00 noon. The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, starring Anna Netrebko in the tour-de-force title role of Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn. Marco Armiliato conducts the opera, a thrilling dramatization of Boleyn’s final days, which had its Met premiere on opening night of this season in a production by David McVicar. The opera also stars Ekaterina Gubanova as Anna’s romantic rival, Giovanna (Jane Seymour); Ildar Abdrazakov as the cruel Enrico (Henry VIII); Stephen Costello as Anna’s first love, Lord Percy; and Tamara Mumford as the queen’s devoted page Smeaton. Anna Bolena will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network one hour earlier than the usual start time, 12 pm CST, on Saturday, February 4.
Netrebko’s North American debut in the role, on the opening night of the Met’s current season, earned critical and public acclaim for her compelling singing and acting of one of opera’s most challenging soprano roles. Netrebko made her Met debut in 2002 as Natasha in Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Since then, she has sung nine additional roles with the company, including two other Donizetti heroines, Norina in Don Pasquale and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. This spring, she will return to the Met as the hedonistic heroine of Massenet’s Manon in her second new production of the season.
Gubanova made her Met debut in a 2007 revival of War and Peace and starred as Giulietta in the 2009 new production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (also starring Netrebko as Antonia), directed by Bartlett Sher. At the Met, Abdrazakov has starred in the title role in the company premiere of Verdi’s Attila, as Méphistophélès in both Gounod’s Faust and Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, and as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Rising tenor Costello made his Met debut as Arturo, Lucia’s doomed husband, in the new production of Lucia di Lammermoor that opened the 2007-08 season. He sang the role of Percy at the Dallas Opera in the 2010-11 season. Mumford, a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, also sings the role of the Rhinemaiden Flosshilde in this season’s productions of Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung.
The single intermission of Saturday’s broadcast will include backstage interviews with the stars and a look ahead at the new production of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.