Thomas Adès will conduct the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his opera The Tempest in a series of performances beginning October 23. Robert Lepage directs a new production of the critically heraldEd English-language opera, with a libretto by Meredith Oakes based on Shakespeare's play. Simon Keenlyside stars as Prospero, with Audrey Luna in the stratospheric coloratura role of Ariel; Isabel Leonard as Prospero's daughter Miranda;Iestyn Davies as the jester Trinculo; Alek Shrader in his Met debut as the shipwrecked nobleman Ferdinand; Alan Oke as the gentle-hearted monster Caliban; William Burden as the King of Naples; and Toby Spence as Prospero's usurper brother, Antonio.
In Lepage's production, Prospero, a 19th-century impresario and the exiled Duke of Milan, has recreated the La Scala opera house on his island as a magical box for his sorcery. The design team comprises four distinguished artists in their Met debuts: set designer Jasmine Catudal, costume designer Kym Barrett, lighting designer Michel Beaulieu, and video image artist David Leclerc. The Saturday, November 10 matinee performance of The Tempest will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met's Live in HD series, which is now seen in more than 1,900 movie theaters in 64 countries around the world.
Thomas Adès is one of the leading composers in the world of contemporary classical music. The English artist's works are regularly performed at the world's leading opera houses, festivals, and symphonies. His first opera, Powder Her Face, has been staged all over the world and recorded for CD and DVD. Adès conducted the world premiere of The Tempest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2004. Multiple productions in Europe and North America, including the 2006 American premiere at the Santa Fe Opera, have been met with overwhelming critical acclaim. Adès's music has earned widespread recognition and numerous awards, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award-of which he is the youngest-ever recipient. The Tempest is the first Adès opera to be staged at the Met, and the composer makes his Met debut as conductor of the work.
Robert Lepage has directed two previous productions at the Met, Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust in 2008 and, across the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, a new production of Wagner's four-part epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, which returns to the Met this spring. His staging of The Tempest, a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, L'Opéra de Quebec, and the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna, premiered at the Quebec Opera Festival in July 2012. The multi-disciplinary artist has directed numerous acclaimed productions of Shakespeare's Tempest, in both French and English.
Meredith Oakes's plays include The Neighbour, The Editing Process, Faith, Scenes from the Back of Beyond, Mind the Gap, Man for Hire, and Shadowmouth. Her works have been produced in numerous high-profile venues, including London's Royal National Theater and Royal Court Theatre.
Simon Keenlyside sang the role of Prospero in the 2004 world premiere of The Tempest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. At the Met, he has sung Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, Olivier in Strauss's Capriccio, Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème, Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, and, in 2010, two roles in new production premieres: the title character in Thomas's Hamlet and Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo, both seenLive in HD. In addition to Hamlet and Prospero, his repertory also includes the title role in Verdi's Macbeth, which he sang to acclaim at the Royal Opera last season.