The MET Orchestra
The MET Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Isabel Leonard, Mezzo-Soprano
DEBUSSY La mer
DUTILLEUX Le temps l’horloge
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
The MET Orchestra
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras. From the time of the company’s inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances, and has developed into an orchestra of enormous technical polish and style. The MET Orchestra (as the ensemble is referred to when appearing in concert outside the opera house) maintains a demanding schedule of performances and rehearsals during its 33-week New York season, when the company performs as many as seven times a week in repertory that this season encompasses 27 operas.
In addition to its opera schedule, the orchestra has a distinguished history of concert performances. Arturo Toscanini made his American debut as a symphonic conductor with the MET Orchestra in 1913, and the impressive list of instrumental soloists who appeared with the orchestra includes Leopold Godowsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Casals, Josef Hofmann, Ferruccio Busoni, Jascha Heifetz, Moriz Rosenthal, and Fritz Kreisler. In recent years, instrumental and vocal soloists have included Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, Evgeny Kissin, Christian Tetzlaff, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau, Christine Goerke, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, and Peter Mattei, among many others. The group has also performed six world premieres: Milton Babbitt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (1998), William Bolcom’s Symphony No. 7 (2002), Hsueh-Yung Shen’s Legend (2002), Charles Wuorinen’s Theologoumenon (2007) and Time Regained (2009), and John Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life (2011).
Canadian-born conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director with the beginning of the 2018–2019 season, during which he conducted a new production of Verdi’s La traviata, and revivals of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. He made his company debut in 2009 with a new production of Bizet’s Carmen and has since returned every season, conducting new productions of Verdi’s Don Carlo, Gounod’s Faust, and Verdi’s Otello, as well as revivals of Dvořák’s Rusalka, La traviata, Strauss’s Elektra, and Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and Parsifal. He has been music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, and held the same position with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra between 2008 and 2018. Since 2000, he has served as artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin has worked with many leading European ensembles and enjoys close collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. From 2008 to 2014, he was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the BBC Proms, as well as the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Grafenegg, Lanaudière, Vail, and Saratoga.
Recent recordings include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the complete symphonies of Schumann with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (featuring pianist Daniil Trifonov), and Bernstein’s Mass with The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, and choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, before going on to study with renowned conductors, most notably Carlo Maria Giulini. His honors include the Order of Montreal, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year, the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada’s National Arts Centre Award, and the Prix Denise-Pelletier awarded by the Quebec government. He holds honorary doctorates from McGill University, University of Quebec, and Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute. He received the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2015 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012.
Multiple Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard continues to thrill audiences both in the opera house and on the concert stage. In repertoire from Vivaldi to Mozart to Thomas Adès, she has graced the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Opéra de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. Her roles have included Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Charlotte in Werther, Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Costanza in Griselda, the title role in La Périchole, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, and Sesto in both Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. She has appeared with the foremost conductors of our time, including Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Franz Welser-Möst, Edward Gardner, Edo de Waart, James Conlon, Michele Mariotti, Harry Bicket, Andris Nelsons, and Michael Tilson Thomas in performances with The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, among others.
Ms. Leonard is in constant demand as a recitalist and is on Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees. She most recently won Grammy Awards for her recordings of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Seiji Ozawa and The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera. She is a recipient of the Richard Tucker Award and joined the supporters of the Prostate Cancer Foundation to lend her voice in honor of her father, who died from the disease when she was in college. This season, she starred at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Nico Muhly’s Marnie (seen in cinemas around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series), as Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and as Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites. In concert, she sang L’enfant et les sortilèges with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, an all-Bernstein recital with Ted Sperling for Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and a Bernstein tour across the US with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.