Looking for something different to do on a Saturday night? Need to find a new date spot? Want to explore the diverse cultural offerings of New York? Plan a trip to the Metropolitan Opera, in the heart of Lincoln Center. With a variety of ways to purchase heavily discounted tickets—the TIC, Met Opera Students, Rush Tickets—going to the opera can cost just a little more than a trip to the movies. The next time you consider how to spend your weekend, consider choosing from the Best of the Met’s 2013-14 season.
The Met will present some contemporary operas this season to pique the interest of the musically curious. On Sept. 28, Shostakovich’s abstract opera “The Nose” returns with its visually arresting production by South African artist William Kentridge. Based on a satirical short story of the same name by Nikolai Gogol, “The Nose” follows Major Kovalyov as he ventures to recover his missing nose. Then, in late October, the Met will present the American premier of Nico Muhly’s “Two Boys.” Framed as an Internet mystery story, the work follows the intrigue of two teenage boys who grapple with the questionable world of cyberspace.
Long before “Friends with Benefits” or “When Harry Met Sally...,” operatic composers penned a multitude of joyfully comic love stories. Seeing an opera could be the perfect way to treat that special someone to a night out. Early in the season, Mozart’s witty “Così fan tutte” will arrive with a stellar cast of young singers. In this opera, two soldiers test their lovers’ fidelities and face painful—yet humorous—consequences. Later in the season, superstar mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will lead Rossini’s comic “La Cenerentola,” a delightfully charming retelling of the classic Cinderella story.
Just as Kenneth Branagh masterfully recreated Shakespeare’s works for the silver screen, so too have composers adapted the Bard’s plays for the operatic stage. Two Shakespearean operas will arrive at Lincoln Center this fall season. Benjamin Britten’s 20th-century adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will return to the Met’s stage after more than a decade. In early December, a new production of Verdi’s “Falstaff” will depict the misadventures of the lovably rotund title knight. Regarded as the definitive masterpiece of Italian comic opera, Verdi’s opera combines “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and selections from “Henry IV” into one raucous night at the theater.
This subset of opera lies at the very core of the operatic canon, so it is fitting that the Met season opens next Monday with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s epic “Eugene Onegin.” Based on a novel by Alexander Pushkin, the Russian opera depicts young Tatiana’s unrequited love for the debonair title gentleman in the midst of his continuous downward spiral. Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score evokes an array of passionate emotions throughout the compelling drama. A few months later, the Met will present its iconic production of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” a poignant look at bohemian romance set in 19th-century Paris. Puccini’s music takes listeners by their hearts and guides them through love’s many trials.