The 2012-13 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Les Troyens, led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. The cast for Berlioz’s epic, which travels from war-ravaged Troy to the North African shores of Carthage, is led by Bryan Hymel as the Trojan hero Aeneas; Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, the cursed prophetess; Susan Graham as Dido, Queen of Carthage; Dwayne Croft as Cassandra’s fiancé, Coroebus; Karen Cargill as Dido’s sister, Anna; Eric Cutler as Dido’s court poet, Iopas; and Kwangchul Youn as Narbal, Dido’s advisor.
Fabio Luisi is only the fourth conductor in Met history to lead Les Troyens, which had its Met premiere in 1973 under the baton of Rafael Kubelik and has also been led by John Nelson and Met Music Director James Levine. This season at the Met, Luisi also conducts the new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, a revival of Verdi’s Aida, and three complete cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. His past Met performances include Verdi’s Don Carlo, Simon Boccanegra, Rigoletto, and La Traviata; Richard Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena, Elektra, and Ariadne auf Naxos; Puccini’s Turandot, Tosca, and La Bohème; Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni; Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel; Berg’s Lulu; and Massenet’s Manon.
American tenor Bryan Hymel made his Met debut this season on December 26 as Aeneas, a role he sang in a new production at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in June 2012. In December 2012, Hymel sang the title role in the Royal Opera’s new production of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable and, earlier this season, sang the Prince in their first-ever staging of Dvořák’s Rusalka. His other recent performances include Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata at Houston Grand Opera and the title role in Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore.
Soprano Deborah Voigt starred as Cassandra in the 2003 premiere of Francesca Zambello’s production. She has sung more than 230 performances with the Met in a varied repertory that encompasses major Wagner roles, including Brünnhilde and Sieglinde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer, Elsa in Lohengrin, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and Isolde in Tristan und Isolde; Richard Strauss roles, such as the title characters in Die Ägyptische Helena and Ariadne auf Naxos, the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Chrysothemis in Elektra; and Verdi heroines like Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, and the title role in Aida. This spring, Voigt will reprise her Brünnhilde in two complete Ring cycles conducted by Luisi.
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham’s 140 performances with the Met include Marguerite in the new production premiere of La Damnation de Faust and Ascanius in Les Troyens. She has sung Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier 25 times with the company, as well as the title role in the new production premiere of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride; Mozart’s Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Idamante in Idomeneo, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro; the title role in Lehár’s The Merry Widow; and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. She has also starred in two world premieres at the Met, singing Jordan Baker in Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Sondra Finchley in Picker’s An American Tragedy, also directed by Zambello. She sang Dido at the Châtelet in Paris in a series of performances that were recorded for DVD.
Baritone Dwayne Croft sang Coroebus opposite Voigt’s Cassandra in the 2003 new production premiere of Les Troyens. This season at the Met, he also sings Ping in Turandot, Rambaldo in Puccini’s La Rondine, and Donner in Der Ring des Nibelungen. His past performances with the company have included Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and the title roles in Don Giovanni and Britten’s Billy Budd.
Mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill made her Met debut last season as Waltraute in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, a role she will repeat in all three of this spring’s Ring cycles.
Tenor Eric Cutler, a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, has sung more than 60 performances in 10 roles at the Met, most recently the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Arturo in Bellini’s I Puritani, and Léopold in the new production premiere of Halévy’s La Juive.
Bass Kwangchul Youn, who sings both Narbal and Mercury in this season’s performances of Les Troyens, most recently appeared at the Met as Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. His other Met roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, and Ferrando in Verdi’s Il Trovatore.
The intermissions will include backstage interviews, the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz, and the annual “In Memoriam” feature that looks back at Met stars who passed away during 2012.