Conductors Daniele Rustioni [pictured] and James Gaffigan will lead this season’s performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, replacing Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Isabel Leonard will sing Cherubino in the January performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, replacing Anna Stéphany.
Nézet-Séguin, who is taking a brief four-week sabbatical from all conducting duties commencing at the end of December, said, “I am grateful for the collaborations that led to deeply moving and memorable fall openings at the Met, in Philadelphia, at Carnegie Hall, and in Montreal, bringing us together with audiences once again. This has been a difficult time for so many, and I have been, and remain, fully committed to providing much-needed hope and artistic inspiration as we heal from the past year-and-a-half. This short break will allow time for me to reenergize as we return in the new year. I look forward to returning to the Met in February for our new production of Verdi’s Don Carlos.”
Italian maestro Daniele Rustioni, the music director at Lyon Opera and principal conductor at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, made his Met debut conducting Aida in 2017. He has conducted at many international opera houses, including La Scala, Teatro La Fenice, Zurich Opera, and the Royal Opera Covent Garden, where he is currently leading performances of Verdi’s Macbeth. This season at the Met, Maestro Rustioni will also lead the first run of performances of the Met’s new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, which opens on New Year’s Eve.
American mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard has previously sung the role of Cherubino at the Met numerous times, most recently in the 2017–18 season. Also in the 2021–22 season, she will make role debuts as the title character of Massenet’s Cinderella, in a new abridged English-language version, and as the Composer in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
Performances are January 8, 12, 15, 20, 23, and 28; Gareth Morrell will conduct the January 28 performance.
American conductor James Gaffigan, who made his Met debut conducting Puccini’s La Bohème in 2018, is currently the Music Director of Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and also holds positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. He has conducted with many other companies, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and Hamburg State Opera. This season he will lead the Netherlands Radio in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Deutsche Oper Berlin in Don Carlos, Opéra national de Paris in Manon, Valencia’s Les Arts in Wozzeck, and Santa Fe Opera in Tristan und Isolde. Later this season at the Met, he will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, which opens on March 25.
The spring run of Le Nozze di Figaro opens on April 2, 2022, with Federica Lombardi as the Countess, Aida Garifullina as Susanna, Sasha Cooke as Cherubino, Gerald Finley as the Count, and Christian Van Horn as Figaro.
For further information, please visit metopera.org.