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Semiramide – The Metropolitan Opera 2018

February 19

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This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.

Dates Feb 19 – Mar 17 2018



Maurzio Benini – Conductor
Angela Meade – Semiramide
Elizabeth DeShong – Arsace
Javier Camarena – Idreno
Ildar Abdrazakov – Assur
Ryan Speedo Green – Oroe




After making his mark with a number of brilliant comic operas (most notably Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Il turco in Italia, and L’italiana in Algeri), Rossini turned more and more to serious opera (opere serie). During the years 1813 (when Rossini composed Tancredi) until 1822 he wrote a considerable series of them, mostly for the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples.

John Copley – Production
Michael Stennett – Costume Designer
John Conklin – Set Designer
Gil Wechsler – Lighting Designer


The music took the form of a return to vocal traditions of Rossini’s youth, and was a melodrama in which he “recreated the baroque tradition of decorative singing with unparalleled skill”. The ensemble-scenes (particularly the duos between Arsace and Semiramide) and choruses are of a high order, as is the orchestral writing, which makes full use of a large pit.