Joyce DiDonato kicks off the new year starring as the title role of Handel’s Agrippina, marking the first-ever performances of the work at the Metropolitan Opera. Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome is transported to the present day in Sir David McVicar’s pointed production.

Performance dates include February 6, 9, 13, 17, 22, 25, 29, and March 3 & 7. The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s son and future emperor Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary emperor Claudius. Harry Bicket conducts.

DiDonato has successfully cemented the role of Agrippina into her repertoire this season, with her recent staged debut as Agrippina at the Royal Opera House. The Guardian hailed Joyce’s powerhouse portrayal, calling it “one of her finest performances, wonderfully voiced and acted, and keeping us just the right side of empathy throughout.” Joyce previously made her debut in the role in Spring 2019 on a European tour with Il Pomo d’Oro and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev.

Warner Classics’ (Erato) new studio recording of Joyce as Agrippina with Il Pomo d’Oro led by Maestro Emelyanychev is now available for pre-order. Joining them on the record is a fantastic cast of established and rising stars, including Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Franco Fagioli, Luca Pisaroni, Elsa Benoit, and Jakub Józef Orliński. The recording will be released on January 31. To pre-order and discover more about this new album, click here.

Photo credit: Paola Kudacki / Met Opera