Metropolitan Opera season kicks off with Handel's Rodelinda

Nov 28, 2011

Renée Fleming reprises her celebrated performance as the title character in Handel’s Rodelinda as the 2011-12 Metropolitan Opera season begins this Saturday.

The live broadcast stars Renée Fleming in the title role. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket will conduct the revival of Stephen Wadsworth’s production, which also stars Andreas Scholl as the exiled king Bertarido and Stephanie Blythe as his sister Eduige. Joseph Kaiser sings the usurper Grimoaldo, countertenor Iestyn Davies is Bertarido’s faithful friend Unulfo, and Shenyang the corrupt royal advisor Garibaldo. The performance will be heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 1:00 pm EST on Saturday, December 3.

Handel’s opera, based on the life of a seventh-century queen of Lombardy, premiered at the Met in 2004, in this Stephen Wadsworth production created for Renée Fleming. The opera, in which Rodelinda’s love for her exiled husband remains steadfast despite the romantic and political machinations of his enemies, is a showcase for the soprano in many of Handel’s most extraordinary and diverse arias.

The intermissions will include backstage interviews with the stars, a chat with Met General Manager Peter Gelb, and the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz.

This performance will also be transmitted into movie theaters throughout the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Note: the HD broadcast will begin at 12:30, the radio broadcast at 1:00.

About the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts
The Metropolitan Opera celebrates its 81st season of Saturday Afternoon Radio Broadcasts—the longest-running classical music series in American broadcast history. Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts have brought opera into millions of homes and enriched the lives of many, playing a vital and unparalleled role in the development and appreciation of opera in this country. Host Margaret Juntwait returns for her eighth season, joined each week in the broadcast booth by commentator Ira Siff.

Since 1940, the broadcasts have been heard in Canada, and in 1990 they expanded to include regular transmissions to Europe. Today worldwide coverage has grown to include not only more than 30 European countries, but also South America, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Listeners can visit for a wealth of information about the Met broadcasts. For details about all Met performances this season, as well as ticket information, visit the Met’s website at