For the first time in its history, the Metropolitan Opera is commissioning operas by women. It is hoping to adapt beloved novels like “Lincoln in the Bardo” and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.” And it will venture beyond the walls of its opera house to collaborate with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Public Theater.
These are some of the plans that Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who just became the Met’s first new music director since 1976, is making with Peter Gelb, its general manager, as they try to woo broader audiences and turn the page on what has been a difficult time for the company. In passing the baton to Mr. Nézet-Séguin this season, which begins Monday night, the Met is hoping for a fresh start.
The Met is also in talks to have Mason Bates create an opera based on Michael Chabon’s novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.” In addition to commissioning an opera by Ms. Mazzoli for the main stage, Mr. Gelb said that the Met Orchestra would perform a Mazzoli chamber opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Mr. Nézet-Séguin conducting. He said that the Brooklyn Academy would announce the details later. And the Met is heading outdoors, to the Delacorte Theater at Central Park. In the summer of 2020, the company plans to collaborate with the Public Theater on a new, abridged English-language version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in the park, directed by Lear deBessonet, featuring the Met Orchestra conducted by Mr. Nézet-Séguin.
And the Met is taking other steps to make it easier for people to attend the opera, including a new labor agreement that will allow it to perform Sunday matinees beginning next year. It is also building a new entrance for patrons and subscribers on its south side, near the old art gallery, to ease what Mr. Gelb described as the “gridlock” before performances.
Mr. Gelb said that by getting out into the city more, the Met hoped to send a message.
“The Met, he said, “is open for collaboration.”