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Soprano Renée Fleming Dons Hanna in Susan Stroman's 'Merry Widow' Production on PBS in June

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on May 19, 2015 05:04 PM EDT

With a revival of Othello already ongoing, The Metropolitan Opera presents the latest from Tony-award winning director and choreographer, Susan Stroman, with a new staging of the beloved The Merry Widow. If that weren't enough, star soprano Renée Fleming takes on the character of Hanna.

Making her Met debut, Stroman has been a part of such stellar productions like Crazy for You, Contact and The Producers. For the newcomer, thus, it makes sense for Fleming to don a new role and her wide-ranging Met repertory to the cast.

The alumnus, as Hanna, is the widowed Pontevedrian millionaires. Backing her up in the pit, also, is Sir Andrew Davis, who will conduct the cast that includes Nathan Gunn as Hanna's lover Danilo; tenor Alek Shrader as the young nobleman Camille de Rosillon; and baritone Sir Thomas Allen as the scheming Baron Zeta.

Also, according to a release, the Broadway star Kelli O'Hara, best known for her acclaimed performances in South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza, and currently starring in The King and I, makes her highly-anticipated Met debut as the Baron's coquettish wife Valencienne.

The release continues:

"The frothy operetta is performed in English, in Jeremy Sams' new translation. Lehár's best-known composition has been an audience favorite since its 1905 premiere and features a great deal of well-known music, including the Vilja Song, 'Then Off to Chez Maxim,' and the 'Merry Widow Waltz.'"

For now, The Merry Widow will be broadcast on Thirteen's "Great Performances at the Met" on Friday, June 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS.

Until then, preview the production below.

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TagsRenee Fleming, Susan Stroman, Merry Widow, Hanna, Sir Thomas Allen, Kelli O'Hara, The Producers, Sir Andrew Davis, Alek Shrader, Nathan Gunn