SHE HAD WHAT COULD BE ARGUED was the best possible Metropolitan Opera directorial debut, with her 1992 production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” getting all but booed off the stage. Not only did Francesca Zambello’s stock as a director shoot way up, bringing a series of international engagements that has yet to slacken, but she also was invited back to the Met a decade later to helm what became a much-lauded production of Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” – which she’s repeating at that opera house this fall.
|Francesca Zambello | Photo by B. A. Nilsson|
“This season is about ideas for social change,” says Zambello. “I chose works that could inspire discussion about those issues, and we’ve scheduled events beyond the productions themselves that allow us further exploration of those themes.”
Although Meredith Willson’s perennial “The Music Man” might seem to resist such a theme, “It has a message about music and community and Main Street USA,” says Zambello. “Which we are. And Marcia Dodge, who is directing it, has updated it to World War Two to give more of a social message and a sense that it doesn’t feel locked in a particular time period.