An opera adaptation of The Hours is in the works, with an all-star cast poised to premiere it. Grammy winner and Tony nominee Renée Fleming has been tapped to sing the role of Clarissa (as played by Meryl Streep in the 2002 movie based on the Michael Cunningham novel), with Tony winner and Metropolitan Opera alum Kelli O’Hara as Laura, and Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Virginia Woolf.
The work hails from Pulitzer-winning composer Kevin Puts (Silent Night) and librettist Greg Pierce (Slowgirl) as a co-commission from The Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with the former currently slated to present the staged premiere in 2022. A representative for the Met confirms Phelim McDermott will direct, with Met and Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting.
Among the Met’s additional in-the-works commissions with the Philadelphia Orchestra is a Mason Bates-composed adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. The companies’ partnership, announced in 2018, would potentially allow the new works to premiere in concert in Philadelphia before arriving on the Met stage. The Met is also attached to an opera version of the play Grounded composed by Jeanine Tesori and Lincoln in the Bardo from composer Missy Mazzoli.
Fleming's last role on the Met stage was in 2017 with her signature interpretation of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. Since then, she has focused on concert work and other types of classical ventures, including a Tony-nominated turn in Carousel, multiple engagements of The Light in the Piazza, and the world premiere of Norma Jeane Baker of Troy at The Shed.