Puts: The Hours (World Premiere 2-CD) – Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, Joyce DiDonato

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Item: 5054197910524


Puts: The Hours (World Premiere 2-CD) – Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, Joyce DiDonato

Composer: Kevin Puts
Artists: Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, Joyce DiDonato, Denyce Graves, John Holiday, Tony Stevenson, Sean Panikkar, Kathleen Kim, Brandon Cedel, Kai Edgar, Kyle Ketelsen, Atticus Ware, Patrick Scott McDermott, Lena Josephine Marano, Eve Gigliotti, Syliva D’Eramo, William Burden, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Erato
Release Date: February 3, 2024

This is the Metropolitan Opera’s world premiere recording of award-winning composer Kevin Puts’s The Hours, starring Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, and Joyce DiDonato as its trio of stars. The Hours was praised by The New York Times as “sincere and persuasive... fervent... and soaringly lyrical.” The production played to sold-out audiences during the 2022-23 season.

Based on both the award-winning 2002 film directed by Stephen Daldry and the original novel by Michael Cunningham – itself inspired by Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. DallowayThe Hours interweaves the stories of three women from three different periods of the 20th century who each grapple with their inner demons and roles in society. Joyce DiDonato plays Virginia Woolf herself, joined by Renée Fleming as Clarissa Vaughan and Kelli O'Hara as Laura Brown, conducted by the Met’s musical director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Joyce DiDonato says, “Even though it deals with death head-on, the piece is life-affirming and tells a timeless story. The characters’ struggles are shared universally, and by highlighting them through the different personalities and periods, hopefully everybody can find a part of themselves in the story.” 

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The Hours

World premiere: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, March 2022 (concert version, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra); Metropolitan Opera House, New York, November 2022 (staged production)

A compelling new opera about three women in different times and places, The Hours is based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by Michael Cunningham and the Academy Award–winning film adaptation that followed. Both the book and the film make heavy reference to an earlier novel, Virginia Woolf’s 1925 Mrs. Dalloway, which forms a sort of parallel background narrative, and the opera uses Woolf’s and Cunningham’s magisterial prose as a departure point from which to explore ambiguities and fluidities that cry out for musical expression.


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