“An opera composed by a woman will appear at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in more than a century next season, when the house presents the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s ethereal “L’Amour de Loin,” one of the most acclaimed operas of the 2000s.
The arrival of “L’Amour de Loin” in December at the Met, in a Robert Lepage production conducted by Susanna Malkki in her company debut and starring Susanna Phillips, Tamara Mumford and Eric Owens, will be the biggest in a series of Saariaho events across New York next season. In October, Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the New York Philharmonic in her “Circle Map” at the Park Avenue Armory.
Coming 16 years after its premiere at the Salzburg Festival, “L’Amour de Loin” will be the first opera by a woman performed at the Met since 1903, when the company did “Der Wald” by Ethel M. Smyth. “It’s a shock,” Ms. Saariaho said of the gap in a telephone interview from Paris. “It just shows how slowly these things evolve. But they are evolving — in all fields and also in music.””