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This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast. The story is based on the legend of Queen Semiramis, who, after taking the throne of Assyria and Babylonia by killing her husband, falls in love with a young man she doesn’t recognize as her son. Her struggle to maintain and manipulate power is thwarted when she is killed by her lover.