The Metropolitan Opera’s innovative live cinema showings have been astonishingly successful, and are a visionary extension of its regular Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts that began on Christmas Day in 1931. Satellite footprints and time-zone differences conspire against Australian audiences’ enjoying these live from New York but I’m delighted to be able to bring you another five-month season. Each opera is broadcast a fortnight after each performance – and in superb sound quality.

Verdi’s much-revised Don Carlo opens the series in one of seven new productions this year. This also includes Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov conducted by Valery Gergiev and Verdi’s La Traviata with Marina Poplavskaya in her first Met Violetta.

John Adams conducts his breakthrough Nixon in China in its first performance at the Met and Rossini’s rarely-performed comedy Le Comte Ory has another Met premiere, starring Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau.

The company’s music director James Levine celebrates his 40th anniversary by conducting six operas, including Donizetti’s playful Don Pasquale starring Anna Netrebko, and the first two instalments of Robert Lepage’s much-heralded new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Levine also conducts Verdi’s popular Il Trovatore and the powerful Simon Boccanegra with Dmitri Hvorostovsky...