Gotham Chamber Opera Presents IL SOGNO DI SCIPIONE, 4/11-21


Gotham Chamber Opera continues its 10th-anniversary celebration with a revival of Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione, which announced the company's arrival on the New York cultural scene ten years ago. The original creative team will be reunited for the production, which opens at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College on April 11, 2012 and runs through April 21, 2012. Performances: Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30pm (Opening Night); Friday, April 13 at 8pm; Sunday, April 15 at 3pm; Tuesday, April 17 at 8pm; Thursday, April 19 at 8pm; and Saturday, April 21 at 8pm. Tickets are $30-$125 and are available online at or by phone at 212-279-4200

Ten years ago, Gotham Chamber Opera burst onto New York's opera scene with Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione(Scipio's Dream). To commemorate the anniversary of that debut production, Gotham Chamber Opera will reviveIl sogno di Scipione in April 2012, reuniting its original creative team of director Christopher Alden, scenic designer Andrew Cavanaugh Holland, costume designer Fabio Toblini, and lighting designer Allen Hahn. The production will be conducted by Gotham Chamber Opera's Founding Artistic Director Neal Goren. The cast will include Michele Angelini, Marie-Ève Munger, Susannah Biller, Rachel Willis-Sørenson, Arthur Espiritu, and Chad A. Johnson.

The highly-virtuosic one-act opera tells the story of the Roman Emperor Scipio Africanus, who, in a dream, awakens to find two goddesses before him: Fortune and Constancy. He must choose one or the other to guide him through life. Dazed by their enticements and threats, Scipio calls up his dead forebears for guidance in making this important and dangerous choice. 

"It is always fascinating for me to re-stage a production years after I first created it - the piece, the world, myself - all feel so different!" said Christopher Alden when asked about this revival of Il sogno di Scipione. "In the case of Sogno, a whole decade of life experiences will certainly cast a new light on the 15-year-old Mozart's dream play, and a New Group of dynamic young singers will undoubtedly push the allegorical-but-sexy characters in new directions.  But, hopefully, the youthful genius of Mozart's music, breathing miraculous life into Metastasio's hoary opera seria libretto, will again work its magic as it did a decade ago when it inaugurated the marvelous Gotham Chamber Opera.  Back then, Neal Goren and I were very pleasantly surprised to find that we had such an audience-friendly hit on our hands. Ten years on, a little older and probably not much wiser, let's see if we can do the impossible and make lightning strike twice!" 

Anthony Tommasini, classical music critic for The New York Times, wrote, "The company made a propitious debut with a delightful production." Marion Lignana Rosenberg, in Opera News, asked, "How many opera companies have dared to offer as their debut production the American premiere of a work by a sixteen-year-old genius, its vocal writing of jaw-dropping difficulty, its allegorical 'action' virtually nonexistent, and yet managed to elicit whoops, stomps and whistles of approval from a captivated audience?" Charles Michener, inThe New York Observer, added, "There is much to cheer about the arrival of this new company." Beginning with its debut production of Il sogno di Scipione, Gotham Chamber Opera has launched the international careers of numerous singers, and continues to do so today. With its delivery of the highest musical and theatrical values and its success with audiences and critics alike, Gotham Chamber Opera continually reaffirms its place as whatThe New York Times called "the pre-eminent small opera company in New York."

Gotham Chamber Opera opened the anniversary season with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, an opera by composer Nico Muhly and librettist Stephen Karam commissioned for the occasion. A co-commission and co-production of Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Dark Sisters premiered at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in November 2011 and was met with great critical acclaim.