New York City Opera Announces Their Spring Season Schedule
On Tuesday, March 22, New York City Opera's spring season opening features Donizetti's The Elixir of Love in a revival of Jonathan Miller's production. This is followed by a triple bill of Monodramas, one-act operas, opening on Friday, March 25, which includes the world stage premiere of John Zorn's La Machine de l'être , Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung ("Expectation"), and the U.S. stage premiere of Morton Feldman's Neither. Monodramas is a program that epitomizes City Opera's mission through both its innovative format and progressive repertoire. New York City Opera's final production of the 2010-2011 season is the New York premiere of Stephen Schwartz's first opera, the psychological thriller Séance on a Wet Afternoon.
City Opera's new concert series continues with John Zorn's Masada Marathon, featuring the experimental music master with avant-garde innovators including Marc Ribot, Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, and Zorn himself. This concert will be followed by Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz, a program of the composer's songs from his acclaimed Broadway shows and film scores. Scheduled to appear in Defying Gravity are two major stars of screen and stage, Kristin Chenoweth, Raúl Esparza, Victor Garber and Ann Hampton Callaway.
In addition, City Opera will present a special family oriented concert version of Oliver Knussen's Where the Wild Things Are. The opera is based on the beloved children's book by Maurice Sendak, and set to a libretto by Sendak himself.
All performance dates are listed in a new "Season-At-A-Glance" section, located at the bottom of this release.
About the Productions
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE
Vibrant young singers shine in this witty production of Donizetti's immortal bel canto classic, The Elixir of Love. A poor, lovelorn young man in love with a beautiful, Rich Woman drinks a magic potion provided by a traveling quack salesman in hopes of winning her over. Jonathan Miller's stylish production inventively relocates the story to the fifties of the American Southwest, complete with soda jerks, a vintage Ford convertible and a dusty roadside diner. Donizetti's greatest melodies - including "Una furtiva lagrima" - sparkle fresher than ever in this updated setting.
Soprano Stefania Dovhan, who made her City Opera debut in last season's Don Giovanni, returns to portray the clever Adina while fast-rising tenor David Lomeli makes his New York operatic debut as the shy Nemorino.
The full cast includes David Lomeli (Nemorino)*, José Adán Pérez (Belcore)*, Stefania Dovhan (Adina), Marco Nisticò (Dulcamara), and Meredith Lustig (Giannetta)*, with Brad Cohen (conductor)*, and a production team including Jonathan Miller (production), A. Scott Parry (stage director), Isabella Bywater (set and costume designer), Jeff Harris (lighting designer), A. Scott Parry (supertitles).
The production premiered in 2003 at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and was last presented at City Opera in 2006. The Elixir of Love will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.
La Machine de l'être, Erwartung and Neither
Downtown theater visionary Michael Counts joins together three one-woman operas by master composers John Zorn, Arnold Schoenberg and Morton Feldman into a compelling "total artwork." Each opera presents spectacular challenges of virtuosity-for singer, for orchestra, and for the theatrical imagination of the director. Counts distills the essence of music, poetry, dance, and design into a visually compelling, theatrical projection of three psychic landscapes inspired by Antonin Artaud, Sigmund Freud, and Samuel Beckett.
In John Zorn's La Machine de l'être, the soprano's conjures the magic and alchemy of theater visionary Antonin Artaud's drawings. In Schoenberg's Erwartung ("Expectation"), written by the cousin of Freud's legendary patient Anna O., the terrified protagonist gropes through a dark forest searching for her love, only to find that the darkness dwells within her. In Neither, Morton Feldman's ethereal music brilliantly evokes the hovering, troubled stillness of the only libretto Samuel Beckett ever wrote.
Soprano Anu Komsi makes her City Opera debut in La Machine de l'être, soprano Kara Shay Thomson debuts as She in Erwartung, and soprano Cyndia Sieden sings in Neither. City Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts all three works, with choreography by Ken Roht*, set designs by Michael Counts, costume designs by Jessica Jahn*, and lighting design by Robert Wierzel.
Erwartung will be performed in German, and Neither will be performed in English, both with English supertitles.
SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON
Séance on a Wet Afternoon is the first opera by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, whose previous credits run from Godspell to Wicked. Based on the novel by Mark McShane and the film adaptation of 1964, this psychological thriller focuses on Myra, an ambitious psychic who devises an elaborate kidnapping scheme so that her "vision" can ensure a successful recovery, a generous ransom, and the fame she so desperately craves. The plan goes awry as her fragile sanity crumbles.
Schwartz's extensive experience in musical theater makes the most of this gripping story, with a compelling and tuneful musical score, keen dramatic pacing and vivid characterizations. Séance is made for fully operatic voices: dramatic soprano, Verdi baritone, lyric tenor and more. And in the hands of City Opera favorite Lauren Flanigan, for whom the opera was written, the character of Myra promises powerful singing and theatrical fireworks.
The full cast includes Lauren Flanigan (Myra Foster), Kim Josephson (Bill Foster)*, Todd Wilander (Charles Clayton)*, Melody Moore (Rita Clayton)*, Phillip Boykin (Inspector Watts)*, Jane Shaulis (Mrs. Wintry), Pamela Jones (Miss Rose), Bill Lagundino (Mrs. Bennett), Boyd Schlaefer (Mr. Cole), Juan José Ibarra (Policeman), Michael Marcotte (Irish Tenor)*, Michael Kepler Meo (Arthur)*, Bailey Grey (Adriana Clayton)*, with George Manahan (conductor), Steven Osgood (conductor 4/26, 4/28, 4/30), and a production team including Scott Schwartz (production director)*, Heidi Ettinger (set designer)*, Alejo Vietti (costume designer)*, David Lander (lighting designer)*, Matt Williams (musical staging)*, Isabel Martin (supertitles). Séance on a Wet Afternoon will be performed in English with supertitles.
About the Concerts
JOHN ZORN'S MASADA MARATHON
Twelve bands in one night, performed for the first time in the U.S.
Written in a flash of creativity during three months at the end of 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zorn's Book of Angels contain some of his most lyrical and inspiring music. Performed by a wide variety of ensembles over the past seven years, the music has generated 17 CDs to date, with three more scheduled for release in 2011-2012. This special Marathon concert brings together 12 different groups of wildly divergent backgrounds (jazz, rock, classical, world music, jam band, a cappella singing and more) in one spectacular evening of music.
The concert will include two 90-minute sets with one intermission.
The concert features Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Secret Chiefs 3, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier, Trevor Dunn and more.
Family Opera in Concert:
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Bring the whole family to a special matinee concert and benefit, featuring a concert version of the fantastical opera based on the children's book by Maurice Sendak. Composed by Oliver Knussen to a libretto by Sendak himself, this enchanting work (last performed at City Opera in 1987) tells the story of Max, a little boy with a wild imagination. City Opera is proud to affirm its mission of nurturing young American singers by presenting the Vocal Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, led by conductor Julian Kuerti in his company debut.
The cast includes Danya Katok (Max)*, Leslie Davis (Mama/Tzippy)*, Andrew Sauvageau (Wild Thing with Horns)*, David Salsbery Fry (Bull Wild Thing), Adam Cannedy (Rooster Wild Thing)*, Lawrence Jones (Wild Thing with Beard/Goat Wild Thing)*, with Julian Kuerti (conductor)*, Seán Curran (director), and Sonya Knussen (supertitles).
Where the Wild Things Are will be performed in English with English supertitles.
DEFYING GRAVITY: THE MUSIC OF Stephen Schwartz
A salute to the composer of Séance on a Wet Afternoon with this program of songs from his acclaimed Broadway and film works, including Wicked, Godspell, Pippin and Enchanted. Kristin Chenoweth, Raúl Esparza, Ann Hampton Calloway and Victor Garber are scheduled to appear. This concert will be followed by City Opera's Spring Gala.
For more information about City Opera's Spring Season, please visit nycOpera.com.
Tickets can be purchased through CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, online at nycOpera.com, or in person at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office (63rd St. & Columbus Ave)
SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS
New York City Opera gratefully acknowledges the following institutions for their leadership support of our 2010-2011 season: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Estate of Ruth Klotz, Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc., in memory of Theodore and Caroline Newhouse, and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.
Production support for The Elixir of Love provided by Emilie Roy Corey. Original production support provided by The Reed Foundation.
Production support for Monodramas provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Choreography for Monodramas made possible by Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program.
The 2010-2011 season is made possible, in part, with corporate and public support from Target, American Airlines Official Airline of New York City Opera, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.