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New York City Opera Returns to New York City Center with Two New Productions

First Performances of "the People's Opera" at "the People's Theater" Since 1965

This April, the company dubbed "the People's Opera" will return to the venue known as "the People's Theater" for the first time since 1965, when New York City Opera returns to New York City Center, its original home. The residency includes new productions of Gioachino Rossini's Moses in Egypt, conducted by Jayce Ogren and directed by Michael Counts (April 14-20); and Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole, conducted by Emmanuel Plasson and directed by Christopher Alden (April 21-27).

Performances of Moses in Egypt will take place April 14 at 1:30pm; and April 16, 18, & 20 at 7:30pm. Performances of La Périchole will be held April 21 at 1:30pm; April 25 at 7:00pm; and April 23 & 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets, $25-$250, can be purchased at 212.581.1212 or www.nycitycenter.org. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street.

GIOACHINO ROSSINI'S MOSES IN EGYPT

APRIL 14-20

Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Performed in Italian with English supertitles

New York City Opera's new production of this large-scale bel canto opera is arguably the first full NYC staging of the original version in more than 180 years. Opening with the Plague of Darkness and closing with the parting of the Red Sea, Moses in Egypt tells the familiar Bible story through a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola and music that places Rossini directly in the lineage of Mozart.

This production is conducted by New York City Opera regular Jayce Ogren and directed and designed by Michael Counts (2011's Monodramas). The creative team includes Ken Roht (choreography), Jessica Jahn (costumes), Ryan O'Gara (lighting) and Ada Whitney/Beehive (projections).

Bass-baritones David Cushing and Wayne Tigges will bring exceptional virtuosity and charisma to the roles of Mosè and Faraone. The Boston Globe has marveled at Cushing's "bathyspheric bass," and his "towering stage presence." Tigges, lauded by The Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark tone and beautiful legato," comes to New York City Opera following his San Francisco Opera debut as Sam and Ted in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis's Heart of a Soldier. He also sang Escamillo (Carmen) and Leporello (Don Giovanni) at San Diego Opera. Mosè and Faraone are new roles for Cushing and Tigges, who both make New York City Opera debuts here.

Soprano Keri Alkema returns to the Company, appearing for the first time as Amaltea, having "owned the stage as the fantastically obsessive Donna Elvira" (New York Magazine) in New York City Opera's critically acclaimed 2009 production of Don Giovanni.

Soprano Siân Davies will make her New York City Opera debut as Elcia. The Chicago Tribune praised her "ornate coloratura" and "tender lyricism" in Chicago Opera Theater's recent production of Moses in Egypt. Mezzo-soprano Emily Righter also won critical plaudits in that production as Amenofi, a role she reprises here. In Counts's production, Randall Bills, whose tenor The Wall Street Journal has described as one of "lyrical beauty and intensity," will make his New York City Opera debut as Osiride. The tenor Aldo Caputo, already a star in his native Italy, makes his Company debut as Aronne. Zachary Finkelstein, whom Opera Canada has described as "a lovely light tenor," makes his Company debut as Mambre.

Moses in Egypt is made possible with generous support from the Estate of Herbert Z. Gold.

Jacques Offenbach'S LA PÉRICHOLE

APRIL 21-27

Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Performed in French with English supertitles

New York City Opera concludes its 2012-13 season with a new production of Offenbach's operetta La Périchole. With a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, this lyrical satire verges on all-out farce. It is loosely based on the life of one of the 18th century's most famous Peruvians, Micaela Villegas, a wildly popular entertainer who was mistress to the head of state. In the opera, Villegas becomes La Périchole, a Peruvian street-singer who maintains a love triangle between the Spanish viceroy and Piquillo, her true love and fellow street-singer, to save herself from destitution.

The production is directed by Christopher Alden, who previously helmed some of the most critically lauded stagings in NYC Opera's recent history, including Don Giovanni, A Quiet Place, and last season's Così fan tutte. Also returning for La Périchole is conductor Emmanuel Plasson, who was applauded for his "lithe rendition" (The New York Times) of Chabrier's L'Étoile withNew York City Opera in 2010.

La Périchole will be performed in French with two highly acclaimed French singers in the leading roles. Mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand will sing the title role, having previously worked with Alden, as Despina, in last season's New York City Opera production of Così fan tutte. The New York Times described her as "vocally vibrant." Lenormand is a recent recipient of the highly regarded Grand Prix de la Critique, Revelation Musicale, for her interpretation of the title role in Mignon at L'Opéra Comique de Paris.

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by Richard Sasanow