Sarah Joy Miller & More Set for New York City Opera's 2013-14 Season
New York City Opera is pleased to announce casting for numerous roles in its 2013-14 productions: Anna Nicole, a co-production with BAM that kicks off the 2013 Next Wave Festival, September 17 - 28 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House; Johann Christian Bach's Endimione, February 8 - 16, 2014 at El Museo del Barrio; Bluebeard's Castle, a co-production with St. Ann's Warehouse, February 28 - March 15, 2014; and The Marriage of Figaro, April 19 - April 26, 2014 at New York City Center. The Company will announce additional casting soon.
The coming season's lineup of operas and singers reinforces the Company's place on the city's cultural landscape - as a home for new operas, new artists and new audiences. The casts also feature numerous young singers who have in recent seasons become New York City Opera regulars.
The 2013-14 season will mark the New York City Opera debut of a number of artists, including soprano Sarah Joy Miller, who will star as Anna Nicole Smith in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole, directed by Richard Jones; mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin, as Judith in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, directed by Daniel Kramer; the singers Simone Osborne (soprano) andEmily Fons (mezzo-soprano), as Susanna and Cherubino, respectively, in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which completes a trilogy of Christopher Alden-directed Mozart / Da Ponte operas.
Returning to New York City Opera are tenor Nicholas Phan, for the title role in Endimione; and Keri Alkema (soprano),Lauren Worsham (soprano) and Will Ferguson (tenor), as the Countess, Barbarina and Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro. New York City Opera favorite Rod Gilfry will return in two productions this season: first as Stern in Anna Nicole, then as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. Bass-baritone Gidon Saks, who made his Company debut in 1995, will star as Bluebeard in Bluebeard's Castle.
This announcement follows the conclusion of a critically acclaimed Spring 2013 season that included the appointment of New York City Opera Music Director Jayce Ogren, who has been instrumental in 2013-14 casting and will conduct Bluebeard'sCastle and The Marriage of Figaro.
Ogren said, "We are proud to have assembled casts of performers that spectacularly reflect the diversity of operas comprising the 2013-14 season. These artists will bolster New York City Opera's status as a launching pad for world-class singers."
"I am absolutely thrilled with these casts, and I am confident that this season will be one of the best in our institution's history," said George Steel, General Manager and Artistic Director of New York City Opera.
2013-14 SEASON CASTING HIGHLIGHTS, PRODUCTION-BY-PRODUCTION
* Indicates New York City Opera debut.
Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole
Co-produced with BAM for the 2013 Next Wave Festival
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn)
September 17-28, 2013
Richard Thomas (Libretto)
Richard Jones (Director)
Steven Sloane (Conductor)
Sarah Joy Miller* (Anna Nicole)
Susan Bickley* (Virgie)
Robert Brubaker (Old Man Marshall)
Rod Gilfry (Stern)
James Barbour* (Daddy Hogan)
Elizabeth Pojanowski* (Shelley)
Joshua Jeremiah (Deputy Mayor)
Mary Testa* (Aunt Kaye)
Ben Davis* (Billy)
Christina Sajous* (Melissa)
Richard Troxell (Doctor)
John Easterlin (Larry King)
Stephen Wallem* (Trucker)
Michael Hance* (Mayor)
In the U.S. premiere of Anna Nicole, co-produced by New York City Opera and BAM, Richard Jones will build upon New York City Opera's history of integrating opera and popular music, directing a large cast of Broadway veterans and accomplished opera singers. The production will also feature an on-stage jazz trio including Peter Erskine (drums), Lincoln Schleifer (bass guitar and mandolin) and Nir Felder (electric guitar and mandolin).
Soprano Sarah Joy Miller will make her New York City Opera debut as Anna Nicole Smith, having made her professional operatic debut singing Mimi in Baz Luhrmann's acclaimed Broadway production of Puccini's La Boheme and recently performed in Carmina Burana (Dallas Symphony Orchestra, May 2013), as Violetta in La traviata (Palm Beach Opera, January 2013) and Leila in Le pêcheurs de perles (Michigan Opera, April 2012). "Anna Nicole is a rare show that is undeniably modern and yet a classic tragedy at the same time. This production will be the talk of the town; I am so excited to participate," said Miller.
English mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley will also make a Company debut, as Virgie, a role she originated. Bickley made her operatic debut in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Maggio Musicale in Florence. Her recent engagements include Handel's Semeleand David Sawers' new opera From Morning to Midnight.
Robert Brubaker, who will sing the role of Old Man Marshall, has established himself as a leading tenor in opera companies throughout the United States and Europe. His recent performances include the Kaiser in Die Frau Ohne Schatten with Deutsche Oper Berlin; Laca in Jenufa at the English National Opera; and Mao Tse-Tong in Nixon in China at the Metropolitan Opera, among other notable roles.
Rod Gilfry returns to New York City Opera in the role of Anna Nicole's lawyer, Howard Stern. Gilfry, a twice-Grammy-nominated, singer and actor, thrilled audiences as Don Alfonso in the critically acclaimed Christopher Alden production of Così fan tutte (2012). Gilfry is an Assistant Professor of Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and sings the title role of Don Giovanni in a Festival Aix-en-Provence production this summer. Gilfry will return to NYC Opera in 2014 with The Marriage of Figaro.
The celebrated Broadway actor James Barbour will play the role of Daddy Hogan. Barbour received Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Awards nominations for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. Other Broadway credits include Carousel, Jane Eyre (Drama League Award Nomination), Beauty And The Beast, Urinetown, Assassins, and Cyrano The Musical. This role marks his New York City Opera debut.
Elizabeth Pojanowski will make her Company debut as Shelley. Reviewing her performance in Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen with Chautauqua Opera, Opera News said, "Her Fox provided a charming love interest and a clear, warm timbre."
Celebrated Broadway star Mary Testa will make her Company debut in the role of Aunt Kay. She earned Tony nominations for42nd Street and On the Town. Other Broadway appearances include Xanadu, Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Marie Christine, Forum,The Rink, Marilyn, and Barnum.
Johann Christian Bach's Endimione
El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue, Manhattan)
February 8 - 16, 2014
Pietro Metastasio (Libretto)
Michael Counts (Director and Designer)
Gary Thor Wedow (Conductor)
Nicholas Phan (Endimione)
Returning to El Museo del Barrio, and culminating George Steel's longtime desire to stage the work, New York City Opera presents the U.S. premiere of Johann Christian Bach's Endimione February 8 - 16, 2014. Director/Designer Michael Counts(Moses in Egypt, 2013; Monodramas, 2011) will helm the production.
The story of Endimione centers on the characters of Diana and Nice. Through the mischief of Amore (Cupid), both fall madly in love with Endimione, a local shepherd. Pastoral mayhem ensues.
The celebrated young tenor Nicholas Phan will sing the title role, following recent engagements with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, appearances at Carnegie Hall, a return to the Portland Opera as Fenton inFalstaff, and a debut at the Bolshoi in a concert performance of Handel's Hercules.
Gary Thor Wedow, who has conducted numerous New York City Opera productions, will lead the Company's orchestra in performing J.C. Bach's ravishing score.
Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle
Co-produced with St. Ann's Warehouse
St. Ann's Warehouse (29 Jay Street, Brooklyn)
February 28 - March 15, 2014
Béla Balázs (Libretto)
Daniel Kramer (Director)
Jayce Ogren (Conductor)
Viktoria Vizin* (Judith)
Gidon Saks* (Bluebeard)
Having presented the first fully staged U.S. production of Bluebeard's Castle in 1952, New York City Opera now joins with St. Ann's Warehouse to offer the first American presentation of director Daniel Kramer's staging, originally produced by ENO in 2009. Kramer will be joining the company after a star turn directing the "game changing" Melbourne production of the musicalKing Kong. The production will Mark Kramer's New York City Opera debut.
Israeli-born bass-baritone Gidon Saks will star as Bluebeard, reprising a role he performed to acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Saks has also charmed audiences worldwide in critically acclaimed performances as Claggart in Billy Budd, Hagen in Götterdämmerungand the Four Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. He made his New York City Opera debut in 1995 as George Moscone in the New York premiere of StewArt Wallace's Harvey Milk.
Joining Saks will be mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin, as Bluebeard's new wife, Judith. Vizin just concluded a banner 2012-13 season, in which she sang the roles of Charlotte in Werther at Scottish Opera, Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and Phèdre inHyppolyte et Aricie at the Hungarian State Opera House. She also sang the role of Judith at Miskolc International Opera Festival. This is Vizin's New York City Opera debut.