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New York City Opera Will Include Hal Prince's CANDIDE and ANGELS IN AMERICA in 2016-17 Season

New York City Opera General Director Michael Capasso today announced the 2016-17 season of City Opera, a full season of new productions, concerts, and presentations for the "people's opera." New York City Opera will offer five operas (including a double bill) at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater; two chamber operas, including a Spanish baroque work at Harlem Stage as part of its Opera en Espanol series, and New York City Opera Concerts at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. New York City Opera Orchestra will be featured in every opera and concert.

The company leads New York's cultural season with Opening Night on Thursday, September 8, 2016 featuring an original double bill pairing of Rachmaninoff's rarely heard Aleko (New York staged premiere) and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. These two operas have been staged together only once, although both follow similar dramatic narratives and were both completed and premiered in 1892. The season continues in November with the New York premiere of Fallujah, about the contemporary consequences of war, by Tobin Stokes. January 2017 will be marked by a new production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide from legendary director Harold Prince; the opera house version premiered under his direction at the company in 1982. Ottorino Respighi's La campana sommersa (The Sunken Bell), not heard in New York for more than 80 years, will return in spring 2017. The company's O?pera en Espan?ol series - which will be inaugurated next month with Florencia en el Amazonas (June 22, 23, 25 and 26, 2016) at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater - continues in May 2017 at Harlem Stage with the rarely performed Los Elementos by the Spanish baroque master Antoni de Literes. The New York premiere of Angels in America by Peter Eotvos closes the City Opera season in June 2017.

General Director Michael Capasso said, "I'm delighted to unveil a full season for the reorganized company which continues New York City Opera's historic legacy: classics alongside contemporary works, neglected works by great composers, and explorations of opera's earliest masterpieces. I believe our season will have both broad public appeal and the artistic integrity that audiences have long associated with City Opera. It is an honor to welcome the legendary Hal Prince back to City Opera to stage Candide. We are also pleased that our first collaboration with the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari is Respighi's unjustly neglected La campana sommersa. We are already planning City Opera's 75th anniversary celebration with the commission of Tobias Picker's American Venus. My colleagues and I along with the board of City Opera are immensely grateful for the public's continued support and look forward to presenting a full season of opera and welcoming New Yorkers back to their 'people's opera.'"


Aleko, set to a libretto by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, based on the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin, was written in 1892 by Rachmaninoff when the composer was only nineteen years old. City Opera's double bill, a new production, juxtaposes Aleko, Rachmaninoff's first opera, about a love triangle, with Pagliacci, Leoncavallo's lurid verismo drama of jealousy and betrayal. This staging will mark the New York staged premiere of Aleko. Performances are September 8, 10, 11, and 13, 2016 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.


Harold Prince commented, "Candide was so successful for New York City Opera that I'm thrilled to put it into the revived company and hope that it does as well. I have enormous affection for New York City Opera, after all New York deserves a people's opera company."

In January 2017, New York City Opera presents a new production of Leonard Bernstein's comic operetta Candide. Premiered by the company in 1982 in a staging by Harold Prince, the landmark work is again directed by Mr. Prince. Performances of Candide are January 6, 7 (matinee and evening), 8, 11, and 12, 2017 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.


La campana sommersa (The Sunken Bell), a four-act opera by Ottorino Respighi, based on the symbolist fairy tale drama by German playwright Gerhart Hauptmann, with a libretto by Claudio Guastalla, comes to City Opera in a new co-production from the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari. Respighi's evocative music drama, which premiered in Hamburg in 1927, and in New York in 1928, receives its first modern-day performances in a staging by Pier Francesco Maestrini. Performances are March 31, April 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, 2017 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.

Francesco Pigliaru, president of the Region of Sardinia, issued a statement on the co-production between Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and New York City Opera: "The Region of Sardinia along with Sovrintendente Claudio Orazi of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari are pleased to announce the formal collaboration for the opera La campana sommersa to be presented in New York. The international interest toward the Teatro Lirico and its productions represents the excellence and value of Italian cultural heritage. The region of Sardinia aims to make itself more broadly known in the world and this initiative in particular is consistent with the policies of our region."


The New York Premiere of Pe?ter Eo?tvo?s's Angels in America closes the City Opera season in June 2017. This operatic adaptation of Tony Kushner's groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning play distills the two-night, seven-hour drama into a single, powerful evening. The New York Times critic reviewing the U.S. premiere in Boston in 2006 wrote, "I am pleasantly astonished at how Mr. Eo?tvo?s, a Hungarian composer long residing in France, has so acutely touched Mr. Kushner's unequivocally American personalities. The reduction of the play's seven hours to less than half that works more easily than one would think."

Performances of Angels in America are June 10, 12, 14, and 16, 2017 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.


As part of its Chamber Opera Series, New York City Opera presents two works in the 2016-17 season.


City Opera will present the New York premiere of Fallujah by Canadian composer Tobin Stokes, with a libretto by Heather Raffo. The 90-minute, one-act opera, is inspired by the life and work of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis and follows the relationships among American and Iraqi mothers and sons in the aftermath of the Iraq war. About the work, which had its premiere in March 2016 at the Long Beach Opera, staged by Andreas Mitisek, the Los Angeles Times reported, "Stokes writes clear, expressive vocal lines in which words and sentiments are easily understood. His musical style is porous, leaving room for elements of Iraqi music, American pop and much else." Fallujah will be staged at a location to be announced; performances are November 17, 18, 19, and 20, 2016.


The rarely performed allegorical opera Los Elementos by the Spanish baroque master Antoni de Literes (1673-1747) receives its U.S. premiere and forms part of the company's O?pera en Espan?ol series. The work, subtitled an "o?pera armo?nica al estilo ytaliano," reveals the pervasive influence of the Italian musical idiom at the Madrid court in late seventeenth and eighteenth- century Spain and presents a distinct musico-dramatic evocation of the four classical elements- earth, water, air, and fire-in arias of virtuoso display. New York City Opera stages Los Elementos at Harlem Stage in May 2017; performance dates will be announced at a later date


Mr. Capasso announced City Opera's Commissioning Initiative, "New York City Opera has a long tradition of commissioning operas and we are overjoyed to begin our "Opera Commissioning Initiative" with Tobias Picker, one of the leading opera composers of our time to celebrate City Opera's 75th anniversary in 2019."

Tobias Picker commented on the commission of American Venus:

"Audrey Munson, 1890-1996, was the first American supermodel. Although she inspired the greatest monumental sculptors of her day, she died in obscurity, alone and forgotten. Hundreds of thousands of people pass by her watchful eye every day in New York City, and throughout the country, unaware of her tragic story. She is Columbia University's bronzed "Alma Mater," "Pomona" of the Pulitzer Fountain at the Plaza Hotel, and the gold leafed "Columbia Triumphant" in Columbus Circle to name but a few of her many guises. I think of Pygmalion and Galatea as I embark upon this exciting journey to bring the images of Audrey Munson, our American Venus, full circle back to life. I am deeply honored that New York City Opera has given me this awe-inspiring opportunity."


New York City Opera Concerts will take place at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 26, 2016 and February 14, 2017. Program details will be announced at a later date.

New York City Opera will provide casting and additional production details for the 2016 - 17 season at a later date. Please visit for more information.

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