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
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
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.
Tenor Philippe Talbot will make his New York City Opera debut as the Peruvian street singer Piquillo.Talbot's recent credits include Hippolytusin Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie at Capitole de Toulouse; Federico in Donizetti's Emilia di Liverpool at the European Opera Centre; and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor at L'Opéra d'Avignon. Additionally, Talbot was a recent winner of the Concorso Internazionale di Canto Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy.
Kevin Burdette and Richard Troxell, who have sung many roles with New York City Opera, return for La Périchole as Don Andrès and Comte Miguel, respectively.
For nearly seventy years, since Mayor Fiorello La Guardia established it as "The People's Opera," New York City Opera has introduced generation after generation of young singers who are stars in the making, brought the public exciting new works and compelling, fresh interpretations of classics, acted as a champion for American composers and performers, and ensured that every New Yorker can experience the live art of opera.
Now is a time of extraordinary achievement by the Company. Under the leadership of George Steel, New York City Opera's ninth General Manager and Artistic Director, the Company will, in Spring 2013, present four brand-new productions, all by New Yorkers, in two of the city's most iconic venues: the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and New York City Center, New York City Opera's original home, which Mayor La Guardia dubbed "The People's Theater."
In the past three years, 64 singers and 25 directors and designers have made their New York City Opera debuts. Among singers alone, those who have gone from New York City Opera debuts to international success are Joshua Hopkins (2011 A Quiet Place, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012); David Lomelí (2011 The Elixir of Love, debuted with Santa Fe in 2011 and Glyndebourne in 2012); Corinne Winters (2012 Rufus Wainwright Concert, 2012 George London Competition winner) and Anthony Roth Costanzo (2010 Partenope, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012).
These artists join the ranks of more than 3,000 young singers whose international careers New York City Opera has launched, including David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Lauren Flanigan, Reneé Fleming, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills, Tatiana Troyanos, Carol Vaness and Frederica von Stade, to name a few.
Many innovations that define New York City Opera's identity and mission-promoting accessibility through the use of supertitles, prioritizing affordable ticket prices, nurturing young American artists, championing 20th-century opera and American works and presenting groundbreaking productions-have been adopted by leading U.S. companies of all sizes.
Prior to New York City Opera, Steel, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein, served as Executive Director of Columbia University's Miller Theatre, which he transformed into one of New York's most acclaimed showcases for early and modern music. Mr. Steel has received the Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming twice (2001-02 and 2005), the 2003 Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center and the 2003 ASCAP Concert Music Award.
At New York City Opera, Mr. Steel has achieved the first balanced budget the Company has enjoyed in a decade. He has, in so doing, accomplished a feat that was all but unimaginable just a few years ago: helping the Company find a sustainable model that will allow it to remain true to its original promise for decades to come.
New York City Opera gratefully acknowledges Bloomberg Philanthropies, Emilie Roy Corey, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation for their leadership support of its 2012-2013 season.
New York City Opera also expresses deep thanks to its Board of Directors for their extraordinary generosity, especially Board Chairman Charles R. Wall for his exemplary leadership.
Public support for New York City Opera is provided, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
American Airlines is the official airline of New York City Opera.