New York City Opera to Preview LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST at Bryant Park

New York City Opera to Preview LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST at Bryant Park

For the third performance in the ongoing Bryant Park Presents New York City Opera series, New York City Opera will present a free preview of its upcoming production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West on Tuesday, August 22 at 6 p.m.

Based on American playwright David Belasco's The Girl of the Golden West, the opera, set in a mining camp during the California Gold Rush, has been a favorite of New York audiences since its sensational premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1910. A master of atmospheric setting, Puccini seamlessly incorporated American folk music with his own Italianate lyricism and brilliant orchestration to animate the passion and adventure of this evocative drama.

The concert features preview performances from the stars of City Opera's eagerly anticipated production. Following her critically acclaimed performances in Tosca and La campana sommersa, lead soprano Kristin Sampson returns to the City Opera stage as Minnie, the intrepid, kindhearted owner of the Polka Saloon. JoNathan Burton, whose impassioned portrayals of dramatic tenor roles have elicited rave reviews across the country, makes his City Opera debut as Dick Johnson, the mysterious stranger trying to escape a dishonorable past. American bass Kevin Short makes his debut in the role of the jealous and vengeful Sheriff Jack Rance. Mr. Short's international career includes appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Zurich Opera, among many others. Ms. Sampson, Mr. Burton, and Mr. Short are joined by pianist Emily Urbanek in a performance of the opera's most memorable moments.

City Opera kicks off New York's 2017-18 opera season with four performances of La Fanciulla del West on September 6, 8, 10, and 12, 2017 at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The new production, an international collaboration between the Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and Opera Carolina, is directed by Ivan Stefanutti. James Meena conducts the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

The fourth and final performance of the Bryant Park Presents New York City Opera series will beViva Verdi: Arias and Duets by Giuseppe Verdi, an evening of highlights from some of Giuseppe Verdi's most famous operas, culminating with Rigoletto, on September 15 at 6pm.

Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security and sanitation services and tending the park's lush lawn and seasonal garden displays, BPC provides public amenities and activities, including movable chairs and tables, cafe umbrellas, restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than six million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC's website, bryantpark.org, is available for more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.

Since its founding in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as "The People's Opera," New York City Opera has been a critical part of the city's cultural life. During its history, City Opera launched the careers of dozens of major artists and presented engaging productions of both mainstream and unusual operas alongside commissions and regional premieres. The result was a uniquely American Opera Company of international stature. For more than seven decades, City Opera maintained a distinct identity, adhering to its unique mission: affordable ticket prices, a devotion to American works, English-language performances, the promotion of up-and-coming American singers, and seasons of accessible, vibrant and compelling productions intended to introduce new audiences to the art form. Stars who began their careers at New York City Opera include Plácido Domingo, Beverly Sills, Samuel Ramey, and dozens more. In 1999, New York City Opera founded VOX, Contemporary Opera Lab, an annual concert series that offered composers and librettists the opportunity to hear excerpts of their works performed by professional singers and musicians. For decades City Opera has been committed to introducing opera to the young, bringing the art form to new audiences with educational outreach performances in New York City's public schools. Now, having returned to the stage, New York City Opera continues its legacy at a new, state-of-the-art home at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with revitalized outreach and education programs, and programming designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of City Opera audiences. Visit www.bryantpark.org for more information.

Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.

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