New York City Opera's Season Opens with LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
After a critically acclaimed 2016/2017 season, New York City Opera is again at the forefront of New York's cultural season, opening its 2017/2018 season on September 6, 2017 at 7:30PM with a new production of Puccini's La fanciulla del West directed by Ivan Stefanutti with James Meena conducting the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Soprano Kristin Sampson returns to City Opera to sing the role of Minnie, joined by tenor Jonathan Burton as Dick Johnson in his City Opera debut, and bass-baritone Kevin Short as Jack Rance. The production is a collaboration between New York City Opera, Opera Carolina, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and Teatro di Giglio di Lucca. Three additional performances take place on September 8, and 12 at 7:30pm and September 10 at 4pm at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.
Based on American playwright David Belasco's The Girl of the Golden West, the opera tells the story of love and redemption in a mining camp during the California Gold Rush. Puccini's La fanciulla del West had its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1910, and the opera has been a favorite of New York audiences ever since. The score, which Puccini considered to be one of his best, combines the composer's Italianate lyricism and evocative orchestration with the earnestness of American folk music to bring to life the passion and adventure of this powerful, timeless drama.
New York City Opera General Director Michael Capasso said "After a pivotal season that has exceeded all expectations, we're delighted to open City Opera's 2017/2018 season with La fanciulla del West. Finally, after many months, we can now confidently say that City Opera's darkest days are behind it, and we can focus on the work of moving this great company forward into a bright future. I can't wait to welcome our audience back to the Rose Theater for another opening night that, in keeping with City Opera's proudest tradition, features a stellar cast of the finest American talent."
For this new production of La fanciulla del West, New York City Opera has assembled a cast of celebrated and emerging American artists.
Soprano Kristin Sampson returns to City Opera to sing the title role of Minnie, the intrepid, kindhearted owner of the Polka Saloon. Sampson sang the title role of Puccini's Tosca with City Opera in January 2016 and was most recently seen as Magda in City Opera's production of Respighi's rarely heard La campana sommersa in March 2017. In the 2016/2017 season, Sampson made her role debut as Minnie with Opera Carolina, her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and her debut at the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago as Tosca. She has appeared with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Dicapo Opera Theatre, the Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theater of Szeged, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
American tenor 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. Burton's repertoire includes some of opera's most challenging tenor including Calaf in Turandot, Cavaradossi in Tosca Radamès in Aida, Don José in Carmen, and Florestan in Fidelio. Recently, he sang Calaf with Des Moines Metro Opera and made his role debut as Gustavo in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera with Florida Grand Opera.<
American bass-baritone Kevin Short makes his role debut as the jealous and vengeful Sheriff Jack Rance. Mr. Short's international career includes appearances with New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Zurich Opera, among many others. In recent seasons, he has sung Archibaldo in L'amore dei tre re (Sarasota Opera), Don Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Florida Grand Opera), Porgy in Porgy and Bess (Théâtre du Capitole), Philippe II in Don Carlos (Sarasota Opera), and the title role in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer (Sarasota Opera, Smetana Opera Festival).
An ensemble cast of emerging American singers includes baritone Alexander Birch Elliott (Opera Omaha, Portland Opera, Merola Opera Program) as Sonora, baritone Christopher Job (Des Moines Metro Opera, Princeton Festival, Metropolitan Opera) as Ashby, tenor Michael Boley (Columbus Opera, DiCapo Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury) as Nick, and baritone Kenneth Overton (San Francisco Opera, Opera Memphis, Nashville Opera) as Jack Wallace.
The new production will be directed by Ivan Stefanutti, who has also designed the sets, costumes, and projections. In Italy, Stefanutti has worked as a director, set and costume designer, at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio Torino, La Fenice, and Teatro Verdi in Trieste, among many others, and internationally at theaters including Théâtre National de l'Opéra Comique, Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Wienerkammer Opera, and the National Theater in Belgrade. This production of La fanciulla del West will mark Stefanutti's U.S. debut. Lighting design is by Michael Baumgarten and Robert Westley is the fight director. The production is an international collaboration between City Opera, Opera Carolina, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and Teatro di Giglio di Lucca.
James Meena, who conducted the double-bill of Rachmaninoff's Aleko and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci which opened City Opera's 2016/2017 season, returns to lead the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Produced in collaboration with Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and Teatro di Giglio di Lucca.
For tickets to La fanciulla del West
Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office
Broadway at 60th Street, Ground Floor
Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Sunday, 12:00PM - 6:00PM
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