Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

The voice of the people sang and spoke out last night in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater, Appel Room and Ertegun Atrium. Many of the world's finest musicians, and many of the finest citizens of NYC assembled to celebrate an effort to return "The People's Opera" to New York. They did so in a Gala Concert and Dinner to honor the life of the late Maestro Julius Rudel, who was the Opera's General Director and Principal Conductor from 1957 to 1979.

It was Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who gave it the nick name "The People's Opera" at its founding in 1943. The Opera hit a financial speed bump recently, and a white knight in the person of humanitarian, musician, arts philanthropist and multi-asset-class quantitative trading pioneer, Roy Niederhoffer has spearheaded it's return. As Chairman of The Board of NYC Opera Renaissance, Roy along with President Jeffrey Laikind and General Director Michael Capasso are ready to launch the Opera's 2015 season.

Last night's memorable concert featured performances by Maestro Placido Domingo, Tony Award winning actor/singer Chuck Cooper, bass-baritone Mark Delavan, soprano Christine Goerke, counter-tenor John Holiday, and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.

The New York City Opera Orchestra was led by six noted conductors: Maestro Placido Domingo, Pacien Mazzagatti, James Meena, Steven Osgood, Imre Pallo, and Gary Thor Wedow. The Musica Sacra Chorus, Kent Tritle, Music Director also performed.

In keeping with the NYC Opera's mission of championing young artists sopranos Ailyn Perez, Oleksandra Hrabrova, Joelle Harvey, Kristin Sampson, tenors Adam Bonanni and Jushua Guerrero performed. The program also featured recent City Opera favorites including Michael Chioldi, Michael, Corvino, William Ferguson, Heather Johnson, Sidney Outlaw and David Leigh.

Placido Domingo walked to the podium after his performance and said "When I first sang Carmen under Julius Rudel's baton at New York City Opera in 1965, I could never have imagined that I would be singing in a gala tribute to him fifty years later. His faith in a 24-year old tenor from Mexico via Tel Aviv really helped to launch my international career, and I am not only happy but also grateful to be able to pay homage to his memory in 2015".

Roy Niederhoffer in his program letter in part said. "When I first arrived in NYC after graduating from college, the first two things I bought were an upright piano and a subscription to NYCO. Long before philanthropy was a pursuit, or even a remote possibility, long before I could afford to be a major donor or Board member, I was a devoted fan of City Opera. The performances I saw there as a young man created an excitement I could find nowhere else. I remember the brilliance and passion of the artists (many of whom were just beginning their star careers), the innovative productions (sometimes quite minimal) that took my breath away again and again.

Over the course of the past 16 months, while my team and I have worked through the lengthy and often frustrating process required to return City Opera to the stage, our spirits have been buoyed and our resolve strengthened by the encouragement of the company's artists and staff. But if one moment in the process resonates most strongly for me, it was the meeting Michael Capasso and I had with Maestro Julius Rydel in his home, discussig our plans for the company's revival with him. Sadly it turned out to be his final meeting. Yet his optimism, expert counsel, and undaunted belief that the company he nurtured for so many years should be reborn inspire me every day.

Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

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Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Placido Domingo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer, Chairman of The Board NYC Opera Renaissance

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Michael Capasso, General Director

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Rose Theater

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Placido Domingo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Placido Domingo & Maestro Imre Pallo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Frederica von Stade & Steven Osgood

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Ailyn Perez & James Meena

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Mark Delavan

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
John Holiday & Pacien Mazzagatti

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Chuck Cooper & Pacien Mazzagatti

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Joshua Guerrero & Pacido Domingo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Maestro Placido Domingo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Christine Goerke & Pacien Mazzagatti

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Sherrill Milnes

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Joelle Harvey, William Ferguson, Pacien Mazzagatti, Sidney Outlaw, Oleksandra Hrabrova, Heather Johnson

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Imre Pallo & The New York City Opera Orchestra

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
NYC Opera Renaissance

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
NYC Opera Renaissance

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer & Michael Capasso

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
The Appel Room

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Anthony Rudel, Madeleine Grant, Roy Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
David Monk, Jeffrey Laikind, Tony Rudel, Mara Kaplan-Pruzanski, Roy Niederhoffer, Michael Capaso, Victoria Vysotina, Tiberius Vadan, and David Drake

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer & Michael Capasso

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Roy Niederhoffer & Jenny Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Ertegun Atrium

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Elena Vadan, Victoria Vysotina, EDa Sorokoff

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Stephen Sorokoff & Roy Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Violetta Weddepohl & Jenny Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Louis, EDa Sorokoff, Clovis Dos Santos

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Michael Capasso & Jamie deRoy

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Elena Vadan & Tiberius Vadan

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Elena Vadan, Tiberius Vadan, Jenny Niederhoffer, Victoria Vysotina, Michael Capasso

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
EDa Sorokoff & Jenny Niederhoffer

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Michael Capasso & Martina Arroyo

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Patricia Clarkson & Jamie deRoy

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Rose Theater

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Ertegun Atrium

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
Mark Delavan

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York
The New York City Opera Orchestra

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York

Photo Coverage: Sold-Out NYCO Renaissance Gala Celebrates Effort to Return THE PEOPLE'S OPERA to New York


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Stephen Sorokoff Stephen is also the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor of the Times Square Chronicles. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen?s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the ?First All Children?s Theatre? which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen?s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. email: stephen@t2conline.com