Sarah Joy Miller & More Set for New York City Opera's 2013-14 Season

Sarah Joy Miller & More Set for New York City Opera's 2013-14 Season

New York City Opera is pleased to announce casting for numerous roles in its 2013-14 productions: Anna Nicole, a co-production with BAM that kicks off the 2013 Next Wave Festival, September 17 - 28 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House; Johann Christian Bach's Endimione, February 8 - 16, 2014 at El Museo del Barrio; Bluebeard's Castle, a co-production with St. Ann's Warehouse, February 28 - March 15, 2014; and The Marriage of Figaro, April 19 - April 26, 2014 at New York City Center. The Company will announce additional casting soon.

The coming season's lineup of operas and singers reinforces the Company's place on the city's cultural landscape - as a home for new operas, new artists and new audiences. The casts also feature numerous young singers who have in recent seasons become New York City Opera regulars.

The 2013-14 season will mark the New York City Opera debut of a number of artists, including soprano Sarah Joy Miller, who will star as Anna Nicole Smith in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole, directed by Richard Jones; mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin, as Judith in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, directed by Daniel Kramer; the singers Simone Osborne (soprano) andEmily Fons (mezzo-soprano), as Susanna and Cherubino, respectively, in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which completes a trilogy of Christopher Alden-directed Mozart / Da Ponte operas.

Returning to New York City Opera are tenor Nicholas Phan, for the title role in Endimione; and Keri Alkema (soprano),Lauren Worsham (soprano) and Will Ferguson (tenor), as the Countess, Barbarina and Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro. New York City Opera favorite Rod Gilfry will return in two productions this season: first as Stern in Anna Nicole, then as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. Bass-baritone Gidon Saks, who made his Company debut in 1995, will star as Bluebeard in Bluebeard's Castle.

This announcement follows the conclusion of a critically acclaimed Spring 2013 season that included the appointment of New York City Opera Music Director Jayce Ogren, who has been instrumental in 2013-14 casting and will conduct Bluebeard'sCastle and The Marriage of Figaro.

Ogren said, "We are proud to have assembled casts of performers that spectacularly reflect the diversity of operas comprising the 2013-14 season. These artists will bolster New York City Opera's status as a launching pad for world-class singers."

"I am absolutely thrilled with these casts, and I am confident that this season will be one of the best in our institution's history," said George Steel, General Manager and Artistic Director of New York City Opera.

2013-14 SEASON CASTING HIGHLIGHTS, PRODUCTION-BY-PRODUCTION

* Indicates New York City Opera debut.

Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole
Co-produced with BAM for the 2013 Next Wave Festival
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn)
September 17-28, 2013
Richard Thomas (Libretto)
Richard Jones (Director)
Steven Sloane (Conductor)

Sarah Joy Miller* (Anna Nicole)
Susan Bickley* (Virgie)
Robert Brubaker (Old Man Marshall)
Rod Gilfry (Stern)
James Barbour* (Daddy Hogan)
Elizabeth Pojanowski* (Shelley)
Joshua Jeremiah (Deputy Mayor)
Mary Testa* (Aunt Kaye)
Ben Davis* (Billy)
Christina Sajous* (Melissa)
Richard Troxell (Doctor)
John Easterlin (Larry King)
Stephen Wallem* (Trucker)
Michael Hance* (Mayor)

In the U.S. premiere of Anna Nicole, co-produced by New York City Opera and BAM, Richard Jones will build upon New York City Opera's history of integrating opera and popular music, directing a large cast of Broadway veterans and accomplished opera singers. The production will also feature an on-stage jazz trio including Peter Erskine (drums), Lincoln Schleifer (bass guitar and mandolin) and Nir Felder (electric guitar and mandolin).

Soprano Sarah Joy Miller will make her New York City Opera debut as Anna Nicole Smith, having made her professional operatic debut singing Mimi in Baz Luhrmann's acclaimed Broadway production of Puccini's La Boheme and recently performed in Carmina Burana (Dallas Symphony Orchestra, May 2013), as Violetta in La traviata (Palm Beach Opera, January 2013) and Leila in Le pêcheurs de perles (Michigan Opera, April 2012). "Anna Nicole is a rare show that is undeniably modern and yet a classic tragedy at the same time. This production will be the talk of the town; I am so excited to participate," said Miller.

English mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley will also make a Company debut, as Virgie, a role she originated. Bickley made her operatic debut in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Maggio Musicale in Florence. Her recent engagements include Handel's Semeleand David Sawers' new opera From Morning to Midnight.

Robert Brubaker, who will sing the role of Old Man Marshall, has established himself as a leading tenor in opera companies throughout the United States and Europe. His recent performances include the Kaiser in Die Frau Ohne Schatten with Deutsche Oper Berlin; Laca in Jenufa at the English National Opera; and Mao Tse-Tong in Nixon in China at the Metropolitan Opera, among other notable roles.

Rod Gilfry returns to New York City Opera in the role of Anna Nicole's lawyer, Howard Stern. Gilfry, a twice-Grammy-nominated, singer and actor, thrilled audiences as Don Alfonso in the critically acclaimed Christopher Alden production of Così fan tutte (2012). Gilfry is an Assistant Professor of Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and sings the title role of Don Giovanni in a Festival Aix-en-Provence production this summer. Gilfry will return to NYC Opera in 2014 with The Marriage of Figaro.

The celebrated Broadway actor James Barbour will play the role of Daddy Hogan. Barbour received Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Awards nominations for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. Other Broadway credits include Carousel, Jane Eyre (Drama League Award Nomination), Beauty And The Beast, Urinetown, Assassins, and Cyrano The Musical. This role marks his New York City Opera debut.

Elizabeth Pojanowski will make her Company debut as Shelley. Reviewing her performance in Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen with Chautauqua Opera, Opera News said, "Her Fox provided a charming love interest and a clear, warm timbre."

Celebrated Broadway star Mary Testa will make her Company debut in the role of Aunt Kay. She earned Tony nominations for42nd Street and On the Town. Other Broadway appearances include Xanadu, Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Marie Christine, Forum,The Rink, Marilyn, and Barnum.

Johann Christian Bach's Endimione
El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue, Manhattan)
February 8 - 16, 2014
Pietro Metastasio (Libretto)
Michael Counts (Director and Designer)
Gary Thor Wedow (Conductor)

Nicholas Phan (Endimione)

Returning to El Museo del Barrio, and culminating George Steel's longtime desire to stage the work, New York City Opera presents the U.S. premiere of Johann Christian Bach's Endimione February 8 - 16, 2014. Director/Designer Michael Counts(Moses in Egypt, 2013; Monodramas, 2011) will helm the production.

The story of Endimione centers on the characters of Diana and Nice. Through the mischief of Amore (Cupid), both fall madly in love with Endimione, a local shepherd. Pastoral mayhem ensues.

The celebrated young tenor Nicholas Phan will sing the title role, following recent engagements with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, appearances at Carnegie Hall, a return to the Portland Opera as Fenton inFalstaff, and a debut at the Bolshoi in a concert performance of Handel's Hercules.

Gary Thor Wedow, who has conducted numerous New York City Opera productions, will lead the Company's orchestra in performing J.C. Bach's ravishing score.

Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle
Co-produced with St. Ann's Warehouse
St. Ann's Warehouse (29 Jay Street, Brooklyn)
February 28 - March 15, 2014
Béla Balázs (Libretto)
Daniel Kramer (Director)
Jayce Ogren (Conductor)

Viktoria Vizin* (Judith)
Gidon Saks* (Bluebeard)

Having presented the first fully staged U.S. production of Bluebeard's Castle in 1952, New York City Opera now joins with St. Ann's Warehouse to offer the first American presentation of director Daniel Kramer's staging, originally produced by ENO in 2009. Kramer will be joining the company after a star turn directing the "game changing" Melbourne production of the musicalKing Kong. The production will Mark Kramer's New York City Opera debut.

Israeli-born bass-baritone Gidon Saks will star as Bluebeard, reprising a role he performed to acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Saks has also charmed audiences worldwide in critically acclaimed performances as Claggart in Billy Budd, Hagen in Götterdämmerungand the Four Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. He made his New York City Opera debut in 1995 as George Moscone in the New York premiere of StewArt Wallace's Harvey Milk.

Joining Saks will be mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin, as Bluebeard's new wife, Judith. Vizin just concluded a banner 2012-13 season, in which she sang the roles of Charlotte in Werther at Scottish Opera, Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and Phèdre inHyppolyte et Aricie at the Hungarian State Opera House. She also sang the role of Judith at Miskolc International Opera Festival. This is Vizin's New York City Opera debut.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
City Center Theater (131 W 55th Street, Manhattan)
April 19 - April 26, 2014
Lorenzo Da Ponte (Libretto)
Christopher Alden (Director)
Jayce Ogren (Conductor)

Simone Osborne* (Susanna)
Emily Fons* (Cherubino)
Edwin Vega* (Don Curzio)
Keri Alkema (Countess)
Ileana Montalbetti* (Marcellina)
Lauren Worsham (Barbarina)
Rod Gilfry (Count)
William Ferguson (Don Basilio)

This new staging, by Christopher Alden, of the Mozart landmark The Marriage of Figaro, completes New York City Opera's trilogy of Alden-directed Mozart / Da Ponte operas. (Alden garnered praise for his New York City Opera productions of Don Giovanni (2009) and Così Fan Tutte (2012).)

Canadian soprano Simone Osborne will make her NYC Opera debut in the role of Susanna. A frequent Alden collaborator, Osborne has recently performed in his productions of The Marriage of Figaro (as Barbarina) at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Rigoletto (as Gilda) at The Canadian Opera. In addition to winning the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Osborne was the 2008 winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition at the Music Academy of the West, the 2007 winner of the International Czech and Slovak Opera Competition and a prize-winner at the George London Foundation Competition, the Palm Beach Opera Competition among others.

Keri Alkema, whom The New York Times described as a "luminous soprano" in New York City Opera's production of Moses in Egypt last season, will take on the role of Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. Alkema's previous New York City Opera roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (2007) and Donna Elvira in Christopher Alden's acclaimed 2009 production of Don Giovanni.

Rod Gilfry will return to New York City Opera stage for a second performance this season in the role of Count Almaviva. His other notable roles include Doktor Faust in Busconi's Doktor Faust at the San Francisco Opera; Billy Budd in Britten's Billy Budd; the title rolein Mozart's Don Giovanni; and Danilo in Lehar's The Merry Widow.

American mezzo-soprano Emily Fons makesher Company debut in the role of Cherubino. Recent roles-including Nicklausse in Les Contes D'Hoffmann with Lyric Opera of Chicago-have distinguished her as a versatile, powerful and engaging performer.

New York City Opera favorite William Ferguson (tenor) returns as Don Basilio after his role as the Electrician in 2013'sPowder Her Face. Previous engagements with the Company include the title role in Candide, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, the Funeral Director in A Quiet Place, and twice as Hérisson de Porc-Épic in L'Étoile.

A remarkable young tenor, Edwin Vega will bring a voice that The New York Times has praised as "ardent and youthful" to the role of Don Curzio, which marks his New York City Opera debut. In the 2012-13 season, Vega covered the role of Don Miguel in New York City Opera's La Périchole, and has made recent debuts with English National Opera, Opera Omaha, and Nevada Opera.

Soprano Lauren Worsham returns to New York City Opera as Barbarina, following performances with the Company last season in The Turn of the Screw and La Périchole. Other credits include Lisa in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Dog Days; Amy in Where's Charley at New York City Center directed by John Doyle; Cunegonde in New York City Opera'sCandide; Lili in Goodspeed Opera House's Carnival; Cinderella in Kansas City Rep's Into the Woods directed by Moisés Kaufman; Clara in Weston Playhouse's The Light in the Piazza; and Olive in the first national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Finally, Canadian soprano Ileana Montalbetti makes her New York City Opera debut portraying Marcellina. In the 2012-13 season, she performed with Edmonton Opera as Antonia in the Les Contes d'Hoffman and Michigan Opera Theatre as Leonore in Fidelio. She is a 2012 and 2010 Laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyricque, a winner of the 2012 New York District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was given a 2012 Encouragement Award from the Sullivan Foundation.

ABOUT NEW YORK CITY OPERA

For 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 its 2013-14 season, present four brand-new productions in four of the city's most iconic venues: the Brooklyn Academy Of Music; El Museo del Barrio; St. Ann's Warehouse; and New York City Center, New York City Opera's original home, which Mayor La Guardia dubbed "The People's Theater."

In the past four years, dozens of singers, 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 Jennifer Rowley (2012Orpheus, making her ROH Covent Garden debut this year); Joshua Hopkins (2011 A Quiet Place, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012); David Lomelí (2011 The Elixir of Love debuting with Santa Fe in 2011 and Glyndebourne in 2012); Corinne Winters (2012 George London Competition winner; 2012 Rufus Wainwright Concert); 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. He has twice received the Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming (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, Steel has achieved two consecutive years of balanced budgets 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 nation's fourth oldest opera company find a sustainable model that will allow it to remain true to its original promise for decades to come.

TICKETS, LOCATIONS AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

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Anna Nicole (Sept 17 - 28)
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Performed in English with English supertitles
Tuesday, September 17th - 7:30pm
Thursday, September 19th - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 21st - 7:30pm
Tuesday, September 24th- 7:30pm
Wednesday, September 25th - 7:30pm
Friday, September 27th - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 28th - 7:30pm

Endimione (Feb 8 - 16)
El Museo Del Barrio
1230 5th Avenue, New York

Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Saturday, February 8th - 7:30pm
Wednesday, February 12th - 7:30pm
Friday, February 14th - 7:30pm
Sunday, February 16 -1:30pm

Bluebeard's Castle (Feb 28 - March 15)
St. Ann's Warehouse
29 Jay Street, Brooklyn

Running Time: 1 hour
Performed in Hungarian with English supertitles
Friday February 28th - 7:30pm
Sunday, March 2nd - 1:30pm
Tuesday, March 4th - 7:30pm
Friday, March 7th - 7:30pm
Sunday, March 9th- 1:30pm
Tuesday, March 11th - 7:30pm
Thursday, March 13th - 7:30pm
Saturday, March 15th - 7:30pm

The Marriage of Figaro (April 19 - 26)
New York City Center
131 W. 55th Street, New York

Running Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Saturday, April 19th - 7:30pm
Tuesday, April 22nd - 7:30pm
Thursday, April 24th - 7:00pm (Spring Gala performance)

The Marriage of Figaro is made possible with the generous support of Emilie Roy Corey.

Sponsors and Supporters

New York City Opera gratefully acknowledges Emilie Roy Corey, Michael and Mary Gellert, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation Inc., The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and Charles R. Wall.

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, 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.