The festival gets underway on Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m. with the Opera-for-All Concert Celebration, in which company music director George Manahan and the New York City Opera Orchestra, Chorus and soloists offer an informal taste of the company's 2007-08 season, with selections from Bernstein's Candide, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Massenet's Cendrillon, Verdi's Falstaff, Barber's Vanessa, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Handel's Agrippina, Danielpour's Margaret Garner, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly, La Bohme and Tosca. Following the 80-minute concert, City Opera will host the audience in a celebration on the New York State Theater's Promenade.
The next two evenings bring two of the best-loved works in the repertoire, chosen to appeal to the newcomers City Opera hopes to attract with Opera-for-All: La Bohme and Don Giovanni.
Bohme, on Friday, September 7 at 8:00 p.m., features Inna Dukach as MimÐ and Dinyar Vania as Rodolfo; Elizabeth Caballero and Brian Mulligan play Musetta and Marcello in James Robinson's production. Ari Pelto conducts.
On Saturday, September 8, Aaron St. Clair Nicholson makes his City Opera debut in the title role of Don Giovanni. Daniel Mobbs is the Don's servant/alter ego, Leporello, with Mardi Byers as Donna Anna, Julianna DiGiacomo as Donna Elvira, JiYoung Lee as Zerlina, Bruce Sledge as Don Ottavio, Matthew Burns as Masetto and Daniel Borowski as the Commendatore. David Wroe conducts, and Albert Sherman directs the revival of the company's production by Harold Prince.
Before each of the performances, City Opera will present a behind-the-scenes video feature about the work and production.
All seats to these Opera-for-All presentations are $25 and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be available at City Opera's "Afternoon Arias" performances, beginning today at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. The tickets go on sale at the New York State Theater box office in Lincoln Center beginning next Monday, August 20. There is a limit of two tickets per person per performance.
New York City Opera's 2007-08 season gets officially underway with a matinee of La Bohme on Sunday, September 9. On September 11 the company presents the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour's opera Margaret Garner, with a libretto by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison based on her novel Beloved.
For more information, visit www.nycopera.com.