The season spotlights American composers and 20th-century works, world premieres, New York premieres and new productions. Offering audiences the opportunity to experience new and rarely performed operas as well as modern interpretations of traditional repertoire, the 2010-2011 season also will feature the launch of a new concert series showcasing the non-operatic works of several of the composers whose operas will be presented on the mainstage.
Among artists returning to the New York City Opera stage will be soprano Lauren Flanigan as Myra Foster (a role created for her) in Stephen Schwartz's S_ance on a Wet Afternoon, soprano Stefania Dovhan (who debuted as Donna Anna in City Opera's 2009 production of Don Giovanni) as Adina in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, soprano Mary Dunleavy as Christine in Strauss's Intermezzo, baritone Louis Otey as Sam in Bernstein's A Quiet Place, and soprano Cyndia Sieden in Morton Feldman's "Neither". Joining them will be more than 20 debut artists, continuing City Opera's mission of nurturing young singers, while the concert series will bring talents such as Kristin Chenoweth, Ra‹l Esparza, Kelli O'Hara, Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson to the City Opera stage.
City Opera's Fall Gala, An Evening with Christine Brewer, on Thursday, October 28, stars one of the world's most sought-after sopranos and takes advantage of concert configuration made possible by the recently renovated David H. Koch Theater's increased flexibility. The concert which begins at 7pm, will include selections from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Puccini's Turandot, and a selection of popular American songs by Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern. Ms. Brewer will be joined by the New York City Opera Orchestra and Music Director George Manahan. For gala ticket holders, the performance will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 6pm and will be followed by dinner and dancing on the Promenade of the theater.
Performances begin on Wednesday, October 27 at 8pm with A Quiet Place by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Wadsworth, in a new production by acclaimed director Christopher Alden, who created last season's Don Giovanni at City Opera. The final stage work of Leonard Bernstein makes its long-awaited New York premiere, in its first performance on any professional stage in 22 years. Soprano Sara Jakubiak makes her City Opera debut as Dede, mezzo-soprano Patricia Risley debuts as Dinah, tenor Dominic Armstrong makes his company debut as Fran‹ois, baritone Joshua Hopkins debuts as Junior, baritone Louis Otey is Sam, baritone Christopher Feigum makes his City Opera debut as Young Sam, William Ferguson is the Funeral Director, Judith Christin is Susie, Jonathan Green is the Analyst, Jake Gardner is Doc, and Victoria Livengood is Mrs. Doc. The production features costumes by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Aaron Black, and will be conducted by Jayce Ogren, all making their City Opera debuts, with sets by Andrew Lieberman.
A witty revival of Richard Strauss's lighthearted opera Intermezzo, by director Leon Major, opens on Sunday, October 31 at 1:30pm. Soprano Mary Dunleavy is Christine, baritone Nicholas Pallesen is Robert Storch, tenor Andrew Bidlack makes his company debut as Baron Lummer, Jessica Klein is Anna, Matthew Burns is the Notary, Jennifer Tiller is the Notary's Wife, Erik Nelson Werner is Kapellmeister Stroh, David Kravitz is a Businessman, William Ledbetter is a Lawyer, Jan Opalach is a Singer, and Thranaga Goonetilleke debuts as Resi. City Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts, sets are by Andrew Jackness, costumes by Martha Mann, and lighting design by Mark McCullough. The production had its premiere at City Opera in 1999.
In 2010-2011 New York City Opera will present for the first time an all-new concert series. Following An Evening with Christine Brewer on Thursday, October 28 at 7pm, the company presents Lucky to Be Me: The Vocal Music of Leonard Bernstein on Saturday, November 6 at 8pm and Sunday, November 7 at 1:30pm. This exciting concert examines the work of one of America's most influential composers, including music from the Kaddish Symphony, Mass, Songfest, Wonderful Town, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, On the Town, West Side Story, and more. Scheduled to appear are Broadway favorites Victoria Clark, Christine Ebersole, Kelli O'Hara, Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Darius de Haas, and Michael Urie.
Previously unannounced, City Opera also presents Late Night with LB, on Saturday, October 23 at 10pm, a rare recital of Bernstein's most personal music. LB, as his friends called him, loved to entertain guests with in his home late into the night, dazzling them with his charismatic performances of songs, piano pieces and musical sketches in a wide range of musical styles. The concert will be held in the intimate cabaret setting of the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Tickets: $45.
City Opera hosts its Spring Gala on Thursday, April 21 with Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz, a salute to the composer of S_ance on a Wet Afternoon with a program of songs from his acclaimed Broadway and film works. Kristin Chenoweth, Ra‹l Esparza, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Elaine Paige are scheduled to appear, with Victor Garber as host. The concert begins at 8pm, preceded by cocktails at 7pm and will be followed by dinner and dancing on the Promenade of the theater for gala ticket holders.
The spring season will open on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30pm with a revival of Jonathan Miller's production of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. Soprano Stefania Dovhan returns to City Opera as Adina, tenor David Lomeli makes his company debut as Nemorino, baritone Marco Nistic‹ sings Dulcamara, baritone Jos_ Adšn P_rez debuts as Belcore, and soprano Meredith Lustig debuts as Giannetta. Conductor Brad Cohen makes his City Opera debut, and A. Scott Parry will direct the production, which premiered in 2003 at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and was last presented at City Opera in 2006. Set and costume designs are by Isabella Bywater.
Friday, March 25 at 8pm opens a triple bill of cutting-edge one-act operas called Monodramas that showcases the work of vital innovators of modern music and celebrated collaborators from the worlds of visual and performance art, epitomizing City Opera's mission to present new and progressive repertoire. Soprano Anu Komsi makes her City Opera debut in the world stage premiere of John Zorn's "La Machine de l'ê_tre". Soprano Kara Shay Thomson makes her company debut in New York City Opera's premiere of Arnold Schoenberg's ground-breaking "Erwartung " or "Expectation", which features the work of celebrated video artist Jennifer Steinkamp who breathes new life into tree-like forms. Soprano Cyndia Sieden sings in Morton Feldman's "Neither" (with a libretto by Samuel Beckett) _ the first U.S. staging with orchestra, featuring an installation inspired by laser art pioneer Hiro Yamagata's NGC6093, which incorporates other-worldly holograms and lasers to evoke hypnotic visions and create an unsettling sense of time and place. The production will be designed and directed by Michael Counts, with lighting by Robert Wierzel, and George Manahan conducting all three works.
On Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30pm, City Opera presents the New York premiere of S_ance on a Wet Afternoon, the first opera by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Soprano Lauren Flanigan is Myra Foster, baritone Kim Josephson makes his company debut as Bill Foster, Todd Wilander makes his City Opera debut as Charles Clayton, Melody Moore debuts as Rita Clayton, Jane Shaulis is Miss Wintry, Pamela Jones is Miss Rose, Bill Lagundino is Mr. Bennett, Boyd Schlaefer is Mr. Cole, Juan Jos_ Ibarra is a Policeman, Phillip Boykin debuts as Inspector Watts, and Michael Marcotte makes his company debut as the Irish Tenor. Excerpts from S_ance on a Wet Afternoon were presented at City Opera's VOX showcase in 2009. The opera had its world premiere on September 26, 2009, at Opera Santa Barbara in California. City Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts the production, directed by Scott Schwartz, with sets by Heidi Ettinger, costumes by Alejo Vietti, and lighting by David Lander, all making their City Opera debuts.
Following Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz on Thursday, April 21 at 8pm the company's new concert series continues through the spring with The Musical Worlds of John Zorn on Wednesday, March 30 at 8pm. Musical innovators Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Mike Patton, Marc Ribot, Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, and Joey Baron perform with John Zorn in a series of sonic compositions and no-holds-barred improvisations. The program features Zorn compositions including The Goddess, Masada Sextet, Moonchild, and Euphoria.
On Saturday, April 9, 2011, at 1:30pm a special matinee concert and benefit, features the fantasy opera based on the beloved children's book by Maurice Sendak. City Opera is proud to affirm its mission of nurturing young American singers by presenting the Vocal Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center in this concert performance of Where the Wild Things Are. Conductor Julian Kuerti makes his company debut leading Fellows from the renowned Tanglewood Music Center including Danya Katok, Leslie Davis, Andrew Sauvageau, Adam Cannedy, and Lawrence Jones in their debuts, along with David Salsbery Fry.
On Sunday, April 10 at 7:30pm, a panel of distinguished composers and playwrights including Adam Guettel, join Stephen Schwartz on the stage of the Gershwin Theatre (222 West 51st Street), for an in-depth look at what defines the opera and musical theater genres. The roundtable discussion takes place on the set of Schwartz's hit Broadway show Wicked. Tickets: $25.
VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab, City Opera's annual showcase of new American operas, returns for its 12th season on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, 2011.
Single tickets on sale now to subscribers and members. Tickets go on sale to general public on September 7, starting at $12. New York City Opera stage productions will take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Weekday performances, with the exception of Tuesdays, begin at 8:00pm. Tuesday performances begin at 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00pm; matinees begin at 1:30pm.
Single tickets can be purchased by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, online at nycOpera.com, or in person at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office (63rd St. & Columbus Ave).
Subscriptions for New York City Opera's 2010-2011 season can be purchased online at nycOpera.com or by phone at 212.496.0600. Subscriptions start at $36 ($12 per ticket).