Margaret Garner will open the company's season on September 11. The work, which is based on the historical story that inspired Toni Morrison's Beloved (and for which Morrison provided the libretto), premiered in May 2005 at Michigan Opera Theatre and had subsequent stagings at Cincinnati Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia. (The three companies co-commissioned the work.) Tazewell Thompson directs City Opera's production; sets are by Donald Eastman, costumes are by Merrily Murray-Walsh and lighting is by Robert Wierzel. City Opera music director George Manahan conducts. Tracie Luck sings the title role, Lisa Daltirus is Cilla, Gregg Baker is Robert Garner, and Thomas Barrett is Edward Gaines.
A new production of the double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci opens on September 28. It will be directed by Stephen Lawless, with sets and costumes by Ashley Martin-Davis and lighting by Wolfgang Goebbel. George Manahan conducts. In Cavalleria, Anna Maria Chiuri and Irina Rindzuner alternate as Santuzza, Brandon Jovanovich and Kip Wilborn share the role of Turiddu and Andrew Oakden and Michael Corvino alternate as Alfio. Pagliacci features Maria Kanyova and Elizabeth Caballero as Nedda, Carl Tanner and Richard Crawley as Canio, Andrew Okden and Michael Corvino as Tonio, Michael Todd Simpson and Alexander Tall as Silvio and Robert Mack and Andrew Drost as Beppe.
A new production of Cendrillon premieres on October 27, with French soprano Cassandre Berthon in the title role. Katherine Jolly is the Fairy, Joyce Castle is Madame de la Haltire, Fr_d_ric Antoun is Prince Charming and Eugene Brancoveanu is Pandolfe. Renaud Doucet directs and choreographs, Andr_ Barbe is the set and costume designer and Guy Simard is the lighting designer. The production, billed as a spoof on American pop culture in the 1950s, features sets and costumes created for Strasbourg's Op_ra national du Rhin and co-produced with Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
Lauren Flanigan sings the title role in Barber's Vanessa on November 4. The cast also features Katharine Goeldner as Erika, Rosalind Elias as the Old Baroness and Richard Stilwell as the Doctor. Anne Manson, former music director of the Kansas City Symphony, makes her house debut as conductor, and Michael Kahn directs. Sets are by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Martin Pakledinaz.
Henry Purcell's King Arthur, with a libretto by John Dryden, premieres on March 5, performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group and conducted by Jane Glover. The production is directed and choreographed by Mark Morris, with sets by Adrianne Lobel, costumes by Isaac Mizrahi and lighting by James Ingalls.
The season's final new production is the Broadway musical Ragtime (with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow), which opens on April 8. David Loud conducts, Frank Galati directs and Graciela Daniele choreographs. Casting will be announced at a later date.
EDITOR'S NOTE (March 12, 2007) — Due to unanticipated scheduling conflicts, New York City Opera has been obliged to postpone this production of Ragtime to a future season. The show will be replaced on the schedule by a musical to be announced later.
On the revival front, Harold Prince's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni returns on September 13, with Aaron St. Clair Nicholson in the title role and Daniel Mobbs singing Leporello. Mardi Byers is Donna Anna, Julianna Di Giacomo is Donna Elvira, Ji Young Lee is Zerlina, Bruce Sledge is Don Ottavio, Matthew Burns is Masetto and Daniel Borowski is the Commendatore. David Wroe conducts.
Ruth Ann Swenson makes her City Opera debut in the title role of Handel's Agrippina on October 14. Jennifer Rivera sings Nerone, Heidi Stober is Poppea, David Walker is Ottone and Joê£o Fernandez is Emperor Claudio. Ransom Wilson conducts Lillian Groag's production.
Jan Opalach sings the title role in Leon Major's production of Verdi's Falstaff, beginning on March 19. Pamela Armstrong is Alice Ford, Anna Skibinsky and John Tessier are Nannetta and Fenton, Ursula Ferri is Mistress Quickly and Alfredo Daza is Ford. George Manahan conducts.
Puccini's La Bohme returns on September 15 with Inna Dukach as MimÐ, Elizabeth Caballero as Musetta, and Dinyar Vania, Brian Mulligan, Young Bok Kim and Museop Kim as the bohemians. Ari Pelto conducts the James Robinson production.
Beth Clayton takes on the title role in Bizet's Carmen, starting on October 5. Jennifer Black is MicaêŠla, Scott Piper is Don Jos_ and Carlos Archuleta sings Escamillo. Joseph Rescigno conducts the Jonathan Eaton production.
Shu-Ying Li and Yunah Lee share the title role of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, which begins its run on March 6. Jennifer Tiller and Rebecca Ringle are Suzuki, James Valenti is Pinkerton, Jeffrey Pic‹n and James Schaffner are Goro and Young Bok Kim and Branch Fields are the Bonze. Steven Mosteller and Joseph Mechavich conduct the Mark Lamos production.
Another Mark Lamos production, Puccini's Tosca, returns to the repertory on March 22, with Anna Shafajinskaia in the title role and Todd Thomas as Scarpia. George Manahan conducts.