Reports of OONY's money woes seem to have galvanized what company spokespeople describe as an outpouring of support from legions of fans, many of the opera world's leading singers, and members of the orchestra.
For four decades OONY has made its mission the presentation in concert of rarely performed operas. The casts often include promising singers who go on to major careers, as well as successful European artists who haven't yet made their reputations in the U.S. (Among such singers are Olga Borodina, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Krassimira Stoyanova, and Ren_e Fleming.) Well-established stars have also joined the company to sing juicy roles in operas that major houses are unlikely to produce.
OONY's 37th season at Carnegie Hall begins on December 13, 2007 with the early Verdi rarity I due Foscari. Baritone Paolo Gavanelli stars as the 15th-century Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari, with tenor Aquiles Machado as his son. Soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, who won New York City Opera's Richard F. Gold Debut Award, sings the female lead, Lucrezia. The performance will include projections of great Venetian Renaissance artwork depicting the city and the historic characters portrayed in the opera.
The company presents Bellini's La sonnambula on February 27, 2008. Soprano Eglise Guti_rrez sings the eponymous sleepwalker, with mezzo Laura Vlasak Nolen (who won a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from New York City Opera), tenor Dmitry Korchak and star bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. Directing the semi-staging will be Ira Siff, the opera expert and satirist who won worldwide renown portraying the immortal diva Vera Galupe-Borzhkh with La Gran Scena Opera Co.
March 6, 2008 will bring a special Gala Concert celebrating Eve Queler's 100th performance with OONY at Carnegie Hall. Among the several renowned stars who will return to the company for the evening are Marcello Giordani, Aprile Millo and Renee Fleming; the legendary Renata Scotto will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
The Opera Orchestra season concludes on April 13, 2008 with Puccini's Edgar, which OONY recorded in 1977 with Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto. Tenor Marcello Giordani takes the role of the medieval knight Edgar, with soprano Latonia Moore as the virtuous Fidelia and mezzo Jennifer Larmore as the wicked Tigrana.
Queler, who founded OONY 40 years ago, will conduct all four performances, and all concerts will incorporate supertitles. More information on the Opera Orchestra of New York and its upcoming season is available at www.oony.org.