The revived New York City Opera has announced an ambitious fall 2016-17 season, including a revival of Hal Prince's update of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, and the New York premiere of an original new opera based on the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play Angels in America.
Three years after it collapsed under a pile of debt, NYCO returned to life January 20-24 with a modest staging of Puccini’s Tosca at the Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. A more ambitious spring season is currently underway.
General director Michael Capasso announced a full 2016-17 season of new productions, concerts and presentations for the company that was founded in the 1940s as the “people’s opera.” New York City Opera will offer five operas (including a double-bill) at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater; two chamber operas, including a Spanish baroque work at Harlem Stage as part of its Ópera en Español series; and New York City Opera Concerts at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. New York City Opera Orchestra will be featured in every opera and concert.
The season will open September 8 with a double-bill pairing of Rachmaninoff’s rarely-heard Aleko (New York staged premiere) and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. These two operas have been staged together only once, although both follow similar dramatic narratives and were both completed and premiered in 1892.
The season continues in November with the New York premiere of Fallujah, about the contemporary consequences of war, by Tobin Stokes.
January 2017 will be marked by a new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide from legendary director Harold Prince; the opera house version premiered under his direction at the company in 1982, which included some new lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Prince himself will direct the revival.
Ottorino Respighi’s La campana sommersa (The Sunken Bell), not heard in New York for more than 80 years, will return in spring 2017.
The company’s Ópera en Español series—which will be inaugurated next month with Florencia en el Amazonas (June 22, 23, 25 and 26) at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater—continues in May 2017 at Harlem Stage with the rarely performed Los Elementos by the Spanish baroque master Antoni de Literes.
The New York premiere of Angels in America by Péter Eötvös, based on the play by Tony Kushner, closes the City Opera season in June 2017.
General director Capasso said, “I’m delighted to unveil a full season for the reorganized company which continues New York City Opera's historic legacy: classics alongside contemporary works, neglected works by great composers, and explorations of opera's earliest masterpieces. I believe our season will have both broad public appeal and the artistic integrity that audiences have long associated with City Opera. It is an honor to welcome the legendary Hal Prince back to City Opera to stage Candide. We are also pleased that our first collaboration with the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari is Respighi’s unjustly neglected La campana sommersa. We are already planning City Opera’s 75th anniversary celebration with the commission of Tobias Picker's American Venus. My colleagues and I along with the board of City Opera are immensely grateful for the public's continued support and look forward to presenting a full season of opera and welcoming New Yorkers back to their ‘people’s opera’.”
Visit nycopera.com for more details.