Schwartz's Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Chenoweth and Esparza Set for NYCO Season

News   Schwartz's Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Chenoweth and Esparza Set for NYCO Season Tony nominee and Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz's opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon will make its New York debut during New York City Opera's 2010-2011 season.
Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth Photo by Andrew Southam

Soprano Lauren Flanigan, who created the role of Myra Foster in the world premiere of Séance at Opera Santa Barbara last September, will again star in the production alongside original cast member Kim Josephson as Bill Foster.

Running April 19-May 1, 2011, the NYCO production will reunite the original Santa Barbara creative team including director Scott Schwartz (Golda's Balcony, Jane Eyre, Rooms), Tony winner Heidi Ettinger (scenic design), Tony nominee David Lander (lighting design) and Alejo Vietti (costume designer). George Mahanan will conduct.

Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) penned both the libretto and score for the opera, which was commissioned by Opera Santa Barbara. According to NYCO, "Based on the novel by Mark McShane and its 1964 film noir adaptation, the opera focuses on Myra Foster, a trance medium who involves her passive husband in a plot to kidnap the daughter of a neighboring family. Myra intends to find the girl through psychic communication with her own dead son, and so gain the fame she craves—but the plot goes awry, as her fragile sanity begins to break down."

On April 21, 2011, NYCO will also present Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz, featuring Tony-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked) and Tony nominee Raúl Esparza (Company).

Also on the bill is the New York premiere of Leonard Bernstein's final stage work, A Quiet Place, which will run Oct. 27-Nov. 21, 2010. "The work portrays the estranged members of an American family—mother, father, daughter and gay son–as they reunite at a funeral after twenty years," press notes state. Christopher Alden (Don Giovanni) will direct the production that will feature Sara Jakubiak, Patricia Risley, Dominic Armstrong, Joshua Hopkins, Louis Otey and Christopher Feigum.

The NYCO season will also feature Richard Strauss's Intermezzo (Oct. 31-Nov. 20, 2010); Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (March 22-April 9, 2011); and the triple bill of Monodramas: La Machine de l’être, Erwartung and Neither, which features a libretto by Samuel Beckett (March 25-April 8, 2011).

Concert programming includes Lucky to Be Me: The Music of Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 6-7, 2010); John Zorn & Friends, featuring Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Mike Patton, Marc Ribot, Dave Douglas and Uri Caine (March 30, 2011); and Oliver Knussen's opera Where the Wild Things Are, featuring a libretto by author Maurice Sendak (April 9, 2011).

NYCO season subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets will begin sale Sept. 7. Visit NYCOpera, or phone (212) 496-0600.

New York City Opera stage productions take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

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