Flanigan, Okulitch, Zetlan, Li and Sieden Headline City Opera Season; Full Casting Announced

Classic Arts Features   Flanigan, Okulitch, Zetlan, Li and Sieden Headline City Opera Season; Full Casting Announced
New York City Opera has released full casting details for its upcoming 2009-2010 season. The five-opera lineup begins in November with Weisgall's Esther starring Lauren Flanigan.


The company will welcome over 20 debut artists this year, continuing in its tradition of nurturing new talent. Over the years, City Opera has helped launch the careers of more than 3,000 singers, including such stars as Jos_ Carreras, Phyllis Curtin, David Daniels, Plšcido Domingo, Lauren Flanigan, Elizabeth Futral, Jerry Hadley, Catherine Malfitano, Bejun Mehta, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Gianna Rolandi, Beverly Sills, Norman Treigle, Tatiana Troyanos, and Carol Vaness.

"Audiences come to New York City Opera wanting to discover something-an astonishing opera they hadn't known about, a surprising approach to a familiar work, and perhaps above all a fresh new voice and vital stage presence," George Steel commented. "With so many artists making their debuts in the 2009-10 season, our company is once more opening a world of new possibilities for American opera."


The 2009-2010 repertory season begins with Esther on Saturday, November 7, 2009, at 8:00 pm. The opera, with music by Hugo Weisgall and libretto by Charles Kondek, had its world premiere at New York City Opera in 1993. Soprano Lauren Flanigan returns to sing the title role, which she originated, in the first revival of the opera since its 1993 premiere. Branch Fields is the Gravedigger, Beth Clayton is Vashti, Roy Cornelius Smith makes his company debut as Haman, Margaret Thompson debuts as Zeresh, Stephen Kechulius is Xerxes, and Gerald Thompson is Hegai. The production is directed by Christopher Mattaliano, with set design by Jerome Sirlin, costumes by Joseph A. Citarella, new lighting by Robert Wierzel and choreography by Jennifer Muller. New York City Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts. Esther will be performed in English, with English supertitles.

City Opera's first new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, since 2002 directed by Christopher Alden, opens on Sunday, November 8, 2009, at 1:30 pm. Alden leads a creative team including set designer Paul Steinberg, with costume designer Terese Wadden and lighting designer Jane Cox both making their City Opera debuts. Gary Thor Wedow conducts. Bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch makes his company debut as Giovanni, Jason Hardy is Leporello, Stefania Dovhan makes her City Opera debut as Donna Anna, Brian Kontes makes his debut as the Commendatore, Gregory Turay debuts as Don Ottavio, Keri Alkema is Donna Elvira, Jo_lle Harvey makes her company debut as Zerlina, and Kelly Markgraf makes his City Opera debut as Masetto. Don Giovanni will be performed in Italian, with English supertitles.

Chabrier's L'ê_toile opens Thursday, March 18, 2010, at 7:00 pm. This rarely performed work is directed by Mark Lamos, with associate director Alain Gauthier. Sets are by Andrew Lieberman, costumes by Constance Hoffman, lighting by Robert Wierzel, and choreography by Sešn Curran. L'ê_toile will be conducted by Emmanuel Plasson. Jennifer Zetlan is Laoula, Julie Boulianne makes her City Opera debut as Lazuli, Liza Forrester debuts as Alos, Jean-Paul Fouch_court is King Ouf I, Andrew Drost is Tapioca, Dominic Armstrong debuts as H_risson de Porc-ê_pic, and Fran‹ois Loup makes his company debut as Siroco. L'ê_toile will be sung in French, with English supertitles.

On Saturday April 3 at 1:30pm City Opera will present a special 60-minute abridged version of L'ê_toile as a Family Matinee performance, sung in French with English dialogue. A child's ticket is free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Any additional children's tickets are half-priced.

The first cast of Puccini's Madama Butterfly begins performances on Friday, March 19, 2010, at 8:00 pm with soprano Shu-Ying Li returning in the title role. Steven Harrison is B.F. Pinkerton, Nina Yoshida Nelsen makes her City Opera debut as Suzuki, Jeffrey Halili is Goro, Quinn Kelsey debuts as Sharpless, Daesan No is Yamadori, and Eric Jordan is the Bonze.

The second cast of Madama Butterfly begins their run on Saturday, April 10, 2010, at 1:30pm with the return of soprano Yunah Lee in the title role. Konstantin Stepanov debuts as B.F. Pinkerton, Krysty Swann makes her City Opera debuts as Suzuki, Jeffrey Halili is Goro, Nicholas Pallesen make his company debut as Sharpless, Daesan No is Yamadori, and Eric Jordan is the Bonze.

Stage direction for Madama Butterfly is by David Grabarkewitz, lighting is by Robert Wierzel, sets are by Michael Yeargan, costumes are by Constance Hoffman, and George Manahan conducts the Mark Lamos production. The production was last presented by New York City Opera in the 2007-08 season and received an Emmy Award for its Live From Lincoln Center telecast. Madama Butterfly will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Handel's Partenope, which received its New York premiere at New York City Opera in 1998, opens on Saturday, April 3, 2010, at 8:00 pm. Soprano Cyndia Sieden sings the title role, Laura Vlasak Nolen is Rosmira, Iestyn Davies is Prince Arsace of Corinth, Anthony Roth Costanzo makes his company debut as Prince Armindo of Rhodes, Nicholas Coppolo debuts as Emilio, and Daniel Mobbs is Ormonte. The Francisco Negrin production is stage directed by Andrew Chown, Set designs are by John Conklin, lighting is by Robert Wierzel, costumes are by Paul Steinberg, and Conductor Christian Curnyn makes his company debut.


All of New York City Opera's stage productions will take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center (63rd St. & Columbus Ave). Subscriptions for New York City Opera's 2009-2010 season are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (212) 496-0600 or visiting nycOpera.com/subscribe. Subscribers save up to 20%.

Single tickets, ranging from $12 to $145, go on sale September 8, and can be purchased in person at the box office, online at nycOpera.com, or by calling CenterCharge at 212-721-6500.

All evening performances begin at 8:00pm, except for Tuesday evening performances, which begin at 7:30pm. The performance of L'ê_toile on Thursday, March 18 begins at 7:00pm.

For a full calendar, visit New York City Opera.

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