Opening Night: New York City Opera Returns to Lincoln Center with Nov. 5 Gala

Classic Arts Features   Opening Night: New York City Opera Returns to Lincoln Center with Nov. 5 Gala
New York City Opera celebrates its return to the stage of the renovated David H. Koch Theater with American Voices, an opening night gala featuring a program of all-American music.


The festive event will honor David H. Koch, in recognition of his $100 million lead gift to City Opera's joint capital campaign with New York City Ballet, and also will welcome New York City Opera's new General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel.

American Voices, a concert of beloved selections from American opera and musical theater, boasts stars who have appeared at New York City Opera early in their illustrious careers, along with several debuting artists and special guests. The evening will highlight City Opera's founding commitment to young American artists and its history of launching the careers of some of the finest singers in the world.

Past City Opera artists, including Amy Burton, Joyce Castle, Anna Christy, Joyce DiDonato, Lauren Flanigan, Anthony Dean Griffey, Marc Kudisch, Samuel Ramey, and maestros George Manahan and Julius Rudel, will perform, along with debut guests Measha Brueggergosman, Talise Trevigne, and Kelley O'Connor. The program will feature the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright also will perform as a special guest during the concert. The concert also will feature a special guest performance by New York City Ballet - a fitting partnership to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Lincoln Center.

"What better way to mark this new beginning for City Opera than to celebrate the traditions of American musical stage, which is always perpetually reinventing itself and starting fresh?" stated General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel. "As we step back onto the stage for our 2009-2010 season-and what a stage it is, thanks to David H. Koch's generosity-the sound of great American music and great American voices carry us forward into New York City Opera's future-a future that begins now."

"City Opera's loyal fans have supported the company very generously for the last two years," said David H. Koch, "and they, more than anyone, will be overjoyed to see them performing again at full strength." Mr. Koch continued, "Having visited the theater during the height of its renovation, I can verify that an extraordinary amount of work is being done to improve it, and that the finished results will be magnificent."

The concert program will feature selections including Stravinsky's Fanfare for a New Theater, Floyd's Revival Scene from Susannah (with the New York City Opera Chorus), Rufus Wainwright's "Les feux d'artifice" from Prima Donna, an excerpt from Adams's "Hallelujah Junction" with the New York City Ballet, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Billy's Soliloquy from Carousel and Weill's Ice Cream Sextet from Street Scene. Works from Bernstein, Bolcom, Golijov, Barber, Menotti, Moore and Gershwin also will be featured.

The production season begins Nov. 7 with Esther. A new Don Giovanni starts performances the following evening.

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