The evening will feature soloists Michael Chioldi, Lisa Chavez, Glen Seven Allen, Mark Rucker, Brandie Sutton, Won Whi Choi, Kristin Sampson, Mark Delavan, Inna Dukach, and Megan Picerno. The artists, backed by a 30-member chorus, will be accompanied by a 30-piece orchestra led by a quartet of conductors: Carolyn Kuan, James Meena, Gil Rose, and James Lowe. General Director Michael Capasso will narrate.
The first half of the concert will feature excerpts from European opera connected to the history of the company, including the overture and selections from Carmen and arias from The Merry Widow, La Rondine, and Tosca. Rucker and Sutton will offer a tribute to Todd Duncan and Camilla Williams, the first African-American artists to perform leading roles with a major American opera company.
The second half will spotlight American operas and will open with the chorale finale to NYCO’s recent world premiere of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall followed by selections from The Crucible, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Susannah, and Emmeline, and will culminate in a performance of “Make Our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
“New York City Opera was founded as The People’s Opera,“ said NYCO General Director Capasso in a statement. “I can see no better way to celebrate this historic anniversary than bringing it to the people of New York free of charge in a magnificent setting as a gift to the people and the City.”
Bryant Park Picnic Performances have no dress code, no tickets, and no lines. At each event the park lends out picnic blankets; each event also has beer, wine, and food for purchase.