New York City Opera to Align with Public Theater and BAM in 2011-2012

News   New York City Opera to Align with Public Theater and BAM in 2011-2012
New York City Opera, which announced it would depart its home at Lincoln Center last May in order to streamline its running costs, will enter a unique partnership with the Public Theater to present operas based on Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theater in 2012.

NYCO's departure from Lincoln Center following the Stephen Schwartz opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon at the Koch Theater in May meant that while the organization would no longer have a home base, it would save $4.5 million in running costs, according to a previous New York Times report.

General Manager George Steel announced July 12 that NYCO will now perform at a host of venues across New York City during the 2011-2012 season, including partnerships with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Public Theater.

"For our new 2011/12 season, we have been able to match each opera with a performing space that ideally suits it. This new model gives the operas a custom-fit setting, while also weaving New York City Opera directly into the cultural fabric of New York City, neighborhood by neighborhood," Steel said in a statement.

NYCO and the Public have not disclosed details of which opera will be presented first at the Delacorte, but free performances are planned to begin in fall 2012. The Public annually offers free Shakespeare at the Delacorte during the summer months as part of Shakespeare in the Park, and both parties are aiming to continue the collaboration beyond 2012.

This opens up a host of possible operatic Shakespeare offerings at the Delacorte, including classics like Verdi's Falstaff (based on The Merry Wives of Windsor), Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Purcell's The Fairy-Queen (also based on Midsummer), Rossini's Otello, and newer works including Aribert Reimann's Lear, Pascal Dusapin's Roméo et Juliette, Philippe Boesman's Wintermärchen (based on The Winter's Tale) and Thomas Adès' The Tempest. "Fiorello La Guardia called the New York City Opera 'The People's Opera,'" Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "The People's Opera and The Public Theater make sense together. Free Shakespeare in the Park is one of our great civic traditions, and to combine Shakespeare, with opera, outdoors, in the center of the greatest city in the world, for free, will make a beautiful sound."

It was also revealed that the previously announced NYCO production of Prima Donna, the opera by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, will play the Brooklyn Academy of Music along with Verdi's La Traviata, beginning in February 2012 at the Gilman Opera House.

Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte will be staged at the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College in March 2012, while Georg Philipp Telemann's rarely-seen Orpheus will play El Museo Del Barrio in May.

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