Press Room

NYC Opera funders gift $25 seats for BAM productions

New York City Opera kicks off a new year and a new era of city-wide productions with La traviata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music from Feb. 12-18. The Jonathan Miller production of Verdi’s masterpiece is the season’s first NYC Opera staging at BAM, and is followed by the US premiere performances of Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna from Feb. 19-25. As a gift to the City of New York, The Reed Foundation and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation have bought the remaining seats for all NYC Opera performances at BAM and will offer these seats at a special $25 price to celebrate NYC Opera’s new beginning.
The happy news of $25 tickets comes on the heels of an agreement New York City Opera has reached with AGMA and Local 802 AFM that enables the 2012 season to resume as scheduled. NYC Opera’s General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel says:
Many thanks are due to the countless individuals who have helped City Opera forge this new path, most notably members of the New York City Opera Orchestra and New York City Opera Chorus, and the many artists represented by these contracts. Their exceptional artistry is at the very heart of what makes New York City Opera so special. We look forward to bringing this exciting new season of unforgettable operas to our loyal subscribers and fans. Earning your applause is, and will always be, our unifying purpose. Thank you for standing by us, and on with the show!
The 2011-2012 season has seen NYC Opera embark on a bold new approach under the visionary leadership of General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel, with the company leaving its long-time Lincoln Center home to take its world-class productions to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the Upper West Side, East Harlem and Central Park. NYC Opera has chosen top-notch theaters specifically for each production, with every venue providing excellent production facilities and impeccable acoustics. The season continues with Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (March 18-24) and concludes with the New York premiere of Georg Philip Telemann’s Orpheus at El Museo del Barrio (May 12-20).
Verdi’s La traviata: Feb. 12-18, BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House
Jonathan Miller’s production of La traviata has already been lauded at Glimmerglass Opera and Vancouver Opera. Opera News judged his psychologically powerful, starkly realistic take on Verdi’s tragic masterpiece of love and life lost and found “a sublimely memorable experience…inviting both singer and audience to experience the power of words and music more directly.” The NYC Opera cast includes soprano Laquita Mitchell – a Brooklyn native hailed for her “powerful” voice by The New York Times – as Verdi’s fascinating title heroine, the doomed courtesan Violetta, who fights for love even as she battles tuberculosis. Mitchell has sung Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème under Plácido Domingo at Los Angeles Opera and starred as Bess in San Francisco Opera’s Porgy and Bess in 2009, with Opera News reporting that she “dazzled the audience with her purity of tone and vivid theatrical presence.” Canadian tenor David Pomeroy will make his NYC Opera debut as Violetta’s love, Alfredo, and Stephen Powell as Giorgio Germont. The production will be conducted by Stephen White.
Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna: Feb. 19-25, BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House
Prima Donna is the first opera by Juno Award-winning, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. A meditation on the fine line between fame and failure, the Dora Award-winning Prima Donna is “a love song to opera, soaked in the perennial operatic themes of loss, betrayal, delusion and nostalgia, and saturated in the musical styles of opera’s golden age,” according to the Times of London. The New York Times declared, “There are inspired touches and disarmingly beautiful passages in this mysterious, stylistically eclectic work.” This production, directed by celebrated director Tim Albery, has already thrilled audiences at Sadler’s Wells in London and Toronto’s Luminato Festival. Set in Paris in 1970, the opera features a French libretto written by the Canadian-American Wainwright and Bernadette Colomine. Rising-star soprano Melody Moore – praised highly last season for her performances in NYC Opera’s production of Séance on a Wet Afternoon – sings the tour-de-force role of a once-acclaimed diva haunted by her past success and her present reality as she seeks to return to the spotlight. The cast will also feature Taylor Stayton, Rebecca Bottone and Randal Turner in their NYC Opera debuts. The production will be conducted by Jayce Ogren.
Mozart’s Così fan tutte: March 18-24, Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
Visionary director Christopher Alden captured the imaginations of audiences and critics alike with his 2009 production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni for NYC Opera, leading the New York Observer to proclaim that Alden creates “the most consistently vibrant operatic theater in the city. . . If City Opera gives us an Alden production a year in perpetuity, it’ll be an extraordinary gift to our cultural life.” With Così fan tutte, Alden returns to lead the highly anticipated second production in his ongoing Mozart/Da Ponte cycle for NYC Opera, once again bringing his trademark daring style to Mozart’s brilliant score, a meditation on loyalty and commitment, attraction and desire. The production will be held in the classically sized space of the Gerald W. Lynch Theater and will be brought to life by a cast of today’s most promising young talents, including Jennifer Holloway (Dorabella), Allan Clayton (Ferrando) and Rod Gilfry (Don Alfonso) in their NYC Opera debuts, along with returning artists Sara Jakubiak (Fiordiligi), Marie Lenormand (Despina) and Philip Cutlip (Guglielmo). The production will be conducted by Christian Curnyn.
Telemann’s Orpheus: May 12-20, El Museo del Barrio
Widely renowned for fueling the resurrection of Handel’s operas in North America, NYC Opera continues its exploration of the music of the Baroque by presenting the New York premiere of Georg Philipp Telemann’s 1726 opera Orpheus in the intimate El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem. Rediscovered only in the late 20th century, this creative score showcases Telemann’s progressive spirit and vivid imagination. The tri-lingual libretto features text drawn from operas by Handel and Lully and turns the traditional Orpheus myth on its head, focusing on the character Orasia, Queen of Thrace, whose jealousy brings about the destruction of Orpheus and Eurydice. NYC Opera favorite Joélle Harvey and debut artist Daniel Teadt portray the ill-fated lovers, who become the obsession of the vengeful queen, sung by Jennifer Rowley in her company debut. Inventive director Rebecca Taichman, known for her intelligent renderings of Shakespeare’s plays, also makes her City Opera debut with this new production. The production will be conducted by Gary Thor Wedow. The Washington Post has said: “If you thrive on compellingly staged performances of opera that haven’t been done to death, City Opera is now the place to go in New York.”
Sponsors and Supporters
New York City Opera gratefully acknowledges Emilie Roy Corey, Michael and Mary Gellert, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Charles R. Wall, and several anonymous donors for their leadership support of our 2012 Season.
La traviata is made possible with the generous support of Charles R. Wall. Leadership support is provided by John and Penelope Biggs.
Prima Donna is made possible with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. Leadership support is provided by Susan Baker and Michael Lynch.
Così fan tutte is made possible with the generous support of Emilie Roy Corey.
Orpheus is made possible with the generous support of Michael and Mary Gellert and Joan Granlund.
The 2012 Season is also made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Special thanks to American Airlines, the Official Airline of New York City Opera.
$25 BAM tickets are made possible thanks to the generous support of The Reed Foundation and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.
NYC Opera subscriptions and tickets
Subscriptions and single tickets for New York City Opera’s 2012 season can be purchased by phone at (212) 870-5600 or online at
For further information about New York City Opera’s 2012 season, contact Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group, [email protected], (212) 625-2038.

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