Restored to life, New York City Opera plans an adventurous mix for 2017-18 season

Thu May 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm
Tobia Picker's "Dolores Claiborne" will have its local premiere in New York City Opera's 2017-18 season. (Patricia Racette in the opera's 2013 world premiere at San Francisco Opera. Photo: Cory Weaver)

Tobias Picker’s “Dolores Claiborne” will have its local premiere in New York City Opera’s 2017-18 season. (Patricia Racette pictured in the world premiere at San Francisco Opera. Photo: Cory Weaver)

The revived New York City Opera, which has vaulted to musical prominence and importance through a blend of contemporary opera productions and revivals of works previously lost to obscurity, continue this mix in their newly announced 2017–18 season.

Six new productions are planned, along with two additional non-staged concerts. The featured composers include the familiar names of Puccini, Donizetti, and Rameau, the far less well known composers José “Pepe” Martinez and Italo Montemezzi, and two important contemporary Americans, Tobias Picker and Charles Wuorinen.

The season opens with La Fanciulla del West, by Puccini, in performances September 6, 8, 10, and 12 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. This will be a new production from director Ivan Stefanutti, in collaboration with the Teatro di Giglio in Lucca, Italy, Sardinia’s Teatro Lirico, and Opera Carolina. James Meena will conduct, with the cast to be announced at a later date.

Picker, a major opera composer, will become the company’s Composer-in-Residence, and is represented by a chamber sized adaptation of Dolores Claiborne, based on the Steven King novel. The work premiered in 2013 at the San Francisco Opera, and the October performances (dates TBA) will be the first in New York City. The company’s principal conductor, Pacien Mazzagatti, will lead the music, with the cast to be announced. Picker is also writing Audrey Munson, an opera about America’s first supermodel, to premiere for the company’s 75th anniversary season in 2019.

Wuorinen’s recent Brokeback Mountain will be making its United States premiere May 31, 2018, with further performances June 2 – 4 at the Rose Theater (details to be announced). First commissioned by the original City Opera, Brokeback Mountain, this will be the second production in the company’s new LGBT Pride initiative, which begins next month with the New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’s Angels in America.

Also appearing in this city for the first time will be Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, playing January 25 – 28, 2018. The third installment in the company’s Opera en Espanol series, this is Martinez’s Spanish/English mariachi opera of an immigrant family divided by the U.S./Mexican border. This production will play at the Rose Theater, with further details to be announced.

Not seen in New York for over a decade, City Opera will bring a new production of Montemezzi’s L’Amore dei Tre Re to the stage in April 12 – 15, 2018 (further details to be announced). This 1913 melodrama, set in the Middle Ages, was once a staple of this city’s operatic culture. Performances will be at the Rose.

In May, 2018 (dates TBA), City Opera will stage a chamber opera double-bill; Il Pigmalione by Donizetti, and Rameau’s Pigmalion. Two sides of the same myth, these performances will be the New York premieres for what is Donizetti’s first opera, and both production will be new.

Two concerts will be held at Zankel Hall: a fall concert to celebrate the 90th birthday of Dominick Argento (November 9), and a winter concert with the scintillating soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, accompanied by Donald Sulzen (February 20). To honor Argento, the music will offer of his monodramas, Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and A Water Bird Talk.

Tickets for the 2017-18 season go on sale in July. For more information, go to

Leave a Comment


 Subscribe via RSS