New York City Opera is Looking Forward to New Season

As we mentioned back in June, the New York City Opera is going on a tour of the five boroughs for its 2008-2009 season while its home at the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center undergoes renovations. Part of that series, the Opera announced today, will be a new program of 20th Century music called Looking Forward. The title, it seems, is a nod to incoming artistic director and general manager, the Belgian-born Gerard Mortier, who will come on board starting in the fall of 2009. Here’s more from the press release:

Developed by City Opera’s Music Director George Manahan, Looking Forward will survey the musical language of the twentieth century, focusing on many of the composers who will be featured in Gerard Mortier’s inaugural season.  Maestro Manahan observed, “It will be a terrific opportunity for audiences to rediscover the beauty and richness of the unique styles and harmonies of this important era in music history.” 

Highlights of Looking Forward include excerpts from Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations with tenor soloist Brian Anderson (November 2, 16, March 7, April 11) and soprano Lielle Berman (October 4); Olivier Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine with pianist Aleck Karis, ondes Martenot soloist Jean Laurendeau and the New York City Opera Women’s Chorus; Lukas Foss’s Time Cycle sung by sopranos Jennifer Zetlan (October 4, November 2, March 7, April 11) and Lielle Berman (November 16); and Claude Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane featuring harpist Jessica Zhou.  The program, performed by the New York City Opera Orchestra, will also include Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, Edgard Varèse’s Intégrales, and Steve Reich’s Clapping Music.

Performances will take place at St. George Theatre in Staten Island, Whitman Theater at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Queens, and Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan.