The role of the “other” opera companies in New York is to serve as alternatives to the Metropolitan Opera. It’s that simple.
It has been this way since the turn of the 20th century, when Oscar Hammerstein’s upstart Manhattan Opera House countered the Met’s stagnant repertory with contemporary opera and the American premieres of works like Pelleas et Melisande, Elektra and Salome. New York City Opera, in its prime, offered a similar package: the operas, directors and young, attractive singers that the Met wouldn’t touch.
Fast-forward a few decades, and the situation has reversed. The Met is now its own alternative, with an established and growing commitment to contemporary work and a variety of directorial approaches on display. No longer, at least in theory, is it all Zeffirelli-style naturalism, all the time.
The New York City Opera chorus and orchestra broke out in song outside the Guggenheim Museum today to protest artistic director George Steel’s simultaneous announcement that the company will leave Lincoln Center, a decision that likely will cost them their jobs.
“We shall not, we shall not be moved,” sang the musicians, Read More
The Eight-Day Week
Looking back, it should have been clear in October how New York City Opera’s year was going to end.
The company opened its season then with the New York premiere of A Quiet Place, the strange, flawed, fascinating final opera by Leonard Bernstein, one of the city’s favorite sons. The opera is close to the Read More
Wednesday, May 11
Fifteen Minutes, Extended
Warhol! The pop artist is the auteur of modern celebrity–but will people shell out for, you know, his art, when they can witness his legacy by flipping on E!? Of course, they will. That famous Self-Portrait in vivid red, the centerpiece of today’s Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction, Read More
New York City Opera has long had a reputation as a place to catch young singers as they embark on major careers. And that’s still true: City Opera’s new production of Don Giovanni in the fall, for example, featured no fewer than six debut singers, all of whom were excellent.
But the focus of New Read More