George Steel (center) announces that New York City Opera is destroying, giving away or selling off most of its stock of repertory productions. Presumably a few of the old sets will be kept on hand to burn for warmth during the long winter ahead. [New York Times] (Photo by Carol Rosegg.)
“For decades New York City Opera was a model of an organization with a clear mission. Now there may be no opera company, orchestra or ensemble more in need of a mission reboot…. Though Mr. Steel has brought tireless enthusiasm to City Opera and presented some exciting productions, he has been unable to give the company a clear profile.” [New York Times]
Lincoln Center’s Great Performers presents Diana Damrau on Saturday, December 10th, joined by Xavier de Maistre on harp, performing works by Debussy, Strauss, Fauré, and more. A regular at the Met Opera, Damrau has been called “a soprano of matchless intelligence” (Guardian).
“One of the greatest proponents of the German lied tradition” (New York Times), baritone Christian Gerhaher performs an all-Mahler program on Saturday, December 17th, featuring Gerold Huber on piano. The Telegraph calls him “the most moving singer in the world.”
Both performances are at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
The Underworld as corporate boardroom, Pluto a “suit,” the damned a bunch of clerks tapping away at laptops. When the lyre of Orpheus is heard (it never is seen, and it sounds like a recorder), rose petals turn up in hair or sleeves or pockets. The king of the dark realm is prepared to do almost anything to get rid of the intruder, even give him back his late bride (on conditions). The Maenads are a couple of riotous club ladies in bouffant ’dos and over-the-top pastel outfits, biting off a little piece of Mahler’s—sorry, Telemann’s.
Rebecca Taichman’s busy staging of Telemann’s 1726 opera Orpheus (or, Die wunderbare Beständigkeit der Liebe, The Wonderful Constancy of Love), for the New York City Opera, played in David Zinn’s spare sets and colorful costumes, tends to modern stage clichés but at least none of it gets in the way of, or unduly clutters, the familiar tale of the greatest musician of classical myth. Read more »
“About the only good thing that can be said for New York City Opera’s Orpheus, which opened Saturday night, is that it made the rest of the company’s feeble season seem scintillating by comparison.”
Now New York City Opera has given us a “Così Fan Tutte” starring the undead.
“New York City Opera performed La Traviata at BAM Sunday afternoon. That’s who, what, where and when. But this was a performance without a ‘why’.”
La Cieca hears that the New York City Opera is moving its administrative offices to 75 Broad Street, a location you surely remember as The International Telephone and Telegraph Building. The a 1928 structure boasts the mosaic dome glimpsed above, and (coincidentally) sits just across the street from the old Goldman Sachs building.
Local 802 and AGMA have rejected New York City Opera’s “final offer,” placing the company at an “impasse,” according to an email from George Steel to members of the company’s board.
“City Opera Management has passed on an offer from the unions representing its musicians and singers that could have saved the company some much-needed cash. The proposal would have required members of the New York City opera to perform for free in the 2011-2012 season.” [NY1]
NYCO’s George Steel has “…a vision of gradually increasing productions, arriving at 10, with 40 performances…. the company would reach the 10-production benchmark by 2025…. Only about 10 percent of revenue this season is predicted to come from the box office, with the rest mainly provided by donors. The ratio does not change much over the phased growth plan, meaning that only $1 or $1.50 out of $10 will come from ticket purchases.” [New York Times]