La Cieca hears that the “all 20th century” concept of the first Gerard Mortier season at NYCO may be subject to modification. According to an impeccably reliable source, the first season

will include a rarely-seen French Grand Opera and an evening centered around pieces of Verdi done with a double chorus – one all African-American, one all Caucasian that will tell stories of today’s New York. During the first season we can also expect a new Pelleas et Melisande, but the plan for Nixon in China has been abandoned due to Gelb’s producing it in 2010-11. NYCO and The Met are committed to being divergent – aiming toward no overlap in the repertory.

On the horizon for 2011-2012: a “massive” production of Billy Budd to feature Nathan Gunn in the title role for the first time in New York. . .  at The Park Avenue Armory.