UPDATE: Complete press release after the jump! You know La Cieca will be following NYCO’s press conference starting today at 1:00 pm. The Twittering community will carry live updates from the event, and you, the cher public, can follow the tweets after the jump. 

Here’s the complete press release from NYCO:

New York City Opera General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel announced today that the company will make New York City its stage for the 2011/12 season. With an imaginative and accessible season that encompasses productions ranging from the Baroque to Classical to Romantic and Contemporary, City Opera will create a living presence in neighborhoods across New York, including Brooklyn, the Upper West Side, Harlem and Central Park. The company will present a season of classics, undiscovered and new works that explore a repertory ranging nearly 300 years.

“Today, ‘The People’s Opera’ is coming to meet the people of New York in Brooklyn, in Harlem, in Central Park, on the West Side, the East Side – wherever New Yorkers live and love their favorite opera company,” said George Steel. “New York City Opera’s new home stage will be New York City itself – a theater with eight million seats.”

Steel continued: “For our new 2011/12 season, we have been able to match each opera with a performing space that ideally suits it. This new model gives the operas a custom-fit setting, while also weaving New York City Opera directly into the cultural fabric of New York City, neighborhood by neighborhood.”

The 2011/12 season will open in Brooklyn in February with La traviata in a new staging by Jonathan Miller followed by the New York premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna, also in February, directed by Tim Albery. Both operas will be performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. The next offering will take City Opera to the Upper West Side in March for Così fan tutte, the second installment of the company’s Mozart/Da Ponte cycle led by director Christopher Alden, in performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. In May, City Opera travels to Harlem to present Telemann’s Orpheus in the theater at El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio. Beyond fully staged opera productions, New York City Opera will present additional concert events as part of the 2011/12 season. Full casting details and concert performance information will be announced at a later date.

New York City Opera and The Public Theater are thrilled to announce a new initiative to present operas based on Shakespeare plays at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in the fall of 2012. Tickets will be free. The first opera will be presented next season with hopes for a continuing relationship. The repertoire of wonderful Shakespeare operas includes dozens of 19th century, modern, and baroque masterpieces by Verdi, Britten, Purcell, and dozens more. The full announcement will be made later in the year. Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis said: “Fiorello La Guardia called the New York City Opera ‘The People’s Opera.’ The People’s Opera and The Public Theater make sense together. Free Shakespeare in the Park is one of our great civic traditions, and to combine Shakespeare, with Opera, outdoors, in the center of the greatest city in the world, for free, will make a beautiful sound.”

Steel continued: “New York City Opera is open for business. The Company is forging ahead with a strong and invigorating new model that will redefine the experience of live opera in New York City. We are thrilled with our new partnerships, and we look forward to building new collaborations in the future.”

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo said: “New York City Opera’s adventurous artistic spirit will be embraced in Brooklyn. We look forward to having new work by Jonathan Miller and Rufus Wainwright on our opera house stage, and to welcoming George Steel and his dynamic vision to BAM.”

Chair of the Board of Trustees at El Museo del Barrio Tony Bechara said: “’The People’s Opera’ at El Museo… it’s a great idea. El Teatro is intimate and beautiful, and a perfect complement to Handel or Telemann. We are so pleased to work with New York City Opera and welcome their ideas with open arms.”


La traviata Verdi’s masterpiece La traviata returns to City Opera in a new production by acclaimed director Jonathan Miller. This co-production between Glimmerglass Festival and Vancouver Opera focuses on the psychological drama between the characters; during a recent Vancouver performance the Vancouver Sun wrote, “Miller’s vision of the over-all trajectory of the drama is unhurried; there are no tricks or flashy gimmicks. But the dramatic arc of the story—so obvious and so inevitable—is conveyed powerfully, and the final act, staged with stark realism, is completely gripping. Miller’s La traviata is a rich and distinguished evening of music theatre.”

The coveted title role will be soprano, and Brooklyn native, Laquita Mitchell, joined by Canadian tenor David Pomeroy in the role of Alfredo, making his City Opera debut. The sets and costumes are designed by Isabella Bywater, the lighting is designed by Robert Wierzel. The production will take place in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

Performance Dates: February 12 (mat), 14, 16, 18

Prima Donna Affectionately referred by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the today’s finest male vocalists and songwriters. Prima Donna is the composer’s first opera, for which he also co-wrote the French libretto with Bernadette Colomine. The opera takes place during a single day in the life of an aging opera singer, anxiously preparing for her comeback in 1970s Paris. Prima Donna was commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Sadler’s Wells, Luminato: Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity and an excerpt was performed with the Oregon Symphony for The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival. There will also be a portion of it performed next week at the Royal Opera House in London. The work premiered to great acclaim in 2009 at the Manchester International Festival and more recently received a 2011 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera.

Rising star Melody Moore will return to City Opera to sing the tour-de-force title role in a production by acclaimed director Tim Albery. She will be joined by debut artists Rebecca Bottone and Randal Turner. The set and costumes for production are designed by debut artist Antony McDonald, the lighting designer is Thomas C. Hase, making his company debut. The production will take place in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

Performance Dates: February 19 (mat), 21, 23, 25

Così fan tutte The fidelity of two sisters is put to the test in Mozart’s comedy of love, lies, and constancy. This eagerly-anticipated new production will be the second in Christopher Alden’s ongoing Mozart/Da Ponte cycle, which launched last season with the critically-acclaimed Don Giovanni. The cast for the production will once again feature a hand-picked selection of today’s most promising young talents, led by the sure hand of Alden, about whom the New York Observer wrote, “[Alden] has been giving the most consistently vibrant operatic theater in the city.”

Featured performers include debut artists Amanda Majeski as Fiordiligi, Jennifer Holloway as Dorabella and Allan Clayton as Ferrando. Philip Cutlip returns to City Opera as Guglielmo and Marie Lenormand sings Despina. Rod Gilfry makes his City Opera debut as Don Alfonso and the production will be conducted by returning artist Christian Curnyn. The production will feature sets by Andrew Lieberman, costumes by Terese Wadden, and lighting by Aaron Black. The production will take place at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College.

Performance Dates: March 18 (mat), 20, 22, 24

Orpheus City Opera, widely renowned for fueling the rediscovery of Handel’s operas, continues its leadership role by expanding its exploration of the Baroque with a new production of Georg Phillipp Telemann’s 1726 opera Orpheus, one of the few Telemann operas that has survived intact. Ranging from pastorals to historical opera seria to slapstick comedy, Telemann’s operas are rich and full of invention, often using a broader palette of instrumental color and formal variety than is typically found in operas by Handel, his junior by four years.

The tri-lingual libretto for Orpheus is in German, French, and Italian, and offers a unique twist on the Orpheus myth, focusing on the character of Orasia, Queen of Thrace, whose jealousy brings about the fall of Orpheus and Eurydice. The title role will be sung by baritone Daniel Teadt. Gary Thor Wedow will conduct, with a creative team to be announced at a later date. The production will take place at El Teatro del Museo del Barrio.

Performance dates: May 12, 15, 17, 20 (mat)