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    New York City Opera
    to bring music to all five boroughs in 2008-2009
    as the New York State Theater Undergoes
    Historic Renovation

    2008-2009 Highlights Include
    Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra
    starring Lauren Flanigan & Teddy Tahu Rhodes

    New York City Opera will present a series of concerts, showcases, discussions, screenings, and master classes in 2008-09, designed to bring the company's unique brand of music-making and cultural conversation to all five boroughs of New York City while renovations take place at its home, the New York State Theater.

    Highlights of 2008-09 will include Looking Forward, a dynamic survey of the musical language that will be heard in 2009-10, City Opera's first season under General Manager-Designate Gerard Mortier. Other highlights will include a celebration of American composer Samuel Barber in anticipation of the centennial of his birth, Opera Matters, a series of events demonstrating the importance of opera in contemporary culture, and the 10th-anniversary edition of VOX, City Opera's acclaimed annual showcase for new American operas.

    "We are bringing City Opera out to New York in 2008-09," said City Opera Board Chairman Susan L. Baker, "Our goal is to provide audiences with a distinctive series of concerts and events that look forward to the future of New York City Opera, while our home in the New York State Theater is undergoing an historic renovation." Through an unprecedented joint initiative by City Opera and the theater's other resident company, New York City Ballet, the New York State Theater's patron amenities will be modernized and upgraded in 2008-09. Improvements will include construction of an enlarged, movable orchestra pit, which will significantly enhance the acoustical environment.

    As the centerpiece of the Samuel Barber celebration, City Opera is proud to present a concert staging of his Antony and Cleopatra on January 15 and 16, 2009 at 8PM in Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue). City Opera Soprano Lauren Flanigan sings the role of Cleopatra opposite baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, in his New York City Opera debut, as Antony. The cast also includes City Opera favorites Simon O'Neill as Caesar, David Pittsinger as Enobarbus, Sandra Piques Eddy as Charmian and Laura Vlasak Nolen as Iras. City Opera Music Director George Manahan will conduct. City Opera's celebration of Samuel Barber will also feature a symposium on Antony and Cleopatra on Saturday, January 10, co-presented by and taking place at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University (2960 Broadway at 116th Street).

    In anticipation of City Opera's 2009-10 season, Maestro Manahan has developed a concert program called Looking Forward, which the New York City Opera Orchestra and City Opera soloists will perform in all five boroughs. The concerts will survey the music of the 20th century, focusing on many of the composers to be featured in Gerard Mortier's inaugural season. Maestro Manahan offered, "In Looking Forward we will be celebrating the music of some of the great composers of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Lukas Foss, Olivier Messiaen, Steve Reich, Igor Stravinsky, and Edgard Varèse, among others. It will be a terrific opportunity for audiences to re-discover the beauty and richness of the unique styles and harmonies of this important era in music history in advance of our 20th century-focused 2009-10 season."

    Looking Forward concerts will be held at:
      • STATEN ISLAND: Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 8:00p
        St. George Theatre, 35 Hyatt Street, Staten Island
      • BROOKLYN: Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 4:00p
        Whitman Theater at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Brooklyn College (CUNY), 2900 Campus Road, Brooklyn
      • BRONX: Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 5:00p
        Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lehman College (CUNY), 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx
      • QUEENS: Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 8:00pm
        LaGuardia Performing Arts Center on the campus of LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) 31-10 Thompson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens
      • MANHATTAN: Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8:00pm
        Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center 65th Street and Broadway, Manhattan

    Opera Matters, another initiative to bring opera into the lives of New Yorkers, is a series of lively talks and panel discussions, enhanced by live music, film, and other media. Curated by City Opera Dramaturg Cori Ellison, this series aims to place opera squarely at the center of today's culture. Opera Matters programs will include:
    • Cinematic Opera/Operatic Cinema - A co-presentation with The Film Society of Lincoln Center, this four-part series examines the mutual influences and close relationship between these two vital art forms. The series, beginning on Saturday, November 1, takes place at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center, and comprises three film screenings followed by lectures, culminating in a panel discussion featuring world-famous film directors who have also directed operas.
    • The Sounds of Literature - A co-presentation with the "Live from the NYPL" series at the New York Public Library (42nd St & Fifth Ave), this multi-part series of programs, beginning in November presents creative vistas on the remarkable intersection of words and music.
    • Opera, Pop Culture & Mass Media - In this co-presentation with The Paley Center for Media on Thursday, April 23, top media critics, opera experts, and advertising moguls screen clips and discuss opera's pervasive and enduring presence and meaning in popular media including TV shows, cartoons, commercials, the Internet, video games, music videos, and satellite radio.

    In honor of Black History Month, City Opera co-presents Black History at NYCO with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Beginning Wednesday, January 28, we celebrate the important African-American works and artists who have graced City Opera's stage in three commemorative programs featuring discussion, live performance, special guests, and historic slides and audio and video clips.

    On the heels of City Opera's most successful VOX Showcase of American Composers, which was attended by more than 2,000 people last year, the company is thrilled to announce the 10th-Anniversary Showcase scheduled for May 2009, at which point City Opera will have presented 100 total new American operas. In addition to excerpts from new American operas featuring City Opera casts and orchestra, VOX will include panel discussions and a master class for singers in contemporary music. VOX 2009 submissions will be received June 1 through September 1, 2008. Details on selected works, composers and casting will be announced in 2009.

    George ManahanCity Opera Music Director George Manahan made his City Opera debut conducting Die tote Stadt in 1991. In his tenure at City Opera, he has conducted 53 different operas including two world premieres, four US stage premieres and forty-one new productions including but not limited to: Margaret Garner, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Cendrillon, Madama Butterfly, Falstaff, Candide, L'elisir d'amore, La donna del lago, Capriccio, Il viaggio a Reims, The Mines of Sulphur, Lysistrata, Il trittico, Little Women, Flavio, The Flying Dutchman, Xerxes, Intermezzo, The Cunning Little Vixen, Emmeline, Macbeth, La finta giardiniera, Mourning Becomes Electra, Ermione, Lizzie Borden, La bohème ("Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts). Elsewhere, he has conducted Rigoletto, Falstaff, and L'Italiana in Algeri at Glimmerglass Opera; premieres at Santa Fe Opera including Modern Painters and A Night at the Chinese Opera; productions at Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Australia, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; concerts with San Francisco Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Verona Filarmonica; recordings include Desire Under the Elms with London Symphony Orchesta (Grammy nomination).

    Lauren FlaniganSoprano Lauren Flanigan most recently sang the title role in Samuel Barber's Vanessa at City Opera. Originally from San Francisco, California, she made her City Opera debut as Musetta in La bohème in 1991. Since then, she has been a regular City Opera favorite singing lead roles in: Mourning Becomes Electra, Macbeth, Lilith, Central Park, The Mother of Us All, Intermezzo, Lizzie Borden, The Seven Deadly Sins, The Turn of the Screw, Mathis der Maler, Esther (world premiere), Roberto Devereux, and Die tote Stadt. Other performances at La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, San Francisco Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Brucknerhaus Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and English National Opera; live recording of Richard Strauss' Die Liebe der Danae (Telarc), Howard Hanson's Merrymount, Symphony #6 by Philip Glass; DVD Opera Diva Death to Smoochy, Abigaille Nabucco. Winner of City Opera's Diva Award and Betty Allen prize.

    Teddy Tahu RhodesNew Zealand baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes makes his City Opera debut as Antony. Most recently, he sang the role of Ned Keene in Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera in his debut. Other appearances include opera engagements in San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Washington, Munich, Hamburg, the Chatelet, Paris, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera to his credit . Future engagements include Count Almaviva in Cincinnati, Don Giovanni for Opera Australia, Henze's L'Upupa for Hamburg Opera, Lescaut in Leipzig, and Billy Budd in both Santa Fe and Sydney.
    Simon O'NeillNew Zealand Tenor Simon O'Neill made his City Opera debut in 2003 as First Armed Man in Die Zauberflöte. Most recently, he sang the role of Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Other credits include: title role of Parsifal in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Future seasons see him in the title role of Lohengrin at Houston Grand Opera and Covent Garden, Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Coruna Festival and Hamburg State Opera, Parsifal at Barcelona's Teatro Liceu and in his Opera Australia debut as Sergei in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

    David PittsingerBass-baritone David Pittsinger made his City Opera debut in the title role in Don Giovanni in 2001. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, he returned to City Opera to sing the title role in Le nozze di Figaro and Zoroastro in Orlando. Other career highlights include Carlo V in Don Carlo, and Colline in La bohème at Metropolitan Opera; Count Almaviva at Los Angeles Opera; Cadmus/Somnus in Semele in Paris; title role in Don Quichotte at Vienna's Theater an der Wien; Olin Blitch in Susannah at Opera Company of Philadelphia; Mephistopheles in Faust for Geneva, L'Opéra de Montréal, Italy's Macerata Festival, Vancouver, Calgary; Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress for Brussels, Lausanne, Hamburg, Paris, Bordeaux; Tiresias in Oedipus Rex at Teatro San Carlo, and Count Rodolfo in La Sonnambula for Palermo.

    Sandra Piques EddySandra Piques Eddy, mezzo-soprano, originally hails from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She made her City Opera debut as Flora in La traviata in 2002. Most recent City Opera engagements have included Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado.  Other career highlights include Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with both Canadian Opera Company and Atlanta Opera; Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Vancouver Opera; Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Hawaii Opera Theatre; the title role in La Cenerentola, and soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C, both at Spoleto Festival (USA); and was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera for their performances of Le nozze di Figaro and War and Peace. In summer of 2008, she sings Romeo in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi at Glimmerglass Opera. Her 2008-09 season currently includes singing the role of Page in Salome and appearing as soloist in the Opening Night Gala for the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in La Tragédie de Carmen with Chicago Opera Theater; the title role in La Cenerentola with Austin Lyric Opera; and the roles of Juno and Ino in Semele with Florentine Opera.

    Laura Vlasak NolenMezzo-soprano Laura Vlasak Nolen made her City Opera debut as Sélysette in Ariane et Barbe-bleue in 2005. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she returned to City Opera as Malcolm in La donna del lago.  Most recently, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2007-08 as Waltraute in Die Walküre, and sang Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Spoleto Festival (USA). She performed Haydn’s Mass in Time of War with The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center; Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Honolulu Symphony; Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra; and appeared as Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri in gala concerts sponsored by UNESCO in Paris, France and New York City. In summer of 2008, Ms. Nolen will sing the title role in Giulio Cesare at Glimmerglass Opera. In 2008-09 she returns to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise the role of Waltraute in Die Walküre as well as to sing Inez in Il trovatore, appears as Dorotea in Pedrotti’s Tutti in maschera at Wexford Festival Opera, and as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

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    Editor's Notes:  New York City  NightLife, Entertainment is part of a web site collection which promotes the Inter - City Cultural Communications web site program between selected cities and Ithaca, New York.  Moreover, the is a greater expansion with the blogging world and its significance in the future is in the efforts of several coporation's community investments in making available blogging platforms - services open and free to the public; this gives every one an in on the Internet- both rich and poor alike on equal level. This entire initiative was deliberately planned well in advance in as much as it was the chosen critical path method by which to implemented on the Internet Intercultural Communications.  Culture in its purity is the beauty of life itself as expressed.
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