8 World Premieres Headline New York Opera Fest 2020 Lineup

By David Salazar

The New York Opera Fest has announced its fifth annual showcase, which will feature over 60 performances across New York City’s five boroughs.

With such a diverse number of productions, this article will divide up the section to cater to differing operatic tastes.

It all kicks off with the traditional NYOA Service Awards, which will honor a special contributor to the New York opera community and showcase performances from numerous participating companies. That honoree is to be announced at a later date.

Performance Date: April 27, 2020

Classical Repertory 

The Victor Herbert Renaissance Project will present “Mlle Modiste” at Christ & St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

Performance Dates: May 5-6, 2020 

Brooklyn College Opera Theatre will present the iconic “The Magic Flute” at the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for Performing Arts.

Performance Dates: May 8, 10, 2020

New Amsterdam Opera will present Verdi, Scribe, and Duveyrier’s “I Vespri Siciliani” at The Center at West Park in Manhattan. Keith Chambers conducts.

Performance Date: May 9, 2020 

Regina Opera Company will take on “Turandot” at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Brooklyn.

Performance Dates: May 9-17, 2020 

Heartbeat Opera will do its usual revamping of a classical work, this time taking on Verdi and Piave’s “Macbeth” and transforming it into the 90-minute “Lady M.” The performances are set to take place at Irondale in Brooklyn.

Performance Dates: May 11-16, 2020 

Opera Lafayette is set to present the modern premiere of “Le Maréchal ferrant.” This will be the first time the company translates a French comic opera from the 18th century into the English language. The showcase will take place at the Museo del Barrio.

Performance Dates: May 14, 2020 

City Lyric Opera will stage Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” at the Rubert Moss Theater in Manhattan.

Performance Date: May 14-17, 2020 

The Collectio Musicorum will present Henry Purcell’s Music for the Opera at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church. The showcase will feature music from “Dido and Aeneas” as well as “The Fairy Queen,” “Dioclesian,” and “King Arthur,” among others.

Performance Date: May 15, 2020 

Opera on Tap will continue its Playground Opera series with “La Cenerentola 2.0” at PS 129 in Manhattan.

Performance Date: June 11-12, 2020 



Modern Opera

Encompass Opera is set to showcase “Angel of the Amazon: Paradigm Shifts,” a work composed and written by Evan Mack at the Alliance of Resident Theatres in Brooklyn.

Performance Dates: TBA 

New Camerata Opera will present “Barnum’s Bird,” an opera by Libby Larsen and Bridget Carpenter. The work will be staged at Le Poisson Rouge.

Performance Dates: May 7-15, 2020

Opera on Tap will continue its Home Brewed Opera Series at Freddy’s in Brooklyn.

Performance Date: May 14, 2020

Queens College Opera will present a Young Artists Concert at the Aaron Copland School of Music.

Performance Date: May 15, 2020

Opera on Tap will present its New Brew Series at Barbes in Brooklyn.

Performance Date: June 5, 2020 

Experiments in Opera will feature “Rainbird,” a new opera by Mallory Catlett and Aaron Siegel. The performance will feature Gelsey Bell, Justin Hicks, Anais Maviel, Dave Ruder, Andie Springer, Matt Evans, and Paul Kerekes. The event will take place at Roulette in Brooklyn.

Performance Dates: June 11, 2020 



World Premieres

Rhymes with Opera will showcase Adam Matlock and Brian Slattery’s “Red Giant” at The Fleat Theater.

Performance Dates: May 1-3, 2020 

Hunter Opera Theatre will present the world premiere of “Richard Burke Pocket Opera” at The Flea Theater. This showcase will feature four operas including “The Taxi Driver,” “The Blue Bird Opera: The Pursuit of Happiness,” “Prince Danila Govorila,” and “Panic Room.”

Performance Dates: May 8-9, 2020 

Vertical Player Repertory will showcase the world premiere of “Midnight in the Garden” featuring soprano Francesca Mondanaro. The performances are set for The Blue Building and Behind the Door.

Performance Dates: May 22, 2020

Beth Morrison Projects will world premiere “Performance of Self” with music and libretto by Jodie Landau. The event will be presented at the National Sawdust.

Performance Date: May 27, 2020

American Opera Project will world premiere “Songs from the Green Room” at the South Oxford Space with performances by Justine Aronson, Augusta Caso, Brandon Coleman, Mario Diaz-Moresco, Jasmine Muhhamad, and Timothy Stoddard.

Performance Date: May 29-30, 2020 

No Dominion Theatre Company will also feature the world premiere of “HindSight.” The opera features music by Felix Jarrar with libretto by Bea Goodwin. The performance will be presented at the Blue Building.

Performance Date: May 29-31, 2020

Capital Opera Albany will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the world Premiere of “Kammeroper 1804,” based on the composer’s other unfinished opera. The work will be directed by Bill Kaufmann at West End Theater.

Performance Date: June 25-28, 2020

 The little OPERA theatre of NY will present the world premiere of “The Shepherd King,” a new singing translation of “Il Re Pastore.” This version will feature music by Mark Hermand and Ronnie Apter.

Performance Date: TBA