‘Brokeback Mountain’ Headlines New York City Opera 2017-18 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The New York City Opera’s 2017-18 season has been announced with four main stage operas.

The company will include a Spanish-language opera as part of its Ópera en Español series and will also offer two New York City Opera Concerts in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and a chamber opera series at locations to be announced.

The New York City Opera opens its season on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, featuring a new production of Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West.” City Opera’s new production will be directed by Ivan Stefanutti and conducted by James Meena. The production is an international collaboration between the Teatro di Giglio in Lucca, Italy, the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, Sardinia, and Opera Carolina.

The season continues in October 2017 with the first chamber opera of the season, the New York premiere of Tobias Picker’s “Dolores Claiborne,” based on the novel by Stephen King, in a new chamber adaptation by the composer.  New York City Opera Principal Conductor Pacien Mazzagatti leads the production.

In January 2018 the company will present the third installment of its Ópera en Español series with the New York premiere of José “Pepe” Martinez’s mariachi opera “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.” The libretto is by Leonard Foglia and it represents the world’s first mariachi opera. Leonard Foglia will direct the production at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

After the modern day revival of Respighi’s “La Campana Sommersa,” City Opera will present another 20th-century Italian rarity in April 2018, Montemezzi’s “L’Amore dei Tre Re.” The opera was frequently performed at the Metropolitan Opera before World War II. In 1982, New York City Opera presented the first staged performances of the opera since 1949, starring American bass Samuel Ramey. Next season the new production of “L’Amore” will be conducted by Pacien Mazzagatti and directed by Paul Curran.

In May 2018, the company will offer a double-bill as part of its chamber opera series pairing the New York premiere of Donizetti’s “Il Pigmalione” with Rameau’s “Pygmalion.” It will be the first time in New York that these one-act operas of are brought together in the same program.

In June 2018 the season concludes with the U.S. premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s “Brokeback Mountain.” It represents the second installment in City Opera’s LGBT Pride Initiative. The opera, inspired by the Oscar-winning film directed by Ang Lee, will finally make its premiere after having originally been commissioned by New York City Opera in 2008. However, it ultimately premiered at Madrid’s Teatro Real in 2014. This production will be conducted by American conductor Kazem Abdullah.

The company will also continue its New York City Opera Concerts series and will move to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall with two one-night-only concerts. The first concert on November 9, 2017, will celebrate the 90th birthday of the renowned American composer Dominick Argento and will feature the New York City Opera Orchestra conducted by Gil Rose. On February 20, 2018, the Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, in her only U.S. appearance of the season, will take the stage with pianist Donald Sulzen.

The company will also have Tobias Picker as the composer in Residence.