New York City Opera 2016-17 Preview: Bernstein ‘Candide’ Kicks off Best Possible Way to Start 2017

By David Salazar

The New York City Opera kicks off its season on Friday Jan. 6, with a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

The run will feature a total of 10 performances, including two matinees, two late afternoon shows and six evening performances. The first set of shows kick off on January 6-8. After a short break, the opera returns a week later from the 11th-15th. The performances on the 13th, 14th and 15th were added due to high demand.

The opera will be directed by legendary director Harold Prince, who directed “Candide” with New York City Opera in 1982 and 2008. He is best known for his work on such Broadway productions as Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret,” Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Evita” and “The Phantom of the Opera” and numerous Stephen Sondheim’s classics such as “Pacific Overtures,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” He has also directed opera, including a 1983 production of “Turandot” starring Evan Marton and Jose Carreras in Vienna.

This year will be the opera’s 60th anniversary as it premiered on Dec. 1, 1956. Prince, put together a one-act version that ran on Broadway for 740 performances alongside Hugh Wheeler. That version would be subsequently employed for New York City Opera’s “opera house version” in 1982.

The opera stars Tony Award-nominee Gregg Edelman, Tony Award-winner Linda Lavin, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Mehan Picerno, Keith Phares, Jessica Tyler White and Broadway favorites Chip Zien and Brooks Ashmanskas.

Choreography is by Patricia Birch while Scenery Design is by Clarke Dunham.

Charles Prince will conduct the New York City Opera Orchestra.

After “Candide,” the New York City Opera will feature a concert series for Valentine’s Day before showcasing a production of Ottorino Respighi’s “La Campana Sommersa.” There will also be a production of “Los Elementos” as part of the company’s Ópera en Españolseries and the season will end with the New York Premiere of Péter Eötvös’s “Angels in America” in June.