New York City Opera Announces Bryant Park Summer Seasons

By Francisco Salazar

The New York City Opera will return to Bryant Park for its fourth season of operas as the centerpiece of Bank of America’s Bryant Park Picnic Performance series.

General Director Michael Capasso noted, “We are thrilled to return to live performance with our series this summer in Bryant Park, which is a very important part of the life of New York City Opera. As ‘The People’s Opera’ performing for free in the center of our great city is a privilege and an honor, this year—given the circumstances—even more so.”

The series begins with the company’s annual LGBTQ Pride concert, which will feature a diverse program of selections from opera and musical theater. The concert will feature Jessica Fishenfeld, Lauren Hoffmeier, Melanie Long, Jordan Weatherston Pitts, Brian James Myer, and Peter Kendall Clark. Kathryn Olander is Music Director and Pianist.

Performance Date: June 18, 2021

The company will produce an hour-long, fully staged production of Bizet’s “Carmen.” Staged and choreographed by Sarah Doudna, the opera will star Lisa Chavez in the title role, Jason Karn as Don José, Joshua Jeremiah as Escamillo, and Kristin Sampson as Micaëla. Kathryn Olander is Music Director and Pianist.

Performance Date: July 2, 2021

The company will present “Now That’s What I Call Opera!” featuring Lisa Chavez, Kristin Sampson, Victor Starsky, and Adam Cioffari in music from “The Barber of Seville,” “Carmen,” “Rigoletto,” and “La Bohème.” Kamal Khan is Music Director and Pianist for the concert.

Performance Date: August 21, 2021

The company concludes its series with Verdi’s “Rigoletto” in a newly created, 90-minute version. The performance will star Michael Chioldi in the title role, Brandie Sutton as Gilda, Won Whi Choi as the Duke of Mantua, Lisa Chavez as Maddalena, and Kevin Short as Sparafucile. Newly named NYCO Music Director and Principal Conductor Constantine Orbelian will conduct musicians from the NYCO Orchestra. The production will be staged by Michael Capasso and will feature narration written and performed by acclaimed Shakespearean actor and noted playwright Bill Van Horn.

Performance Date: Sept. 3, 2021