New York City Opera Announces Cast for ‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis’

By David Salazar

The New York City Opera has announced casting for its upcoming production of “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.”

The Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie opera, which will be directed by Richard Strafford, is set to star Rachel Blaustein, Brian James Myer, Mary Phillips, Stephen Powell, and Victor Starsky.

The work will open on Jan. 19, 2022 at the Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The opera is based on Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel and takes place on the eve of World War II. It tells the tale of an Italian-Jewish family who believes they are immune to the changing currents, a belief that will prove tragic for them.

“We are proud to announce the stellar cast of the world premiere of ‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,’” said Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which will be co-producing the opera.  “This important new work illuminates an important part of Italian Jewish history, and sadly, its themes of discrimination and antisemitism still resonate in our world today.”

“‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,’ not only continues New York City Opera’s mission to produce new and important works by American composers, it will also continue NYCO’s tradition of showcasing outstanding talent,” added New York City Opera General Manager Michael Capasso. “I am very excited about our cast which includes many young and emerging artists in leading roles alongside established NYCO stalwarts.”

The premiere of “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” will also represent a major milestone for Gordon, who will see two of his operas premiere in New York in the same month – Lincoln Center Theater will also be presenting his production of “Intimate Apparel” on Jan. 31, 2022.