NY City Opera commissions supermodel opera

NY City Opera commissions supermodel opera


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2016

The company they brought back from the dead is showing vital signs of life.

Next season, its first since returning from bankruptcy, New York City Opera will stage six productions.

They include a Harold Prince production of Bernstein’s Candide; a double bill of Rachmaninov’s esoteric Aleko with Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci; Respighi’s La Campana Sommersa (The Sunken Bell); and the New York premieres of Peter Eotvos’s Angels in America, based on the Tony Kushner play, and Tobin Stokes’ Iraq War saga, Fallujah.

In addition, the company has commissioned a supermodel bio-opera, American Venus, on the life of Audrey Munson, from Tobias Picker for 2019.

All this on a budget of $6.4 million.

It’s fresh, it’s different, it’s not the Met.

What’s not to like?

anna nicole roh

A cautionary word: it was a supermodel opera, Anna Nicole, that sank City Opera last time round.


  • Itsjtime says:

    I do believe Ms. Anna Nicole Smith woulld never have sunk The City Opera because her most obvious assets would ensure her bouyancy.

    Why does it seem that in America the overwhelming majority of art organizations’ management are generally the inept dregs from business school?…
    oh, yeah….capitalism.

    • C. Squarcialupi says:

      Actually, they are mostly the dregs from arts management degree programs. They never went near a business school.

      • La Verita says:

        No, it is the dregs from the 1% Club sitting on the boards of performing arts associations, (all of whom think they are competent to make decisions simply because they have money) who killed NY City Opera and other such organizations.

    • John Borstlap says:

      The first sentence of this comment invokes images of spectacular operatic entertainment.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The new operas make one fear the worst – either because of the composer or because of the subject, or both.

  • Dave T says:

    Supermodels and AIDS are so 1980’s. Iraq is only a little less passe. Is this what passes as topical?

    • Cyril Blair says:

      So you want an opera about ISIS or Trump? Maybe by the time those are commissioned, composed, and performed, those two evils will be passe too. One can hope, at least.

      • Dave T says:

        Donald Trump on his “worst” day will forever be more compelling than the other money grubbing airhead. ISIS, they’re just mono-obsessionally evil: Not that interesting.

  • MWnyc says:

    Norman, you forgot the sixth production: Los Elementos by Antonio de Literes (1673-1747).

    I wonder if City Opera’s union contract will let them use period instruments in the pit for that one.

    And by the way, it wasn’t Anna Nicole that sank the old New York City Opera. Every single ticket for the run was sold.