City Opera *is* NY. The Met just happens to be there

City Opera *is* NY. The Met just happens to be there


norman lebrecht

December 27, 2016

A gauntlet has been thrown at the Met by Michael Capasso, general director of the revived New York City Opera. He’s speaking to ZealNYC:

City Opera is the ‘people’s opera.’ By comparison, the Met I think of as the United Nations, it belongs to the world but it just happens to be in New York. The Met is a large, international, fantastic opera company. But it’s not uniquely a New York institution, it’s a world institution.

When I look at programming for City Opera, I think of our success in the past and in particular the way that Maestro Rudel would program. He would sell out performances of Carmen and Bohème on the weekends and put obscure repertoire like The Boy Who Grew Too Fast or Street Scene mid-week. He used warhorses to pay for his obscure opera habit.

So our City Opera can be much more of a New York institution and our programming, in keeping with the City Opera tradition, will be some standard repertoire and more contemporary and American opera.

We program Candide which has a great track record for the company and we follow it with a Respighi opera that hasn’t been performed in New York in eighty years. A very City Opera type piece of programming.

Angels in America comes in June and it’s no mistake that we’re doing it during Pride Month, a commitment to doing a gay themed opera in Pride Month going forward.

Read more here.



  • Respect says:

    This is a joke, of course. The mouse that roared. Cappasso is the titan astride a mighty collosus with a budget smaller than most small regional companies, the City Opera of Rudel, Sills and Keene does not exist except in the “branding” of the name.

    Shades of Trump. Amazing how these loud clowns, like the con man Mike Soaracino in Washington, D.C., pretended his string quartet and piano accompanied operas, all cast with marginal amateur singers, managed to tool opera America into printing that his defunct company had a 120,000 million dollar budget a few years back. There are no limits to the number of “useful idiots” who are so celebrity strucjpk that they desperately fall for any con artist. Welcome to America,

    • HaveALittleRespect says:

      Harold Prince directing Candide is not exactly something to be ignored. Instead of belittling people why not attend a performance. America is where “mouse” named mickey become a billion dollar industry. It’s easy to criticize but hard to create. Hats off to those trying to give New York more seriously staged opera in a theater and not a warehouse.

      • Respect says:

        I wasn’t aware the Met performs in a warehouse.

        The issue here is chutzpah, there is no solid record of achievement of the new company that bought the old name, you seem to be confused to the point,

    • Helene Kamioner says:

      That’s Sparacino….not Soaracino. Let’s call him by his right name.

  • Itsjtime says:

    Yeah, and the mets are New York’s team, too.

  • Vaquero357 says:

    How much of a connection does this New York City Opera have with the original one? Did they acquire the sets, costumes, subscriber lists, office records, etc. Or just the name?

    I should do some Googling, I guess, but I thought that the assets of the old NYCO were basically sold off and these guys essentially just won a court battle with another group over using the name.

    As for a performing space….maybe the old New York City Center would give them a home?


  • theexpertsdontagree says:

    I think it’s commendable that someone as knowledgable as Capasso had the courage to reinvent NYCO so that young artists in particular can have a chance to shine. In America, and particularly in NY, there is an enormous gap between smaller regional companies like Loft Opera, Bronx Opera (etc.) and a place like the Metropolitan Opera, which, as he says, is an international institution. This city needs NYCO: the audience needs it, and the people involved need it. You cannot possibly funnel young singers into the Met without some sort of stepping stone, and the NYCO is serving that purpose, as it always has. While it is under new management and things are of course different as they were still getting their feet wet until about a year ago, they are now standing on steady ground and bringing opera to the people in an elegant, professional way, appeasing all the masses. This is not an amateur hour in the least, and if you saw Pagliacci and Florencia, for example, you’d know that. Go to Candide. Give them a chance before making assumptions and bashing for no reason. This is NOT like Trump in any way.