Awakening New York City Opera names a music director

Awakening New York City Opera names a music director


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2021

New York’s second opera company, which was paralysed well before Covid by financial and other difficulties, has roused itself sufficiently to appoint a music director and announce a first production.

The new chief is Constantine Orbelian, a close friend of the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

The first production will be Rigoletto on Sunday, August 29 at the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in Kingston, New York, repeated the following Friday as part of Bryant Park’s annual Picnic Performance series.


  • Nick says:

    Congratulations to K. Orbelian!

  • Jack says:

    It should be noted that the NYCO Rigoletto is merely a 90 minute reduction.

    I would imagine this means cutting “Possente Amor Mi Chiama”, among other numbers.

    • Still worth celebrating says:

      90 minutes more than anything NYCO has presented in two+ years. As good as it is to have an established MD, he should bring in other people into the city opera fabric and kick Capasso out, who lacks both a high caliber artistic sensibility and the fundraising skills necessary to resurrect NYCO opera again, this time without the help of their last chairman.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      A modest beginning, to be sure; one hopes it leads to sustainable regrowth.

  • Fred Franz says:

    NYCO is a zombie opera company. You think it’s gone, and it keeps crawling back.

    Can they just shutter for good and leave the oxygen to a company willing to fill a mid-range niche somewhere in between the many (some very good) independent small companies in the city and the Met?

    The Jazz at Lincoln Center space would be great for someone willing to put on a combination of new composers and Baroque performances that aren’t *always* appropriate for a space as big as the Met.

  • Steven Scott says:

    New York’s second opera company? Are you living in 1975? NYCO is dead and not going to return, no matter a few weird performances with the nameplate glued on every now and then.