New York City Vampire Opera?

120521_dracula_ap_328So today’s New York Times has an article apparently confirming the relaunch of New York City Opera.  On the face of it, good news, if it indeed happens.  That said, apparently the plan is to open with a production of Tosca at Lincoln Center.  As Micaela at Likely Impossibilities has shown 30% of Met performances this season are of works by Puccini.  Is more Puccini, probably presented in a highly traditional way, what the New York, indeed the North American, opera scene really needs?  One would say at least it was creating work for singers but when the boss of the new outfit was last seen running a company that was sued for not paying its musicians I’m not even sure about that!  Not so much resurrection as the undead walking?

7 thoughts on “New York City Vampire Opera?

  1. As a New Yorker I would normally welcome the return of NYCO. I am however skeptical (to say the least) of NYCO Renaissance. First of all it is being run by a former NYCO board member (and it was ten years of gross mismanagement by NYCO’s board that led to its demise) and a guy who I believe has still not paid his singers for the last production his company did 2 1/2 years ago. The rationale for Tosca (which the Met only did 13 times this Fall) is that it was the first opera NYCO ever performed–I would have preferred one of the many works that had US or World premieres at NYCO or a work new to NYC (Minotaur anyone?). These guys put out a prospectus about a year and a half ago which went on about how New York needed a company to put on more “traditional” productions–from reading it you would have thought Gelb was running Komische Oper or Bay Staats on the Hudson.

    • My feelings pretty much! I did wonder whether they were going to play the “traditional” card. As you say, how far behind the rest of the world do they want to be? Will Jello salad and tuna casserole be served in the restaurant? It’s rather sad as, in a sense, it’s a zero sum game and if more money is poured into traditional production of Puccini there will be even less chance of ever seeing Minotaur.

  2. Wouldn’t it good to give a little encouragement sometime instead of always harping and complaining? At least these people are making an effort and we should be cheering them on.without all these smug and simplistic opinions. The circle has also come around. The majority of opera goers are now wanting to return to traditional productions as the composers intended. Chailly, at Scala as well as other companies are leading the way back.

    • You are entitled to your opinion. I do my encouraging where I think it does the most good. I spend a huge amount of time and effort promoting and getting publicity for smaller companies that are doing innovative work and attracting a new, younger, audience for opera and classical vocal music. I don’t think New York needs more traditional productions of Puccini. It already has more than enough. NYCO will soak up a ton of money that, in my opinion, could be used for something more valuable than pacifying the dinosaurs. I’m also slightly startled that anyone could use “composers’ original intention” and “simplistic” in the space of four sentences without irony.

    • I agree with John. Small companies are starting to spring up all over NYC. These companies need support. NY could certainly use another “major league” opera company but not if it is just going to replicate what the Met is doing in productions that would not have been out of place 100 years ago. The only good I see of this is some very talented people will get some much needed work. The effort “these people” are making I suspect is much more about boosting their egos.

  3. More Puccini is definitely NOT what we need. The strength of the old NYCO was that it did things that the Met didn’t – I remember an entertaining modern version of Rameau’s Platea; a fully staged Alcina, etc. If this revived NYCO can build on the strengths of the old one, I’m all for it.

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