524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019
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Young Polish tenor Piotr Buszewski (Pigmalione) is currently completing his residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he recently appeared as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Later this season he debuts Alfredo in La traviata at AVA and this summer he will make his debut as the Duke in Rigoletto at the Wolftrap Festival. In the summer of 2017 Mr. Buszewski performed the role of Ernesto in Don Pasquale at Brevard Music Center. Prior to that, he debuted the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Oberlin in Italy. This performance of Donizetti’s Il Pigmalione is both his City Opera and his US professional debut. His future engagements include his debut with the Memphis Symphony in Berlioz’s Te deum, and his debut with the Dallas Opera in Szymanowski’s King Roger.
Soprano Jessica Sandidge (Galatea) has been described as having a "genuinely beautiful sound throughout her voice." Of her performance as Mimí with Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance, Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times wrote "...these young singers understand Puccini’s characters, especially Jessica Sandidge, who brings a melting soprano voice and vulnerability to Mimí, the winsome seamstress stricken with tuberculosis.” Later this year she will reprise the role of Mimí in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s La bohème and perform Violetta in La traviata with St. Petersburg Opera. She joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2016/17 season, covering the role of Jano in Janáček's Jenůfa and returned this season to cover Sylvainne in The Merry Widow. Her other recent performances include the role of Margaret Hughes in the New York premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, with Little Opera Theater of New York; Violetta with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra; Micaëla with Heartbeat Opera; Hannah Glawari in The Merry Widow with The Muses Project; and Mimí with Opera at the Madison.
Tenor Thor Arbjornsson (Pigmalion) made his U.S. professional debut in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol under the baton of Pierre Boulez with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has appeared with Santa Fe Opera, LoftOpera, Icelandic National Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Aspen Music Festival, Opera Company of Middlebury, and American Opera Projects. In 2015 he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major. Opera News wrote “perfect fit in the title role [of Le Comte Ory]…a sweetly lyrical tenor that never sounded strained, regardless of the vocal gyrations the role demands.” WQXR wrote that “Most notable…was the Rodrigo [in Rossini’s Otello] of Thor Arbjornsson…. Yes, plenty of high notes are there, and they’re also thrilling.” His most recent engagement was covering Lawrence Brownlee as Arturo in Bellini´s I Puritani at The Lyric Opera of Chicago. Upcoming engagements include Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Greece and tenor soloist in Mozart´s Requiem in Orlando, Florida.
Puerto Rican soprano Samarie Alicea (La Statue) has been praised by The New York Times for her “bright-voiced and endearing soprano.” Last season she made her New York City Opera role debut as Aire in Literes’s opera Los elementos and appeared this season as Clorinda in City Opera’s production of La cenerentola. Later this season, Ms. Alicea will perform as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Heartbeat Opera. Recently she performed as Clorinda in La cenerentola in City Opera’s series in Bryant Park and was seen Off-Broadway as Susana in Figaro 90210!, Vid Guerrerio's updated version of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Her other recent appearances include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera and Servilia in La clemenza di Tito with dell´Arte Opera Ensemble. Ms. Alicea was the first prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Puerto Rico.
Mezzo-soprano Melanie Long (Cupid) made her New York City Opera debut in 2016 portraying Ava (Gardner) in Stewart Wallace’s Hopper's Wife. Recent credits include featured roles the 2018 PROTOTYPE Festival's Acquanetta, the World Premiere of Cerise Jacobs's and Julian Wachner's Rev 23 with White Snake Projects, and Petra in A Little Night Music at Des Moines Metro Opera. A former Opera Works artist at English National Opera, Melanie performs regularly at the UK Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where her appearances have included the title role in Maria Stuarda, Rosina in The Barber of Seville and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte.
A frequent performer with the New York City Opera, mezzo-soprano Julia Snowden (Céphise) recently covered the title roles in both Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne and Stewart Wallace’s Hopper’s Wife, and performed as Mercédès in the international tour of Carmen. Her other notable roles include Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon, Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte, Kate Pinkterton in Madama Butterfly, Giovanna in Rigoletto, Florence in Albert Herring, and Meg in Little Women. She has performed with companies and festivals across the United States, including the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Opera Collaborative, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Utopia Opera, Brevard Music Center, and Opera in the Ozarks. Ms. Snowden will be seen next as the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Massapequa Philharmonic.
Gil Rose ( Conductor )
Gil Rose is a conductor helping to shape the future of classical music. His dynamic performances and many recordings have garnered international critical praise. Over the past decade, Mr. Rose has built a reputation as one of the country’s most inventive and versatile opera conductors. He is the founder of Odyssey Opera, a highly-acclaimed company dedicated to eclectic and overlooked operatic repertoire. Mr. Rose led Opera Boston as its Music Director starting in 2003, and in 2010 was appointed the company's first Artistic Director. With Opera Boston and the contemporary festival Opera Unlimited, he conducted multiple New England, American, and world premieres. Mr. Rose is also a frequent guest conductor, appearing most recently in his 2016 New York City Opera debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and in his 2015 Japanese debut substituting for Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival. In 1996, Mr. Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), whose unique programming and high performance standards have earned the orchestra fourteen ASCAP awards for adventurous programming, the John S. Edwards Award, and Musical America’s 2016 Ensemble of the Year Award. An active recording artist, he serves as the executive producer of the BMOP/sound label, which has received widespread praise for its contemporary and 20th-century catalog of over 70 releases. He has led the longstanding Monadnock Music Festival in historic Peterborough, NH, since 2012. Mr. Rose’s accolades include Columbia University’s prestigious Ditson Award, an ASCAP Concert Music Award for exemplary commitment to new American music, and four Grammy Award nominations.
Richard Stafford ( Director & Choreographer )
Richard Stafford made his New York City Opera debut in 2017 as director and choreographer of the American premiere of Antonio Literes's Los elementos. His Broadway credits include choreographer for In My Life at the Music Box Theatre, associate choreographer for Aspects of Love at the Broadhurst Theatre, and dance supervisor for CATS at the Winter Garden Theatre. Off-Broadway, he was choreographer for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at St. Clements and director/choreographer for Castle Walk for the NYMF festival. Internationally he was director/choreographer for The Full Monty and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Mexico City; CATS in Copenhagen, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro; choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar in Mexico City; Evita in Sydney; and CATS in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. He has been choreographer for national tours of CATS, My Fair Lady, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Mr. Stafford won the Barrymore Award for outstanding choreography for La Cage aux Folles at the Walnut Street Theatre and the NYMF “Outstanding Choreography” award for Castle Walk.