August 18 7:00PM


Bryant Park

Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas and between 40th and 42nd Streets


Free to the public
Director and Emcee
Music Director and Pianist
  • Matthew Ciuffitelli


    “Truly an anthem of our times” said Classic FM in regard to Matthew (a.k.a. Opera Daddy)’s ‘Figaro’ parody. You may have caught Matthew singing with New York City Opera, originating the role of Giampi Malnate in their world premiere of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. He could also be seen singing in the Broadway’s 10th Anniversary concert of A Tale of Two Cities. Ciuffitelli had the unique opportunity to perform with the Rolling Stones at Chicago’s United Center and to appear in the U.S. premiere of the mixed-media work, Mountain Top, by Dutch avant-pop composer Jacob Ter Veldhuis. Some of his many operatic roles include Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Sergeant Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Eisenstein and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Valentin in Faust, Marcello in La bohème, and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Matthew was the recipient of the 2018 Career Bridges Grant as well as the winner of the 2018 New Jersey State Opera Competition Award. He can be seen touring internationally with the world-renowned Sharpe Family Singers. You can find him on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram as @Operadaddy.

  • Shannon Gordon


    Shannon C. Gordon is thrilled to be returning to the Bryant Park stage after performing as a soloist in City Opera’s 2022 Christmas Concert. Previously with NYCO, Shannon has appeared in Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and Brokeback Mountain. Though often behind the scenes with NYCO, Shannon has been performing for nearly three decades. Some favorite performances in leading roles include Nine, The Diary of Anne Frank, Blithe Spirit, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Insanity of Mary Girard. Big thanks and love to her three boys who are endlessly supportive.

  • Michael Nansel


    With more than 80 roles to his credit, baritone Michael Nansel is as comfortable with the classical stage as he is with musical theatre. He has sung in houses across North America and Europe in operas including Macbeth, Otello, The Barber of Seville, and Carmen. Musical theatre productions include Kiss Me Kate, Show Boat, Assassins, Sweeney Todd, and possibly his most unique show, Jerry Springer: The Opera. In 2016 he made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the Cantor in Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service and in 2017 he made his Lincoln Center debut in Handel’s Messiah. He is represented by Randsman Artists Management and studies voice with Andrea DelGiudice

  • Samantha Sallaway


    Sami Sallaway has most recently performed with Village Light Opera in Night at the Tonys and in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with the St. Bart’s Players. She has previously been in productions with New York City Opera, including the world premiere of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and A Concert for Sugihara at Carnegie Hall. Other work includes leading roles in Seussical: The Musical, The Robber Bridegroom, and Rent.

  • Kristin Sampson


    Praised by the New York Times for her “bright, sizable and expressive voice,” Mexican-born American soprano Kristin Sampson’s 2023-2024 performances include returning to the role of Minnie in La fanciulla del West, performances of Tosca, and concerts with New York City Opera. 2022-2023 performances included a company debut as Tosca with Connecticut Lyric Opera, a workshop of Jake Landau’s Psyche, a return engagement with the Kauno Filharmonijain in recital with tenor Liparit Avetisyan, and concert performances with both New York City Opera and Washington Opera Society. 2022 season engagements included a guest artist appearance and debut with the Kauno Filharmonijain in Lithuania under the baton of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, a company debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Liù in Turandot, a role debut as Marguerite in Faust with the Washington Opera Society, a featured soloist engagement with the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, and summer concert performances with New York City Opera. Recent seasons included performances as Minnie in La fanciulla del West with New York City Opera, Opera Carolina, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, and Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy. Additional engagements included her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Magda in Respighi's La campana sommersa with New York City Opera, and her debut at the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago as Tosca. Ms. Sampson is a two-time recipient of a grant from The Olga Forrai Foundation. She has performed domestically with the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Opera Carolina, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Augusta Opera, El Paso Opera, and the National Lyric Opera among others; and internationally with Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, Teatro Verdi in Pisa, the Magyar Tavak Fesztiválja in Hungary, Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theatre of Szeged, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. Signature roles include Minnie in La fanciulla del West, the title roles in Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Adriana Lecouvreur, Mimì in La bohème, Nedda in Pagliacci, Micaëla in Carmen, and Liù in Turandot.

  • Drew Seigla


    Richmond, VA native Drew Seigla is a standout among theatre and opera audiences, recognized for his “stunning tenor voice” by BroadwayWorld. He made his Off-Broadway debut as Matt/The Mute in The Fantasticks, and he joined the cast of Sweeney Todd as the standby for Anthony/Tobias/Beadle at Barrow St. Theatre. Seigla reprised his role of Pertshik in the Off-Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at New World Stages after performing the role pre-pandemic at Stage 42/NYTF. Seigla made his opera debut as Gastone in La Traviata at Lyric Opera Virginia, and he sang the role of Bruno in the world premiere of The Garden of The Finzi-Continis with New York City Opera. Drew recently had the enormous privilege to perform in his favorite musical, The Secret Garden, as Major Holmes/Neville Craven understudy at ACT of Connecticut this past June. Drew is an alum of The Juilliard School & attended Elon University. Special thanks to God, Mom & Dad, Carson-Adler Agency, and my wife, Steph.
    IG: @drewseigla

  • Devony Smith


    California-born mezzo-soprano Devony Smith is known for her command of a wide variety of operatic and concert repertoire. Last season held several role debuts for Devony including the title role in Rossini's Cenerentola with Opera Modesto, the Rooster in a new orchestral arrangement of The Cunning Little Vixen with Opera Theater Freiburg, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito with Bronx Opera, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Boheme Jersey Opera, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas at Teatro Communale di Giuseppe Manini di Narni. This summer, Devony covered the role of La Comare in Teatro Nuovo's production of Luigi Ricci's Crispino e la Comare. Devony frequently collaborates with composers and recently premiered both Little River Songs by Grammy Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon with LyricFest Philadelphia and Farther from the Heart by Eve Beglarian with Brooklyn Art Song Society. Outside of the operatic repertoire, Devony is an established concert singer who recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as the alto soloist in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo and also appeared as a soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria. Devony was a featured recitalist with Carnegie Hall Citywide and sang her debut of Mahler's 4th Symphony with the Colburn Orchestra in Los Angeles.

  • Michael Capasso ( Director and Emcee )

    Michael Capasso is the General Director of the New York City Opera. He has produced, directed, and toured opera and musical theater productions in the U.S. and abroad for 40+ years. In June of 2014, he led the successful effort to bring the New York City Opera out of bankruptcy. The revitalized New York City Opera returned to the stage in January 2016 with a celebratory production of Tosca. In 1981, he, along with Diane Martindale, founded New York’s Dicapo Opera Theatre. Over the 30 years of his leadership, Dicapo Opera Theater presented myriad diverse programming to the New York public. In addition to his work with the Dicapo Opera Theatre, Mr. Capasso has directed operas at l’Opéra de Montréal, Mallorca Opera, Toledo Opera, Connecticut Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Opera Carolina, and Orlando Opera among others. Mr. Capasso founded the National Lyric Opera in 1991, a touring company that has brought fully staged operas to communities in the American Northeast.

  • Kathryn Olander ( Music Director and Pianist )

    Recently hailed by Opera News for her “impressive playing,” Kathryn Olander is a frequent assistant conductor/pianist with New York City Opera as well as many regional opera houses. In addition to coaching privately she has held coaching positions with the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Chautauqua Institute. An avid recitalist, highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and Zankel Hall, The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bryant Park's concert series, the Hungarian Consulate of New York and the Polish Consulate of New York, and Bechstein Hall. Ms. Olander is a regular pianist with Reaching for the Arts and Opportunity Music Project, specializing in bringing music to underserved communities and Creative Stage. Ms. Olander began teaching piano at Northeastern University while earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory and has since maintained a studio of private piano students.

Director and Emcee
Michael Capasso
Music Director and Pianist
Kathryn Olander