New York City Opera will present Milestones of American Opera on Monday, August 15, 2022 at 7pm at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Enjoy an evening of great American operatic works by composers including Carlisle Floyd, Ricky Ian Gordon, Douglas Moore, Tobias Picker, Robert Ward, and Iain Bell. The concert will feature performances by extraordinary artists from the New York City Opera, including Tatev Baroyan, Lisa Chavez, Mark Delavan, Kristin Sampson, and Victor Starsky. The program for the evening will include selections from The Ballad of Baby Doe, Susannah, Emmeline, Stonewall, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Sweeney Todd, and Trouble in Tahiti. Tickets are $15. This is a non-skating event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit wollmanrinknyc.com/event/new-york-city-opera.
New York City Opera Presents Milestones of American Opera at Wollman Rink in Central Park
Tatev Baroyan, native of Yerevan, Armenia, is making her mark in the US with her “warm and unique sound” and “soaring top notes.” She recently earned third place in The Premiere Opera Foundation International Vocal Competition after receiving an Encouragement Award from the Georgia District of The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. In 2021, Tatev returned to Teatro Nuovo as a Studio Artist where she covered the role of Berta in the first post-pandemic, full-cast, live concert production of Il barbiere di siviglia in NYC. As an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera, Ms. Baroyan appeared as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Other operatic roles include: Alaide study-cover (La Straniera) with Teatro Nuovo, Nuri cover (Tiefland) with Sarasota Opera, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Adele (Die Fledermaus) with Komitas Conservatory, Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and others. Some partial roles she has sung during her studies in the Komitas Conservatory: Manon (Manon), Nanetta (Falstaff), and Musetta (La bohème). In 2019, she was the winner of the Florida District of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In concert, she has performed the B Minor Mass (Bach) at the Church of St. Hagob, Exultate Jubilate (Mozart), and has been featured in Stabat Mater (Rossini).
Michael Capasso, Emcee, is the General Director of the New York City Opera. He has pro- duced, directed, and toured opera and musical theater productions in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 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 re- turned 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 a diverse program- ming 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 tour- ing company that has brought fully staged operas to communities in the American Northeast.
Lisa Chavez was most recently seen with NYCO in a “star turn” as Maggie in the premiere of Bell’s Stonewall. Other roles performed with the company include the title role in Dolores Claiborne, Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas, the title role in Carmen, and she was also involved in the Hal Prince production of Candide. She has been described as possessing a “plush storm of a voice” and for being “a powerhouse vocally and emotionally.” Other recent performances include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, the title role in Carmen, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, and Madame de Criossy in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Sarasota Opera. For the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 season she was a principal resident artist with Opera San Jose. Roles sung with Opera San Jose include: Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Harriet Herriton in the professional premiere of Where Angels Fear to Tread, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Lisa returned in 2016 as a guest artist in the title role of Carmen. Memorable roles include; Amneris in Aida, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible (telecast live on Mezzo TV), Federico García Lorca in Ainadamar, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Secretary in The Consul. lisachavez.com
Mark Delavan, a singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity,” is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his operatic repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff, and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida. In addition, as a strong character actor on stages throughout the country, he has proved himself a crossover artist of immense skill, starring as Phil Arkin in Milk and Honey with York Theatre Company, to critical acclaim. This season, Delavan returns to Maryland Lyric Opera for the title role in Falstaff, and the Dallas Opera as Father in Hansel and Gretel. He will also return to Dallas Symphony in 2024 as Wotan in their concert performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen.
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.
Praised by the New York Times for her “bright, sizable and expressive voice,” Kristin Sampson’s 2020-2022 engagements include a debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Liù in Turandot, a role debut as Marguerite in Faust with the Washington Opera Society, and summer concert performances with New York City Opera, and Festival of Nature at Lake Tizsa in Hungary. 2019-2020 calendar opened with a featured soloist appearance on the 75th Anniversary Concert for New York City Opera followed by additional performances as Mimì in La bohème with MidAtlantic Opera, a guest soloist appearance with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra as well as several additional concert appearances with New York City Opera. 2018-19 performances included concerts featuring the music of composer Jeremy Gill, Mimì in La bohème, guest soloist in the New York City Opera Pride Concert, as well as being a featured artist at the 2019 Festival of Nature at Lake Tizsa in Hungary. Upcoming seasons include the roles of Tosca and Mimì, as well as concert appearances throughout the United States. The 2017-18 season included performances as Minnie in La fanciulla del West with New York City Opera, and at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, and Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy. kristinsampson.com
Victor Starsky is a native of Richmond Hill, New York, where he has learned and practiced his craft as a teacher, martial artist, and professional musician. Mr. Starsky was a participant of the 2019 Merola Opera Program and a 2020 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow where he gratefully received the prestigious Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant. Victor performed the role of Lt. B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Long Island Opera and made his role debut as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Opera Modesto. In February 2020, he performed the role of Don José in his company debut with Opera Tampa. Opera Today writes: “Victor Starsky’s Don José is terrifying and compelling, with a voice that performs vocal acrobatics with strength and beauty that remains undiminished through his final line.” Victor made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2019 as the tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. In 2018, he traveled to Italy to perform the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, conducted by Audrey Saint-Gill. Victor sang Il Postiglione in La Fanciulla del West and Rodolfo in La Bohème with New York City Opera, and Tony in West Side Story with Opera North. In 2014, Mr. Starsky received the honor of a lifetime to perform the role of The Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS with its premier conductor, Maestro Maurice Peress. Victor is blessed beyond expression to be a proud father and husband.
Since its founding in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as “The People’s Opera,” New York City Opera (NYCO) has been a critical part of the city’s cultural life. During its history, New York City Opera launched the careers of dozens of major artists and presented engaging productions of both mainstream and unusual operas alongside commissions and regional premieres. The result was a uniquely American opera company of international stature.
For more than seven decades, New York City Opera has maintained a distinct identity, adhering to its unique mission: affordable ticket prices, a devotion to American works, English-language performances, the promotion of up-and-coming American singers, and seasons of accessible, vibrant and compelling productions intended to introduce new audiences to the art form. Stars who launched their careers at New York City Opera include Plácido Domingo, Catherine Malfitano, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills, Tatiana Troyanos, Carol Vaness, and Shirley Verrett, among dozens of other great artists. New York City Opera has a long history of inclusion and diversity. It was the first major opera company to feature African American singers in leading roles (Todd Duncan as Tonio in Pagliacci, 1945; Camilla Williams in the title role in Madama Butterfly, 1946); the first to produce a new work by an African-American composer (William Grant Still, Troubled Island, 1949); and the first to have an African-American conductor lead its orchestra (Everett Lee, 1955).
A revitalized City Opera re-opened in January 2016 with Tosca, the opera that originally launched the company in 1944. Outstanding productions during the four years since then include: the world premieres of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall, which NYCO commissioned and developed, legendary director Harold Prince’s new production of Bernstein’s Candide; Puccini’s beloved La Fanciulla del West; and the New York premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas — the first in its Ópera en Español series. Subsequent Ópera en Español productions include the New York premiere of the world’s first mariachi opera, José “Pepe” Martinez’s Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Literes’s Los Elementos, and Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires. In addition to the world premiere of Stonewall, the productions in NYCO’s Pride Initiative, which produces an LGBTQ-themed work each June during Pride Month, include the New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’s Angels in America and the American premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain. New York City Opera has presented such talents as Anna Caterina Antonacci and Aprile Millo in concert, as well as its own 75th Anniversary Concert in Bryant Park, one in a series of the many concerts and staged productions that it presents each year as part of the Park’s summer performance series. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year.
New York City Opera continues its legacy with main stage performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater and with revitalized outreach and education programs at venues throughout the city, designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of opera audiences. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year.