Steel announces City Opera season details

Posted on: July 13, 2011

“On Tuesday it was George Steel’s turn,” writes Daniel J. Wakin in Wednesday’s (7/13) New York Times. “After months of pummeling by unions, luminaries of the opera world and company members, Mr. Steel, the general manager and artistic director of New York City Opera, presented his plan for a peripatetic company uncoupled from its Lincoln Center home. Most of next year’s four-opera season was already known—a ‘Traviata’ and Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Prima Donna’ at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; a ‘Così Fan Tutte’ at John Jay College; a Telemann opera at El Museo del Barrio. But Mr. Steel also disclosed that a City Opera partnership with the Public Theater would bring a Shakespeare-based opera to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in the fall, part of what is expected to be a continuing joint venture. Tickets will be free, he said. … Along with presenting the details, Mr. Steel used the news conference to make the case for his vision and to rebut criticism, which has become increasingly personal, of the decision to leave Lincoln Center. … Mr. Steel said City Opera was ‘open for business’ but had to leave its Lincoln Center home, the David H. Koch Theater, ‘because we can’t afford it any longer.’ He said that 14 staff jobs had been eliminated and that the company could not survive without major changes to the union contracts, which he said were created for a scale of performance that City Opera can no longer sustain.”

Posted July 13, 2011