The Opera Orchestra of New York, having overcome the financial difficulties that nearly closed the company down earlier this year, opens its 37th season this evening at Carnegie Hall. On the program is another of the operatic rarities in which the company and founder/conductor Eve Queler specialize: Verdi's early work I due Foscari.
Baritone Paolo Gavanelli stars as the 15th-century Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari, with tenor Aquiles Machado as his son. Soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, who won New York City Opera's Richard F. Gold Debut Award last season for her debut with that company, sings the female lead, Lucrezia. The performance will include projections of great Venetian Renaissance artwork depicting the city and the historic characters portrayed in the opera.
OONY's season continues on February 27, 2008 with Bellini's La sonnambula. Soprano Eglise Gutiérrez sings the eponymous sleepwalker, with mezzo Laura Vlasak Nolen (who won a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from New York City Opera), tenor Dmitry Korchak and well-known bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. Directing the semi-staging will be Ira Siff, the opera expert and satirist who won worldwide renown portraying the immortal diva Vera Galupe-Borzhkh with La Gran Scena Opera Co.
March 6, 2008 will bring a special Gala Concert celebrating Queler's 100th performance with OONY at Carnegie Hall. Among the several renowned stars who will return to the company for the evening are Marcello Giordani, Aprile Millo and Renée Fleming; the legendary Renata Scotto will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
The company's season concludes on April 13, 2008 with Puccini's Edgar, which OONY recorded in 1977 with Scotto and Carlo Bergonzi. Tenor Marcello Giordani takes the role of the medieval knight Edgar, with soprano Latonia Moore as the virtuous Fidelia and mezzo Jennifer Larmore as the wicked Tigrana.
Queler, who founded OONY 40 years ago, will conduct all four performances, and all concerts will incorporate supertitles. More information on the Opera Orchestra of New York and its upcoming season is available at www.oony.org.