Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And Why Isn't The Washington NATIONAL Opera And The Washington Shakespeare Theater Collaborating On A Staged Version Of Barber's Antony And Cleopatra?

"The tottering New York City Opera said on Wednesday that it had found a savior after two years of financial and leadership turmoil, appointing the impresario and conductor George R. Steel as its general manager and artistic director.

Opera lovers hope Mr. Steel’s arrival will quell the turbulent plotlines at what many consider the nation’s second most important house, founded in 1943, with help from Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, as the “people’s opera” by and once a symbol of accessible, affordable, innovative productions hospitable to young American singers. The company’s recent struggles could fill a libretto of jilted lovers, betrayal and sudden changes of fortune.

“George is actually the perfect person for City Opera in this chapter of its institutional life,” said the house’s chairwoman, Susan L. Baker. “He is scrappy, flexible, adaptable, charming and innovative.”

The board met for final approval late Wednesday, a day before the company was to give the first of two concert performances of Samuel Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra” at Carnegie Hall, the centerpiece of its minimalist season." ...

Daniel J. Wakin "City Opera Names Steel as General Manager" New York Times January 14, 2009


"In the 1990s, Lyric Opera of Chicago embarked on a mission to present an American opera every season, either new or a revival. Among them, was the first major revival of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and Cleopatra..."



Header: Catherine Malfitano as Cleopatra in Lyric Opera of Chicago's 1991 production of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra.

Photo credit: (c) Tony Romano, courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago. Via With thanks.


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