Michael Capasso, General Manager of New York City Opera has announced that Rachel Blaustein, Brian James Myer, Mary Phillips, Stephen Powell and Victor Starsky will be part of the cast of his upcoming world premiere of THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI by Ricky Ian Gordon -CONTINIS , a co-production with the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene (Zalmen Mlotek, artistic director, Dominick Balletta, executive director). LE JARDIN DU FINZI-CONTINIS, with libretto by Michael Korie, will be conducted by James Lowe, directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford, and will open on Wednesday January 19 in the Edmond J. Safra room of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A living Holocaust memorial.
Based on the 1962 novel by Giorgio Bassani, LE JARDIN DES FINZI-CONTINIS is set on the eve of World War II and tells the story of an Italian Jewish aristocratic family, the Finzi-Continis, who believe they will be immune to ongoing changes. around them. As they make a graceful refuge in their garden, wallowing the inconveniences of the outside world, Italy forms its alliance with Germany and begins to enforce anti-Semitic racial laws. But the Finzi-Contini discover too late that no one is safe, no one is untouchable.
“THE GARDEN OF FINZI-CONTINIS not only continues With New York City Opera’s mission to produce new and important works by American composers, it will also continue NYCO’s tradition of showcasing exceptional talent, âMr. Capasso said, addingâI am very excited about our cast which includes many young and emerging artists in lead roles alongside established NYCO pillars. “
“We are proud to announce the exceptional cast of the world premiere of THE GARDEN OF FINZI-CONTINIS, âsaid Mr. Mlotek. âThis important new work illuminates an important part of Italian Jewish history and, sadly, its themes of discrimination and anti-Semitism still resonate in our world today.
Soprano RACHEL BLAUSTEIN (who will play MicÃ²l Finzi-Contini) will make her NYCO debut after performing this fall for the first time with Tulsa Opera as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. His Chicago Opera Theater credits include roles in Taking Up Serpents, Rappaccini’s La Hija, and their upcoming production of Carmen.
Baritone Brian James MYER (Alberto Finzi-Contini) created lead roles in two NYCO 2019 premieres: as young Erich in Ted Rosenthal’s jazz opera Dear Erich and as teacher Carlos in Iain Bell and Stonewall by Mark Campbell. He has created other roles in new works for the Florida Grand Opera, American Lyric Theater, Opera San Jose and Opera Las Vegas.
Mezzo-soprano Mary Phillips (Mamma) is closely associated with the music of Wagner. Richard Strauss, Anton Dvorak and Philip Glass.
Baritone Stephen Powell (PapÃ ) is familiar to New York opera audiences for his numerous appearances both at NYCO (in countless productions including The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, Der Rosenkavalier, La Traviata) and the MET (Carmen, Turandot, Boris Godunov), as well as nationally with the San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyrical Opera, San Diego Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera.
Tenor VICTOR STARSKY (Giorgio) has appeared in NYCO productions of La fanciulla del West and La BohÃ¨me and has participated in the Merola Opera 2019 program and was an Adler Fellow of the San Francisco Opera in 2020. His other credits include performances with Opera Modesto, Opera Tampa, Long Island Opera, and made his Carnegie Hall debut as a tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.
THE GARDEN OF FINZI-CONTINIS will feature production design by John Farrell, costume design by Ildiko Debreczeni and lighting design by Susan Roth.
Tickets for this limited engagement, which will play eight performances only until Sunday January 30 are available at NYTF.org or by calling the box office at 855-449-4658. For more information, call 212-655-7653.