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New York City Opera Announces 2024 Summer Season Celebrating 100 Years of Giacomo Puccini Bryant Park Picnic Performances

May 3 @ 8:00 AM - August 24 @ 5:00 PM


New York City Opera presents a season of free, live performances this summer as part of the Park Series in Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America. Each show features City Opera’s brightest stars and members of the City Opera orchestra. Performances begin at 7pm at Bryant Park, 42nd Street (between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas), NYC. The series of one-night-only operas accompanied by live music is part of New York City Opera’s Celebrating 100 Years of Giacomo Puccini, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passing of Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest opera composers in history and includes Puccini Celebrationand Tosca. Entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. Performances are designed to be enjoyed casually – no tickets required – with ample seating available and free picnic blankets for audience members to borrow. For more information, visit bryantpark.org/picnics.

For anyone unable to attend in person, free livestream broadcasts of the performances will be available nationwide via Bryant Park’s website and social media platforms.

“My favorite part of performing outdoors is how the music soars under the stars,” says Michael Capasso, General Director, New York City Opera. “The magic oasis of Bryant Park in the summer can’t be beat, surrounded by the iconic New York City landscape. We are “The People’s Opera,” and through our partnership with Bryant Park, we are thrilled to present our favorite offerings for free to thousands of New Yorkers.”

Dan Fishman, Vice President of Public Events at Bryant Park, says “Picnic Performances aims to make New York City’s extraordinary arts and culture accessible to everyone. Without the barriers of traditional venues and with the help of extraordinary partners including New York City Opera, Bryant Park becomes a great setting for newcomers to hear opera for the first time and for longtime fans to experience these lasting works in a new way.”

New York City Opera was famously dubbed “The People’s Opera” by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia at its founding in 1943. More than 75 years later, City Opera continues its historic mission to inspire audiences with innovative and theatrically compelling opera, nurture the work of promising American artists and build new audiences through affordable ticket prices and extensive outreach and education programs.​ Picnic Performances continues the tradition of opera in Bryant Park.

Puccini Celebration

Bryant Park, 42nd Street, (Between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas), NYC, NY

Friday, May 31, 2024 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Honoring the 100th anniversary of the passing of Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest opera composers in history, Picnic Performances opening weekend features New York City Opera and two glittering concerts celebrating Puccini’s immense and indelible legacy. Featuring the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus and conducted by Maestro Joseph Rescigno, the concerts will include selections from each and every Puccini opera, performed by some of the brightest stars of the opera world singing some of the most beloved arias, duets, and ensembles in all of opera.


Bryant Park, 42nd Street, (Between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas), NYC, NY

Friday, August 23, 2024 at 7:00pm and Saturday, August 24, 2024 at 7:00pm

Continuing the summer of Puccini, New York City Opera will present a full production of the perennial favorite, Tosca. Tosca is a three act opera that takes the audience back in time to Rome during the 1800’s, just after the French Revolution. Napoleon has successfully taken France and has invaded Rome and created a new republic. The beloved opera singer, Floria Tosca, is in love with painter Mario Cavaradossi and here begins the story of how Chief of Police Baron Scarpia intersects with these lovers in drama, betrayal, revenge and murder. The fully staged production features the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and led by Maestro Joseph Rescigno.

Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At most performances, attendees can purchase food from a rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. At all performances, Stout NYC offers cheese and charcuterie boards as well as a selection of beer, wine, frosé, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required but Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.

About New York City Opera

Founded as “The People’s Opera” by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1943, New York City Opera (NYCO) has remained a critical part of the city’s cultural life. Launching the careers of dozens of major artists, presenting engaging productions of both mainstream and lesser-known operas alongside commissions and regional premieres, NYCO has continued to endure as a uniquely American opera company of international stature with a distinct identity and singular 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 also presented such talents as Anna Caterina Antonacci and Aprile Millo in concert, as well as its own 75th Anniversary Concert in Bryant Park.

New York City Opera forged a path of inclusion and diversity in the arts. It was the first major opera company to feature African American singers in leading roles (Todd Duncan as Tonio in Pagliacci, 1945 and Camilla Williams in the title role of 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 since then include: the world premieres of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall, commissioned and developed by NYCO), 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 NYCO’s 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. NYCO’s Pride Initiative, which produces an LGBTQ-themed work each June during Pride Month, includes such productions as 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 continues its legacy with regular main stage performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, an acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park that brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers annually, and revitalized outreach and education programs at venues throughout the city that are designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of opera audiences.

New York City Opera:


Instagram: @nycopera


Twitter: @nycityopera

About Bryant Park

Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions, and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security, sanitation, and horticultural services, BPC offers restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC’s website, bryantpark.org, offers more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.


May 3 @ 8:00 AM
August 24 @ 5:00 PM


Bryant Park
[Between 5th-6th Avenue; 42nd and 40th Streets New York, NY, 10018] Entrance on 40th street
New York City, NY 10018 United States
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