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New York City Opera Co-presents commission by the Théatre du Chatelet: Angels in America
April 10, 2022 - May 5, 2022
New York City Opera co-presents a work commissioned by the Théatre du Chatelet, Angels in America at the Salzburg State Theatre in Salzburg, Austria. Libretto by Mari Mezei, in English with German surtitles. The premiere will be taking place on Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 7PM with additional performances on April 12, 20, 22, 24 and May 4, 2022 at 7:30PM. Tickets start at € 18,00 and are available for purchase online at https://shop.jetticket.net/Salzburger-Landestheater/SelectSeats.aspx?msg=0&ret=0&e=9466.
The world is in a chaotic state, but God isn’t dead. Disappointed in angels and mankind, God has retreated and disappeared. This is the message delivered by a perplexed angel who suddenly crashes through the ceiling of the hospital room of Prior Walter and orders him to save the world. As the saviour, Walter is to prevent disaster, stop progress and restore peace among the angels. Who am I and what world am I living in? What significance do humans have in the world and to what extent can they influence their own fate? How ethical is humanity really and is there a God? In his monumental drama “Angels in America”, on which composer Peter Eötvös has based his opera, US writer Tony Kushner presents a manifold political and existential psychobiography of mankind and a tableau of religious hysteria in America. Faced with the AIDS epidemic and the political and ecological shifts of the 1980s, the characters experience their own existence as a constant state of emergency.
The opera “Angels in America” saw its world premiere in Paris in 2004. It focuses on the individual fates of the protagonists of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Peter Eötvös (*1944) is one of the most successful opera composers of our time. His music blends together elements of pop music, jazz, minimal music and everyday noise to create a musical interpretation of Tony Kushner’s (*1956) play with a very strong focus on sound. The production reinvigorates the artistic collaboration between the New York City Opera and the Salzburg State Theatre that began with the guest performance of the Salzburg production of “Brokeback Mountain” in New York. Sam Helfrich is one of the most talented and promising directors in his generation. His productions have delighted audiences from Spoleto to Boston.
Musical Director Leslie Suganandarajah
Director Sam Helfrich
State Design John Farrell
Costume Design Kaye Voyce
Dramaturgy Thomas Rufin
The Angel / Voice Laura Incko
Prior Walter George Humphreys
Joseph Pitt / Ghost 2 / Angel Europe Samuel Pantcheff
Harper Pitt / Ethel Rosenberg / Angel Antarctica Olivia Cosío
Hannah Pitt / Rabbi Chemelwitz / Henry / Angel Asiatica Anna Maria Dur
Louis Ironson / Angel Oceania William Ferguson
Belize / Mr Lies/Woman / Angel Africanii Matthew Reese
Roy Cohn / Ghost 1 / Angel Australia Raimundas Juzuitis
Vocal Trio: Sopran Hazel McBain
Vocal Trio: Alt Bethany Yeaman
Vocal Trio: Bass-Bariton Philipp Schöllhorn
Orchester Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
About Salzburg State Theatre
Nowadays everyone is talking about the crisis. The theater has 2000 years of experience in this. The interfaces of a life, the turning points of a social development have always been the working areas of the theater. I would like the Salzburg State Theater to function as a cultural beacon that shines far into the city and the countryside. A lighthouse can provide orientation in calm and rough seas. But especially on stormy nights, seafarers need clear signals. In a crisis, a theater has to be convincing with its work and can make itself indispensable. We have heroes who have the courage to overcome crises, role models who act out variants of our lives. When theater faces the questions of its time, it can make sense across generations. Just now. At the same time, a theater thrives on renewal, because just like life, art never stands still. All successful companies grow. In the case of the Landestheater, it is about artistic, communicative and economic growth. The city and federal state of Salzburg carry the attribute of cultural competence of their own accord. The Landestheater can and should use this location advantage as a formative and central institution. Innovative impulses can only emanate from the state theater if it sees itself as a living organism. This also includes the conviction that theater has something to give society, more humanity, personality, space for play and communication. dr Carl Philip von Maldeghem, Artistic Director
About New York City Opera
Since its founding in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as “The People’s Opera,” New York City Opera (NYCO) has been a critical part of the city’s cultural life. During its history, New York City Opera launched the careers of dozens of major artists and presented engaging productions of both mainstream and unusual operas alongside commissions and regional premieres. The result was a uniquely American opera company of international stature. For more than seven decades, New York City Opera has maintained a distinct identity, adhering to its unique 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 a long history of inclusion and diversity. It was the first major opera company to feature African American singers in leading roles (Todd Duncan as Tonio in Pagliacci, 1945; Camilla Williams in the title role in 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 during the four years since then include: the world premieres of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall, which NYCO commissioned and developed, 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 its 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. In addition to the world premiere of Stonewall, the productions in NYCO’s Pride Initiative, which produces an LGBTQ-themed work each June during Pride Month, include 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 has presented such talents as Anna Caterina Antonacci and Aprile Millo in concert, as well as its own 75th Anniversary Concert in Bryant Park, one in a series of the many concerts and staged productions that it presents each year as part of the Park’s summer performance series. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year. New York City Opera continues its legacy with main stage performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater and with revitalized outreach and education programs at venues throughout the city, designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of opera audiences. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year.
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