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New York City Opera presents Romance in Opera

September 12, 2022

New York City Opera will present Romance in Opera on Monday, September 12, 2022 at 7pm at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Stars of the New York City Opera stage bring romance to life, with love stories as passionate as the music itself. Featuring scenes from La Bohème, Tosca, La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette, L’elisir d’amore, The Pearl Fishers, Pagliacci, and Eugene Onegin. The concert will feature performances by baritone Gustavo Feulien, soprano Kristin Sampson, tenor Victor Starsky, soprano Elizaveta Ulakhovich, and tenor WooYoung Yoon. The evening will be emceed by New York City Opera General Director Michael Capasso with music direction and piano accompaniment by Kathryn Olander. Tickets are $15. This is a non-skating event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit wollmanrinknyc.com/event/new-york-city-opera.

The program will include:

The Pearl Fishers, “Au fond du temple saint”
Gustavo Fuelien, Zurga
Victor Starsky, Nadir

Tosca, Act I duet
Kristin Sampson, Tosca
Victor Starsky, Cavaradossi

Eugene Onegin, “Letter” aria
Elizaveta Ulakhovich, Tatyana Larina

L’elisir d’amore, “Tra-la-la-la”
Elizaveta Ulakhovich, Adina
WooYoung Yoon, Nemorino

Roméo et Juliette, “Nuit d’hyménée”
Kristin Sampson, Juliette
Victor Starsky, Romeo

La traviata, “Un di Felice”
WooYoung Yoon, Alfredo Germont
Elizaveta Ulakhovich, Violetta Valéry

Pagliacci, “Silvio, a quest’ora”
Kristin Sampson, Nedda
Gustavo Feulien, Silvio

La bohème, Act III
Kristin Sampson, Mimì
WooYoung Yoon, Rodolfo
Gustavo Feulien, Marcello
Elizaveta Ulakhovich, Musetta

About the Artists

Kristin Sampson, soprano
Praised by the New York Times for her “bright, sizable and expressive voice,” Mexican-born American soprano Kristin Sampson’s 2020-2022 engagements include a guest artist appearance and debut with the Kauno Filharmonijain in Lithuania under the baton of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, a company debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Liù in Turandot, role debuts as Marguerite in Faust and Musetta in La bohème with the Washington Opera Society, featured soloist with the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, and summer concert performances with New York City Opera. Ms. Sampson is a two-time recipient of a grant from the Olga Forrai Foundation and has performed with the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Opera Carolina, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Augusta Opera, El Paso Opera, and the National Lyric Opera among others; and internationally with Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, Teatro Verdi in Pisa, the Magyar Tavak Fesztiválja in Hungary, Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theater of Szeged, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Signature roles include Minnie in La fanciulla del West, the title roles in Tosca and Madama Butterfly, Mimì in La bohème, Nedda in Pagliacci, the title role in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Liù in Turandot.

Elizaveta Ulakhovich, soprano
Soprano Elizaveta Ulakhovich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She attended the Music College N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov and the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She was a member of the 2017 class of the People’s Artist of the RSFSR E.S. Gorokhovskaya, where she graduated Summa cum Laude. As a Young Artist with the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, under the direction of Honored Art Worker D.Vdovin, Elizaveta won several awards, including Third Prize of the 9th International Competition S.Monyushko “Ubelskaya swallow” in Minsk, Belarus, and a special award of the 32nd international competition “Ismaele Voltolini” in Buscoldo, Italy. She was also involved in the World premiere productions of the mono-opera Cormorant, Samson and Delilah based on Elena Skulskaya’s novel, and in Tallinn and M. Weinberg’s opera Idiot. Samson and Delilah was broadcasted on Estonian national radio and television. She also performed over 100 concerts on many stages of Russia, including the Beethoven Hall of the Bolshoi Theatre and Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg. After moving to New York, Elizaveta was the winner of the III Prize of the Giulio Gari international competition, the finalist of the “Getting to Carnegie” competition, and given a special award of the Opera at Florham competition. In 2020, Elizaveta signed a contract with Lombardo Associates Artist Management. Last summer, she performed the leading soprano role of Matella in Handel’s Silla for Chicago Summer Opera. Elizaveta is excited to make her debut for New York City Opera. She is very thankful for her voice teacher Michael Paul, her many artistic mentors and her family for all of their support.

Victor Starsky, tenor
Victor Starsky is a native of Richmond Hill, New York, where he has learned and practiced his craft as a teacher, martial artist, and professional musician. Mr. Starsky was a participant of the 2019 Merola Opera Program and a 2020 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow where he gratefully received the prestigious Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant. Victor performed the role of Lt. B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Long Island Opera and made his role debut as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Opera Modesto. In February 2020, he performed the role of Don José in his company debut with Opera Tampa. Opera Today writes: “Victor Starsky’s Don José is terrifying and compelling, with a voice that performs vocal acrobatics with strength and beauty that remains undiminished through his final line.” Victor made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2019 as the tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. In 2018, he traveled to Italy to perform the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, conducted by Audrey Saint-Gill. Victor sang Il Postiglione in La Fanciulla del West and Rodolfo in La Bohème with New York City Opera, and Tony in West Side Story with Opera North. In 2014, Mr. Starsky received the honor of a lifetime to perform the role of The Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS with its premier conductor, Maestro Maurice Peress. Victor is blessed beyond expression to be a proud father and husband.

WooYoung Yoon, tenor
Korean tenor WooYoung Yoon recently made his role debut in Berlioz’s Le Damnation de Faust with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica with Maestro John Nelson. Recently he also debuted as Tonio (The Daughter of the Regiment) in the Merola Grand Finale on the stage of San Francisco Opera. In the spring of 2019 he returned to San Francisco Opera for a recital in the Schwabacher Recital Series. His debut at Stern Auditorium in Carnegie Hall performing Mozart’s Regina Coeli with Mid America Productions will be made in the summer of 2022. This season WooYoung performs Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with Knoxville Opera, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lubbock Symphony, and returns to the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica for Christus am Oelberg with Maestro John Nelson. Mr. Yoon has distinguished himself in a variety of major competitions, most recently as the 2019 Orpheus Competition Grand Prize winner.

Gustavo Feulien, baritone
Hailed by the New York Times as “rich voiced” and by Opera News for his “interesting and convincing portrayal of Scarpia, most impressive in Te Deum” in Tosca, Argentinian-American baritone Gustavo Feulien continues his career with great success. Most recently, Gustavo performed as Scarpia in Tosca with Maryland Symphony Orchestra and this season he will return to the role with Gulfshore Symphony. For his New York City Opera debut as Silvio in Pagliacci, critics hailed his performance as “…a most imposing Silvio with sharp, powerful gestures in both his acting and singing; his duet…was both ardent and tender” and “…the love scene with Silvio, rakishly sung by Gustavo Feulien, drew bravos from many in the audience.” This season, Gustavo will sing Silvio with Boheme Opera in New Jersey. Gustavo made his role debuts as Marcello in La bohème with Wichita Grand Opera, as Scarpia in Tosca with Loft Opera, and as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Gulfshore Opera. Gustavo Feulien had a successful European debut as Belcore in L´elisir d´amore and as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Theater Bremen in Germany.

Michael Capasso, Emcee
Michael Capasso is the General Director of the New York City Opera. He has pro- duced, directed, and toured opera and musical theater productions in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 years. In June of 2014, he led the successful effort to bring the New York City Opera out of bankruptcy. The revitalized New York City Opera re- turned to the stage in January 2016 with a celebratory production of Tosca. In 1981, he, along with Diane Martindale, founded New York”s Dicapo Opera Theatre. Over the 30 years of his leadership, Dicapo Opera Theater presented a diverse program- ming to the New York public. In addition to his work with the Dicapo Opera Theatre, Mr. Capasso has directed operas at l’Opéra de Montréal; Mallorca Opera; Toledo Opera; Connecticut Opera; New Jersey State Opera; Opera Carolina; and Orlando Opera among others. Mr. Capasso founded the National Lyric Opera in 1991, a tour- ing company that has brought fully staged operas to communities in the American Northeast.

Kathryn Olander, Music Director and Pianist
Recently hailed by Opera News for her “impressive playing,” Kathryn Olander is a frequent assistant conductor/pianist with New York City Opera as well as many regional opera houses. In addition to coaching privately she has held coaching positions with the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Chautauqua Institute. An avid recitalist, highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and Zankel Hall, The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bryant Park’s concert series, the Hungarian Consulate of New York and the Polish Consulate of New York, and Bechstein Hall. Ms. Olander is a regular pianist with Reaching for the Arts and Opportunity Music Project, specializing in bringing music to underserved communities and Creative Stage. Ms. Olander began teaching piano at Northeastern University while earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory and has since maintained a studio of private piano students.

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’sCandide; 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.

New York City Opera:
Instagram: @nycopera
Twitter: @nycityopera

About Wollman Rink
For more than 70 years, Wollman Rink has served as a unique skating and welcoming venue for New York City. Located in the heart of Central Park, the rink is dedicated to advancing all communities through connection and cultural celebration. Operated by Wollman Park Partners – a coalition of New Yorkers representing decades of experience across multiple sectors made up of companies and organizations including Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Related Companies, Equinox and community partnerships include Ice Hockey in Harlem, Figure Skating in Harlem, Great Performances, Melba’s Restaurant, YMCA of Greater New York, The Boys’ Club of New York and Green City Force – with a deep passion for New York City, Wollman Rink offers year-round experience to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, with an emphasis on creating a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive space that promotes equitable economic opportunity and recovery in our City. For more information on Wollman Rink, community programming and upcoming ticketed events, please visit: wollmanrinknyc.com.


September 12, 2022


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