Saturday, June 27, 2009

Opera for All

Congratulations to the beleaguered New York City Opera. This week, the company that Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia nicknamed "the people's opera," brought three vibrant performances directly to the people of New York City in a series of free outdoor performances in conjunction with the River-to-River Festival.

From my seat in the principal oboe chair, I enjoyed watching the thousands gathered really engaged in the performances. Tonight, smiles spread throughout the crowd during Largo al factotum. The audience could barely conceal their delight, basking in the joy of live performance.

In the face of the company's very public missteps and a recent—and disgraceful—article in Times (no link supplied), this week the NYCO is working hard, directly focused on their mission. With The Met offering no operas in the park this summer, "the people's opera" has taken up at least some of the slack. And during the last three nights, there were rapt listeners, not picnickers, many standing through the entire performances.

I, for one, am encouraged. The tables selling season subscriptions were swamped tonight. Why don't you subscribe, too? You don't want to miss out, do you?

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