Adamo & Aristophanes @ NYCO

Adamo & Aristophanes @ NYCO
Nico (Chad Shelton) seduces a blindfolded Lysia (Emily Pulley).
© Brett Coomer, Houston Grand Opera
“If you’re looking to my Lysistrata to reinforce all the comfortable clichés of plucky peaceful women prevailing over clownish warmongering men, stay home.” This was Mark Adamo’s introduction to his opera when it premiered last March at the Houston Grand Opera. Lysistrata receives its New York premiere on 21 March, when the curtain goes up at the New York City Opera. The opera was co-commissioned by Houston Grand Opera and Opera Columbus, and co-produced with NYCO.

Adamo — who also serves as NYCO’s composer-in-residence — created both the score and libretto for his “tragicomedy for singers and orchestra,” which he adapted after Aristophanes’ classic play on the Peloponnesian Wars. “I love Lysistrata’s strut and wit and nerve,” Adamo noted before the world premiere. Now, a year later, he observes, “I’m delighted at having this work come to City Opera. New York is the theater capital of the world, and the sensibility of New York audiences is attuned to the speed of the work and the blending of the tones. Someone once said ‘We turn to comedy when matters are too serious for tragedy,’ and that’s how I view this story. And since City Opera is known for presenting baroque romantic comedy and contemporary works, Lysistrata is a delicious blend since the opera is a serious work in the guise of a Baroque romantic comedy. It feels like a homecoming.” Tony-nominated Michael Kahn directs and George Manahan conducts.

New York audiences will get a sneak peak at Lysistrata on 13 March, when Adamo joins members of NYCO for the Guggenheim Museum’s “New Visions” series which explores the behind-the-scenes details of the creative process.

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