Local Arts

Meena will conduct at gala for NYC Opera at Lincoln Center

Opera Carolina general director James Meena during a rehearsal of Il Tabarro.
Opera Carolina general director James Meena during a rehearsal of Il Tabarro. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Opera Carolina general director James Meena will take the baton at New York City’s Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in a spring gala celebrating the rebirth of the New York City Opera.

The gala March 9 will honor the company’s longtime conductor, Julius Rudel. The ensemble program features performances by Placido Domingo, Sting, Frederica von Stade, Olga Busuioc, Joshua Guerrero. Meena will be one of six guest conductors.

“After years of losing opera companies across the U.S.,” said Meena, “it is exciting to be part of the rebirth of one, particularly with a company of such stature. Michael Capasso (NYCO Renaissance general director) is a dear friend of mine and we’ve had discussions already about the potential for collaboration between our companies on future shared productions.”

Referred to years ago as “The People’s Opera” by former New York City mayor and one of the original company founders, Fiorello La Guardia, the company is emerging from its 2013 bankruptcy led by the recently established nonprofit organization, NYCO Renaissance.

Founded in 1943, New York City Opera delivered on the promise of accessible opera at reasonable prices. Its stage hosted and advanced the careers of such luminaries as Beverly Sills, Domingo, Jose Carreras, Carol Vaness and Gianna Rolandi.

Capasso said the re-launched company would soon announce details regarding an initial 2015 performance and subsequent six production schedule for 2016.

“Jim Meena is one of my favorite conductors and I’m thrilled to have him with us for our event,” said Capasso. “We share an artistic sensibility and love for all things Italian. Partnering with him and Opera Carolina on future productions is something I look forward to.”

This story was produced as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance.

More info

The people’s opera returns with a gala celebrating conductor Julius Rudel: www.nycorenaissance.com.