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Friday, February 24, 2012

February Staff Pick: Prima Donna

This month's pick: Prima Donna (Howard Gilman Opera House, Feb 19-25)
Picked by: Joe Guttridge, Publicity Manager

1. Why Prima Donna?
Opera has never really been my thing, but New York City Opera’s productions truly do present the art form in a fresh, modern, and very “New York” way. And somehow, the tale of an aging soprano clinging to her title as “one of the world’s greatest” just never seems to get old.

2. What makes it unique?
Rufus Wainwright, singer-songwriter and recreator of Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert—need I say more?!? The idea of Wainwright amplified to literally operatic proportions sounds pretty unique to me.

3. You might like this if you liked:
Since this will be the US premiere production, it’s hard to say. But I’d wager that if you like Wainwright’s music and the musical Sunset Boulevard—another classic tale of an aging diva—then you will not be disappointed.

4. Guilty-pleasure reason for seeing the show:
Wainwright appeared at the production’s 2009 premiere at the Manchester International Festival dressed as Giuseppe Verdi, so here’s hoping his appearance in New York is equally dramatic!

5. Final words:
New York City Opera has overcome some huge obstacles in an effort to continue bringing its singular vision to New York audiences, and that perseverance alone deserves our attention.

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