Today opens VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab, New York City Opera’s annual festival of free-of-charge, open-to-the public orchestral excerpts from new American operas (American composers and librettists). Currently on its 11th season and running for two days, the musical works are performed by the City Opera Orchestra, chorus, and soloists, and takes place at NYU's Skirball Centerfor the Performing Arts (free, but reservations need to be made at NYCO's website.
In the VOX program, NYCO concentrates their four point mission of making opera accessible to all audiences, championing new works, promoting American opera and encouraging young talent. It also uniquely provides a fertile staging ground for future NYCO productions, where works-in-progress are heard, giving composers a rare opportunity to see their works realized in true scale. Basically, it's scene, but for the classical music scensters.
General Manager and Artistic Director of NYCO, George Steel, is dedicated to giving VOX the attention it deserves, completely involved in the programming, and making it increasingly central to NYCO's heart. He brings eleven former years of programming contemporary music from his leadership role as Executive Director of Miller Theatre at Columbia University, a well-rounded base for curating two days of varied music.
George Steel recently spoke with Opera Chic from New York City Opera’s home, the David H. Koch Theater, to give her the latest on what’s going on with NYCO and VOX.
Click the link below to read the full interview (including Steel's favorite composers and what he sometimes wears under his performance jacket!)