The New York Philharmonic is set to launch its 170th season with an Opening Night Gala Concert on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 7:30 p.m., at New York City's Avery Fisher Hall. The good news for New Yorkers? They can experience the dress rehearsal of the concert for free. For the fifth consecutive year, the Orchestra and its Global Sponsor, Credit Suisse, will offer the public general admission tickets, which will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 8:00 that morning, on Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. The dress rehearsal begins at 9:45 a.m.
A New York native, Music Director Alan Gilbert will lead the performances, headlined by soprano Deborah Voigt. The program promises to delight audiences with selected arias and dramatic scenes by Barber, Wagner, and R. Strauss with performances alternating between the orchestra and soloists. Further, the concert will comprise Barber’s The School for Scandal Overture; Wagner’s “Dich, teure Halle,” from Tannhäuser; Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell; Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser; and the Intermezzo, Dance of the Seven Veils, and Final Scene from R. Strauss’s Salome.
“The Opening Night program is one that I’m particularly excited about, first, because Debbie Voigt is singing,” said Alan Gilbert. “The pieces she’s performing are epic and Dramatic, and it all fits together because it’s about the Orchestra, and it’s about her and her thrilling voice. The Final Scene from Salome is a perfect piece for her and for the Orchestra, and it’s a wonderful, exciting, and intense way to end an Opening Night Gala.”
As part of the Gala festivities, Alec Baldwin will host "Live From Lincoln Center," broadcast nationally on a tape-delayed basis on PBS at 8:00 p.m. [check local listings]. For those who can't make the dress rehearsal or Gala Concert, Classical 105.9 FM WQXR will also broadcast the performance live, and it will also be available as a live audio Webstream at wqxr.org.
For those lucky enough to have a ticket, the formal Opening Night Gala includes a pre-concert reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the concert. Helping make the evening possible are: Opening Night Gala Co-Chairmen Daria L. Foster and Klara and Larry A. Silverstein; Executive Vice Chairmen Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell, Marc A. Hayek, and Antonio and Gabriela Quintella. The Opening Night Gala is presented by Breguet and is generously underwritten by BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, J. Christopher Flowers, Daria L. Foster, and Klara and Larry A. Silverstein.
Credit Suisse has been the exclusive Global Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic since 2007. Of the free dress rehearsal, Antonio Quintella, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Americas and New York Philharmonic Board Member said, "Credit Suisse is thrilled to once again share the dress rehearsal of the Gala Opening night concert with the community. Thousands of New Yorkers have been drawn to Avery Fisher Hall for previous seasons’ rehearsals, and we look forward to the same wonderful turnout this year."
For information on the Gala Opening Night Concert, or on the New York Philharmonic’s entire season schedule, call the Philharmonic’s Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656, or visit nyphil.org, the Orchestra’s secure Website.