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Ricky Ian Gordon's 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' - A Sold-Out Success at NYC Opera

Ricky Ian Gordon's 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' is a sold out success at NYC Opera, with only February 1st at 7pm EST and February 2nd at 2pm EST performances available for ticket purchase. In an era where the Metropolitan Opera is having their worst attendance in history (with only 44% of their typical audience in attendance), NYC Opera is busy and thriving. Perhaps, this is in part due to the public desiring more new opera, particularly with a special cultural significance and a classy and tasteful production. While NYC is a modern city with many cultural backgrounds and experiences, most opera lovers yearn for modest and appropriate staging and costumes without strange, and often bizarre avant-garde adaptations. NYC Opera has proven that with beautiful and elegant new operas such as 'The Garden of Finzi-Continis', opera can continue to flourish, of which the Metropolitan Opera should take note.


What is The Garden of The Finzi-Continis? With a libretto by Michael Korie (Flying Over Sunset, War Paint, Grey Gardens), The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis begins on the eve of World War II and tells the story of an aristocratic Italian-Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, who believe they are immune to the changes happening around them. As they make a gracious haven for themselves in their garden, walling out the unpleasantness of the world outside, Italy forms its alliance with Germany and begins to enforce anti-Semitic racial laws. But the Finzi-Continis discover too late that no one is immune, no one is untouchable.

Based on Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel, The Garden of The Finzi-Continis is a modern classic. Vittorio De Sica’s 1970 film adaptation starred Dominique Sanda and Helmet Berger – and took home a 1972 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

“THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS not only continues New York City Opera’s mission to produce new and important works by American composers, it will also continue NYCO’s tradition of showcasing outstanding talent,” said Mr. Capasso, adding “I am very excited about our cast which includes many young and emerging artists in leading roles alongside established NYCO stalwarts.”

“We are proud to co-produce the world premiere of THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS,” by said Mr. Mlotek. “This important new work illuminates an important part of Italian Jewish history, and sadly, its themes of discrimination and antisemitism still resonate in our world today.”

Diana Amati, founder of Opera Culture News & Magazine, made a statement,

"The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is a rare jewel, a treasure to be cherished for generations to come. The opera tells an important story that history can not forget and that we must pass down to our children."


Rachel Blaustein (Micól Finzi-Contini), Brian James Myer (Alberto Finzi-Contini), Mary Phillips (Mama), Franco Pomponi (Papà), Anthony Ciaramitaro (Giorgio), and Matt Ciuffitelli (Malnate) will head the cast of THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS, which will feature production design by John Farrell, costume design by Ildikó Debreczeni, lighting design by Susan Roth, and production stage management by Diana Vassall-DuMelle. The cast also includes D’Marreon Alexander, Robert Balonek, Adam Cioffari, Peter Kendall Clark, Dani Goldstein, Spencer Hamlin, Kristee Haney, Rebecca Hargrove, Sarah Heltzel, Adam Klein, Meredith Krinke, Melanie Long, Violet Paris, Gabe Ponichter, Sami Sallaway, Drew Seigla, Markos Simopoulos, Rosy Anoush Svazlian, Tim Roller, and Rachel Zatcoff.


Music by Ricky Ian Gordon Libretto by Michael Korie, based on the novel by Giorgio Bassani Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford Conductor: James Lowe Set Designer: John Farrell Lighting Designer: Susan Roth Costume Designer: Ildikó Debreczeni



Tickets are very limited but may still be purchased by calling the NYTF box office at


Or by visiting



A co-production with NATIONAL YIDDISH THEATRE FOLKSBIENE Now entering its 106th season, Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is the longest consecutively producing theatre in the U.S. and the world’s oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company. NYTF, which presented the award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey, to sold out audiences for six months downtown before it moved to Off-Broadway’s Stage 42 for an additional year, is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director Dominick Balletta, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados, and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops, and community building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work.

NYTF is currently producing Folksbiene! LIVE, an online celebration of Yiddish culture, featuring livestreamed theater, American Jewish performers, concerts, lectures, talks, and other events. Folksbiene! LIVE, with more than thirty hours of original programming available on our website to date, provides inspirational and entertaining experiences as cultural and arts venues across the country and world remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Experience this programming on demand and learn more about the company at

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Currently on view is the acclaimed exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. This is the most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust ever presented in North America, bringing together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world. Also on view are Ordinary Treasures: Highlights from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Collection and Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art as Testimony. The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.


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