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"Their extensive
knowledge of the field,
the original research
that goes into each
creative program, the
well-wrought program
notes and their smart
from behind
the keyboard all combine
to create a sense of celebratory occasion
at every concert
they give."
—Andante Magazine


Picnic Cantata / Dinner at Eight

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 8pm

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY
Purchase tickets >
Chelsea Shephard and Amy Owens, sopranos
Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Naomi Louisa O'Connell, mezzo-sopranos
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists

NYFOS premieres a suite of songs from William Bolcom and Mark Campbell's new opera, Dinner at Eight, just before its premiere at Minnesota Opera the following month. The quintessentially American material—a play that was made into a classic movie—gives both composer and librettist a chance to display their wizardry. Campbell is a supremely witty and skillful writer, and Bolcom has an encyclopedic command of our country’s musical heritage. Together they have created a fascinating gallery of characters, from the upper-crust dowager to the bit-of-fluff mistress.

NYFOS also premieres a new song cycle it commissioned from Gabriel Kahane, after having presented a number of his previous works of his in recent years, including Craigslistlieder, Three Vernacular Songs, and In The Memory Palace. Like Bolcom, Kahane combines a modern sensibility with a deep connection to the traditions of song. The result is a magical fusion of words and music—hipster meets Fauré.

Rounding out the program is a piece very dear to NYFOS since its early years—Paul BowlesPicnic Cantata, set to the words of New York Poet James Schuyler. The plot is simple: four women go for a car trip, eat their lunch in the open air, read the newspaper, and drive home tired but happy. Bowles and Schuyler turn this Sunday journey into a quiet masterpiece, a tuneful, witty, and subtly moving work rarely performed since its 1954 premiere.

The evening welcomes back a marvelous quartet of women, who have graced the NYFOS stage in past years, sopranos Chelsea Shephard and Amy Owens; and mezzo-sopranos Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Naomi Louisa O'Connell. Baritone Jesse Blumberg will join the women in scenes from Dinner at Eight.

Complimentary wine reception with the artists to follow.

Tickets: $40-55. Purchase online > or call 212.501.3330

Subscriptions Still Available!

To purchase $20 Real Deal tickets:
call the Merkin Box Office at 212.501.3330. Phone orders only.

Preview Performance:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Reston Community Center, Reston, VA


All NYFOS programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

NYFOS Mainstage and NYFOS Next are funded, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.