New York City Opera has announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed American conductor and pianist of Armenian descent Constantine Orbelian as the company’s Music Director and Principal Conductor. Maestro Orbelian will conduct his first NYCO production in summer 2021 when the company performs a newly created version of Rigoletto on Sunday, August 29 at the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in Kingston, New York, followed by an encore performance of the Verdi favorite on Friday, September 3 as part of Bryant Park’s annual Picnic Performance series.
“We are indeed very fortunate to welcome the world-renowned maestro, Constantine Orbelian to the New York City Opera Family,” commented Michael Capasso, General Director of the Opera. “Maestro Orbelian brings decades of international experience conducting opera’s greatest stars both in performance and on award-winning recordings and will offer the company and its audiences many world-class performances in the future. I have no doubt his skill and experience will be central to restoring City Opera to its place in the American and international Opera scenes.”
“I am thrilled to accept the position of Music Director and Principal Conductor of the venerable New York City Opera,” said Maestro Orbelian. “It is a great opportunity to help bring this historic, culturally significant musical institution back to life after a challenging time of Covid closures. We will give opera lovers the thrill of hearing extraordinary singers from across America and beyond. Staying true to the NYCO tradition, we will provide contemporary composers a great platform in which to premiere their works. We look forward to welcoming you, our opera-loving public, to our performances at Bryant Park and the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice this summer and to announcing our next season of events and performances.”
Maestro Orbelian’s accomplishments include being Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Russia, founder of the annual Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival, Chief Conductor of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania, and Artistic Director of the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Yerevan, Armenia. Among his concert and televised appearances are collaborations with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča and Van Cliburn, including the legendary pianist’s farewell performance.