A phone interview with Mortier, by David Watkin, reveals a number of new developments for NYCO.
One has to do with the talk that the Opera would be moving:
[ [ ... ] Mr. Mortier said he would halt the company’s intense and protracted effort to find a new home, which included failed attempts to move to Ground Zero and to a nearby site on Amsterdam Avenue. Instead, the company will stay put in the New York State Theater, whose stage was built for ballet, but will travel for performances elsewhere in the city. He said he had recently visited the Apollo Theater, the Hammerstein Ballroom and the Armory.
“I like to work with the things I have,” Mr. Mortier said. But he left open the possibility of a future move.
Another has to to do with the Opera's relationship with NYC Ballet:
Mr. Mortier also said he would seek collaborations with the New York City Ballet, which also performs at the State Theater and has historically had a tense relationship with the opera; reduce the number of productions; and move toward a “stagione” system, the more typically European arrangement in which one opera is presented at a time.
And then there's the question of museum v. modern:
Most of all, he said he would import his rigorously contemporary sensibility. “The most dangerous thing for opera is to make it something in a museum,” he said. “Even an old piece by Mozart has to tell us something about today. To be modern is to be sensitive to everything that happens around you.”
Mr. Mortier has relentlessly pushed to reconceive opera’s standard works for modern times. His influence, through the directors he has nurtured, has spread throughout Europe, helping make the current age of opera director-centric rather than diva-dominated.
“The New York City Opera has to go into a new direction,” he said. “If you don’t renovate, you disappear.”
It sounds like Mortier (and those who hired him) have been hard at work already. I've been out of the NYC Opera loop for a while. How does it strike those who spend a lot of time at the State Theater? -- brilliant? intriguing? predictable? scarey?
Here's the Link: Mortier Interview