Tosca – composed by Puccini, staged by New York Grand Opera

If the heart and soul of New York resides in art and culture, the city’s green lung lies without doubt in Central Park. It is the very place of recreation in which stressed New Yorkers take time out from their fast-paced lifestyle to breathe and enjoy a moment of peaceful nature while the bustling city always remains within reach. Yet, when a niche of this green oasis turns into the stage for dramatic art at its finest, countless joggers and strollers interrupt their walks and pause for more than just an instant””for another spectacular mise-en-scène of the New York Grand Opera company is about to take place.

The love of art seems to permeate every corner of the city and it is thus little surprise that theatre and opera have found their way into New York’s great natural landmark. As a city of art, extravagance and innovation, the city’s three characteristic cornerstones have been unified in a most brilliant concept: opera in Central Park. It turns out that a mild summer night and a highly dramatic opera make an ideal combination and those who have come to the Naumberg Bandshell in mid-park at the level of 72nd Street soon realize that New York Grand Opera delivers what its name promises.

The idea of the company to make opera accessible to a wide public has been most successful for almost forty years and embraced by more than three million people who have all been captivated by the highly impressive, fully staged performances. The scenic design of the stage setting and the atmospheric light arrangement within the half-dome of the bandshell also add greatly to the charme of the spectacle and it hardly needs mentioning that both cast and orchestra prove to be equally powerful and professional. As complex and intricate as the story of the performed operas may be, the overall impression is all the more unequivocal: the grand masterpieces which the New York Grand Opera puts on every summer are simply umissable!

For all those who would like to experience this perfectly staged ‘natural’ spectacle, New York Grand Opera performs Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at 7:30 pm on July 18 at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park; (212) 245-8837. FREE.