NY City Opera commissions Iain Bell work on Stonewall Riots

NEW YORK — The New York City Opera has commissioned "Stonewall" by British composer Iain Bell to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

The company said Tuesday the work will premiere on June 19, 2019, nine days prior to the anniversary of the riots sparked by a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village section of New York. The demonstrations are viewed as the key event in the gay liberation movement in the United States.

Mark Campbell is writing the libretto and Leonard Foglia will direct. The commission is part of the company's pride initiative, which began with Peter Eotvos' "Angels in America" last year and Charles Wuorinen's "Brokeback Mountain," which completed a run Monday.

The company will open its 75th anniversary season on Sept. 6 with Robert Ward's "The Crucible," a City Opera commission that won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for music. Based on the Arthur Miller play, the opera will be presented in a Francesca Zambello staging first seen at the 2016 Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York.

Both operas will be shown at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. The company plans to announce the rest of its 2018-19 season at a later date.

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