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June 12, 2014

Talks and a Film Screening Added to Schedule for The Passenger and The Tsar's Bride at Lincoln Center Festival 2014

Lincoln Center Festival




Eileen McMahon 212-875-5391

[email protected]



Isabel Sinistore/Emily Viemeister 212-671-5175/177

isinistore/[email protected]





A film screening and talk have been added to the schedule for The Passenger and casting changes are announced for The Tsar’s Bride at Lincoln Center Festival 2014.


Lincoln Center Festival tickets are available through CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, online at and at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, 65th Street and Broadway.


Members of the Press: Please request reservations to the performances, film screening and talk beginning June 23. Contact Lincoln Center Festival Press Ticket Coordinator David Clarke, [email protected].



Co-presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory


Film screening and talk – July 8 at 6 pm – Free Screening of Andrej Munk’s film The Passenger; 60 minutes, English subtitles. This Polish-language film won a FIPRESCI award at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. It offers a different perspective on Zofia Posmysz’s book, Passenger from Cabin 54, which also inspired the opera. Immediately following the screening, Lincoln Center President Jed Bernstein will lead a panel discussion with Ms. Posmysz, and other Holocaust survivors Esther Bauer, Sam Cukier, and Jerry Jacobs.  Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 165 West 65th Street, 10th Floor. Free, but tickets are required. This event is SOLD OUT, but any unused tickets will be released to the stand-by line, 15 minutes prior to the start of the screening.


Panel DiscussionJuly 11 at 6 pm, with Zofia Posmysz, author of the book on which The Passenger is based. Ms. Posmysz joins Houston Grand Opera dramaturg Mena Hanna.  Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 165 West 65th Street, 10th Floor. Free, but tickets required.  Visit


Pre-Performance Chamber concerts by ARC EnsembleJuly 10, 12, and 13 at 6 pm.  The artists of the Royal Conservatory Canada Ensemble (ARC) perform works by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, composer of The Passenger in the Board of Officers Room at Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets. Free tickets for The Passenger ticketholders only.  These performances are SOLD OUT.


Lincoln Center Festival is sponsored by American Express.



Casting changes are in bold


July 12 at 8 pm


Marfa: Olga Kulchinskaya, soprano

Grigory Gryaznoy: Elchin Azizov, baritone

Lyubasha: Agunda Kulaeva, mezzo-soprano

Lykov: Bogdan Volkov, tenor

Bomelius: Marat Gali, tenor

Malyuta Skuratov: Oleg Tsybulco, bass

Sobakin:  Vladimir Matorin, bass

Dunyasha: Elena Novak, mezzo-soprano

Domna Saburova: Irina Rubtsova, soprano

Petrovna: Anna Matsey, mezzo-soprano


July 13 at 2 pm


Marfa: Venera Gimadieva, soprano

Grigory Gryaznoy: Alexander Kasyanov, baritone

Lyubasha:  Svetlana Shilova, mezzo-soprano

Lykov: Roman Shulakov, tenor

Bomelius: Stanislav Mostovoi, tenor

Malyuta Skuratov:  Nikolay Kazansky, bass

Sobakin: Alexander Naumenko, bass

Dunyasha: Alexandra Chukhina, mezzo-soprano

Domna Saburova: Irina Udalova, soprano

Petrovna:  Anna Matsey, mezzo-soprano




Houston Grand Opera

The Passenger

July 10 (SOLD OUT), 12 and 13 at 7:30 pm*

3 performances, Wade Thompson Drill Hall, Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue bet. 66th and 67th Streets)

An opera by Mieczyslaw Weinberg

Libretto by Aleksandr Medvedev

After the novel by Zofia Posmysz

Performed in English with projected titles; translation by David Fanning and David Pountney

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Conductor:  Patrick Summers

Director:  David Pountney

Set Designer: Johan Engels

Costume Designer: Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Lighting Designer: Fabrice Kebour

Fight Director: Leraldo Anzaldúa

Associate Director: Rob Kearley

Chorus Master: Richard Bado


Cast: (in order of vocal appearance)

Walter, Liese’s husband, German diplomat, age 50 Joseph Kaiser

Liese, German, on the ship age 37/in Auschwitz age 22 Michelle Breedt

Steward/Elderly Passenger James Maddalena

Senior Overseer/Capo in the female barracks Cheryl Parrish

First SS Officer Robert Pomakov

Second SS Officer Peixin Chen

Third SS Officer Kevin Ray

Marta, Polish, on the ship age 34/prisoner in Auschwitz age 19 Melody Moore

Old Woman, prisoner Victoria Livengood

Ivette, French, prisoner age 15 Uliana Alexyuk

Vlasta, Czech, prisoner age 20 Carolyn Sproule

Krystyna, Polish, prisoner age 28 Natalya Romaniw

Bronka, older prisoner age 50 Kathryn Day 

Hannah, Jewish, prisoner age 18 Agnieszka Rehlis

Katya, a Russian partisan, prisoner age 21 Kelly Kaduce

Tadeusz, Marta’s fiancé, prisoner age 25 Morgan Smith


Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory will co-present The Passenger, Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s uncompromising 1968 opera about the Holocaust, performed by Houston Grand Opera and directed by David Pountney, in its New York premiere performances. The enormous, multi-tiered set for The Passenger will take full advantage of the scale of the Armory’s soaring Wade Thompson Drill Hall—also the site of the 2008 production of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s opera Die Soldaten, presented by Lincoln Center Festival in association with Park Avenue Armory.


The Passenger was described as “a perfect masterpiece” by Dmitri Shostakovich, mentor to Polish-Jewish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg who escaped Poland to live in the Soviet Union during World War II. The opera was censored by the Soviet establishment and never performed in Weinberg’s lifetime. The Passenger is set to a libretto by Alexander Medvedev and based on a novel by Auschwitz survivor Zofia Posmysz.


Set in the late 1950s, the opera depicts a German couple, Liese and Walter, onboard an ocean liner where Liese, a former SS officer, thinks she recognizes among their fellow passengers one of her erstwhile Auschwitz prisoners. Juxtaposed with scenes on board the luxury ship are flashbacks to the dark world where she once wielded control. Liese is never able to confirm whether the woman she sees is truly Marta, the Polish prisoner she once manipulated, and The Passenger makes no attempt at closure or reconciliation. Instead, the harsh and complex realities of the mass murder Liese helped perpetrate, and of her inescapable guilt, are unsparingly confronted.


As a complement to performances of The Passenger, the Toronto-based ARC Ensemble (specialists in the work of Weinberg, whose Weinberg recording, On the Threshold of Hope, was nominated for a Grammy Award for “best chamber recording”), will perform three concerts dedicated to the chamber works of Mieczyslaw Weinberg in the newly-revitalized Board of Officers Room at Park Avenue Armory prior to each performance of the opera. These prelude concerts will be free for The Passenger ticketholders, and will enable audiences to gain a deeper understanding of Weinberg’s considerable oeuvre, which includes over 150 compositions.


*Each performance of The Passenger is preceded by a 45-minute chamber concert (from 6 - 6:45 pm) featuring works by Mieczyslaw Weinberg performed by members of ARC Ensemble.  These concerts are SOLD OUT.


July 10 All-Weinberg program:  From the Lyrics of Baratinsky op. 125 (1979), songs for bass and piano; Piano Trio, op. 24 (1945)


July 12 All-Weinberg program:  Cello Sonata no. 2, op. 63 (1958); Violin Sonata no. 1, op. 12 (1943)


July 13 All-Weinberg program:  Piano Quintet, op. 18 (1945)


Pre-performance chamber music concerts are open only to ticket-holders for The Passenger. The performances are SOLD OUT. 


Co-presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory.


The Lincoln Center Festival 2014 presentation of The Passenger is made possible in part by generous support from the Polska Music Program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Robert and Helen Appel, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Larry A. and Klara Silverstein, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, Nancy & Morris W. Offit, and One Anonymous.


Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Lincoln Center Festival 2014 presentation of ARC Ensemble is made possible in part by generous support from the Polska Music Program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.


Lincoln Center Festival gratefully acknowledges the Polish Cultural Institute New York for its support in bringing Zofia Posmysz to New York for the performances of The Passenger and to participate in the panel discussions. 


The Passenger is a co-production of Bregenzer Festispiele, Teatr Wielki, English National Opera and Teatro Real. 


Houston Grand Opera’s performances of The Passenger in New York are generously underwritten by Bill and Sara Morgan and Amanda and Morris Gelb.


Additional support provided by Robin Angly & Miles Smith, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Joyce Z. Greenberg, Houston First Corporation, Houston Methodist, Schlumberger, Rhonda and Donald Sweeney, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.


Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York City by enabling artists to create—and audiences to experience—unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums.  With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of 19th century European train stations—and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory offers a new platform for creativity across all art forms.  Since its first production in September 2007—Aaron Young’s Greeting Card, a 9,216-square-foot “action” painting created by the burned-out tire marks of ten choreographed motorcycles—the Armory has  presented, commissioned and produced a series of immersive performances, installations, and works of art that have drawn critical and popular attention. Highlights include: Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s harrowing Die Soldaten, in which the audience moved “through the music;” the unprecedented six-week residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company in a replica of their own theater built in the drill hall; a massive digital sound and video environment by Ryoji Ikeda; a sprawling, gauzy, multisensory labyrinth created by Ernesto Neto; the event of a thread, a site-specific installation by Ann Hamilton; the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company across three separate stages; the New York Philharmonic performing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s sonic masterpiece Gruppen with three orchestras surrounding the audience; and WS, by Paul McCarthy, a monumental installation of fantasy, excess, and dystopia.  The Armory’s 2014 season includes a mix of presentations and commissions that break new ground for artists and audiences.  The season began in March with a series of intimate concerts by British indie band The xx, and also includes the U.S. premiere of Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s visceral staging of Macbeth; the second annual recital series in the Armory’s exquisitely renovated Board of Officers Room, Peter Sellars’ staging of Bach’s choral masterpiece St. Matthew Passion, a co-production with the Lincoln Center White Light Festival; and the world premiere of the Amory’s sixth major visual art commission, a collaboration between artist Douglas Gordon and pianist Hélène Grimaud. More information on the season is available at


Since its inception in 1955, Houston Grand Opera has grown from a small regional organization into an internationally renowned opera company.  The only American opera company invited to perform at Lincoln Center Festival for a second time, HGO enjoys a reputation for commissioning and producing new works, including fifty world premieres and six American premieres since 1973. In addition to producing and performing opera at the highest artistic level, HGO contributes to the cultural enrichment of Houston and the nation through a diverse and innovative program of performances, community events, and education projects that reaches the widest possible public.  HGO has toured extensively, including trips to Europe and Asia, and it is the only opera company to have won a Tony, two Grammy awards, and two Emmy awards.  HGO’s performances are broadcast nationally over the WFMT Radio Network.




The Bolshoi Opera, Orchestra, and Chorus

The Tsar’s Bride

July 12 at 8 pm and 13 at 2 pm, 2014

2 performances, Avery Fisher Hall (Broadway at 64th Street)

Opera in four acts in concert

Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Libretto by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Ilya Tyumenev based on Lev Mey’s play of the same name

Conductor: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

Chorus Master: Valery Borisov


Sung in Russian with English supertitles

Running time: approximately three hours including intermission


Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved Russian classic 1899 opera The Tsar’s Bride will be performed in concert for two performances in Avery Fisher Hall. Rarely-performed in the West, but a popular favorite in Russia, it is a fantastical tale that speculates on a single mysterious event during the long reign of 16th century Tsar Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible), whose third wife, Marfa, died just days after their wedding.  The ninth of the composer’s 15 operas, it is a complex psychological drama, one that leans heavily on a lyrical, almost Italian style of vocal writing.  One beautiful example is the second act aria that introduces Marfa.


Support provided by The Joelson Foundation.


The Bolshoi gratefully acknowledges the support of Renova Group, sponsor of its 2014 tour.


For complete Festival programming, visit: LincolnCenterFestival.orgTickets are available online, via CenterCharge, 212-721-6500 and at the Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall box offices, 65th Street and Broadway.


Launched in 1996, Lincoln Center Festival has received worldwide attention for presenting some of the broadest and most original performing arts programs in Lincoln Center’s history. This summer will be the 19th Festival.  Since 1996, the Festival will have presented nearly 1,322 performances of opera, music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary forms by internationally acclaimed artists from more than 50 countries. To date, the Festival has commissioned more than 42 new works and offered some 139 world, U.S., and New York premieres. It places particular emphasis on showcasing contemporary artistic viewpoints and multidisciplinary works that challenge the boundaries of traditional performance.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Books, Lincoln Center Dialogue, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Martin E. Segal Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival, Target Free Thursdays, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations.  In addition, LCPA led a $1.2 billion campus renovation, completed in October 2012. 


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at (212) 875-5375.


Lincoln Center Festival is sponsored by American Express.


Major support provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Lincoln Center Festival 2014 is also made possible by the Polska Music program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, The Shubert Foundation, Robert and Helen Appel, Nancy A. Marks, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, The Skirball Foundation, Larry A. and Klara Silverstein, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Judy & Michael Steinhardt, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Jennie and Richard DeScherer, The Grand Marnier Foundation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Brother International Corporation, ITOCHU International Inc., The J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc., The Joelson Foundation, Nancy & Morris W. Offit, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Great Performers Circle, Producers Circle, Chairman’s Council, Friends of Lincoln Center, and One Anonymous.


Public support for Festival 2014 is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Endowment support for Festival 2014 is provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Nancy Abeles Marks


Artist Catering provided by Zabar’s and


MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center


Bloomberg is the Official Sponsor of Lincoln Center Summer Programs


Movado is an Official Sponsor of Lincoln Center


United Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center


WABC-TV is the Official Broadcast Partner of Lincoln Center


William Hill Estate Winery is the Official Wine of Lincoln Center


“Summer at Lincoln Center” is sponsored by Diet Pepsi


Time Out New York is Media Partner of Summer at Lincoln Center


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Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Street

Avery Fisher Hall, Broadway at 64th Street


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