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In honor of the 100th anniversary of the passing of Giacomo Puccini

In partnership with BRYANT PARK Picnic Performances

Friday, August 23, 2024

Saturday, August 24, 2024

7:00 PM

Free to the Public

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About the performance

Since 2016, New York City Opera has appeared as a staple of the Bryant Park Summer Picnic Performances Series. These performances are presented free of charge and frequently draw crowds of 5,000 or more.  

Continuing the summer of Puccini, New York City Opera will present a full production of the perennial favorite, Tosca. Tosca is a three-act opera that takes the audience back in time to Rome during the 1800's, just after the French Revolution. Napoleon has successfully taken France and has invaded Rome, creating a new republic. The beloved opera singer, Floria Tosca, is in love with painter Mario Cavaradossi and here begins the story of how Chief of Police Baron Scarpia intersects with these lovers in drama, betrayal, revenge, and murder.

Featuring the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and led by Maestro Joseph Rescigno, this fully-staged production dazzles with new designs from production designer John Farrell and is directed by City Opera General Director Michael Capasso

No tickets necessary. Lawn chairs and picnic seating with blankets provided by Bryant Park.

The Cast

Creative Team


Bryant Park, 42nd Street, NYC
(Between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas)


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Michael Chioldi


Coming soon.


Kathryn Olander

Rehearsal Pianist

Recently hailed by Opera News for her “impressive playing,” Kathryn Olander is a frequent assistant conductor/pianist with New York City Opera as well as many regional opera houses. In addition to coaching privately she has held coaching positions with the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Chautauqua Institute. An avid recitalist, highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and Zankel Hall, The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bryant Park's concert series, the Hungarian Consulate of New York and the Polish Consulate of New York, and Bechstein Hall. Ms. Olander is a regular pianist with Reaching for the Arts and Opportunity Music Project, specializing in bringing music to underserved communities and Creative Stage. Ms. Olander began teaching piano at Northeastern University while earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory and has since maintained a studio of private piano students.


Joseph Rescigno


Joseph Rescigno has conducted the music of Bach through the moderns for companies on four continents. Permanent engagements have included the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee, WI, where he served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor for 38 seasons beginning in 1981. He also has been Music Director of La Musica Lirica since 2005. As a guest, he has mounted the podium of more than 50 companies such as the Montreal Symphony and the New York City Opera (debut 1985). Maestro Rescigno’s discography of seven recordings includes two operatic world premieres and studio recordings of operatic and symphonic works. The University of North Texas Press published his Conducting Opera: Where Theater Meets Music in 2020. A native New Yorker, Joseph Rescigno comes from a long line of musicians on both sides of his family. He trained as a pianist and has studied and performed music since childhood. 


Kristin Sampson


Praised by The New York Times for her “bright, sizable and expressive voice,” Mexican-born American soprano Kristin Sampson’s 2023-2024 performances include returning to the signature roles of Minnie in La fanciulla del West and Tosca, and concert performances with New York City Opera, The Accord Symphony Orchestra, and Washington Opera Society. Other recent performances include a company debut as Tosca with Connecticut Lyric Opera, a workshop of Jake Landau’s Psyche, a debut and return engagement  with the Kauno Filharmonijain in Lithuania under the baton of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, a company debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Liù in Turandot, a role debut as Marguerite in Faust with the Washington Opera Society, and concerts with NYCO and WOS. Additionally, Ms. Sampson performed as Magda in La campana sommersa, as well as Minnie in La fanciulla del West with NYCO, a role she has also sung with Opera Carolina, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, and Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and her debut at the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago as Tosca. Additionally, Ms. Sampson has performed internationally with the Magyar Tavak Fesztiválja in Hungary, Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theatre of Szeged, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.

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Victor Starsky


Tenor Victor Starsky, a native of Richmond Hill, New York, received critical acclaim for role debuts as Radamés in Verdi’s Aïda and George Gibbs in Rorem’s Our Town at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater in 2023. He performed Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with New York City Opera and Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème with Wichita Grand Opera. This winter, Starsky makes his Sarasota Opera debut as Don José in Carmen; one critic wrote “While possessing a voice that flexes with nuance...Watching his slow crumbling into unhinged desperation is unforgettable." Starsky will make his debut with Charlottesville Opera as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in summer 2024. Previously, Starsky performed The Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with Maestro Maurice Peress, and as an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera, he was awarded the Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant.

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