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New York City Opera to celebrate its return to the stage with "Exploding Couture" installation by artist E.V. Day

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New York City Opera to celebrate its return to the stage with "Exploding Couture" installation by artist E.V. Day


Beginning November 5, vintage City Opera costumes will soar above the promenade of the renovated David H. Koch Theater

Free Public Viewing on Friday, November 6, 5-8pm
Artist’s Preview and Press Reception: Wednesday October 21, 6-8pm
E.V. Day
(c) Carol Rosegg
 NEW YORK, NY [September 22, 2009] – To celebrate the New York City Opera’s 2009-10 season and the company’s return to the newly renovated David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, City Opera will present a site-specific installation by artist E.V. Day in the theater’s Promenade. A series of dynamic sculptures made from a selection of vintage City Opera costumes and costume accessories will be dramatically suspended overhead in exuberant simulated motion.
On view beginning November 5 (the night of American Voices, the company’s opening gala), the installation will remain in place throughout City Opera’s fall and spring seasons. On Friday, November 6, from 5 to 9pm, the installation will be open to the public, free of charge. After November 6, the artwork may be viewed by ticketholders to all City Opera performances.

Working in a medium she describes as “exploding couture,” Day will lend soaring animation to garments including Cio-Cio-San’s kimono, Don Giovanni’s cape, Carmen’s mantilla and Manon’s elegant 18th-century dress (in a twin of the costume worn by Beverly Sills). Day has chosen the garments from City Opera’s rich archive of retired costumes, and has transformed them into dramatic stop-motion expressions of the explosive energy and extravagance of opera. Each sculpture will be suspended by fishing tackle within its own 10-foot-high “stage” comprising a pair of horizontal steel rings, each six feet in diameter. The rings will then be hung like stars at three different heights above the Philip Johnson-designed Promenade, making them easily visible to operagoers on all tiers. A map of the installation will help viewers to identify the character and production represented by each sculpture.
“The visual arts are an intrinsic part of City Opera’s mission, whether as costume design, set design or graphics,” stated George Steel, General Manager and Artistic Director of New York City Opera. “E.V. Day’s brilliant installation is an exciting and very appropriate way to make the visual arts a part of the festivities, as we honor this important moment in our company’s history.”

“I want the sculptures to channel and release the energy that flows into these garments from the characters who wear them,” E.V. Day stated. “I want to fill the space with the lyricism and bravura of opera, and show off the fascinating architecture of panniers, bustles, crinolines and codpieces. To be able to work with this treasure trove of costumes, in this great architectural space, is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Bombshell, the first work in the “exploding couture” series by New York-based sculptor and installation artist E.V. Day was included in the 2000 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art and is now in the museum’s permanent collection. Her work is also in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The New York Public Library, the Saatchi Collection, and NASA. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University mounted a ten-year retrospective of her work in 2004. Her sculpture Bride Fight, a spectacular high-tension suspension of two dueling bridal gowns, was exhibited at Lever House as part of the Lever House Art Collection in 2006 and will be installed at the Cincinnati Museum of Art in summer 2010.

 E.V. Day is represented by Deitch Projects. Her installation at the David H. Koch Theater is made possible by the New York City Opera Board of Directors.

About New York City Opera
Since its founding in 1943, New York City Opera has been recognized as one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, celebrated for its adventurous programming and innovative, risk-taking production style. The company’s wide-ranging repertory of 275 works spans five centuries of music and includes 29 world premieres and 61 American and/or New York premieres of such notable works as Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shostakovich’s Katerina Ismailova, Busoni’s Doktor Faust, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and The Flaming Angel, Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, and Glass’ Akhnaten. The company has been a leading showcase for young artists, helping to launch the careers of more than 3,000 singers, including José Carreras, Phyllis Curtin, David Daniels, Plácido Domingo, Lauren Flanigan, Elizabeth Futral, Jerry Hadley, Catherine Malfitano, Bejun Mehta, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Gianna Rolandi, Beverly Sills, Norman Treigle, Tatiana Troyanos, and Carol Vaness. In 1983, City Opera made operatic history when it became the first American opera company to use supertitles, an innovation that has revolutionized the way opera is produced and appreciated worldwide.
In February 2009, George Steel, former executive director of the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, began his tenure as New York City Opera's new General Manager and Artistic Director. Building on the company's core mission of artistic excellence and accessibility, Mr. Steel's plans include broadening the company's adventurous approach to repertory, supporting the careers of promising artists, and continuing to develop the company's acclaimed education and outreach programs.

New York City Opera
Pascal Nadon / Shara Seigel
(212) 870-5632

Natasha Le Bel, Ruder Finn
(212) 715-1644
Andrea Cashman, Deitch Projects
(212) 343-7300

Media Preview
Journalists wishing to preview the installation may attend the private artist’s reception on Wednesday, October 21, from 6:00 – 8:00pm. RSVP to