The program that led up to Teatro Nuovo was established in 1997 at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts by Will Crutchfield and Caramoor’s executive director at the time, Howard Herring. In 20 years of operation it presented performances of over forty operas, several of them American premieres or first modern revivals of neglected masterpieces. Casts included artists such as Vivica Genaux, Ewa Podles, Jennifer Larmore, Lawrence Brownlee, June Anderson, Sumi Jo, John Osborn, Angela Meade, Michael Spyres, Georgia Jarman, Hei-Kyung Hong, among many others.
These productions drew regular coverage and consistent high praise from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Financial Times, The New Yorker, Opera News, Opera [UK] and the rest of the musical press; the New Yorker’s Alex Ross spoke for many when he wrote that “under Crutchfield, Caramoor has become an operatic paradise.” Over 500 alumni of the associated training program are currently singing on worldwide stages, serving on faculties, and applying the lessons learned from the Bel Canto program throughout the opera profession.
“Bel Canto at Caramoor” will celebrate its 20th anniversary season with five performances (including the Opening Night Gala) at the 2017 Caramoor International Music Festival, following which its staff and activities will be transferred to Teatro Nuovo.