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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Announces Casting

We’re thrilled to announce the cast and creative team of our upcoming world-premiere opera, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Produced in co-production with the New York City Opera, Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s newest work begins on the eve of World War II and tells the story of an aristocratic Italian-Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, who believe they are immune to the changes happening around them. It’s based on the 1962 novel by Giorgio Bassani

As they make a gracious haven for themselves in their garden, walling out the unpleasantness of the world outside, Italy forms its alliance with Germany and begins to enforce anti-Semitic racial laws. But the Finzi-Continis discover too late that no one is immune, no one is untouchable.

The cast includes Rachel Blaustein (Carmen, Chicago Opera Theater), Brian James Myer (Dear Erich, NYCO), Mary Phillips (Ring Cicle, Seattle Opera), Stephen Powell (The Magic Flute, NYCO, and Victor Starsky (La Bohème, NYCO), who have collectively performed opera from Seattle to San Francisco to Chicago to New York City. 

In addition, we’ve announced that the opera will feature production design by John Farrell (Criss Angel’s MindFreak), costume design by Ildiko Debreczeni, and lighting design by Susan Roth

Experience the genesis of a brand new American opera. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis will be presented January 19 – 30, 2022. 

Ticket Now On Sale!  
Click here for more information.


The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is hardly the first collaboration between Yiddish and Italian-American theatre traditions on a New York stage. In the late 19th century, Jewish and Italian immigrants came together to create new theatre work — sometimes performing plays in repertory, in Yiddish one night and Italian the next. Watch this short documentary from our friends at Kairos Italy Theater to find out more. You might even hear some Yiddish voiceover from NYTF‘s very own Motl Didner

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