Puccini’s Il Tabarro. On Site Opera
Puccini’s Il Tabarro. On Site Opera. Photo by: Bowie Dunwoody

Puccini’s Il Tabarro. On Site Opera. new York

On Site Opera Returns To The Waterfront Aboard The Historic Lightship Ambrose With Puccini’s Il Tabarro In Partnership With The South Street Seaport Museum

NEW YORKApril 6, 2023–  On Site Opera, New York’s pioneering opera company rooted in site-specific storytelling and the immersive experience, in partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum, brings drama and tragedy to Pier 16 on and around the historic lightship Ambrose with Puccini and Adami’s Il tabarro (The Cloak), May 14-17. This immersive outdoor musical experience follows last April’s production of Gianni Schicchi as part of the company’s multi-year cycle of Puccini’s Il Trittico.

On Site Opera music director Geoffrey McDonald conducts, and visual artist and opera director Laine Rettmer guest directs this brooding one act opera of a jealous love triangle that turns deadly on the banks of the Seine River. Staged on the lightship and on the pier where the audience is seated, the historic seaport offers the sights and sounds of 1900’s Paris where barge owner Michele, portrayed by baritone Eric McKeever, suspects his wife Giorgetta, sung by soprano Ashley Milanese, of being unfaithful with dockhand Luigi, sung by tenor Yi Li. Packed with side plots and richly-drawn characters portrayed by tenor Jose Heredia (Tinca), bass-baritone Artega Wright (Talpa), contralto Sharmay Musacchio (La Frugola) and tenor Dane Suarez (Song Seller), the opera reaches its dramatic conclusion when Michele unexpectedly catches his wife’s lover at the strike of a match and strangles him to death. With sweeping melodies and fast-moving drama, Il Tabarro sees the great opera composer at the very height of his skills while showcasing the depth and breadth of On Site Opera’s expanding repertoire.

I am thrilled to be stage directing Il tabarro for On Site Opera,” notes Laine Rettmer “I’ve been making site-specific operas in New York for over a decade and have served on On Site’s Artistic Advisory Council since 2019,” they continue. “What we have planned for this next installment of Puccini’s Il Trittico promises to be the perfect marriage of found site and libretto. Set on and around the South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose, this opera will be an immersive event that invites you to revel in Adami’s fast-paced, heartbreaking story of passion, jealousy, and murder. You will experience the overlay of 2023 merging into 1916 in this engrossing 50-minute tale set against the setting sun on New York City’s Seaport.” 

After the recent announcement that I will be stepping down as General & Artistic Director at end of 2023, I am very excited to introduce new stage directors to On Site Opera’s audiences,” adds Eric Einhorn. “Laine has been a key member of our Artistic Advisory Council since its inception, and their work as an innovative and sensitive storyteller make them a perfect fit for this production. I am looking forward to supporting Laine and Geoff’s leadership on this production which will, no doubt, be as gripping and engaging as any of our past productions.”

The Seaport Museum welcomes On Site Opera back to Pier 16 in the East River, for performances aboard the lightship Ambrose,” said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, President and CEO, South Street Seaport Museum. “What better way to enjoy spring in New York City than an opera onsite on the waterfront? Join us and On Site Opera for Il tabarro afloat!

The company will complete the multi-year cycle with Suor Angelica in an upcoming season.


Il tabarro will have four performances, May 14-17 at 6:30 p.m. The running time is 60 minutes.

Sung in Italian with English translations available through mobile device.

Tickets are $60 and on sale at https://osopera.org/productions/tabarro/


Pier 16 is located at Fulton and South Streets. It is accessible by trains A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 or busses M-15 SBS or M-15 to Fulton Street. Ambrose is also accessible by the NYC Ferry and New York Waterway Ferry to Pier 11, as well as the Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal.


Il tabarro (1918)

Composer: Giacomo Puccini

Librettist: Giuseppi Adami

Stage Director: Laine Rettmer

Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald

Costume Designer: Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer: Shawn Kaufman

Props Designer: Rachel Kenner

Sound Designer: Scott Stauffer

Stage Manager: Mariko Takizawa

Assistant Stage Manager: TaTyana Smith

Hair & Makeup Designer: Gabrielle Vincent

Ensemble in alphabetical order

Ensemble Mezzo: Claire Coven

Ensemble Soprano: Yohji Daquio

Ensemble Soprano: Lindsey Kanaga

Ensemble Baritone / Michele Cover: Paul LaRosa

Ensemble Bass / Talpa Cover: Brian McQueen

Ensemble Tenor / Tinca, Song Seller, Lover Cover: Daniel Rosenberg

Ensemble Soprano: Theodora Siegel

Ensemble Soprano / Giorgetta Cover: Kiena Williams

Ensemble Mezzo / La Frugola Cover: JoAnna Vladyka

Featuring members of the American Modern Ensemble

On Site Opera presents Puccini’s Il tabarro on and around the South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose, May 14-17. Part of the company’s multi-year cycle of Il Trittico, this site-specific and immersive production brings a deadly love triangle rife with jealousy and suspicion to the waterfront of New York City.

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