New York City Opera Names Head of Music Staff

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Myra Huang, a pianist who frequently works with opera singers, has been named the head of music at New York City Opera, a part time position. She succeeds Kevin Murphy, a vocal coach who left in 2011 to join the faculty of Indiana University.

Murphy's position had been eliminated, along with that of music director George Manahan, while the company was downsizing in the wake of a severe financial crunch.

Huang has served on the music staffs of the Washington National Opera, Opera Pacific and the Palau De Les Arts in Valencia, Spain. As an accompanist, she has recently performed with the tenor Nicholas Phan (see her in the WQXR Café below) and the soprano Susanna Phillips.

Huang joins City Opera at a critical moment. The company is remaking itself as a smaller, more nimble organization after leaving its longtime home at Lincoln Center last year and cutting back its annual season. Next month it will auction off about 90 percent of its sets, props and costumes, which are no longer needed. At the same time, it is reeling from the effects of Superstorm Sandy, when it lost 60 boxes of documents and scores held in a Lower Manhattan storage facility. It is now in the process of trying to restore the papers.

Huang was involved with casting City Opera’s coming season, which beings Feb. 15 with Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.