Met Opera Summer Recital - City Parks Foundation


  • Free
Met Opera Summer Recital

Sunday, August 8, 2021

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (Doors open 5:00 pm)

SummerStage, Central Park

Rumsey Playfield, Manhattan 10021

Tickets are no longer required for free performances at SummerStage. All free performances will be open to the public, first come, first served, with limited capacity, and will continue to follow CDC recommendations. Visit here for more information.


5 PM – Doors

6 PM – Rooftop Films Summer Series Films (see below)

7 PM – Performance

This performance will be livestreamed on

One of New York’s iconic cultural institutions, the Metropolitan Opera returns to Central Park for its 12th year of SummerStage concerts with a performance on August 8. Met stars Leah Hawkins, Paul Appleby, and Will Liverman present an enchanting program of arias and duets from some of opera’s most beloved works, accompanied by Bryan Wagorn on piano.


Leah Hawkins, soprano (photo credit: Arielle Doneson)

A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, soprano Leah Hawkins made her Met debut during the 2018–19 season as an Alms Collector in Suor Angelica and has since taken the stage as the Priestess in Aida, Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess, and Masha in The Queen of Spades. She began her 2020–21 season as Desdemona in 7 Deaths of Maria Callas at the Bavarian State Opera, with later appearances at Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. She recently completed the Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, where she sang the Heavenly Voice in Don Carlo, Cousin Blanche / Sadie Griffith in Terence Blanchard’s Champion, and Mrs. Dorsey / Amelia Boynton in the premiere of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, among others. On the concert stage, she has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Yale Philharmonia.

Paul Appleby, tenor (photo credit: Jonathan Tichler)

Hailing from South Bend, Indiana, tenor Paul Appleby was a winner in the 2009 National Council Auditions, later participating in the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He made his company debut in 2011 as Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and has since given memorable performances in Don Giovanni, Pelléas et Mélisande, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Rake’s Progress, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, Dialogues des Carmélites, Les Troyens, and The Enchanted Island. He will return during the 2021–22 season as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Grimoaldo in Rodelinda. In recent seasons, he has also appeared at Houston Grand Opera, Dutch National Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Paris Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and the Santa Fe Opera and in concert with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others.

Will Liverman, baritone (photo credit: Larrynx Photography)

Virginia-born baritone Will Liverman first appeared at the Met in 2018 as Malcolm Fleet in the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, returning the next season as Horemhab in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Papageno in The Magic Flute. During the company’s highly anticipated 2021–22 season, he will star as Charles in the opening-night, Met-premiere performance of Terrence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones and reprise his celebrated portrayals of Papageno and Horemhab. Elsewhere, he will sing the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro at Austin Opera and Charles at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In past years, he has appeared at Opera Colorado, Opera Philadelphia, the Santa Fe Opera, the Dallas Opera, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Kentucky Opera, Seattle Opera, and Virginia Opera, among others. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Daniel Schnyder’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at Opera Philadelphia, a role which he also sang at English National Opera, New York’s Apollo Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Madison Opera.

Bryan Wagorn, piano (photo credit: Dario Acosta)

Canadian pianist Bryan Wagorn joined the Metropolitan Opera music staff as an assistant conductor in 2013, serves on the faculty of Mannes College of Music, and regularly performs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as soloist, chamber musician, and recital accompanist to the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. He is also a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He has appeared on major television and radio stations, including ABC’s Good Morning America, WQXR, and CBC Radio; has performed in recital for the George London Foundation, Marilyn Horne Foundation, and Richard Tucker Foundation; and collaborated with Angel Blue, Joyce DiDonato, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Isabel Leonard, Karita Mattila, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Carol Wincenc, Pinchas Zukerman, the New York Woodwind Quintet, and members of the Met Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also performed as pianist in the Met’s Grammy-winning recording of Porgy and Bess.

Featured Rooftop Films

Community Gardens (Kolektyviniai sodai)

Vytautas Katkus, Lithuania

Patriarchal masculinity seems to catch its last breath in the sun.


The Lamb of God (O Cordeiro De Deus)

David Pinheiro Vicente, Portugal, France

The summer festivities of a Portuguese village are suffused with sensuality and violence in this enigmatic portrait of a tightly knit family.

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