The Met has kicked off its 2008-2009 season, but this year it will be the only opera company at Lincoln Center. New York City Opera, in an interregnum year before the arrival of Euro-mandarin Gerard Mortier, has essentially canceled its entire season while the New York State Theater is renovated. The schedule shows talks and orchestral concerts around the city, but only one actual opera: Barber's Antony and Cleopatra (Flanigan, Rhodes) in concert at Carnegie Hall in January.
This means that OONY -- this season offering The Tsar's Bride (Borodina), a Ferrucio Furlanetto concert, Rienzi (Flanigan), and Medea (Millo) -- will provide more operatic content than NYCO. So, in fact, will the New York Philharmonic, which brings a week of Elektras (Polaski, Schwanewilms) in December.
Unfortunately, the season's most promising and anticipated operatic non-Met event -- mezzo Joyce DiDonato's "Furore" program (Handel mad scenes) with Les Talens Lyriques in January -- was booked for Carnegie's fairly puny Zankel Hall. How did that happen? Given that the event could easily have filled the main hall (Stern Auditorium), it's no surprise that it's already sold out.