An article that appeared in the New York Times on February 13, 1985, stated that Beverly Sills (the general director of the New York City Opera at that time) had announced that the company would produce Carousel in the spring of 1986, with Agnes de Mille recreating her original choreography. No director was mentioned, but in the May 1985 issue of Plays magazine, there was an interview with Hal Prince in which he said that he would be directing Carousel for New York City Opera the following year.
By October 1985 anpther article in The New York Times mentioned that Brigadoon "replaced 'Carousel' as the company's inaugural musical comedy when negotiations for rights to the latter show fell through."
In another Times article approximately four years later (February 26, 1989), Sills stated that the company had been unable to obtain the rights because "It turned out that there were already plans for the show to to go the Kennedy Center. The lure of a large orchestra was not there, and there were fears about the size of our theater. The answer from the Rodgers & Hammerstein office was a flat no."