From comic opera to grand, the classic arts scene in New York is never quiet. Here is just a sampling of some of the classic arts events happening this week:
The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players open their 2023-24 season this weekend with a revival of Patience. The comic opera, running October 28-29 at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, concerns events in a village in which a chorus of rapturous maidens, formerly engaged to a regiment of officers of Dragoon Guards, have all fallen in love with the local poet Reginald Bunthorne. Bunthorne, in turn, is in love with Patience, the village milkmaid, and Patience has never loved anyone but her great-aunt. When Lady Angela insists that “great-aunts don’t count,” Patience sets herself on a mission to learn what love is—and doesn’t like everything she finds.
Teatro Grattacielo will present a performance of Spontini’s opera La Vestale October 28 at the Gerald Lynch Theater. The rarely-seen work concerns Julia, a priestess of Vesta, who, when her former beloved Licinius returns from a campaign, is caught between her love and her vows. This performance celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Maria Callas, who performed it in 1954.
American Ballet Theater’s fall season concludes at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre with two programs. The first, “20th Century Works: Balanchine and Ashton,” will start performances October 21, and include George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, and Frederick Ashton’s The Dream. Ballet Imperial is choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and was first staged in 1941 as a tribute to the Russian ballet tradition. The Dream tells the story of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, using Mendelssohn’s incidental music written for the play.
ABT’s final fall season program, “21st Century Works: King, Ratmansky, and Bond”, runs October 27-29, and includes three ballets:Single Eye, Depuis le Jour, and On the Dnipro. Single Eye, which had its premiere in 2022, is choreographed by Alonzo King to music by jazz pianist Jason Moran. Depuis le Jour is a brief work choreographed by Gemma Bond to an aria from Charpentier’s opera Louise. On the Dnipro is a new version of Prokofiev's 1931 ballet On the Dnieper, about a soldier returning home from war. Ratmansky's choreography had its world premiere in 2009, using the original title. This season, the ballet has been retitled On the Dniepro, using the Ukrainian, rather than the Russian name for the river in question.
Baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire joins the New York Philharmonic this week for performances of Handel’s oratorio Israel In Egypt, October 25 and 26. The oratorio tells the story of the book of Exodus, and, like Handel’s more famous biblical oratorio Messiah, uses a libretto compiled mainly from the text of the King James Bible. Conductor Jeannette Sorrell leads the performances, which feature soloists Amanda Forsythe, Sonya Headlam, Cody Bowers, Jacob Perry, and Edward Vogel. Sorrell has adapted the work, restoring the often-cut first act, and making cuts elsewhere to keep the run time down.
The New York Pops open their Carnegie Hall season October 27 with a celebration of 21st Century Broadway. Hailey Kilgore, Derek Klena, Javier Muñoz, and Ali Stroker will join the pops orchestra, led by music director Steven Reineke in a program of Broadway hits from the year 2000 onwards.
Carnegie Hall will also host performances this week from Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Batiashvili, and Gautier Capuçon (October 24); the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir (October 25 and 26); the Quartetto di Cremona (October 26); Simon Bode and Jonathan Ware (October 28); and more.
The Metropolitan Opera will present a marathon reading of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as Told to Alex Haley October 29, ahead of the company premiere of Anthony Davis’ opera X: The Life And Times Of Malcolm X. The opera opens November 3, but in the meantime, performances continue this week of La Boheme and Un Ballo in Maschera.
The Calidore String Quartet will accompany a lecture from Bruce Adolphe about Beethoven's 13th String Quartet as part of the "Inside Chamber Music" series at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center October 25. The quartet will perform excerpts from the quartet to illustrate points raised by Adolphe. Although now widely considered one of Beethoven’s greatest works, the fugue was roundly disliked at the quartet’s premiere, considered “incomprehensible”, and the composer replaced it with a different finale for subsequent performances, publishing the fugue as a standalone work.
Violinist Stella Chen, violist Matthew Lipman, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, flautist Ransom Wilson, and harpist Bridget Kibbey will perform at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center October 26, giving works by Mozart, Britten, Ibert, and Jolivet.
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