La MaMa presents the New York premiere of The Beautiful Lady, an unconventional musical written and composed by Tony Award-nominee Elizabeth Swados, one of Ellen Stewart’s earliest and most frequent collaborators. Set in an artists’ café during the Russian Revolution, the piece uses the words of influential poets from the time, translated by Helen Hayes Award-winner Paul Schmidt.
As the revolution quickly turns and begins to persecute its own, the performers advocate for a free and just society, seeking meaning and purpose in their resistance. In the light of the pressing issues our world faces today, The Beautiful Lady is a poignant reminder of the necessity of free speech and the enduring power of art. Bessie and Obie Award-winning director Anne Bogart directs the music-theatre piece.
Starr Busby, Henry Stram, Kate Fuglei, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, George Abud, Djoré Nance, Tom Nelis, Andrew Polec, Paula Gaudier, Jacob Louchheim, RED, Maya Sharpe
Experience the virtuosic prowess of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble in a program of some of Antonio Vivaldi’s most evocative and dynamic concertos. Like water echoing through the canals of his home city of Venice, Vivaldi’s music shimmers and flows with rhythmic vitality and graceful melodies. In the concert’s opening piece, it carries the tempestuous energy of a storm. The Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, and Strings, “La tempesta di mare,” paints a vivid picture of crashing waves and the fury of the sea, a storminess heard again with occasional moments of repose in the Violin Concerto in E Minor. In the composer’s Flute Concerto variant of “La tempesta di mare,” we see that Vivaldi was not only a master of expression, but an innovator of musical form, as he helped vastly expand the genre of the concerto. His distinctive movement structure of fast-slow-fast became a blueprint for future Baroque composers. And unlike earlier concertos, which typically consisted of alternating full and smaller ensemble sections, Vivaldi chose to spotlight single instruments instead, writing virtuosic music for a variety of instruments not previously heard soloistically. This particular flute concerto may even be the first ever written for the transverse flute (as opposed to the recorder). Beyond expressive solo lines, Vivaldi’s mastery of melding diverse musical voices can be heard in the sprightly Concerto for Oboe and Violin in B-flat Major, which features the two instruments in charming dialogue with each other. In a dazzling finale, OSL Ensemble member Krista Bennion Feeney takes center stage for the variations on “La folia,” where she skillfully navigates the intricate twists and turns of Vivaldi’s inventive transformations on the popular Renaissance melody. Underwriting for the 2023-2024 Chamber Music Series comes from the Asbjorn Lunde Foundation.
This holiday season, experience the magic of Bach as Orchestra of St. Luke’s presents the Christmas Oratorio under the baton of Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie. Labadie brings not only his historically informed expertise to the evening, but the superb singers of La Chapelle de Québec, founded by Labadie in 1985 and renowned for their performances of early music masterworks. The orchestra also welcomes soloists Lauren Snouffer, Avery Amereau, and Andrew Haji back to the stage, and Joshua Hopkins in his OSL debut, fresh off a season at the Metropolitan Opera, for Bach’s formidable but glorious arias. Though Bach considered his work to be one “oratorio” (Weihnachtsoratorium, in German), its original performance was spread between December 25, 1734 and January 6, 1735, according to the Lutheran liturgical calendar. Each of the six sections that comprise the whole is essentially its own cantata with its own musical key and instrumentation, assembled for its specific feast day. Assembled, rather than composed, as Bach took nearly all the choruses and arias from his previous works (a common practice of the time—Handel was a particularly egregious self-plagiarist). Many of these borrowed works were secular, composed for princes and coronations, but their royal pomp suits their repurposed subject well. The ultra-devout Bach was undoubtedly glad to take music originally meant to praise a Saxon king and repurpose it for religious use. As segmented as the Christmas Oratorio appears on paper, all six parts are linked by the evangelist tenor, and by reflective chorales throughout. It’s bookended by grand chorus movements complete with a festive complement of trumpets and timpani. In 2023, we’re fortunate to hear the work not over two weeks, but rather in its entirety in one evening—just as Bach conceived it!
Taconic Opera produces two piano concertos at one concert! Both are presented on a concert grand with full orchestra and conducted by Taconic Opera Musical Director, Jun Nakabayashi. Both piano concertos will be performed by rising star, Kessa Mefford, who recently made her debut at Carnegie Hall. She will perform Ravel’s famous Piano Concerto in G Major and then perform the world premiere of Dan Montez’s Piano Concerto in C Minor. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY!
Taconic Opera presents two famous oratorios, Mozart’s Requiem and Fauré’s Requiem at one performance! Both are presented with the orchestra, chorus, and soloists of the Taconic Opera. Many remember Mozart’s Requiem being composed at the end of his life as the pinnacle of his classical composing style. Fauré’s famous Requiem anticipates the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel. His work is more uplifting, having rid itself of the “Dies Irae” and other severe parts of the death masses. He added texts from the Rite of Burial which traditionally follow the Requiem Mass. As a result, the work is an uplifting and exalting work not to be missed. TWO PERFORMANCES!
The Met presents a special benefit concert in celebration of the 75th birthday of Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar and Grammy Award–winning composer of Broadway smash-hits Wicked, Godspell, and Pippin, and lyricist for beloved film classics Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Enchanted, and more. Stars of Broadway, Hollywood, opera, and popular music come together to give performances of Schwartz’s greatest hits in tribute to his decades of artistic achievements and ongoing contributions to musical theater. Proceeds of this special event support the Metropolitan Opera.
The Met begins the New Year with a vital new production of one of opera’s most enduringly powerful works. Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell makes her Met debut, reinvigorating the classic story with a staging that moves the action to the modern day and finds at the heart of the drama issues that could not be more relevant today: gendered violence, abusive labor structures, and the desire to break through societal boundaries. Dazzling young mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina leads a powerhouse quartet of stars in the complex and volatile title role, alongside tenor Piotr Beczała as Carmen’s troubled lover Don José, soprano Angel Blue as the loyal Micaëla, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the swaggering Escamillo. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score. Later in the season, another cast of world-class singers takes over, with mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprising her captivating portrayal of the title role, tenor Michael Fabiano as Don José, soprano Ailyn Pérez as Micaëla, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as Escamillo, and Diego Matheuz making his company debut on the podium. Please note that video cameras will be in operation during the January 23 and January 27 performances as part of the Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions. The Met gratefully acknowledges the support of Adrienne Arsht, the Berry Charitable Foundation, and Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard
Dances by Very Young Choreographers showcases the choreography of the students of Ellen Robbins, ages 8 – 18. It is devised to give a young audience exposure to the variety of theater experiences that modern dance affords. It includes dances that are humorous, narrative, minimal, lyrical, and visually conceptual. The music selections, chosen by the choreographers, range from classical to contemporary music including folk music, jazz, pop and the spoken word. Children in the audience will have an opportunity to come onstage for a brief, structured improvisation for the fun of dancing an idea. Following the matinee on January 28th, there will be an evening concert by the Alumni of Dances by Very Young Choreographers, which presents work by dancers who studied with Ellen as early as 1982 to 2016. The alumni artists are: Marina Chan, Lina Dahbour, Maia Sage Ermansons, Krista Jansen, Amelia Sanders, Rakhel Shapiro, and Lou Sydel.
Weathering had its world premiere at New York Live Arts in April 2023. Driscoll was the 2021-2022 Randjelović /Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist. Driscoll’s newest work Weathering is a multi-sensory flesh and breath sculpture made of bodies, sounds, scents, liquids and objects. Ten performers enact a glacially morphing tableau vivant on a mobile raft- like stage surging through the Anthropocene. Their voices generate a score that crescendos and resonates as they clutch, careen and cleave, in a space too small to contain them, spilling off the edges. The audience embanks the performers, close enough to smell the sweat and feel the steam of the central, spiraling scenes in this symphonically active, luminously living work.In Weathering, ten performers consisting of dancers, singers, and production crew glacially morph moment to moment on a mobile raft-like stage surging through the Anthropocene. Their voices generate a score that crescendos and resonates as they clutch, careen and cleave, in a space too small to contain them, spilling off the edges. The audience embanks the performers, close enough to smell the sweat and feel the steam of the central, spiraling scenes. The symphonically active, luminously living work is a breathing, leaking, choreography of micro events within a momentum thrusting from what was just below the surface to the immediately, alarmingly, perceivable. The piece is performed by James Barrett, Kara Brody, Miguel Alejandro Castillo, Amy Gernux, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Jennifer Nugent, Cory Seals, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, and Jo Warren. Scenic Design is by Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan; Lighting Design by Amanda K. Ringger; Live Sound and Sound Design by Ryan Gamblin; Composition, Field recordings, and Sound Design by Guillaume Soula; Costume Design by Karen Boyer; and Dramaturgy by Dages Juvelier Keates.
The Bill T. Jones Arnie Zane / Company will be performing Love Redefined & Story as part of UAlbany’s Dance In Albany Series. Born in 1982, this trailblazing company foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. With a repertory that is widely varied in its subject matter, visual imagery and stylistic approach to movement, voice and stagecraft, it remains one of the foremost contemporary dance groups in the world.
Dia Art Foundation and New York Live Arts present the New York premiere of Boy mother / faceless bloom, a stage work by Juni One Set, a collaboration of Senga Nengudi, yuniya edi kwon, and Haruko Crow Nishimura & Joshua Kohl of Degenerate Art Ensemble. The work is presented in conjunction with the long-term exhibition of Nengudi’s work on view at Dia Beacon, as part of Performa Biennial 2023. Threading mythology and autobiography, while drawing from the diverse lineages of queer, anti-colonial, and care-based artistic practices, Boy mother / faceless bloom is an interdisciplinary performance work. Dance, music, poetry, ritual, and sculptural installation converge to tell a story of transformation, transgression, and the formation of new transcestral lines.
Celebrate Ted’s Sperling’s 10th Anniversary as MasterVoices’ Artistic Director at our Winter Gala!
Christian Quiñones: Fever is How the Body Prays (First Music commission and World Premiere) Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 featuring Augustin Hadelich, violin Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43