New York, New York

LIMELIGHT’S GUIDE TO THE BEST ARTS EVENTS IN THE BIG APPLE this March

Classical Music

A nightcap with John Adams

Jaap van Zweden leads Brahms’s First Symphony while New York Phil Artist-in-Residence Matthias Goerne sings The Wound Dresser, John Adams’s setting of Walt Whitman’s verses recalling his comforting the dying in the US Civil War. Stay later on the Saturday night when Adams curates one of the NYP’s intimate Nightcap series.

MTT meets Igor Levit

The Vienna Phil is in town conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. Ives’s Decoration Day, with its church bells, hymns and military band music, rubs shoulders with Brahms’ radiant Symphony No 2 with its warmth and jubilant finale. Music lovers should also grab the chance to hear Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto played by the brilliant and thoughtful Igor Levit.

East meets West

Cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma and fellow Silkroad member, pipa virtuoso Wu Man (“the world’s greatest pipa player” says The Wall Street Journal) join the Philharmonic for Zhao Lin’s colourful new double concerto,
A Happy Excursion
. The concert concludes with the melancholy sonic landscape of Tchaikovsky’s powerfully haunting Pathétique. Long Yu conducts.

BSO’s Straussfest

The Boston Symphony and  Andris Nelsons present an all-Strauss program. Also Sprach Zarathustra will feature alongside music from later in his career. Capriccio, his final opera, opens with a passionate string sextet and culminates in a rapturous monologue that ranks as one of Strauss’s finest soprano showpieces, here sung by the magnificent Renée Fleming.

Pollini joins Jaap

For one night only, the New York Philharmonic’s Jaap van Zweden is joined by legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini as soloist in Schumann’s Piano Concerto. The concert opens with a Dutch specialty, Johan Wagenaar’s lively Cyrano de Bergerac Overture, a work packed full of adventure and daring-do. It concludes with Beethoven’s iconic Seventh Symphony.

Opera

Rameau Opera-ballets

William Christie and Les Arts Florissants present two rarely seen pastoral opera-ballets that burst with the sensuous promise of spring. Originally penned by Rameau for the court of Louis XV, these enchanting operatic miniatures, La Naissance d’Osiris and Daphnis et Églé, served as both a symbol of the court’s opulence and a source of evening entertainment.

Ring Cycle returns

Three cycles of Wagner’s Ring begin this month led by Christine Goerke making her Met role debut as Brünnhilde. Greer Grimsley and Michael Voille share Wotan with Stefan Vinke and Andreas Schager as Siegfried. Stuart Skelton reprises his star turn as Siegmund. Philippe Jordan conducts Robert Lepage’s faithful production with its infamous ‘machine’.

Martinů’s Julietta

Based on the French play, Juliette, or The Key of Dreams, Martinů’s opera explores the intersection of dreams and reality. Set in a seaside town, this psychological drama follows Michel, a traveling salesman, who finds himself in love with and in search of a mysterious girl. Realizing he is caught in a dream world, he must decide: should he stay in the dream or wake up?

Dido in the Temple

There couldn’t be a more perfect setting for Dido and Aeneas, Purcell’s operatic tale of the love between the Queen of Carthage and the Prince of Troy, than The Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Handel + Haydn Society, Boston’s period instrument ensemble, return with this beloved score. Heartache never sounded more haunting.

La Clemenza di Tito

Joyce DiDonato sings Sesto at the Met for the first time with  Matthew Polenzani singing Tito in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s legendary staging. Mozart’s Roman Empire opera of vengeance and forgiveness also stars Elza van den Heever as Vitellia, with Ying Fang, Paula Murrihy, and Christian Van Horn completing the cast. Lothar Koenigs conducts.

Musicals & Theatre

Kiss Me Kate

In the constellation of musical comedy masterpieces, Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate shines as one of Broadway’s most sparkling achievements. The winner of the first-ever Tony Award for Best Musical, it’s alive with onstage romance, backstage hijinks and a dash of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase star in Scott Ellis’s staging.

The Lehman Trilogy

From the arrival in America of three brothers from Bavaria in search of a new life to the collapse of the firm they established, triggering the largest financial crisis in history, the story of the Lehman Brothers traces the trajectory of western capitalism. For its US premiere, Sam Mendes directs a cast including Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles.

Beetlejuice

The ghost-with-the-most comes to the stage in this irreverent musical comedy by Aussie writer Eddie Perfect. Based on Tim Burton’s film, Beetlejuice tells the story of Lydia Deetz, an unusual teenager who is obsessed with
all things dead who finds her new house is haunted by a recently deceased couple and Beetlejuice, a delightful demon with a zest for life.

White Noise

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, In The Blood) returns with a play about race, friendship and our rapidly unraveling social contract. Friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph and Dawn are progressive and cosmopolitan, but when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides on extreme measures.

Superhero

Before we can save the world, we have to save each other. From Tom Kitt, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal, and John Logan, Tony Award-winning writer of Red, comes a deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

New York, New York

LIMELIGHT’S GUIDE TO THE BEST ARTS EVENTS IN THE BIG APPLE

Australians are the world’s greatest tourists, right? And no city offers quite as much in the way of artist thrills and spills as the Big Apple. After a year spent finding his feet, Limelight Editor-at-Large Clive Paget has hunted down the big names and haunted the city’s glittering venues. He’s also found unexpected performance spaces, from clubs to churches and even the odd cemetery. From the glamour of the Met and the buzz of Broadway to classical music hideaways and, yes, even some free stuff, our insider’s guide aims to be everything an adventurous cultural tourist needs.

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