New York, New York


Classical Music

Psycho in Concert

This year’s New York Philharmonic Orchestra pre-season run-up includes two unmissable chances to catch Bernard Herrmann’s suspenseful score to the timeless Psycho – surely one of the greatest movie scores of all time – played live alongside a screening of Hitchcock’s classic, spine-tingling thriller in what is billed as a New York premiere.

O’Hara & Glass

New York Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden kicks off the new season with Barber’s ravishing Knoxville: Summer of 1915 to be sung by Tony Award-winning Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, and the World Premiere of Philip Glass’s King Lear Overture, the first time the Phil has commissioned a score from arguably America’s most famous living composer.

Liszt in a Cemetery

Adam Tendler and Jenny Lin tackle Liszt’s complete Poetic and Religious Harmonies in the evocative catacombs of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. The ten movements experienced together promises to be an event of mystical transcendence. Each performance includes a pre-concert reception overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

the aussie flute in nyc

Flute virtuoso Claire Chase presents five original pieces from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Composing Women program. Opening with Bree van Reyk’s A (Real and Imagined) Map of Claire Chase, the program includes works by Peggy Polias with flute, electronics, and vocals presenting a kaleidoscopic range of styles displaying the boundless sonic possibilities of the flute.

 Orpheus and Lisiecki

The famously conductorless orchestra plays Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony, glittering with the brilliant sunshine of Rome, and the Second Piano Concerto played by  hot young Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki. Augmenting Carnegie Hall concert, a world premiere commissioned by Orpheus, from Jessie Montgomery, taps into the rhythms of modern life.


Porgy and Bess

The Met season opens with a bang as SSO chief David Robertson conducts James Robinson’s stylish production. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when it premiered at English National Opera in 2018. Eric Owens and Angel Blue star in a cast that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore and Denyce Graves.

Bluebeard and co

The New York Phil is giving the Met a run for its money! Newlyweds Bluebeard (Johannes Martin Kränzle) and Judith (Nina Stemme) tour the Duke’s dark castle, each of its seven rooms more shocking than the last. Jaap van Zweden conducts the US Stage Premiere of Bengt Gomér’s bold production of Bartók with Schoenberg’s  Erwartung (Katarina Karnéus).

Domingo in Macbeth

In the midst of the current controversy, Plácido Domingo will play the lead in Adrian Noble’s staging of Verdi’s gripping Shakespeare adaptation. Anna Netrebko reprises her hit role of Lady Macbeth and baritone Željko Lučić shares the title role. Marco Armiliato conducts a cast that also features  Matthew Polenzani as Macduff and Ildar Abdrazakov as Banquo.

Opera Philadelphia

A two-hour bus ride from New York will get you to Philly for the far-sighted Festival O19. Prokofiev’s The Love For Three Oranges and Handel’s Semele (with Amanda Forsythe, Alek Shrader and Tim Mead) share the bill with the premiere of Ian Venables’ scorching Denis and Katya, some performances of which star Australian rising star Emily Edmonds.

Massenet’s Manon

Rising star soprano Lisette Oropesa stars as the irresistible title character, the tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life, in Laurent Pelly’s revealing production. Tenor Michael Fabiano is the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, whose desperate love for Manon proves their undoing with Maurizio Benini conducting Massenet’s sensual score.

Musicals & Theatre

Soft Power

David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and Jeanine Tesori (Violet; Fun Home) bring their new musical-within-a-play to The Public Theater. Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton.

The height of the storm

Theatrical legends Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins bring Florian Zeller’s acclaimed West End play to Broadway. For 50 years, the lives of André and Madeleine have been filled with the everyday pleasures and unfathomable mysteries of an enduring marriage, until suddenly their life together begins to unravel.

Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! the Musical rocketed onto the diamond-encrusted stage of the Al Hirschfield Theatre with all the hallmarks of a crowd-pleasing hit. With an expanded, every-one-a-winner soundtrack, a first-rate cast and a staging that looks a million dollars, it takes feelgood to a new level. “Gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya!” Read Limelight‘s opening night review here.

Antigone at the Armory

Director Satoshi Miyagi creates a new version of Sophocles’ fabled mythology that looks at this ancient play through the prism of Japanese culture. Turning the stage into a flowing river of water, known in many spiritual beliefs to separate the world of the living from that of the dead, this is a must see at one of New York’s most exciting venues.

Slave Play

Jeremy O. Harris’ daring and award-winning Slave Play, which enjoyed a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at New York Theatre Workshop earlier this year, transfers to Broadway’s Golden Theatre. Fear and desire entwine as three couples navigate the complicated meaning of race, history, gender, and sexuality in 21st-century America.

New York, New York


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.