‘Come Now, What Masques, What Dances Shall We Have’: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week | Playbill

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Classic Arts News ‘Come Now, What Masques, What Dances Shall We Have’: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week

Stay up to date with the best of dance, opera, concert music, and more in NYC.

Emilie Gerrity and the Company in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Erin Baiano

The spring season may turn to midsummer, but 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.

New York City Ballet wraps up its 2023-2024 season with a full week of performances of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Based on Shakespeare’s immortal comedy, the ballet is set to music by Mendelssohn: the incidental music written for the play, supplemented with additional selections from the composer’s oeuvre, including concert overtures and excerpts from symphonies. In addition to capping off the company’s 75th anniversary season, the revival also marks the 60-year anniversary of the company’s home at the David H. Koch Theater, formerly the New York State Theater, where this ballet served as the inaugural production in 1964. Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will return in the 2024-2025 season.

The Metropolitan Opera heads into the final weeks of its 2023-2024 season with the return of Puccini’s Turandot. Franco Zeffirelli’s lavish production will come to the Met stage for just four more performances this season, with Marco Armiliato conducting a cast which includes soprano Elena Pankratova as the Princess Turandot, by whose decree any prince who wishes to marry her must first answer three riddles or be put to death. Tenor SeokJong Baek plays the unknown Prince who takes her up on the challenge, with soprano Olga Kulchynska as Liù and bass Solomon Howard as Timur.

This week at the Met performances also continue of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, starring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and soprano Ying Fang as the titular figures of Greek myth, as well as Kevin Puts’ The Hours, starring sopranos Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara, and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. The Hours concludes its run this week.

New York City Opera returns to Bryant Park this summer, starting with a celebration of Puccini in the Park, May 31 and June 1. Conductor Joseph Rescigno leads the New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a concert honoring the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death, featuring sopranos Tatev Baroyan, Ashley Bell, and Kristin Sampson, tenors Victor Starsky and WooYoung Youn, and baritone Todd Thomas.

Teatro Grattacielo will produce Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Flea Theatre June 1 and 2, as part of the Young Artists series. The fully-staged production is directed by Stefanos Koroneos and conducted by Jason Tramm. The comic opera concerns Nemorino, a village youth who purchases a love potion from the traveling salesman Doctor Dulcamara in order to get Adina to fall in love with him. Unbeknownst to Nemorino, the Doctor is a quack, and the potion merely cheap wine that gives Nemorino nothing more than newfound confidence.

The New York Choral Society will perform The Unicorn, a theatrical production incorporating music, dance, and narrative, May 30 at the NYU Skirball Center. The performance will include Leonard Bernstein’s Choruses from “The Lark,” a suite of incidental music composed for the 1955 Broadway production of Jean Anouilh’s play about Joan of Arc, adapted by Lillian Hellman. Sam Turlington will narrate the role of Joan of Arc, with countertenor Chuanyuan Liu as soloist. The performance will also include Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, The Gorgon, and The Manticore, a “madrigal fable” that follows the life of a poet through three stages of life as represented by the titular mythical creatures.

Pianist Igor Levit joins musicians from the New York Philharmonic and conductor Jaap van Zweden in concerts May 30–June 1 featuring a selection of concertos which highlight multiple soloists: Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola, Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, and Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. Featured NY Phil musicians include violinists Frank Huang and Sheryl Staples, violist Cynthia Phelps, cellist Carter Brey, and trumpet player Christopher Martin.

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