In December 2014 Gianandrea Noseda, music director of the Teatro Regio Torino in Turin, Italy, brings his opera company to four North American cities (New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Ann Arbor, Michigan) for concert performances of Rossini’s William Tell. The stirring opera is seldom performed because of the tremendously difficult tenor role, to be sung here by the young American John Osborn. The overture is famous, but Noseda predicts that audiences will be overwhelmed by the work’s transcendent final pages: “They are among the most beautiful music ever written.”
Boyish British choreographer Liam Scarlett created Asphodel Meadows, his first major work—and sensational hit—for London’s Royal Ballet in 2010. Now the 27-year-old serves as the company’s artist-in-residence, and this fall mounts world premieres for New York’s American Ballet Theatre as well as the Royal. He spoke to T+L about the new ballets and his cultural agenda for the season.
A: It’s a chamber piece with four couples, debuting on the opening night of ABT’s 75th anniversary season. I’m looking forward to working with the exceptional Marcelo Gomes and the talented Misty Copeland and Sarah Lane (Oct. 22–Nov. 2).
With their shaggy corn-silk hair and seafarer beards, the strapping members of the Danish String Quartet could be mistaken for 21st-century Vikings. But unlike their marauding forebears, this supremely gifted group of thirtysomething Scandinavians—three Danes who met as schoolboys and a Norwegian cellist—is out to conquer the world through sheer musical charisma. Already hailed as one of the finest ensembles of their generation, and now in the middle of a three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in New York City, the DSQ will continue to win over North American audiences this fall with a tour that includes Chicago; St. Paul, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; Vancouver; New York City; and La Jolla and Santa Barbara, California. Oct. 10–Nov. 18.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Bittencourt / the Danish String Quartet
New York City The Berlin Philharmonic and conductor Simon Rattle perform at Carnegie Hall (Oct. 1–6;) before participating in director Peter Sellars’s visionary staging of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Park Avenue Armory (Oct. 7–8).
The annual Glimmerglass Festivalon Otsego Lake, near Cooperstown, New York, has long mounted a vibrant four-opera summer season. But under Francesca Zambello, now in her fourth year as general and artistic director, it has broadened its purview to become an essential cultural destination.
Fresh from touring exhibitions in Japan, the United States, and Italy—and a starring role in Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel—Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch returns to the Hague on June 27. That’s when the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis reopens after a major renovation and expansion, doubling the exquisite museum’s floor space. Keeping the iconic bird company: Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft as well as a peerless trove of other Dutch Golden Age paintings.
Back in the 1930’s, John Christie—a wealthy English music lover—married a Canadian soprano, built a small theater in the gardens of his 16th-century country house in the Sussex Downs, and founded the Glyndebourne Festival, an annual summer season of opera. Today, Christie’s grandson Gus (himself married to a soprano, the scintillating American diva Danielle de Niese) heads the prestigious festival, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. From May through August, Glyndebourne presents six operas, meticulously produced, and staged by a host of directors, from traditionalists (Franco Zeffirelli) to gleeful iconoclasts (Peter Sellars). Above all, the festival is famous for engaging great singers early in their careers, among them Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, and Renée Fleming. Yet not all the magic occurs onstage. Performances, which begin in the afternoon, include a leisurely dinner intermission—long enough for a picnic on the lawn. This season’s new productions include Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, led by Robin Ticciati, the company’s dashing new music director.
Thanks to dramatic transformations, these five world-class museums are casting a whole new light on their collections.
Amsterdam: After a 10-year renovation, a grand atrium now greets visitors to the Rijksmuseum(pictured). More than 8,000 objects, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, have been rearranged as a historical survey. —Raul Barreneche
Honolulu: The extraordinary story of how Pacific Islanders developed their diverse cultures is told—with canoes, costumes, musical instruments, and more—in the renovated Pacific Hall, debuting this month at the Bishop Museum. —Peter Webster
New York City: Housed in a pavilion built for the 1939 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum reopens in November at twice its original size. One of the first shows, “The People’s UN,” nods to the building’s former role as host to the General Assembly.—Peter Webster
Mexico City: The Museo Jumex, displaying artists both Mexican (Gabriel Orozco; Carlos Amorales) and global (Olafur Eliasson; Tacita Dean), expands into David Chipperfield’s sawtooth-roofed building in November. —Raul Barreneche
Cleveland: Come December, the Cleveland Museum of Artwill unveil the last of three wings by Rafael Viñoly, showing works that range from Chinese bronzes to Impressionist paintings. —Peter Webster
The hot ticket at New York’s Metropolitan Opera is Two Boys (Oct. 21–Nov. 14), in which Internet duplicity leads to murder. The anticipation is no surprise, considering the composer, wunderkind Nico Muhly. T+L asked the 32-year-old New Yorker, who has worked with everyone from Philip Glass to Björk, about the music-world events he’s looking forward to most.
London: “Australian composer Ben Frost has written a stunning music theater piece, The Wasp Factory, based on Iain Banks’s violent novel. Frost is directing it himself at the Royal Opera House(Oct. 2–8). Also, the English National Opera is reviving Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch’s insanely genius production of Glass’s Satyagraha(Nov. 20–Dec. 8).”
U.S./Europe: “The Icelandic band Sigur Rós is touring this fall (Sept. 14–Nov. 28). I love their live shows, a poetic mix of high- and low-tech unique to them.”
New York City: “I’m thrilled that Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be running at the Met at the same time as Two Boys(Oct. 11–31), so I can see it on my nights off.”
With so many options on this season’s arts calendar, how’s a traveler to choose? Here are four standouts.
Opera:Milan’s fabled Teatro alla Scala devotes most of this season to titans Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, both of whom celebrate their bicentennials in 2013. Wagner’s Lohengrin kicks off the party in a new production starring tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who looks and sounds like a Wagnerian god. Dec. 7–27.
Theater: Jessica Chastain, known for her Oscar-nominated turn in The Help, comes to Broadway in the title role of The Heiress, adapted from Henry James’s Washington Square. David Strathairn, Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, and director Moisés Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife) round out the pedigreed production. Opens Nov. 1.
Art: “Impressionism and Fashion,” a groundbreaking exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, will consider the relationship between Manet, Degas, Caillebotte, and other painters and the then-emerging fashion industry, pairing Impressionist masterpieces with rarely exhibited finery of 19th-century Parisians. Sept. 25–Jan. 20.
Dance: American Ballet Theatre star David Hallberg is also a premier danseur at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet. It’s an intriguing partnership: the Russian company is legendary for its bravura style, while Hallberg is a paragon of classical restraint. See the results of the cross-pollination this season, when Hallberg dances signature roles in Swan Lake and Jewels. Sept.–Dec.