Last June, American contemporary-classical composer Nico Muhly, who is barely 30, electrified London audiences with the world premiere of his genre-busting opera Two Boys. That work, a disturbing detective story set in a world of sinister Internet chat rooms, comes to the Metropolitan Opera in 2013. But New York City is getting a chance to sample Muhly’s iconoclastic gifts, with his equally unconventional second opera, Dark Sisters, which currently has its premiere production by the Gotham Chamber Opera (through November 19). Dark Sisters moves next summer to the Opera Company of Philadelphia (June 8-18).
The new piece, which has a libretto by playwright Stephen Karam, follows one woman’s desperate attempts to escape from a polygamist Mormon sect. Fifty Nine Productions, the lighting and projections team responsible for integrating dramatic moving images into the Two Boys staging, creates images that range from stark landscapes of the American southwest to the re-creation of a sensational television news show, studio and telecast feed, side-by-side.
Recently, ukelele crossover star Jake Shimabukuro showed T+L around his hometown of Honolulu. Now, he lands on our turf to perform tracks from his latest album “Peace Love Ukelele” this Tuesday, November 15 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. 212/414-5994. Don't miss his sweet rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Cousins of Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti, The Lijadu Sisters have rhythm in their veins. Twins Taiwo and Kehinde emerged as the primary female voices of Nigeria in the ‘70s, writing and performing their own music and bringing women into the foreground of a largely male-dominated scene. Their 1976 LP Danger is being rereleased this week by Knitting Factory Records, the first of a four-album reissue that will unearth the out-of-print tracks and dust them off for a new generation of music lovers.
No doubt Montenegro’s 28-year-old Miloš Karadaglić could get by on his dreamboat looks alone. They’re matched by a virtuoso guitar technique and deep musicality that make Miloš, as he’s known professionally, one of the most galvanizing classical instrumentalists to emerge in recent years. Born in Montenegro—“The most beautiful country in the world,” he says, with some justification—Miloš was eight when he picked up his father’s battered old guitar. By age 16, he was accomplished enough to win a scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music. Today, Miloš seems poised for a major international career. Deutsche Grammophon recently released his first recording, Mediterráneo; following club appearances at New York’s Living Room and at (Le) Poisson Rouge, and he made his Carnegie Hall debut this past weekend in the intimate Weill Recital Hall. Look for more dates in the future. We will be following this rising star.
After shunning the play for its portrayal of Austria's great support of
the Third Reich during WWII, Salzburg is finally shelving its past. On October 23, theSalzburger Landestheater will debut The Sound of Music, the
beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical-turned-blockbuster film, for the first time in the city's history. Dutch actress Wietske
van Tongeren leads in the role of Maria while German music star Uwe Kröger woos as Captain von Trapp.
In theaters today, OKA! is an adaptation of the memoir of an ethnomusicologist from New Jersey, Louis Sarno, who moved to the remote forests of the Central African Republic to record the music of the Bayaka Pygmies over 20 years ago, fell in love and stayed.
Kris Marshall (Love Actually) gives a fine performance as the ethnomusicologist, but it’s the local Bayaka ensemble cast and the lush African rainforest that are worth your attention here. The plot is familiar—a capitalistic politician wants to destroy the Bayaka’s forest home to make way for a logging company’s expansion—but don’t be quick to dismiss this as another Fern Gully rip-off. The beauty of this film is in the moments that aren’t trying to move the plot along—children singing in perfect syncopated rhythm together, a group of women making music in a river using the water as their only instrument, and the documentary-worthy wildlife shots.
Boston: After opening the Art of the Americas wing by Foster & Partners, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, continues its renovation with seven galleries devoted to contemporary art in the Linde Family Wing. First show: wood sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly on September 18. 465 Huntington Ave..
Montreal: Music director Kent Nagano leads the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to inaugurate the concert hall (Sept. 7), designed by Toronto architects Diamond & Schmitt. Rufus Wainwright joins the orchestra in a program featuring his own songs (Oct. 5). 1600 Rue St.-Urbain.
Food and wine festivals are becoming a ubiquitous fixture in every self-respecting dining destination, but until recently, the City of Angels had little to call its own.
Enter the first-annual Los Angeles Food & Wine (LAFW), presented by American Express Publishing (T+L's parent company): a four-day (October 13-16) festival that features more than 50 culinary events across four neighborhoods. From a California clambake in Santa Monica with chef Tom Colicchio, to a red carpet VIP event and pork and pinot noir party hosted by chef Todd English, to a musical performance by Train, the festival promises to levy L.A.’s megawatt star power while showcasing its considerable dining chops. We got the scoop from LAFW’s co-founder, David Bernahl.
Q:How did the LAFW come about? A: There are all these rock star younger chefs that are really leading the culinary world right now, and we knew from experience that this is the best way to get people interested in food and wine. We set out two years ago to start creating something that was deserving of the city.
London: Fiona Shaw, the British stage and film actress (Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films), returns to the English National Opera to stage The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s classic bittersweet comedy (Oct. 5–Nov. 10).
Zurich: José Saramago’s novel Blindness was made into a film in 2008 starring Julianne Moore. Now German composer Anno Schreier, 32, has set it to music as Die Stadt der Blinden for the Zurich Opera(Nov. 12–Dec. 4).
San Francisco: Composer Christopher Theofanidis’s powerful work, Heart of a Soldier, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, is based on the life of Rick Rescorla, who helped guide thousands of people out of Tower 2 before it collapsed. Baritone Thomas Hampson plays Rescorla. (Sept. 10–30).
Minneapolis:The Minnesota Opera presents the world premiere of Silent Night, by the composer Kevin Puts, based on the film Joyeux Noël, about a Christmas Eve truce between soldiers in World War I (Nov. 12–20).
New York City: The multimedia project Portals features the violinist Tim Fain and video and choreography by Benjamin Millepied in Philip Glass’s seven-movement Partita for Solo Violin at Symphony Space(Sept. 24).
On September 26, the Metropolitan Opera opens its season with Donizetti’s rarely produced Anna Bolena, with soprano Anna Netrebko (pictured) as the ill-fated second wife of Henry VIII (through Oct. 28; also Feb. 1–4). Later, the company presents The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche with music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau and starring David Daniels and Joyce DiDonato (opens Dec. 31).
Photo by Brigitte Lacombe/Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera