Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival presents THE BLACK CLOWN
Recommendations for the best classical music in New York City.
MOSTLY MOZART FESTIVAL: THE MAGIC FLUTE / THE BLACK CLOWN / “A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC”
David H. Koch Theater (July 17–20) / Gerald W. Lynch Theater (July 24–27) / Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse (July 23–31)
The city’s most beloved summer classical music festival presents two operatic New York premieres. First: The Magic Flute, from Komische Oper Berlin, in a wild reimagining of Mozart’s most wildly imaginative opera as a cinematic homage to silent films of the 1920s, via Weimar cabaret. Conducted by Mostly Mozart’s Louis Langrée, directed by Suzanne Andrade and Barrie Kosky, with a scenic design animated by Paul Barritt.
Next: The Black Clown, Langston Hughes’s epic poetic ode to the African-American experience, is brought to the stage as a dramatized song cycle by bass-baritone Davóne Tines and composer Michael Schachter, with choreography by Chanel DaSilva, directed by Zack Winokur, as originally mounted at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater.
“A Little Night Music” 10:00 PM performances follow in the heavenly Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, featuring cellist Kian Soltani on July 23, with pianist Julio Elizalde, on pieces by Schumann, Chopin, and folk songs from Persia; pianist Michael Brown on July 24, taking on Mendelssohn (Variations sérieuses) and Beethoven (Eroica Variations); vocalist Nora Fischer and guitarist Marnix Dorrestein on July 26 assaying songs and arias by Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Purcell, Ravel, and Mozart; violinist Pekka Kuusisto and bassist Knut Erik Sundquist tackling Bach, alongside Scandinavian folk music; soprano Susanna Phillips on July 30 singing three seminal female composers: Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler, and Fanny Hensel; and pianist Martin Helmchen playing Preludes by Bach, Liszt and Franck, plus Liszt’s “St. Francis’s Sermon to the Birds.”
THE CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY: “SUMMER EVENINGS”
Alice Tully Hall (July 10 / July 14 / July 17)
A series of sweet summer jamming, commencing with rarely performed youthful efforts by Schubert (Trio in B-flat major for Violin, Viola, and Cello), Dvořák (Quartet in D major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello) and Mendelssohn (Sextet in D major for Piano, Violin, Two Violas, Cello, and Bass) on July 10.
Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat major for Violin and Piano is paired with Brahms Trio in A Minor for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, and Arensky’s robustly Russian Trio No.1 in D minor for Piano Violin and Cello on July 14.
Finally, a program devoted to Haydn (Quartet in F major for Strings), Vivaldi (Concerto in D major for Guitar and Strings), Boccherini (Quintet No. 4 in D major for Guitar and Strings) and Schumann (Quartet in A major for Strings) on July 17.
TEATRO NUOVO: LA STRANIERA
Frederick P. Rose Hall (July 17–18)
A new opera company throws a fresh spotlight on some very old operas. Built out from the work undertaken by its impresario Will Crutchfield at the Caramoor Festival, Teatro Nuovo presents productions designed to recreate the original physical setting, instrumentation and stylistic sonority of the Bel Canto period itself, thereby also training young musicians in these very special skills. First up for Teatro Nuovo’s second season: Bellini’s most radically impenetrable opera, La Strainiera, followed by Rossini’s working-class hymn, La Gazza Ladra.
THE STONE: “RESIDENCIES”
The New School Glass Box Theatre (July 9–30)
The city’s centerpiece music venue for experimental and avant-garde extravagance offers residencies curated this month by the adventurous violinist Pauline Kim; the out-there composer/clarinetist Aaron Novik; World Music composer/percussionist Adam Rudolph; and William Parker, a superb jazz bassist and composer.