Nigel Redden, Director of Lincoln Center Festival, today announced the Festival's line-up, which runs from July 5 through August 5, 2012. Single tickets go on sale on April 2. Theater offerings include Mikhail Baryshnikov in Dmitry Krymov's staging of a new play, In Paris, as well as Sydney Theatre Company's acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya directed by Tamás Ascher and adapted by Andrew Upton. The stellar cast includes John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Hayley McElhinney, Richard Roxburgh, and Hugo Weaving.
Also in the wings: Alan Cumming in National Theatre of Scotland's one-person Macbeth directed by John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg, and DruidMurphy: a cycle of plays by Tom Murphy, one of Ireland's most influential playwrights, as staged by Garry Hynes for the Druid Theatre Company.
The legendary Paris Opera Ballet, the oldest national ballet company in the world and the company that literally invented the form, will give its first New York performances in sixteen years with three programs by 19th and 20th century choreographers, including Pina Bausch's staging of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice. Tao Ye, China's rising modern dance choreographer, bring his TAO Dance Theater with two new works. Émilie, a tour-de-force, one woman opera by Kaija Saariaho and Amin Malouf, about an extraordinary woman, French Enlightenment thinker Émilie du Châtelet, will be sung by soprano Elizabeth Futral and directed by Marianne Weems. Feng Yi Ting, a chamber opera by Chinese composer Guo Wenjing, will be directed by Atom Egoyan.
The Festival will celebrate the music of the late R&B great Curtis Mayfield, who would have been 70 this year. Chinese puppeteer Yeung Faï' performs his biographical multimedia work, Hand Stories. The Juilliard Orchestra and London's Royal Academy Orchestra will join forces in a concert led by John Adams, with pianist Imogen Cooper as guest soloist. This year's Festival will unfold in seven venues on and off the Lincoln Center campus. There will be a total of 72 performances by artists and ensembles from seven countries.
Said Mr. Redden, "The strength of Lincoln Center Festival is that we are not bounded by a particular art form, so that this year, for example, we are able to bring to New York one of the world's greatest ballet companies performing a Baroque opera, an exquisite chamber opera by a major Chinese composer, a modern dance company and puppet troupe from China, and plays about what it means to be Irish by a writer who deserves more recognition in America. At the same time, in this, our 17th year, we are happy to welcome back artists who have worked with us in the past: Atom Egoyan, Guo Wenjing, Garry Hynes and the Druid Theatre Company, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tamás Ascher, Alan Cumming, John Tiffany and The National Theatre of Scotland, and Elizabeth Futral, who was with us for our first Festival in 1996."
The Festival will present theater companies from Australia, China, Ireland, Russia, and Scotland. Here are details, in chronological order:
Macbeth performed by Alan Cumming, July 5–14
Tony Award–winning actor Alan Cumming returns to Lincoln Center Festival with a virtuoso performance in a bold re-imagining of Shakespeare's chilling tale of desire, ambition, and the supernatural. The production is set in a psychiatric unit and centers on a patient who is reliving the story of Macbeth. CCTV cameras watch the patient's every move and the clinical walls of the unit come to life in a visually stunning multi-media theatrical experience. This innovative new production from The National Theatre of Scotland will be directed by John Tiffany (Once, Black Watch) and Andrew Goldberg (The Bomb-itty of Errors), and will have performances in Glasgow in June 2012 before coming to Lincoln Center Festival.
John Tiffany and Alan Cumming (who made his stage debut as Malcolm in Macbeth in 1985) originally worked together on The National Theatre of Scotland's production of Euripides' The Bacchae which took the Edinburgh International Festival by storm in 2007 and subsequently toured in 2008 to Aberdeen, Inverness and Lincoln Center Festival. Andrew Goldberg runs the Shakespeare Gym in New York City and was staff director on The National Theatre of Scotland's production of Black Watch in New York, when he and John Tiffany first started collaborating creatively. Said the actor, "I have been obsessed with the play all my life. Speaking to John in New York, earlier this year, I had this idea I wanted to swap the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, because there are so many things about gender, I thought it would be a really exciting idea to flip that." He added: "So we did this reading like that, in New York, and Andrew suggested that I play all the parts, and I agreed to the idea."
This presentation is made possible in part by the members of the Producer's Circle.
Performances: There will be 10 performances: July 5 (preview), 6 (preview), 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 at
7:30 PM; and July 14 at 2 and 7:30 PM, at the Rose Theater, Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center
For more information: http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com
DruidMurphy, The Plays of Tom Murphy, July 5 –12
Galway's Druid Theatre Company and its Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Garry Hynes, "the foremost interpreter of Irish drama in the world today" (The New York Times), return for the third time to Lincoln Center Festival with DruidMurphy, a major retrospective of one of Ireland's most influential playwrights, Tom Murphy. The plays will be performed by an ensemble cast of 17 actors, namely: Niall Buggy, Edward Clayton, Beth Cooke, Gavin Drea, David Herlihy, Garrett Lombard, Treasa ní Mholláin, Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Michael Glenn Murphy, Rory Nolan, John Olohan, Frank O'Sullivan, Marty Rea, Eileen Walsh, and Joey Ward. The productions are designed by Francis O'Connor, with costumes by Joan O'Clery, lighting by Chris Davey and sound by Gregory Clarke.
The author of 26 plays, Murphy has been described by Brian Friel as "the most distinctive, the most restless, and the most obsessive imagination at work in the Irish theatre today." Druid's previous large scale projects include the four-time Tony Award-winning Leenane Trilogy by Martin McDonagh (West End and Broadway) and the Company's staging of the work of John Millington Synge, DruidSynge, at Lincoln Center Festival 2006. The Company returned to the Festival last July with Hynes's searing production of Sean O'Casey's anti-war tragicomedy The Silver Tassie.
Murphy's first full-length play, A Whistle in the Dark, written in 1961 when he was 25-years-old, was one of the celebrated plays of the 1960s. It premiered in London's West End where, famously, Harold Pinter saw it before he wrote The Homecoming, and which bears an uncanny resemblance to A Whistle in the Dark. Critic Kenneth Tynan called it "the most uninhibited display of violence that the London stage has ever witnessed." Says Murphy, "There is a rage in me which I think is a natural thing. It was in me when I was 24 or 25, scribbling with my stub of a pencil. And it's still there in everything I do." This fury has fuelled one of the most controversial careers in Irish theatre. Additionally, he has had a profound influence on younger writers, such as Martin McDonagh, Enda Walsh, and Conor McPherson, who has said of Murphy's plays: "He just makes them as dark and as crazy as he wants."
DruidMurphy, which will be performed in Galway and London (as part of the Cultural Olympiad) before it comes to New York, is the company's biggest project to date. The cycle of three plays, Conversations on a Homecoming, A Whistle in the Dark, and Famine, has a central theme of Irish emigration, stemming from The Famine, The Great Hunger of the 1840s, and spanning 1846 to 1980.
Played over the course of three evenings or together in an entire cycle on one day, DruidMurphy promises to be one of the theatrical events of 2012. "Tom is hugely respected outside Ireland more by reputation than by performance. These plays tell about going and leaving and coming back and explain what it is to be part of a nation, what it is to leave and what happens to those who stay…and what it means," says Ms. Hynes. The company's long relationship with the playwright, who was born in Tuam, County Galway, was revived when his play The Gigli Concert officially opened the Druid Lane Theatre as part of the Galway Arts Festival in 2009.
About the plays:
Conversations on a Homecoming (1985) is set in County Galway in the 1970s. Even the humblest of small-town pubs can be a magnet for dreamers. Over a long drinking session, Michael – recently returned from New York after a ten year absence – has a reunion with old friends in that same pub. "The White House." Faced with the changes the years have wrought, they begin a process of self-discovery.
A Whistle in the Dark (1961) is Murphy's first play, set in Coventry, England, in 1960. Michael Carney is an Irish emigrant living in Coventry with his wife, Betty. He has given lodgings to his three brothers as they adapt aggressively to life in an English city.
? Famine is set in 1846 in County Mayo in the West of Ireland. In Glanconnor village, the second crop of potatoes fails. The community now faces the real prospect of starvation. John Connor, head of the family, leader of the village, son of glorious forefathers, is surrounded by starvation and poverty. He will do the right thing – by himself, by God and by his family.
For more information, visit: http://www.druidtheatre.com/
Twelve performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College:
Conversations on a Homecoming: July 5 at 7:30 (preview); July 8 and 14 full-cycle days at 1pm; July 10 at 7:30 PM. Cast: Beth Cooke, Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Rory Nolan, Marty Rea, Eileen Walsh.
A Whistle in the Dark: July 6 at 7:30 (preview); July 11 at 7:30; and July 8 and 14 full-cycle days at 1 PM. Cast: Niall Buggy, Gavin Drea, Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Michael Glenn Murphy, Rory Nolan, Marty Rea, Eileen Walsh
Famine: July 7 at 7:30 (preview); July 12 at 7:30; July 8 and 14 full-cycle days at 1 PM. Cast: Niall Buggy, Edward Clayton, Beth Cooke, Gavin Drea, David Herlihy, Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Michael Glenn Murphy, Treasa Ní Mhollain, Rory Nolan, John Olohan, Frank O'Sullivan, Marty Rea.
Co-produced by Lincoln Center Festival, Druid Theatre Company, Quinnipiac University, NUI Galway and Galway Arts Festival.
Hand Stories, July 18-25
Chinese puppeteer Yeung Faï will present his highly personal and biographical creation Hand Stories, an interwoven set of vignettes using traditional hand puppets, live and archival video. The production includes a live and recorded soundscape to tell Yeung's own life story after his father, a grand master of Chinese Puppetry, died in prison during the Cultural Revolution. The latest member of a line of five generations of Chinese puppeteers, Yeung created Hand Stories at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne with a creative team including video design by Taiwanese media artist Yilan Yeh and music by Australian composer Colin Offord. Through the telling of Yeung's journey to carry on his family's legacy, Hand Stories also explores the more universal and temporal story of Chinese puppetry, one of the oldest traditional Chinese folkloric arts, dating back to the Western Han dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD). A modern production that appeals to audiences of all ages through an infusion of contemporary influences and multi-media techniques, the hour-long Hand Stories will be performed by Yeung and his frequent collaborator, the French clown-trained actor Yoann Pencole.
Production: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Coproduction: Théâtre Jeune Public de Strasbourg – CDN d'Alsace ; Théâtre des Marionnettes de Genève. And the support of: Institut International de la Marionnette de Charleville-Mézières, Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland
12 performances at the Clark Studio Theater:
July 18 and 19 at 7:30 PM; July 20, 21, 22, 24, and 25 at 6 and 9 PM.
Uncle Vanya, July 19-28
Sydney Theatre Company's (STC) acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Andrew Upton and directed by Tamás Ascher (whose staging of Ivanov for Katona Jozsef Theatre was critically acclaimed at Lincoln Center Festival 2009), will be a highlight of the festival. The production was named the best play of the year by Washington Post critic Peter Marks, who put the play in the number one spot on his annual list of theatre's top ten, saying "(it) had the mesmerizing power to stun an audience out of complacency over the classics and transform one's view of a masterpiece". The entire original cast - John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Sandy Gore, Hayley McElhinney, Anthony Phelan, Richard Roxburgh, Andrew Tighe, Jacki Weaver and Hugo Weaving - will reprise their roles for the production which was a critical and box office triumph at Sydney Theatre Company in November and December 2010, before its Kennedy Center run in August of 2011.
This presentation is made possible in part by the members of the Producer's Circle. Uncle Vanya is presented in association with New York City Center.
For more information, visit: http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/
Ten performances at the New York City Center on 131 W. 55th Street:
July 19 and 20 at 7:30 PM (previews); July 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 PM and July 28 at 1:30 and 7:30 PM
In Paris, August 1-5
The multi-faceted Mikhail Baryshnikov, who famously left the Soviet Union in 1974, returns to the theater to perform for the first time in his mother tongue in the Dmitry Krymov Laboratory's production of a haunting new play, In Paris. Taken from a short story by Ivan Bunin, the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933, it was adapted and directed by the prolific visionary Russian director Dmitry Krymov. Krymov is a director, painter, set designer, and graphic artist who creates staged works he calls "painters theater," that have a dominant visual language. Baryshnikov plays Nikolai Platonitch, a former general of the White Russian army who meets a beautiful younger Russian émigré, played by Anna Sinyakina, a waitress in a Paris restaurant. They fall in love, but time is their enemy. Rounding out the ensemble are actors from Russia and Finland who are members of the Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, which was founded in 2005 in Moscow.
Krymov's production is designed in black and white and combines music, poetry, pantomime, video projections and giant photographs to create a dynamic setting for this haunting piece of poetic theater, which so evocatively portrays the sense of exile in Bunin's story.
One of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, Mikhail Baryshnikov's theater roles have included Gregor Samsa in Steven Berkoff's adaptation of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis on Broadway in 1989; Rezo Gabriadze's The Doctor and the Patient for Lincoln Center Festival 2004; and Beckett Shorts, a collection off four short plays by Samuel Beckett directed by JoAnne Akalaitis in 2007.
In Paris will be performed in French and Russian with English supertitles.
For more information, visit: http://www.krymov.org/lab/
Paris Opera Ballet, July 11-22, 2012
The Festival will present what is sure to be the dance event of the summer when the legendary Paris Opera Ballet returns to New York after an absence of 16 years with five productions from its celebrated repertory, including the U.S. premiere of Pina Bausch's dance opera Orpheus and Eurydice to music by C.W. Gluck. Originally made for her own company Tanztheater Wuppertal in 1975, and revived in 1991, Bausch's Orpheus has dual roles-for dancers and singers-who unfold the tragic tale. It will be sung in German and have three performances. Paris Opera Ballet premiered the work in 2005 to great acclaim. Opening the Company's Festival engagement is a program of three one-act ballets by celebrated French choreographers and composers: Serge Lifar's Suite en blanc, with music by Édouard Lalo; Roland Petit's L'Arlésienne, with music by Georges Bizet; and Maurice Béjart's Boléro, with music by Maurice Ravel. The one-act ballets will have three performances. The exquisite ballet classic Giselle, choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot with music by Adolphe Adam, was first introduced to the world by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1841. The Company will offer six performances of its current production, with the historical sets and costumes created in 1924 by Alexandre Benois.
The origins of the Paris Opera Ballet date to 1661 when Louis XIV established the Royal Academy of Dance and merged it with the Royal Academy of Music in 1669. It was here that theatrical dance flourished and evolved during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and the forms and techniques of classical ballet emerged, to be shaped and honed by generations of virtuoso dancers and choreographers. For more information, visit: www.operadeparis.fr/en/L'Opéra/le_Ballet
Brigitte Lefèvre has been Director of Dance at the Paris Opera since 1995. A product of the famed Paris Opera Ballet School, and a former dancer with the Company, she has also been a noted choreographer and teacher. Committed to maintaining the great historic traditions and classical ballets (including overseeing revivals of Rudolf Nureyev productions), as well as noted works of the 20th-century, Ms. Lefèvre has also built the Company's future legacy, guiding the creation and introduction of new works. Choreographers who have created or set their work on the Company since her tenure began include, among others, Pina Bausch, Trisha Brown, Maurice Béjart, Carolyn Carlson, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Susanne Linke, Édouard Lock, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, John Neumeier, Robyn Orlin, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Saburo Teshigawara, and Sasha Waltz.
Twelve Performances at the David H. Koch Theater:
Giselle: July 13 at 8 PM; July 14 at 2 and 8 PM; July 17, 18, and 19 at 8 PM
French masters of the 20th century: July 11 and 12 at 8 PM and July 15 at 3 PM;
Orpheus and Eurydice: July 20 and 21 at 8 PM and July 22 at 3 PM
This presentation of Paris Opera Ballet is made possible in part by generous support from The Grand Marnier Foundation and the Joelson Foundation.
TAO Dance Theater, July 25 and 27
Beijing's TAO Dance Theater's choreographer Tao Ye is regarded as the most exciting name in modern dance in China. Founded in 2008 by Ye and dancer Wang Hao, a specialist in Mongolian folk dance, TAO Dance Theater has grown to become China's most highly sought-after modern dance company. The company will present two works at the Festival. The first, 2, is a duet developed from the rhythms of the spoken word; the performers recorded their own conversations during rehearsal and daily life to develop the accompanying soundscape. The resulting performance is both hypnotic and thought-provoking, as virtuosic patterns emerge from minimalistic movements to represent two souls in conversation. The second work, 4, is the company's newest creation, a high-impact and intensely physical piece for four women seen here in its North American premiere.
TAO Dance Theater aims to challenge all previous conceptions of modern dance. Ye and Hao focus all their time and energy on their craft, exploring form as content, investigating musical and physical interaction, and experimenting with minimalism as well as layered patterns of gesture and spacial locomotion. They eschew the representational modes often seen in modern dance throughout China. Having collaborated with leading artists across genres, the Company has toured extensively in Europe and been featured in festivals worldwide, and includes dancer/choreographer Duan Ni, who returned to China in 2008 to work exclusively with Ye and Hao.
For more information, visit: http://www.locoworld.se/agency/tao-dance-theater/
Two performances at Alice Tully Hall:
July 25 and 27 at 7:30 PM
Made possible in part by generous support from China International Culture Association.
Members of the Juilliard Orchestra and London's Royal Academy Orchestra, July 11
Composer John Adams will lead members of the Juilliard Orchestra and London's Royal Academy Orchestra in a July 11 concert in Avery Fisher Hall. The program includes Feste Romane, Respighi's symphonic survey of Roman festivals from Caesar's time to the present day; Ravel's jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G major with soloist Imogen Cooper; and John Adams's City Noir, a symphony inspired by the peculiar ambience and mood of Los Angeles's 'noir' films, especially those produced in the late forties and early fifties. Mr. Adams has conducted the Juilliard Orchestra several times, including a well-regarded 2009 concert performance of his opera, The Death of Klinghoffer.
Since 1990 the two schools have collaborated on study exchanges between students as well as projects, most recently the commissioning and shared premieres of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's opera Kommilitonen! A tale of youthful rebellions throughout the 20th century, the opera was a remarkable success on both sides of the Atlantic, garnering attention for its young performers and its topic – an interesting reflection of our times. Anne Manson conducted Juilliard's highly praised premiere. Past joint performances include an appearance at the 2005 Proms, conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
Known for its versatility and the freshness of its performances, the Juilliard Orchestra performs frequently in its own New York City series each season, and is a strong partner to Juilliard's operatic and dance performances. During this 2011-2012 season, Juilliard welcomes several guest conductors leading the Juilliard Orchestra for the first time: David Afkham, Jeffrey Kahane, Jayce Ogren, and Matthias Pintscher, plus returning guest conductor EmManuel Villaume. Juilliard's new director of orchestral and conducting studies, Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the
New York Philharmonic, conducts the Juilliard Orchestra in an Avery Fisher Hall concert. For more information: http://www.juilliard.edu/newsroom/kit/articles/Symphonic-Ensembles.php
The Royal Academy of Music has been training musicians to the highest professional standards since its foundation in 1822. As Britain's senior conservatoire, its impact on musical life, both in the UK and abroad, is inestimable. The Academy is firmly focused on refreshing creative traditions for tomorrow's musical leaders in the classical, jazz, media and musical theatre worlds. Every year some of the most talented young musicians from over fifty countries come to study at the Academy, attracted by renowned teachers and by a rich artistic culture that broadens their musical horizons, develops their professional creativity, and fosters their entrepreneurial spirit. As the Academy approaches its bicentenary it goes from strength to strength. In the past three years alone, the Academy has been rated the best conservatoire for research by the Times Higher, the top conservatoire and the second-highest rated institution in the country for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, and top conservatoire in The Times University Guide.
One performance at Avery Fisher Hall
July 11 at 8:00 PM
Tribute to Curtis Mayfield, July 20
Over its 17-year history, Lincoln Center Festival has honored special musical artists with dedicated concerts celebrating their life and work (Ornette Coleman in 1997; Philip Glass in 2001; Elvis Costello in 2004; and Wardell Quezerque in 2009; and the Blind Boys of Alabama in 2010 are some examples). This year the Festival pays tribute to Curtis Mayfield, the late soul music icon, who would have been 70 years old in 2012. Mayfield was highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music in a career that spanned the early 1970s through the 1990s.
A collaboration between Lincoln Center Festival and the Mayfield estate, this one-night-only event pays tribute to an artist whose music served as a soundtrack to the civil rights movement, introducing poetry and moral affirmation into pop, soul, funk, and R&B. A roster of special guest artists from across decades and styles will share the performing honors with the Impressions, the inimitable vocal soul group Mayfield led early in his career, and a house band under the musical direction of Binky Griptite, the guitarist and musical director of the funk-infused Dap-Kings.
This concert also celebrates the launch of the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, created by the Mayfield family as a way to help disadvantaged youth realize their musical dreams.
Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) is best known for his anthemic music with the popular singing group The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Superfly. It was in December 1971, following a concert in Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, when he was approached to write the music for the film Superfly by the film's producer and screenwriter.
He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums. In 1990, his performing career was cruelly ended when he was became paralyzed from the neck down due to a windstorm that caused the stage on which he was performing to collapse during a free outdoor concert in Brooklyn. Unable to play guitar, barely able to sing, it took Mayfield six years to release one last album, New World Order.
He was a winner of both the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995) and a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted as a member of The Impressions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He is also a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee for the song, People Get Ready and the album, Superfly (cited in Rolling Stone as #69 in the top 500 albums of all time). Mayfield influenced such performers as Lenny Kravitz, Ice-T, Public Enemy and Arrested Development because of his ability to voice hard truths through funky, uplifting music for his soundtracks and for such politically-charged hit songs as People Get Ready and Move on Up.
Curtis Mayfield never lost the spirituality of the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers, with whom he sang as a teenager in Chicago, on songs such as the churchy, uplifting "Keep on Pushing." "His register was soft and gentle, yet powerful," said Mavis Staples. "His love songs made you fall in love, and his message songs made you want to go out and do something good for the world."
One performance July 20 at 8 PM, Avery Fisher Hall
Émilie, July 19, 21 and 22
Soprano Elizabeth Futral sings the tour de force title role in Émilie, the first opera by the team of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and Lebanese librettist Amin Malouf to be staged at Lincoln Center.
Émilie is a 75-minute work of almost continuous vocalization based on an episode in the life of Émilie de Châtelet (1706 – 1749). Born Gabrielle Émilie de Breuteuil, she was a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment, a respected French mathematician, the translator of Newton's great work, Principia Mathematica, and a lover of Voltaire, among others. The director is Marianne Weems, artistic director of the experimental theater company The Builders Association. The production uses video projections that convey a prismatic portrait of de Châtelet's state of mind. It was first seen in the USA at the 2011 Spoleto Festival USA.
Émilie focuses on the last weeks of her life when at age 42, pregnant with her fourth child and knowing she would most likely not survive the birth, she is finishing her translation of Newton's work. Malouf's libretto, in the form of de Châtelet's letters to her lovers Voltaire and Jean-Francois de Saint-Lambert (the child's father who has abandoned her), conjures up the forebodings, thoughts of death, and reminiscences of a brilliant woman who knows her life will be cut short. Miss Futral will be accompanied by Ensemble ACJW conducted by John Kennedy, resident conductor, Spoleto Festival Orchestra.
Kaija Saariaho is one the few female contemporary composers to have achieved wide public and critical acclaim. Her lushly-textured work, rooted in studies of electro-acoustic technology and the science of sound honed in her early days at the IRCAM Institute in Paris, is often described as mysterious and other-worldly. She is currently the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall. Her previous collaborations with Malouf are the operas L'Amour de loin (2000) and Adriana Mater (2006), and La Passion de Simone: Musical path in 15 stations, a staged oratorio based on the life and writings of French moral philosopher and social activist Simone Weil, which received its U.S. premiere at the Mostly Mozart Festival with Dawn Upshaw in the title role.
Three performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets:
July 19, 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM
Paris Opera Ballet, Orpheus and Eurydice, July 20, 21 and 22
The Paris Opera Ballet will perform the U.S. premiere of Pina Bausch's dance/opera Orpheus and Eurydice to music by C.W. Gluck. Bausch, who died in 2009, was the choreographer and exponent of the Neo-Expressionist form of German dance known as Tanztheater. She originally made Orpheus and Eurydice for her own company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, in 1975, and revived it in 1991. Paris Opera Ballet premiered it in 2005 to great acclaim. Bausch's Orpheus and Eurydice has dual roles-for dancers and singers-to unfold the tragic tale. The vocal soloists are mezzo-soprano Maria Riccarda Wessling (Orpheus), soprano Yun Jung Choi (Eurydice), and soprano Zoe Nicolaidou (Amore). It will be sung in German. It will be sung in German. The orchestra will be the Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble und Chor from Freiburg, Germany.
This presentation of Paris Opera Ballet is made possible in part by generous support from The Grand Marnier Foundation and the Joelson Foundation.
Three performances at the David H. Koch Theater:
July 20 and 21 at 8 PM and July 22 at 3 PM
Feng Yi Ting, July 26, 27, 28
Chinese composer Guo Wenjing, whose opera Ye Yan/The Night Banquet had its U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center Festival 2002, returns to the Festival with the New York premiere of a new production of his 2004 chamber opera, Feng Yi Ting ("The Phoenix Pavilion"). This new work is based on a scene from a very popular Chinese tale about a woman who is so beautiful she can save an empire by causing two rival warlords to fall in love with her. It is set during the end of the Eastern Han dynasty (25 - 220 AD).
Guo Wenjing, Chair and professor of the Composition Department at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, has composed numerous works which have been performed around the globe. His music, known for its dramatic, majestic, and dreamlike lyricism, blends the musical heritage of China with stylistic elements of the late 20th century avant-garde. His music was first heard in the West in 1983.
The composer describes the opera as an unusual one for him. Embedded within his original work are traditional opera arias sung by a Sichuan opera soprano and Beijing opera countertenor. Ken Lam, winner of the 2011 Memphis International Conducting Competition and Orchestra Director at Montclair State University, will lead Ensemble ACJW-a collective of outstanding young professional musicians from Carnegie Hall and Juilliard's The Academy -and a chamber ensemble consisting of four musicians on traditional Chinese instruments (pipa, dizi, erhu and sheng) in the performance. The U.S. premiere of Feng Yi Ting will take place at Spoleto Festival USA in May.
Film director Atom Egoyan will direct this multimedia production. His opera credits include recent productions of Die Walküre and Salome for the Canadian Opera Company. Six of his films have been chosen for the New York Film Festival: Speaking Parts (1989), The Adjuster (1991), Calendar (1993), Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and Felicia's Journey (1999). He last participated at Lincoln Center Festival in 2008 as director of the Gate Theatre production of Samuel Beckett's Eh Joe starring Liam Neeson.
The creative team includes costumes by Chinese fashion and costume designer Han Feng, most recently known for her spectacular designs for Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008 and subsequently the opera version of Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter. Video in this production is by Hong Kong-based visual artist Tsang Kin-wah, with sets by Tony Award-winner Derek McLane.
Feng Yi Ting ("The Phoenix Pavilion") is coproduced by Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA and Currents. Made possible in part by generous support from China International Culture Association.
Three performances at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College:
July 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 PM
Six performances in the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College:
August 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 PM; August 4 at 2 and 7:30 PM; and August 5 at 2 PM
A production of Baryshnikov Arts Center +Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, in association with the A.G. Foundation and the Korjaamo Theater. This presentation is made possible in part by generous support from, Jennie and Richard DeScherer and the members of the Producers Circle.
Tickets: Single tickets go on sale on April 2. For more information and to buy tickets visit LincolnCenterFestival.org or go to the Avery Fisher or Alice Tully Hall box offices, or call CenterCharge, 212/721-6500. Tickets for Uncle Vanya are also available at New York City Center box office. Tickets for the Juilliard Orchestra/London's Royal Academy Orchestra concert are only available at Avery Fisher Hall box office or through CenterCharge.