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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Superconductor Summer Festival Preview Part II


The Lincoln Center Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and Mostly Mozart.
by Paul J. Pelkonen

In the summer months, Lincoln Center transforms into a bustling hub of social activity for music-loving New Yorkers. We break down the avant-garde offerings of the Lincoln Center Festival, New York Philharmonic's summer concerts, the Metropolitan Opera's summer screening program and the venerable Mostly Mozart Festival, transforming this Upper West Side plaza into a sort of Salzburg on the Hudson.

A scene from Michaels Riese um die Erde.
Photo courtesy Lincoln Center Festival.
Lincoln Center Festival
Things don't get much edgier than the LCF's centerpiece offering this summer, a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen's groundbreaking Michaels Riese um die Erde (Michael's Journey Around the Earth), which incorporates flying trumpeters and several small armies of musicians to recreate Stockhausen's vision of the Biblical archangel Michael and his coming conflict with Evil. This one-hour work is drawn from the much larger opera Donnerstag aus Licht ("Thursday from Light") itself part of Stockhausen's lifetime achievement: the seven-day opera cycle Licht.

Other major operas this year include Lera Auerbach's The Blind (opening July 9 at the Kaplan Penthouse,)  Toshio Hosokawa's Matsukaze ("The Winds in the Pines") (opening July 18 at the Lynch Theater) and the Chinese opera spectacle Monkey: Journey to the West. (opening July 6 at the former New York State Theater.) The schedule also features Zorn at 60, a career retrospective of the ground-breaking saxophonist and composer.

The Metropolitan Opera
Although it's been some years since the Met presented a complete opera in a New York City Park, the Met continues its program of staging free recitals around New York City's parks. The recital series with a starry cast of soloists including Isabel Leonard, starts July 16 at SummerStage.

In August, Metropolitan Opera returns to Lincoln Center with its signature offering: ten days of free outdoor broadcasts of past Met Live in HD operas. This year's slate of screenings is TBA, but is scheduled to start Aug. 24.

New York Philharmonic
The good news: The Philharmonic has resumed its Concerts in the Parks series. This year's offerings take place over a week starting July 10 in Prospect Park. Alan Gilbert conducts Dvorak's Cello Concerto (with soloist Carter Brey) and Tchaikovsky's well-traveled Symphony No. 5.

Mostly Mozart
This year, the oldest resident summer festival at Lincoln Center focuses on…Beethoven?

Yes, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra will spend much of the month of August playing Beethoven's symphonies and concertos as part of their concert series at Avery Fisher Hall. But fear not, Mozarteans, many of these programs also feature music by Salzburg's favorite son.

To hear Mozart at this year's Mostly Mozart festival, check out the Budapest Festival Orchestra's semi-staged production of Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton and directorship of conductor Iván Fischer. (Aug. 11, 13, 15) Another vocal highlight: the Festival premiere of Rossini's Stabat Mater on Aug. 13 and 14.

Other featured performances include a series of appearances by the International Contemporary Ensemble, a special late-night concert featuring violinist Isabella Faust playing Bach, and a festival-ending concert featuring the last three symphonies by….Mozart.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.