Adams, Balanchine, Carmen: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week | Playbill

Classic Arts News Adams, Balanchine, Carmen: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week

Stay up to date with the best of dance, opera, concert music, and more in NYC.

Mira Nadon and KJ Takahashi in George Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantasque Erin Baiano

From classical ballet to postmodern opera, the classic arts scene in New York is never quiet. Here is just a sampling of some of the classic arts events happening this week.

John Adams’ nativity opera-oratorio El Niño opens at the Metropolitan Opera April 23. With a libretto derived from the King James Bible, assorted biblical apocrypha, and secular texts in English, Spanish, and Latin, El Niño tells the story of the nativity. Grammy award–winning soprano Julia Bullock makes her Met debut, leading a cast which also includes mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges, baritone Davóne Tines, and countertenors Key'mon W. Murrah, Siman Chung, and Eric Jurenas. Marin Alsop conducts the production by Tony nominee Lileana Blain-Cruz (The Skin of Our Teeth), with scenic design by Adam Rigg, costume design by Montana Levi Blanco, and puppet design by James Ortiz.

Carrie Cracknell’s production of Bizet’s Carmen returns to the Met stage April 25, conducted by Diego Matheuz, and starring mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine as Carmen. Tenor Michael Fabiano plays Don José, with soprano Ailyn Pérez as Micaela, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as Escamillo. Green pulls double-duty this week as he also stars as Charles M. Blow in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which continues at the Met through May 2.

Also returning to the Met after a brief mid-season hiatus is Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Xian Zhang returns to conduct five more performances of Anthony Minghella’s production, starring soprano Asmik Grigorian making her Met debut as Cio-Cio San. Tenor Jonathan Tetelman, fresh off of his Met debut as Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine, plays Pinkerton, with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki and baritone Lucas Meachem as Sharpless.

The New York City Ballet returns to the David H. Koch Theatre for its spring season, opening April 23 with an all-Balanchine program, including Bourrée Fantasque, with music by Chabrier; The Steadfast Tin Soldier, with music by Bizet; Errante, with music by Ravel; and Symphony in C, with music by Bizet. The two programs bookending this program showcase a style of classical ballet: Symphony in C in a more stately and decadent form, with 50 dancers outfitted in Swarovski crystals; and Bourrée Fantasque with a humorous spin on the conventions of the genre.

Jerome Robbins, NYCB’s other co-founding choreographer, will be represented in the season’s second program, opening April 26. That program will include Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, set to music by Chopin, as well as Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

The New York Philharmonic will give a Spring Gala concert April 24, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, ahead of his joining the orchestra as music director in the 2025-26 season. The concert at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall will feature special guests soprano Hera Hyesang Park, Grammy award winning artist Common, and guitarist and former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, in a program including works by Common and Williams, as well as the New York premiere of Nina Shekhar’s The Mother is Standing, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 8, and Richard Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

Violinist Hilary Hahn joins the New York Philharmonic for another concert in her season as Artist-in-Residence, this one themed after the “Sounds of Spain.” Juanjo Mena conducts the program, which includes Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, Ginastera’s Violin Concerto, Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, Debbusy’s Ibéria from Images pour orchestre, and Ravel’s Boléro.

Jakub Hrůša leads the Bamberg Symphony at Carnegie Hall April 24, in a program opening with Wagner’s Prelude to Lohengrin, and concluding with his overture to Tannhäuser. In between, the orchestra will play Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, and Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with soloist Hélène Grimaud. The program presents a microcosm of the so-called “War of the Romantics,” a debate between competing schools of musicians in the mid-19th century, with Brahms and Schumann on one side, and Wagner on the other.

Carnegie Hall will host more Brahms and Schumann the very next day, April 25, with baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Evgeny Kissin giving a recital of lieder by the two composers.

Ballet Hispánico returns to New York City Center April 25-28 for three repertory performances, an En Familia Matinee, and a Gala Performance, celebrating Eduardo Vilaro’s 15th season as Artistic Director of the company. The performances will include the world premiere of Vilaro’s Buscando a Juan, as well works in the company’s repertory by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Geoffrey Holder, Talley Beatty, and Pedro Ruiz.

To stay up to date with classic arts news, subscribe to Playbill's classic arts newsletter.

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!