Forza, Fortuna, and Frosch: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week | Playbill

Classic Arts News Forza, Fortuna, and Frosch: What’s Happening in Classic Arts This Week

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

Lise Davidsen in La Forza del Destino Paola Kudacki / Met Opera

From Carmen to Carmina Burana, 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:

The Metropolitan Opera returns from its midwinter hiatus with a new production of La Forza del Destino, directed by Mariusz Treliński. La Forza del Destino has not been performed at the Met since 2006, as a production directed by Calixto Bieto planned for the 2017-18 season was canceled due to budgetary concerns, in keeping with the opera’s reputation for being cursed. Nevertheless, the harrowing tale of three people whose fates become bound together after a tragic accident will finally make its long-awaited return to the Met February 26, starring Lise Davidsen as Leonora, Brian Jagde as Don Alvaro, and Igor Golovatenko as Don Carlo. Judit Kutasi plays the fortune teller Preziosilla, and Soloman Howard plays both Leonora’s father, whose death incites the events of the opera, and Padre Guardiano, the priest with whom she subsequently seeks sanctuary.

Also returning to the Met this week are two Puccini standards, revivals of Madama Butterfly and Turandot, with soprano Aleksandra Kurzak pulling double duty, singing the role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, opening February 27, and Liu in Turandot, opening February 28. Kurzak will be joined in Madama Butterfly by Matthew Polenzani as Pinkerton, Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki, and Davide Luciano as Sharpless; and in Turandot by Elena Pankratova as Turandot, SeokJong Baek as Calaf, and Vitalij Kowaljow as Timur.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s will perform Orff’s Carmina Burana at Carnegie Hall February 27 with the Young People's Chorus of New York City, and soloists Ying Fang, Nicholas Phan, and Norman Garrett. Tito Muñoz conducts Orff’s cantata, source of the famous chorus “O Fortuna”, scored for unusually large orchestral forces, including an exceptionally large battery of percussion.

The Vienna Philharmonic, led by conductor Franz Welser-Möst, will perform three Concerts at Carnegie Hall March 1-3. The first concert will feature Bruckner’s ninth symphony and Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra. The second includes Konzertmusik für Blasorchester, Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra, Ravel’s La valse, and a “Symphonic Fantasy” from Strauss’ opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten (commonly abbreviated as Frosch), which was just announced as part of the Met Opera’s 2024-25 season. The third concert will be Mahler’s Symphony No. 9.

New York City Ballet’s winter season will conclude March 1-3 with a program of Balanchine and Wheeldon. The program begins with Carnival of the Animals, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon to Camille Saint-Saëns' suite of the same name. The suite consists of 14 movements, each movement representing a different animal, with the menagerie including elephants, kangaroos, and even pianists. Wheeldon’s ballet includes narration written by John Lithgow, and performed in this revival by Terrence Mann.

The program will also include three ballets by George Balanchine: Tarantella, set to music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, orchestrated by Hershey Kay; Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, set to an excerpt from Swan Lake; and Stars and Stripes, set to music by John Philip Sousa, orchestrated by Kay.

The New York Philharmonic will perform Émigré February 29 - March 1. The semi-staged musical drama, created by Long Yu, Aaron Zigman, Mark Campbell, and Brock Walsh, tells the story of two Jewish brothers who flee from Germany to Shanghai in the late 1930s. The piece is directed by Mary Birnbaum, conducted by Long Yu, and features singers Meigui Zhang, Diana Newman, Huiling Zhu, Matthew White, Arnold Livingston Geis, Andrew Dwan, and Shenyang.

Violinist Hilary Hahn’s residency with the New York Philharmonic continues with an Artist Spotlight concert March 2. Hahn will play Bach’s Violin Sonatas No. 2 and 3, and Partita No. 3.

The Calidore String Quartet and the Schumann Quartet will perform this week as part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Winter Festival. February 27, the Calidore String Quartet will perform works by Mendelssohn, Purcell, and Britten, as well as excerpts from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, as arranged for string quartet by Mozart. March 3, the Schumann Quartet will perform works by Beethoven, Berg, and Smetana.

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