Holiday traditions abound in the classical music world, and 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:
Julie Taymor’s beloved production of The Magic Flute returns to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera December 8. Performed in English and abridged to one act, the Mozart opera is a holiday staple at the Met. Two alternating casts will split the run, featuring sopranos Janai Brugger and Liv Redpath as Pamina, tenors Piotr Buszewski and Joshua Blue as Tamino, tenor Rolando Villazón and baritone Alexander Birch Elliott as Papageno, and basses Brindley Sherratt and James Creswell as Sarastro. Both casts will feature Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night. Lewek has performed the role more times at the Met than any other performer, having surpassed 50 performances during last season’s run of a new production by Simon McBurney.
Next door, another holiday tradition continues as New York City Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker through the end of December. The NYCB founding choreographer’s take on Tchaikovsky’s ballet is a holiday staple at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre.
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s will perform J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Carnegie Hall December 7. Bernard Labadie will conduct the performance, which will include soprano Lauren Snouffer, contralto Avery Amereau, tenor Andrew Haji, baritone Joshua Hopkins, and Canadian choir La Chapelle de Québec.
The English Concert, led by conductor Harry Bicket, will present its annual Handel concert at Carnegie Hall December 10. This year, the program is a concert performance of the opera Rodelinda, starring soprano Lucy Crow as Rodelinda, countertenor Iestyn Davies as Bertarido, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Unulfo, tenor Eric Ferring as Grimoaldo, soprano Christine Rice as Eduige, and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel as Garibaldo.
Cellist Edgar Moreau makes his New York Philharmonic debut this week, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1. The concert, given December 6-9, will also include Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite, and Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts.
Pianist Conrad Tao celebrates Rachmaninoff’s sesquicentennial with a concert December 6 at the 92nd Street Y, exploring Rachmaninoff’s influence on songwriters including Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Billy Strayhor, and Stephen Sondheim. Works by those songwriters will be performed alongside works by Rachmaninoff. Tao will be joined by cellist Oliver Herbert for Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata in G Minor.
The Limón Dance Company will present Women's Stories at New York Live Arts December 7-9. The program will feature the works of José Limón performed by an all-female cast, as well as the world premiere of I Must Be Circumstanced, Hilla Ben Ari’s reimagination of Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane, inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello.
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