New York opera picks and the best classical concerts fall 2012

We preview the best of New York opera, the White Light Festival and what’s on at Carnegie Hall this fall.

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  • Photograph: Lucie Jansch

    Einstein on the Beach

  • Photograph: Chris Lee

    Alan Gilbert

  • Photograph: Nick Heavican

    L'Elisir d'amore

  • Photograph: Courtesy Dotdotdot Music

    Dog Days

  • Photograph: Richard Termine

    Riccardo Muti

  • Photograph: Philippe Matsas

    William Christie and Les Arts Florissants

  • Photograph: Anne Deniau

    Simon Keenlyside in The Tempest

  • Lang Lang

  • Photograph: Gerardo Antonio Sanchez Torres

    Alisa Weilerstein

  • Photograph: Marty Umans

    Joyce DiDonato

Photograph: Lucie Jansch

Einstein on the Beach

New York opera buffs are in for a treat this fall, with Einstein on the Beach coming to BAM and the Met opening its season with comic opera L’Elisir d’Amore. And instead of concerning ourselves with how to get to Carnegie Hall (google MTA—you’ll work it out), we answer the why: because the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and mezzo Joyce DiDonato are appearing this October and November, respectively.


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Einstein on the Beach

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s 20th-century masterpiece Einstein on the Beach comes to BAM as part of the 30th annual Next Wave Festival. The rarely performed nonnarrative opera features choreography by Lucinda Childs, musical accompaniment by the Philip Glass Ensemble, and violin virtuosos Jennifer Koh and Antoine Silverman alternating in the role of Einstein. Glass has a knack for breaking operatic conventions: This four-and-a-half-hour piece is performed without pause or intermission, allowing audience members to come and go as they please.

  1. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Sat Sep 22 - Sun Sep 23
More info

New York Philharmonic

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Music director Alan Gilbert opens the New York Philharmonic's season with Stravinsky's pagan polyrhythmic piece The Rite of Spring. But before any figurative virgins are sacrificed, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is featured in György Kurtág's spacial "miniature piano concerto," …quasi una fantasia…, and in a more traditional vein, Beethoven's melodious Piano Concerto No. 3.

  1. Avery Fisher Hall (at Lincoln Center) 132 W 65th St, at Broadway
  2. Until Sat Sep 22
More info

L'Elisir d'Amore

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Opening the season on a high note, the Met premieres Bartlett Sher’s production of Donizetti’s timeless comic opera, conducted by the great Maurizio Benini. The all-star cast features one of the most-sought-after sopranos on the scene, Anna Netrebko, in the role of the capricious Adina; acclaimed tenor Matthew Polenzani plays opposite her as the enamored Nemorino. To win Adina from the dashing Sergeant Belcore (baritone babe Mariusz Kwiecien), he enlists the help of the crafty Dulcamara (alternating in the role are first-rate singing actors Ambrogio Maestri and Erwin Schrott). It’s a rich aural experience from start to glorious finish. 

  1. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center) Lincoln Center Plaza, at 65th St
  2. Sat Oct 18
More info

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Opening Night Gala

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Carnegie Hall kicks off its season with conductor Riccardo Muti at the helm of this world-famous orchestra: Carl Orff’s secular oratorio Carmina Burana features solos from countertenor Antonio Giovannini, soprano Rosa Feola and baritone Audun Iversen.

  1. Carnegie Hall, Perelman Stage 881 Seventh Ave , at 57th St
  2. Wed Oct 8
More info

Les Arts Florissants

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

William Christie’s globally renowned ensemble of Baroque singers and instrumentalists returns to the White Light Festival (Oct 18–Nov 18), Lincoln Center’s annual celebration of music’s transcendental powers. The strongest argument for the fest’s existence comes in Les Arts Florissants’ pristine vocal stylings. Listen for the group’s piercingly pure tones; they’ll be on full display during its interpretations of three Charpentier motets. 

  1. Alice Tully Hall (at Lincoln Center) 1941 Broadway, at 65th St
  2. Until Wed Apr 2
More info

The Tempest

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Thomas Adès brings his 2004 masterpiece across the Atlantic for a Metropolitan Opera debut, with noble baritone Simon Keenlyside in an acclaimed portrayal of banished Milanese duke,Prospero. In Robert LePage's larger-than-life production, viewers can expect plenty of glitzy mechanics and a glimpse of the recreated 18th-century interior of La Scala.

  1. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center) Lincoln Center Plaza, at 65th St
  2. Until Sat Nov 17
More info

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Representing the young and hip contingent of the classical crowd, rising-star violinist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan join violinist Arnaud Sussmann and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in an evening of "reflection and reaction." The poignant program featuring Mozart's Sonata in E minor, Chopin's triumphant Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, and Smetana's heartfelt Trio in G minor for Piano, Violin and Cello. It's the perfect opportunity to be wowed by these attention-worthy youngsters.

  1. Alice Tully Hall (at Lincoln Center) 1941 Broadway, at 65th St
  2. Sun Nov 9
More info

Joyce DiDonato: “Drama Queens”

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This magnificent mezzo, admired for her mastery of 17th- and 18th-century repertoire and her exceptionally engaging recitals, performs at Carnegie Hall. Joining longtime collaborator Alan Curtis and his ensemble, Il Complesso Barocco, DiDonato presents Baroque opera arias, sung from the perspective of various female and male royal characters. Her multiple-personality program features compositions by Handel, Monteverdi, Gluck and Cesti, among others.

  1. Carnegie Hall, Perelman Stage 881 Seventh Ave , at 57th St
  2. Until Sun Nov 18
More info

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