Beginning in 1999, Lincoln Center's Great Performers series will launch an off-shoot: New Visions, a series dedicated to extending the boundaries of the classic music concert hall experience into a new theatrical form. For New Visions , Lincoln Center has commissioned innovative theatre directors, choreographers, musicians and dancers. Over the course of five months, they plan to present five original stagings of classical texts.
New Visions will open its inaugural season Jan. 15-16, 1999, with Moondrunk, with pianist Sarah Rothenberg and director/ choreographer/performer John Kelly re-envisioning Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Kelly (Diary of a Somnambulist, Pass the Blutwurst, Bitte), achieved downtown fame in the late eighties for his post-modern drag shows and his notable "basso contratenore" voice.
The series continues with Beowulf, a half-sung, half-spoken evocation of the epic poem by early-music specialist Benjamin Bagby. Bagby, co-founder of the medieval music ensemble Sequentia, will accompany himself on a medieval harp, Jan. 28-30, 1999.
Canadian director/designer Robert Lepage (Elsinore, Seven Streams of the River Ota) collaborates with soprano Rebecca Blankenship on Gustave Mahler's song cycle, Kindertotenlieder, Feb. 18, 19 & 20, 1999.
On March 18-20, 1999, classic opera revisionist Peter Sellars will present Bach's Cantatas Nos. 199, 170, and 82, with mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt. Rounding out the season will be opera diva Jessye Norman (Robert Wilson's Alceste) and choreographer/dancer/director Bill T. Jones, creating How! Do! We! Do!, which includes selections by Schubert, Berlioz, Mozart, along with American spirituals, May 22 & 25, 1999.
For tickets ($20 - $50), or more information, call the "Great Performers at Lincoln Center" Hotline at (212) 875-5937.
-- By Sean McGrath