Clockwise from top left: Jean Baptiste Thierree in Le Cercle Invisible; John Lata and Don Eric Mlangeni in On My Birthday; David and Amy Sedaris, writers of Incident at Cobbler's Knob; Bergville Stories; Les Danaides
Photo credits: Tommaso Lepera; Ruphin Coudyzer; Carol Rosegg; Ruphin Coudyzer; Sean Hudson
The historic highlight of the 1997 event is the joint visit of England's Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. This will be the first time the two acclaimed companies have appeared together outside of London. This year's Festival will host the classical, contemporary, and, as we near the end of the 20th century, beyond.
Lincoln Center Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are among the six components of the Center joining more than 1,000 international artists -- some celebrated, some unknown. There will be more than 100 performances during the three-week Festival. Among these will be 11 premieres.
Festival director John Rockwell said that events will fill ten venues, including the Opera House, Center theatres, and Center facilities. Festival sponsors include At&T, Lexus, American Express, and the Philip Morris companies with additional support from Movado.
* July 21, 24, and 26 -- The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, will present the U.S. premiere of their acclaimed production of Hans Pfitzner's Palestrina, based on the life of 16th century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Metropolitan Opera House.
* July 8-27 -- Woza Afrika: After Apartheid, a 10th anniversary follow-up to Woza Afrika, the 1986 celebration of South Africian "township" plays. The new edition will feature three plays and three monologures -- all U.S. Premieres. John Jay College Theatre.
* July 18 - 27 -- The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, will present 11 performances of three programs, including the New York production premiere of Benjamin Britten's The Prince of the Pagodas, a ballet in three acts starring prima ballerina Darcey Bussell; and the revival of Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, set to music by Prokofiev. Metropolitan Opera House.
*July 8-20 -- Romanian director Silviu Purcarete gives the U.S. premiere of his Les Danaides, "an ancient tale of sex, deceit, and murder" from Aeschylus's incomplete tetralogy, with a cast of 120. Performed in French with English supertitles. Damrosch Park.
*July 21-27 -- from South Africa, Welcome Msomi's Umabatha: The Zulu Macbeth with a cast of 66 actors, dancers, singers, and drummers, parallels Shakespeare's epic with the life of 19th century African warrior Shaka Zulu. New York State Theatre.
Tickets for Lincoln Center Festival 97 are available at the Avery Fisher Hall boxoffice and through CenterCharge, (212) 721-6500. Tickets for performances at the New York State Theatre are also available through Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100. For general information, call (212) 875-5928.
-- By Ellis Nassour