From the 92nd Street Y to the South Street Seaport, 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:
A new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte opens May 19 at the Metropolitan opera. Directed by Tony nominee Simon McBurney, the production will raise the pit, to make the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra visible to the audience, and part of the action on stage. The production will be conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann, who just made her Met debut conducting Ivo van Hove’s new production of Don Giovanni. Lawrence Brownlee stars as Tamino, singing the role at the Met for the first time. Erin Morley plays Pamina, and Kathryn Lewek plays the Queen of the Night. Lewek, who has been a house favorite Queen of the Night since her Met debut in 2013, will reach her 50th Met performance of the role during the run of this production. The Queen of the Night’s second-act showstopper “Der Hölle Rache” is one of the most famous coloratura soprano showcases in the operatic canon.
Also at the Met, performances continue of Aida, La Bohème, and Don Giovanni. May 18 will mark the final performance of Sonja Frisell’s production of Aida before the opera house replaces it with a new production by Michael Mayer in the 2024-25 season. Frisell’s production has been a staple of the Met’s repertoire since it first opened in 1988, and has been performed over 260 times on the Met stage.
Finally, Ivo van Hove’s production of Don Giovanni, which continues performances at the Met through June 2, will be broadcast to movie theaters worldwide May 20 as part of the Met’s Live in HD season. Baritone Peter Mattei stars alongside sopranos Federica Lombardi, Ana María Martínez, and Ying Fang.
At the South Street Seaport, performances continue through May 17 of On Site Opera’s production of Puccini’s Il Tabarro. The waterfront will provide a veristic backdrop to the verismo tragedy about stevedores on the banks of the Seine.
Starting May 19, the New York City Ballet presents a program comprising George Balanchine’s Swan Lake and Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. Balanchine’s abridged version of Swan Lake, based on Lev Ivanov’s choreography, uses music from the second and fourth acts of Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Ratmansky’s Pictures At An Exhibition is choreographed to Mussorgsky’s piano suite. Originally composed based on the paintings and drawings of Viktor Hartmann, Ratmansky’s ballet sets Mussorgsky's music against a backdrop of Kandinsky.
On the other side of Lincoln Center Plaza, Gustavo Dudamel will conduct Mahler’s 9th Symphony with the New York Philharmonic May 19-21. It was announced in February that Dudamel, currently music director of both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Paris Opera, will join the NY Philharmonic as music director beginning in the 2026-27 season, succeeding current music director Jaap van Zweden.
At Carnegie Hall this week will be performances from pianists August Boehm (May 15), Larry Weng (May 16), and Bruce Liu (May 19), the Ivalas Quartet (May 17), the Signum Quartet (May 18), and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with Christine Baranski, Karen Slack, and Will Liverman (May 20). Tony Award winner Baranski will narrate Beethoven’s Egmont with Slack as soprano soloist, and Slack and Liverman will perform the world premiere of Jasmine Barnes’ Songs of Paul, a tribute to Paul Robeson on the occasion of his 125th birthday.
American Modern Opera Company will present the echoing of tenses May 18 at the 92nd Street Y. The work, which encompasses music, poetry, imagery, and more, “explores themes of shared memory, the Asian-American immigrant experience, the universal immigrant experience, and familial relationships.” Violinist Miranda Cuckson, pianist Conor Hanick, and tenor Paul Appleby perform the work by composer Anthony Cheung.
May 20, the 92nd Street Y will present violinist Stefan Jackiw, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and pianist Daniil Trifonov, performing works by Lutosławski, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky.
To stay up to date with classic arts news, subscribe to Playbill's classic arts newsletter.