By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
July 8-August 28 This college's performing arts festival concentrates this summer mostly on Aaron Copland and his circle of playwrights, choreographers, stage and film directors, and fellow composers. The concentration intensifies in the "Copland and His World" sub-festival on the weekends of August 12-14 and 19-21 with recitals, orchestral concerts, and panels. There are late-night cabarets, early-night films (mostly by William Wyler and partly scored by Copland), operas by Copland (The Tender Land) and Marc Blitzstein (Regina, with the riveting Lauren Flanigan as the eponymous monster, the radiant Lauren Skuce as her daughter, and Kelly Kaduce, the sensation of last summer's Opera Theater of St. Louis, as the crazed Birdie), and a closing-night concert performance of the delicious, juicy Broadway musical The Golden Apple, by Jerome Moross and John La Touche.
'CARAMOOR INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL'
149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, New York, 914-232-1252, caramoor.org
June 25-August 13 The festival celebrates its 60th anniversary on the handsome, neo-Renaissance Rosen estate with its lavish gardens, acoustically tented Venetian Theater, and recital-friendly Spanish Courtyard. Symphonies, operas, traditional and unorthodox chamber music, pop, jazz, and Bach abound.
July 23Crutchfield returns for a concert staging of Verdi's La traviata, with the charismatic Georgia Jarman as Violetta and, again, unabridged, a rare circumstance these days for this over-trimmed warhorse. Both operas will boast mid-19th-century vocal and instrumental styles and will be preceded each day by relevant mini-recitals sung by Caramoor's bel canto trainees.
Alice Busch Opera Theater, 7300 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, New York, 607-547-5704, glimmerglass.org
June 30-August 23 Once again, it's a summer mix of masterpieces and novelties carefully prepared in an intimate countryside theater where every nuance tells. Mozart's perfect maze of amorous traps, Così fan tutte, is staged 12 times from June 30 through August 22. A very rare staging of Donizetti's French version, with musical revisions, of his Lucia di Lammermoor gets a dozen performances from July 1 through August 23. A double bill of Massenet's Portrait de Manon, a seldom heard, happy little sequel to his most famous opera, and Poulenc's haunting Cocteau-derived La voix humaine, about a jilted woman's fight to the death with a telephone, rings up the curtain 10 times between July 16 and August 20. And Britten's final, most musically and emotionally challenging opera, Death in Venice, is shown nine times from July 23 through August 21.
'LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL 2005'
Various venues, 212-721-6500, lincolncenter.org
July 12-31 Although "serious music" will contribute substantially to the festival's dance and drama events, you can consult this roundup's appropriate pages for specifics. As for opera and concerts, you're reading in the right place. The young, progressive Gotham Chamber Opera performs Respighi's opera for singers and puppets, La bella dormente nel bosco (The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods) July 12-16 at John Jay College's Lynch Theater. Neal Goren conducts a chamber orchestra and a cast with Met and other prestigious credentials, and the innovative puppeteer Basil Twist stages and designs the show. Musical influences go from baroque and impressionism into 1920s pop. Opera by a living, controversial Brit comes with the North American premiere of Brian Ferneyhough's Shadowtime (July 21 and 22 at Time Warner's Rose Theater), centered on the life, work, and 1940 suicide of philosopher Walter Benjamin. The performance, in English, is by Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam. Concerts? Joel Sachs's New Juilliard Ensemble plays other Ferneyhough music July 18 in Juilliard's tiny Paul Hall, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza. The British amplified band Icebreaker invades Time Warner's Allen Room July 23 to play music by David Lang, Louis Andriessen, Conlon Nancarrow, Thomas Adès, Frank Zappa, and several others. Next night, same place, Alan Pierson's New York group Alarm Will Sound waxes electronically with guests on behalf of music by Aphex Twin.
'LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS FESTIVAL 2005'
Damrosch Park Bandshell, 62nd Street near Amsterdam Avenue; South Plaza, 62nd Street behind New York State Theater; North Plaza, north of Metropolitan Opera House; Josie Robertson Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 64th Street, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org
August 13-September 4 Everything's free, unticketed, unreserved, and dependent on the weather. There's not much, however, by way of classical concerts. The North Plaza has the Quartetto Gelato (Ice Cream Quartet, don't you know?) playing a program August 25 not yet determined, and concerning the concert on August 29, same place, maybe only Benedict XVI knows who will play what.
'MET IN THE PARKS'
Various venues, 212-362-6000, metopera.org
June 14-26 This June's free operas are Tosca and Samson et Dalila. Both, in that order, are slated for the first two nights in Central Park, and both operas have alternating casts of very respectable, if not superstar, Met singers.
July 28-August 27 After last summer's festival lived up to the Mostly Mozart title, this year's goes back to the usual Mozart-in-the-minority. Music director (and lively conductor) Louis Langree, however, has organized lots of wonderful music, Mozart or otherwise. Definitely do not miss the following: Opening night at Fisher: Renée Fleming's radiant soprano projects three magnificent Handel arias in the middle of a grand, otherwise Mozartean orchestral program.