Music in NYC: Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden

Music in NYC: Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden

Discounted Tickets to the Christmas-themed concerts on December 13 and December 14, 2017

Italian Opera Singer Andrea Bocelli Madison Square Garden New York CityAndrea Bocelli, an Italian classical and pop music singer returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City to celebrate the holidays with his fans and followers. Bocelli will be sharing a stage with the conductor Eugene Kohn, soprano Larisa Martinez, and guest artist Heather Headley.

Bocelli grew up in the village La Sterza in Tuscany, Italy just south of Pisa where his family had a farm. Andrea started playing music from age 6. He took piano lessons and later learned to play a flute, saxophone, drums among other instruments. At about the same age after listening to a record of Franco Corelli, he showed an interest in opera music. Starting from age 14 he began participating in the singing competitions which came to establish his fame and followers. A connection to Corelli continued with Andrea attending Corelli’s master class in Turin in 1986 and later taking private voice lessons with him.

While studying and graduating with Law degree from the University of Pisa, he continued to sing performing at the bars and making tape recordings. One such tape got the attention of Italian rock star Zucchero  who in 1992 was holding a tape competition among tenors for the recording of his song Miserere. Bocelli’s tape recoding of Miserere was shared with the best known Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who got very impressed with Bocelli’s singing. Bocelli was invited to perform in duets at Zucchero’s European tours. The duets from that tour including Miserere were released in 1994. That year the young singer became a sensation after winning a newcomer prize at Sanremo Music Festival. Pavarotti took a deep interest in Bocelli’s career and since then they sang in duets at multiple charity concerts around the world.
Italian Opera Singer Andrea Bocelli Madison Square Garden New York CityBocelli is recording prolifically. His discography already includes 16 operas, numerous collections of arias and songs and music videos. His latest opera recording, Aida, was released in 2016 after Turandot in 2015. It is interesting that the role of prince Calaf from Turandot was among Bocelli’s initial solo selections back in the early 1990s.

Italian Opera Singer Andrea Bocelli Madison Square Garden New York CityThe album Andrea Bocelli 2012 recording Opera: The Ultimate Collection includes the best arias by Verdi, Puccini, Bizet and others operatic masters.

The concert at Madison Square Garden will raise everyone’s holiday spirit and will surely include many Christmas classics and popular arias sang with utmost elegance and grace. With the NewYorkPass your can enjoy a free tour of the legendary MSG arena and more!


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Dates and Discounted Tickets with the code TICKETS3:

December 13, 2017, 8pm 

December 14, 2017, 8pm 

Venue: Madison Square Garden, NY   

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Art in NYC: Delirious Art at the Met Breuer

Art in NYC: Delirious Art at the Met Breuer

Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980 on view September 13, 2017 – January 14, 2018 

Metropolitan Museum exhibition Delirious Andy Warhol Yayoi Kusama
In-Out Anthropophagy by Anna Maria Maiolino, Super-8 film 1973 / Image Courtesy of the Met Museum

The expansive show of the post-WWII art at the Met Breuer under an ambitious title Delirious: Art at the Limit of Reason promises to spin your head. And it surely does! The exhibition includes the works of such luminaries of contemporary art as Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Eva Hesse, and Sol LeWitt among others. In all, about 100 pieces of art primarily from Europe, Latin America, and the US are organized under 4 loose categories: Vertigo, Excess, Nonsense, and Twisted. The visitors will encounter the generous labels about the subject and countersubject depicted in a particular work. This gentle guidance by the experts helps to appreciate fully the points made by the artists with all the twists and eccentricity entailed.

Metropolitan Museum exhibition Delirious Andy Warhol Yayoi Kusama
Electric Chair by Andy Warhol, Screenprint 1971 / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

The curatorial introduction to the show gives the meaning of the word delirious in its medical sense and points to the turbulence of the post-wartime as a leading factor that either caused or led to stimulating that state of mind. As science and technology were accelerating its hold on everyday life and encroaching on one’s perception of reality, they got their place in the contemporary art as seemingly endless repetitive sequences of shapes, colors, and sounds. In fact, in some sense, the most delirious effect of the exhibition is from its soundtrack.

A review by Roberta Smith in the New York Times notes that given the pressure of the Cold War and the uncertainties of the time the “artists answered life’s absurdities with more of the same”.

It is curious to note the fluidity between the rational use of certain technical and mathematical concepts and their irrational derivations cleverly observed by the artists. Some examples of those effects are topographical representations of Steiner Surfaces by Ruth Vollmer, Study of Distortion by Agnes Denes, or Color Motion 4-64 by Edna Andrade. In other cases seemingly simple everyday actions are transformed by endless repetition to stunning visual and sound effects in Cycles of 3s and 7s by Tony Conrad and several works by Sol LeWitt.

Metropolitan Museum exhibition Delirious Andy Warhol Yayoi Kusama
Snap Roll by Dean Fleming, Acrylic on canvas 1965 / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

Another interesting aspect of the show is its focus on the influence of the writings by Samuel Beckett on the artists. It’s not a coincidence as the show had preceded by 5 years of research into the perception of Beckett’s plays by the experimental artists. The exhibition also highlights a connection between the artistic expression and the social and political environment of the moment.

While it may feel by some that the exhibition skipped some of the work that could clearly belong there, it helps to keep in mind how productive the sphere of art was in the post-war time. This carefully selected sample of works is only scratching the surface of the oeuvre in the category feeding the appetite to see more.

Metropolitan Museum exhibition Delirious Andy Warhol Yayoi Kusama
Jazzmen by Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé,Torn posters mounted on canvas,1961 / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

With the New York Pass your can enjoy a free visit to the Met Breuer!

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Venue: The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, NY

Dates: September 13, 2017 – January 14, 2018

 

Opera in NYC: Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera

Opera in NYC: Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera

Love, idealism, and ruse in a thrilling drama by Giacomo Puccini

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Tosca, original poster by Adolfo Hohenstein, 1899

A new production of Puccini’s Tosca by Sir David McVicar at the Met Opera offers a grand theatrical experience for the opera fans. The performances are opening on the New Year Eve and will continue in January and April, May of 2018. This production will be played by two extraordinary casts each making a forceful presence on stage. Two opera divas, Sonya Yoncheva and Anna Netrebko are sharing the title role with Vittorio Grigolo and Marcelo Alvarez alternating as Cavaradossi, with not two but three magnificent Scarpias, Sir Bryn Terfel, Michael Volle, and Željko Lučić, and Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducting.  The set and costume design for this production is done by John Macfarlane, who as a painter is adding to the depth of the characters through the rich design of the decorations and the period costumes. McVicar’s production which a review by AP describes as “similar to Zeffirelli’s” is replacing a spare modern staging of Tosca by Luc Bondy which was not warmly received by the Met opera buffs.

The now world-famous story of the passionate lovers and a heartless police chief is based on an 1887 French play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, a renown French playwright in his time. Sardou had written this play for Sarah Bernhardt. That production was wildly successful touring around Europe with more than 3000 performances. Puccini, attending two of the performances, saw it promising to set as an opera. Following a lengthy negotiation with Sardou, he eventually got the rights and started his work on the score in 1895. The libretto was commissioned to Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa who had not only significantly cut back on the text of the rather lengthy play with multiple characters and dialogs, but also to transform the characters motives into a scenario suitable for an Italian opera.

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Tosca,Act 1, New production by David McVicar with set design by John Macfarlane / Photo: Metropolitan Opera Technical Department

The setting for the opera is Rome in 1800 at the time of Napoleon Wars that led to French domination over Italy. The historical church of Sant’Andrea della Valle in Act 1, Palazzo Farnese in Act 2, and Castel Sant’Angelo  in Act 3 can still be visited today. With all these real places in mind, Puccini wanted to reconstruct the divine sounds that could be heard there. For that reason, the score includes a part for the church bells which are close in pitch to the bell of the St. Peter’s Basilica. While this adds to the time and efforts in the production of the opera, it doesn’t produce much effect on the audience.

The premiere was given in 1900 in Teatro Costanzi in Rome. That year Italy had experienced some unrest, so the premiere was even delayed by a day to avoid unwanted disturbances. It was performed to full houses for 30 performances in the first year and is now a beloved entry in the repertoire of every opera house around the world.

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Sonya Yoncheva in the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca” / Photo: Ann Ray/Metropolitan Opera

The role of Tosca is considered to be a career defying opportunity. One of the most famous interpreters of a temperamental lover was Maria Callas who was singing it as her last onstage operatic role in 1965. For Luciano Pavarotti , the role of Cavaradossi which he had performed since 1970, was also his last onstage performance at the Met in 2004.

The first recording of Tosca was done in 1918. Among the highly prized recent recordings is Royal Opera House version with Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Ruggero Raymond and Antonio Pappano conducting which was released in 2000.

Stunning design, masterful “verismo” style of music and passionate acting will undoubtedly create a memorable operatic experience for the spectators!

 

Venue: Met Opera, Lincoln Center, NY

With the NewY York Pass your can enjoy a free tour of the historic Lincoln Center and much more.


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Dates and Discounted Tickets with the code TICKETS3:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tuesday January 9, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018 

 

 

Beyond NY: Carla Bruni US Tour in February 2018

Beyond NY: Carla Bruni US Tour in February 2018

Songs from the new album French Touch performing in Alexandria, VA, Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA

Carla Bruni new album French Touch USA tour February 2018
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

Carla Bruni, a French singer-songwriter and a former first lady and ex-supermodel is bringing her latest collection of songs to concert halls in the US in February 2018. Her dreamy yet sultry singing style of the love chansons accompanied on guitar playing by Bruni herself is guaranteed to give a terrific music night for the concertgoers.

Carla Bruni Sarkozy (née Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi) was born in 1967 in Turin, Italy and moved to France at the age of 7. Starting with the piano in school, she discovered a guitar when she was about 11 years old. Right there at the first group lesson, she realized that this is her instrument. Singing and playing guitar became her purpose in life.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

She started her music career in 1997 before successfully modeling for the top couture houses in France. Her success in songwriting began when in 1999 she sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc. The songs were later included in his album Si j’étais elle . Bruni’s first personal disc Quelqu’un m’a dit was released in 2002. That followed by No Promises in 2007. She continued to record after her marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France in 2007-2012.Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

Bruni’s third album Comme si de rien n’état  was published in 2008 and Little French Songs in 2012. A 4-year interval between the releases did not mean that she stopped her career in light of becoming the first lady of France. Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 But even though she finished the work on the songs and the recordings by 2011, “it wasn’t considered appropriate to release it while she was First Lady” according to 2013 expose in Vanity Fair.

The latest album French Touch, released  by Verve in October 2017, is her fifth. She regained the pace of her performing and recording music career when her husband had lost the reelection in 2012 and the family had fully relocated from the Élysées Palace to a private residence on Right Bank. The songs included in this album are all her favorites from when “I was a teenager” as she confided in the interview to NPR’s Scott Simon.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 An idea for Bruni to record English language pop and country classics was David Foster’s, an acclaimed music producer and a former chairman of Verve. The collection includes the covers that she knew by heart, so the whole project felt like a smooth sailing full of distant memories and charming reveries. In the interview with The New York Times, she reveals that its “her secret passion: singing classic rock, country and jazz standards in English”.

She has been including classic rock in her latest concert programs in Paris and on tours in Europe. However, her program at the NYC appearance in 2013 has featured primarily the songs from the newly released at that time Quelqu’un m’a dit album. All were in French or Italian delivered with the mastery, elegance, and simplicity.

Carla Bruni new album French Touch USA tour February 2018
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

The upcoming concerts in February including one in New York City at The Town Hall will give her fans a chance to enjoy an unbelievable mix of familiar classics performed in subtly sexy voice making it even more chic with a hint of French accent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concert Dates and Discounted Tickets with the code TICKETS3:

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 album French TouchAlexandria, VA at Birchmere Music Hall on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Boston, MA at Berklee Performance Center on Thursday February 15, 2018

Los Angeles, CA at Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday, February 21, 2018


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Beyond NY: Brodsky/Baryshnikov Play at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston, MA

Beyond NY: Brodsky/Baryshnikov Play at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston, MA

Cherry Orchard festival presents Brodsky/Baryshnikov at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston on January 17-21, 2018 

Brodsky/Baryshnikov Cutler Majestic Theater Boston MA Cherry Orchard Festival
M. Baryshnikov, photo credit Pavel Antonov / Image courtesy of Baryshnikov Productions

90 min one-man show Brodsky/Baryshnikov, directed by Alvis Hermanis, is a delicate theatrical staging of complex poetry by Josef Brodsky  performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, a celebrated dancer and actor, and a close friend of J. Brodsky. The show is presented by the Cherry Orchard Festival with the performances at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston, MA on January 17-21, 2018 and in Chicago, IL on February 2-4, 2018.

Josef Brodsky, 1987 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, was a Russian and American poet and essayist. Born in 1940 in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) Russia, he started writing poetry early in his teens. His writings were gaining popularity in literary circles and caught the attention and support from a Grand Dame of the Silver Age of Poetry, Anna Akhmatova. However, Brodsky’s poetry and life style were denounced by the authorities as anti-Soviet , and in 1963 he was sent to a hard labor camp in the Far North. He was eventually expelled from Russia in 1972 and settled in the USA.

While Brodsky was forcefully thrown out of Russia for becoming a cause célèbre in demonstrating a demonic nature of the soviet regime, Baryshnikov had defected to the West when he was on tour in Canada with Mariinsky ballet in 1974. They met in New York City at a party organized by Mstislav Rostropovich, an acclaimed Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor who also left Russia in the early seventies.

Brodsky/Baryshnikov Cutler Majestic Theater Boston MA Cherry Orchard Festival
M.Baryshniov, photo credit Janis Deinats / Image courtesy of Cherry Orchard Festival

 

The Paris Review notes Baryshnikov’s description of his first meeting with Brodsky pointing to a minute details like it was just yesterday. In Baryshnikov words “He gave me a cigarette, my hands were trembling … For me, he was a legend.” Their friendship lasted for more than two decades until Brodsky’s death in 1996.

Brodsky was more than just a friend, but a teacher and a mentor for Baryshnikov. In the FT  “Poetry and Motion” article Baryshnikov refers to Brodsky as “his university”.

The first performance of Brodsky/Baryshnikov play took place in 2015 in Riga, Latvia, a birth city for both Baryshnikov and Hermanis. It was then taken on an international tour to Tel-Aviv, New York, London, reviewed here in the spring of 2017, and in 2018 to Boston and Chicago.

Brodsky/Baryshnikov Cutler Majestic Theater Boston MA Cherry Orchard Festival
M. Baryshnikov and A. Hermanis, photo credit Janis Deinats / Image courtesy of Baryshnikov Productions

Although it is a one-man show, the audience gets to hear both voices. The Times of London says that there is “an eerie sense of an artistic collaboration that transcends mortality”. The depth of the verses, the grace of movements, the spare stage set bring back a sense of the passing time. And even when Hermanis describes the show as an anti-ballet, one still sees elegant moves in Baryshnikov’s ways of reading Brodsky’s verses and acting them on stage. The reading is done is Russian, so non-Russian speakers have to rely on a translation which surely misses the elegance and the poetic rhythm. Never the less its a theater to it’s highest degree that will surely be enjoyed by the theater lovers.

Boston, MA Show Dates and Tickets a discount code TICKETS3

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

 

Venue: Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 

 


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