More Opera at Lincoln Center

Today a new partnership was announced between the New York Philharmonic and its host campus, Lincoln Center, to pool resources and produce fully staged operas, starting with George Benjamin‘s 2012 Written on Skin in August of this year, weirdly coinciding with the Mostly Mozart Festival

Written on Skin was incredibly well-received after its premier at the 2012 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with a subsequent production at the Royal Opera House, which resulted in a new commission for the 2018 season for the team of Benjamin and Martin Crimp

This new initiative builds on Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert’s success with innovatively semi-staged operas at the Philharmonic in collaboration with production team Giants Are Small, starting with György Ligeti‘s Grand Macabre in 2010:

This clip Barbara Hanngian features at the NY Phil production of Le Grand Macabre, and of course Hannigan created the role of Agnes in Benjamin’s Written on Skin too, so nice coincidence there…

 

Twelve Nights of Music

I’ve been off my blogging game this holiday season, meaning less posts but also me getting to the party late for some pretty neat music events…  Chief among these is the Twelfth Night Festival, a twelve days jamboree of early music at Trinity Church and Saint Paul’s Chapel in downtown Manhattan starting last Friday and lasting through this weekend…

There’s lots of great instrumental and vocal music from the renaissance and baroque, with plenty of free concerts throughout, and  the festival is even book-ended by two musical dramas.  It opened this weekend with the French renaissance Play of Daniel, in a production originally created for the Met Museum‘s medieval outpost, the Cloisters, and reviewed here.  An excerpt from the original performances at the Cloisters above, depicting Belshazzar’s Feast.

The festival ends this weekend with another fully staged musical-theater performance, of Georg Frideric Händel‘s 1739 oratorio Saul, a chorus of which is below.  Get your tickets for that now, and check out the other ticketed and free(!) performances throughout this week!

Catch that CAB: Comic Arts Brooklyn

When I proposed additional programming for Illustration Week 2014, it would have been a disservice to include Comic Arts Brooklyn; it’s such a jam-packed, high quality event, it needs its own post to do it justice!

Comic Arts Brooklyn bannerComic Arts Brooklyn is a comic-lover’s dream weekend, organized by Desert Island comic shop in Williamsburg.  There have been some earlier iterations of this fest, so they’ve really perfected their comic-con-creating craft.  That being said, it’s organized differently this year, with the artist’s alley style convention on Saturday only (at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church), and the high-profile panels and talks, with luminaries like Jaffee, Chast, Spiegelman, Burns, Tamaki and Pettibon, on Sunday only (at the Wythe Hotel).  Free tickets for those talks are available on their site, but they are, of course, all sold out…  😦

Comic Arts Brooklyn is maintaining a lovely little Tumblr showcasing the books, zines, posters, and more that exhibitors will have for sale on Saturday.  They’ve also started to collaborate with a wider range of Brooklyn institutions this year, with concurrent exhibits of original art at Desert Island (collages by Canadian cartoonist Julie Doucet), Scott Eder Gallery (Al Jaffee‘s MAD fold-ins), and Cotton Candy Machine art boutique (cheekily edited vintage animation cels by Brooklyn’s own Wizard Skull).

My only complaint is there’s too much to do!  Gotta start somewhere though, so see you Saturday!

A Week of Free Early Music

Early Music Festival NYC LogoGreat news for early music fans like myself!

Starting tomorrow is the Early Music Festival NYC, with multiple free concerts a day in venues across the city between Friday the 13th and Thursday the 19th.

The schedule and programs are listed on their site for your planning pleasure (though really, how wrong could you go?), and the Festival gets off to a big start tomorrow with cellist Paul Dwyer performing all six of J.S. Bach‘s Cello Suites in five venues across all five of New York’s boroughs!

There are also quite a few vocal concerts in the line up, including…

No shortage of offerings as you can see!  And that’s not counting many other purely instrumental concerts!  So hope you enjoy!

PS: Sorry for my long absence from the blog!  I sorta let it go as I was on the job hunt but realized it might be a good thing to keep going when it was brought up during one of my interviews!  The comic / opera theme seemed to amuse people, haha…

 

MoCCA Fest Review

Hopefully any of my followers who would’ve gone to the Society of Illustrator’s annual Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art convention that happened this weekend didn’t need me to remind them about it, because I am off my game as a blogger lately; sorry!

Vacationland Book 1, by Jon Allen

Vacationland Book 1, by Jon Allen

Anyway, in lieu of a MoCCA Fest announcement, I thought I’d do a quick review of just some of the amazing artists I got to know!  In no particular order (besides alphabetical):

Mercworks comic, by Dave Mercier

Mercworks, by Dave Mercier

Jon Allen has a pretty depressing funny-animal comic, Ohio is for Sale, up on his website, and I was also very interested in his 3-part book Vacationland, about an in-the-family affair in a Maine vacation town.

Rachel Dukes‘ journal webcomic doesn’t update too frequently, and is mostly about her cat, but it’s adorable, and she has other comic stories up on her website too.

Dave Mercier’s Mercworks webcomic is good clean irreverent fun.

L. Nichols has an earthy style, appropriate for his Gardening Comics; I was especially interested in his Free People comic, combining images from a clothing catalog and found text for a new comic.

Toril Orlesky is a RISD alum and the creator of Hotblood!, a webcomic about centaurs in the old west (genius!).

Also, two poster designers!  Spur Design of Baltimore are the pretty high-brow, Society-of-Illustrators-award-winning illustration firm, whereas Matt Chic of Brooklyn brings his cartooning sensibility to his punky gig posters.

Hotblood!, by Toril Orlesky

Hotblood!, by Toril Orlesky

And finally, I’ll plug tomorrow’s New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium, featuring Sophie Yanow and Sam Alden, both published by Uncivilized Books which exhibited at MoCCA Fest.

Sophie Yanow will discuss her comics, especially her engagement with urban design, evident in her memoir and collaboration with Canadian Center for Architecture, and Sam Alden will discuss the effect of materials on comics narratives.

Annie Gave Me Noise, by Sophie Yanow

from Annie Gave Me Noise (2012), by Sophie Yanow

Black Comicks

Black Comic Book Festival 2014 poster

This weekend is the 2nd Annual Black Comic Book Festival at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.  Over Friday and Saturday, there will be 40 exhibitors in the convention, as well as several panel discussions, cartoon screenings, and some comic-related workshops.

Though admission is free, you do have to reserve tickets, separately for each day.

As a newly minted library scientist, I’m pleased to see libraries getting in on the comics game.  Seems like a perfect match, since libraries already collect comics.  Would also seem like a natural setting for comic-making workshops; teens would be all over that, right?  Hope the 2nd installment of this fest goes well, and that it has many more installments to come, and hope the comic bug spreads out to more NYPL branches…

Arctic Vortex, Antarctic Puppetry

In honor of the Arctic Vortex hitting the US, here’s a musical theater depiction of a the failed 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by Shackleton.

69˚S, created by marionette collective Phantom Limb Co. with music by Erik Sanko, was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music‘s Next Wave Festival in 2011, where it was recorded in full for BAM’s Hamm Archives, and subsequently put online by co-producers ArkType.  Click on the image below to see the whole thing.

Phantom Limb's 69˚S at BAM

Phantom Limb’s 69˚S at BAM

Phantom Limb’s “69˚S.”, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY from ArKtype on Vimeo.

69˚S was co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects, incubators of many new operas and creators of Prototype Opera Festival for new opera, which starts its second annual incarnation in New York this week.

If you’re more interested in the Shackleton side of things than the opera side of things, you could also watch the 3-part Chasing Shackleton documentary starting tonight on PBS.  It follows that failed 1914 Antarctic expedition, focusing on the improbable rescue mission led by Shackleton that ultimately saved every member of his crew.  Check your local listings.