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Fall Classical & Dance Calendar

Look ahead: Classical | Opera | Dance


Spain and Pleasure
An Argentine composer draws on the dramatic, doomed life of Spain’s greatest modern poet.

Last year, Oswaldo Golijov’s La Pasión Según San Marcos, the unruly, intoxicating Passion that reveled in musical styles from Bach to bossa nova, was among the season’s hottest tickets at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now his chamber opera Ainadamar, based on the life and death of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, is likely to raise the temperature just as high. Staged jointly by bam and Lincoln Center as part of the Next Wave Festival, it’s directed by Chay Yew and stars soprano Dawn Upshaw. Even the title is intense, referring to the “fountain of tears” where the poet was murdered in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

The libretto, by David Henry Hwang, focuses largely on the powerful women in García Lorca’s work, particularly the actress Margarita Xirgu, who played the self-sacrificing heroine in his 1925 play Mariana Pineda. As for musical ideas, García Lorca led a positively operatic existence, and he was intimately associated with Spain’s music. A specialist in cante hondo, the purest and oldest flamenco songs, he often wrote music for his own plays, arranged dozens of folk songs (even playing the piano on records by the inimitable La Argentinita), and collaborated with Manuel De Falla. Many composers have already been drawn to García Lorca’s work—famously George Crumb and Dmitri Shostakovich—so Golijov has plenty of precedent and material to generate theatrical power. —Peter G. Davis

• Details: Ainadamar, October 28, 30, and 31 and November 2 (BAM).

The Best of The Rest

New York City Opera
Presents new productions of Handel’s Alcina, featuring soprano Christine Goerke (opens September 9), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (opens September 13), and Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, written when the composer was just 18. Opens September 30, New York State Theater.

Metropolitan Opera
Fromental Halévy’s La Juive returns to the repertoire for the first time since 1936, with native New Yorker Neil Shicoff in the role of Eléazar, last sung by Caruso (opens November 6). The company premiere of Hector Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini stars Marcello Giordani in the title role. Opens December 4, Metropolitan Opera House.

The Death of Klinghoffer
The Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and a soloist perform a staged concert of the controversial 1991 John Adams opera, led by Robert Spano, with film by Bill Morrison. December 3, 5, and 6, Brooklyn Academy of Music.