Bard SummerScape Arts Fest to Showcase Italian Music, Culture, and ‘Puccini and His World’

Puccini (copyrighted by Frank C. Bangs/Library of Congress)

Puccini (copyrighted by Frank C. Bangs/Library of Congress)

(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – Bard SummerScape 2016 will focus on the music and culture of Italy, with seven weeks of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret keyed to the theme of the 27th Bard Music Festival, “Puccini and His World,” taking place in the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s stunning Hudson River campus between July 1 and August 14.

The festival will include a rare staging of Mascagni’s “Iris” from fast-rising director James Darrah; a world premiere of “Fantasque” by choreographer John Heginbotham and puppeteer/designer Amy Trompetter; and Dan Hurlin’s take on Fortunato Depero’s futurist puppet plays.

This intensive examination of the life and times of Giacomo Puccini opens a window onto Italy’s rich musical heritage from Palestrina to Menotti, by way of the most popular and successful – yet, paradoxically, frequently critically underrated – opera composer of all time.

Complementing the music festival, some of the Tuscan master’s most compelling compatriots provide other key SummerScape highlights. These include a rare, fully staged production of “Iris,” a forerunner of “Madama Butterfly,” by Puccini’s close contemporary Pietro Mascagni; the world premiere of “Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed,” four newly unearthed puppet plays from leading Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero, as reimagined by Dan Hurlin; the world premiere of “Fantasque,” a new ballet set to the music of Respighi and Rossini by John Heginbotham and Amy Trompetter; a film series on “Puccini and the Operatic Impulse in Cinema”; and the return of Bard’s authentic and sensationally popular Spiegeltent, hosted by the inimitable Mx. Justin Vivian Bond.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, February 15; click here for more information.







Music: Bard Music Festival, “Puccini and His World”

Founded by co-artistic director Leon Botstein, it is the Bard Music Festival – “a highlight of the musical year” (Wall Street Journal) – that provides the creative inspiration for SummerScape. Since its inception in 1990, the Bard Music Festival has enriched the standard concert repertory with a wealth of important rediscoveries; as the New York Times points out, “wherever there is an overlooked potential masterpiece, Leon Botstein is not too far behind.” “One of the most remarkable figures in the worlds of arts and culture” (NYC Arts, THIRTEEN/WNET), Botstein serves as music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, which will, as in previous seasons, anchor three orchestral programs as well as the annual staged opera. This year’s festival also introduces The Orchestra Now (T?N). Now in its inaugural season, this unique graduate training orchestra – designed to help a new generation of musicians break down barriers between modern audiences and great orchestral music of past and present – will undertake two programs, also under Botstein’s leadership.

This season, the Bard Music Festival trains its focus on a composer whose reputation rests almost exclusively on his work in opera. “Puccini and His World” comprises an illuminating series of orchestral, choral, vocal, and chamber concerts – as well as pre-concert talks and panel discussions – devoted to examining the life and times of Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924). One of the most successful opera composers in history, he created three of the most iconic and enduringly popular operas of all time – La bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca – as well as Manon Lescaut, La fanciulla del West, and Turandot, all of which remain staples of the repertory. Yet the very features of his composition that have done most to ensure this mass appeal have also been the source of controversy: there has been a prevailing suspicion that his sensual lyricism, masterly orchestral colors, and soaring climaxes must signify a bourgeois sentimentality that, while entertaining, was incompatible with modernity, and could never compare to Verdi or Wagner for artistic depth. After Puccini’s death, such doubts blossomed into a tradition of critical snobbery marked by condescension and neglect. In the words of conductor Vittorio Gui, founder of Italy’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Puccini was both “the most beloved and the most despised” of all composers.

At the heart of this so-called Puccini problem rests the shifting place of music in the 20th century. The Tuscan composer rose to fame at a time when opera struggled to maintain its preeminence as a cultural and political instrument. Furthermore, his popularity coincided with the emergence of new nationalisms, World War I, the fall of European imperialism, and the rise of communism and fascism. Though he succeeded where others failed, this was ascribed to declining standards of taste. It is only recently that the critical tide has turned, with current scholarship recognizing his keen dramatic sensibility, expert motivic writing, and painstaking compositional process. As the New York Review of Books notes, “Studies in Puccini’s life and art have flourished …, but much else remains to be done.”

Drawing on recent scholarship, the Bard Music Festival’s signature thematic programming, multidisciplinary approach, and emphasis on context and reception history provide the perfect platform for a reexamination of the Puccini paradox. The numerous offerings that make up the 2016 festival take place during SummerScape’s two final weekends: from August 5–7, Weekend One explores Puccini and Italian Musical Culture, and from August 12–14, Weekend Two looks Beyond Verismo. Through the prism of Puccini’s life and career, the Bard Music Festival investigates more than a century of Italian music and culture in close-up: politics from Garibaldi to Mussolini, arts and letters from Manzoni to D’Annunzio, and music from Verdi to Berio. Eleven concert programs spaced over the two weekends address such themes as the role of politics in Italian opera; attempts to synthesize Italian and German musical styles; Italy’s glorious choral tradition; and the rise of Futurism, Modernism, and the avant-garde.

As well as a broad sampling of Puccini’s own music, including his early opera Le Villi and less familiar orchestral and chamber works, music by many of his countrymen will be heard. These include his immediate predecessors, such as Alfredo Catalani and Arrigo Boito; his primary teacher, Amilcare Ponchielli; his rival opera composers, Ermanno Wolf–Ferrari, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Pietro Mascagni, and Ferruccio Busoni among them; other contemporaries, like Guiseppe Martucci; members of the generazione dell’ottanta (“generation of 1880”), such as Alfredo Casella, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Franco Alfano, Ildebrando Pizzetti, and Ottorino Respighi, all of whom focused primarily on instrumental work and came to dominate Italian music after Puccini’s death; and such influential 20th-century composers as Goffredo Petrassi, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Luciano Berio. A number of operas will be featured, both complete and excerpted, including Massenet’s La Navarraise, Boito’s Nerone, and Catalani’s Loreley. The final act of Puccini’s Turandot, as posthumously completed by Berio, will be paired with Busoni’s setting of the same tale, drawing the music festival – and the entire seven weeks of Bard SummerScape – to a gripping close. Finally, three thought-provoking panel discussions will be supplemented by informative pre-concert talks and commentaries; illuminating each concert’s themes, these are free to ticket holders.

Since the founding of the Bard Music Festival, Princeton University Press has published a companion volume of new scholarship and interpretation for each season, with essays and translated documents relating to the featured composer and his world. Scholars-in-Residence Arman Schwartz and Emanuele Senici are the editors of the upcoming 2016 volume, Giacomo Puccini and His World.

Last year, the Bard Music Festival turned for the first time to Latin America, with an exploration of Mexico’s “Carlos Chávez and His World” that impressed the New York Times with its array of “invariably delightful surprises.” As New York Arts elaborated:

“The vast majority of the music was new to me, and I found most of it very appealing. Furthermore, the festival … opened up a vast perspective of the rich and ancient culture south of the United States. One came away with a deeper understanding of where the heart of the Western Hemisphere lies.”

Dubbed “part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit” (New York Times), the music festival consistently impresses critics worldwide. NPR named it “one of the ‘10 Can’t-Miss Classical Music Festivals,’” the Los Angeles Times considers it “the summer’s most stimulating music festival,” and on his blog, Boston Globe journalist Steve Smith confessed:

“For an unrepentant music geek like me, the Bard Music Festival is simply irresistible: a fabulous wealth of music by a major composer from the classical tradition, surrounded and contextualized with works by forebears, peers, colleagues, friends, enemies, students, followers – you name it.”

In the New Yorker, Alex Ross commented: “At Bard, the talks and panels are nearly as well attended as the concerts: this audience wants to think about the music, not merely bathe in it.” As the Wall Street Journal’s Barrymore Laurence Scherer affirmed: “The Bard Music Festival … no longer needs an introduction. Under the provocative guidance of the conductor-scholar Leon Botstein, it has long been one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.”


Soprano Talise Trevigne

Soprano Talise Trevigne

Opera: Iris (new production)

Puccini’s close friend, sometime rival, and one-time roommate, Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) is best known today for Cavalleria rusticana, the perennially popular one-act opera with which he ushered in the age of verismo. By contrast, his later opera Iris (1898) is rarely staged, and has not been seen at the Metropolitan Opera for 85 years. Yet its dreamlike score has been called “bewitchingly lovely” (Independent, UK), and a long overdue 1997 revival at London’s Opera Holland Park proved so popular that it was immediately remounted the following year. Like Madama Butterfly, which it preceded by six years, Iris is a product of the “japonisme” movement then sweeping Europe. Librettist Luigi Illica worked on both operas, and the two are thematically linked, both depicting tragedies of innocence betrayed in fin-de-siècle Japan. Mascagni’s tells the story of Iris, a young girl tricked into leaving her blind and elderly father for a brothel in Tokyo’s notorious red-light district. Discovered and denounced by her father, she throws herself into the city sewers, where she eventually dies. As Paul Griffiths remarked in the New York Times after a rare 1998 concert performance, the opera’s many “interesting dramatic points … make one dream about how it might look in the theater.”

Bard’s original production, then, represents an all-too-rare opportunity to realize this dream. Headlining its stellar cast is Grammy-nominated soprano Talise Trevigne, who recently proved herself “a Butterfly worthy of mention alongside Maria Callas” (Voix des Arts). Bass-baritone Douglas Williams – “the most completely satisfying singer” (New York Times) – portrays the villainous brothel-keeper Kyoto, with Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider, whose credits include Carnegie Hall and the Salzburg Festival, as Osaka, the rich young man whose treachery spells Iris’s downfall. Conceived expressly for SummerScape 2016, Bard’s production is by Los Angeles-based director James Darrah, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month for December 2015, whose recent successes include a staging of Peter Grimes for the San Francisco Symphony that Opera News hailed as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” and the Wall Street Journal proclaimed “one of the strongest, most theatrically imaginative, musically and dramatically compelling productions of the work.” The founder of Chromatic, a production and design collective, Darrah is a staunch advocate of multidisciplinary collaboration, and Iris features costumes by his longtime professional partner Peabody Southwell, as well as evocative projections by Adam Larsen, lighting by Neil Peter Jampolis, and set designs from Emily MacDonald and Cameron Jaye Moc. With Botstein leading the American Symphony Orchestra, Iris will run for five performances between July 22 and 31, with an Opera Talk, free and open to the public, before the matinee on July 24.

As Time Out New York observed after last season’s first full American staging of The Wreckers by Dame Ethel Smyth, “Botsein and Bard SummerScape show courage, foresight and great imagination, honoring operas that larger institutions are content to ignore.” The New York Times pronounced Smyth’s opera “extraordinarily successful,” the New Yorker praised the “rough-edged passion” of Bard’s performance, and the Boston Musical Intelligencer concluded, “Botstein is nothing less than a visionary in bringing Smyth’s opera to light.” As Musical America writes: “Bard’s annual opera has become an indispensable part of the summer operatic landscape.”


Hurlin Puppet by MAPP International

Hurlin Puppet by MAPP International

Theater: Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (world premiere)

In its celebration of modernity, technology, and the synthesis of man and machine, Italian Futurism stood in direct opposition to Puccini’s aesthetic. One of the movement’s key figures was Fortunato Depero (1892-1960), best known as the author of a Futurist manifesto and the creator of graphic design and visual art that included covers for the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. Also closely involved in the theater, Depero received (though never realized) design commissions from Diaghilev and Stravinsky, and collaborated with Swiss writer and Egyptologist Gilbert Clavel on a theater piece for wooden puppets. In a groundbreaking discovery last year, award-winning Hudson Valley-based puppet artist Dan Hurlin unearthed four more of Depero’s puppet plays, written at the height of World War I. Dialogue-free, and packed with surreal imagery, they represent a masterful marriage of playful whimsy with violence and menace, yet to date they have never been published, translated, or performed. Gathered together as Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (1917), Depero’s long-lost plays will now – almost a full century after their creation – receive their world premiere, in an original translation and production by Hurlin himself. The recipient of Obie and Bessie Awards, the Rome Prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship, Hurlin is the subject of the 2010 documentary Puppet, which follows the progress of his most recent project, described by Variety as “moving, poignant and hilarious, … a wonder.” Combining centuries-old bunraku puppetry with state-of-the-art technology and a live score by Dan Moses Schreier, Hurlin’s unique disciplinary fusion will finally bring the Italian futurist’s vision to life. Bard’s world premiere production takes place in nine performances in the LUMA Theater between July 7 and 17, and is suitable for ages twelve and up. Click here to see an excerpt from Hurlin’s most recent puppet project.

Bard’s theatrical track record is a stellar one. The New York Times found last season’s original take on Oklahoma! to be a “vibrant, essential excavation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 classic,” that “allows us to experience a revelation.” As New York Arts declares: “Bard summer drama has been consistently of the highest order.”



Dance Heginbotham (photo Janelle Jones)

Dance Heginbotham (photo Janelle Jones)

Dance: Fantasque (world premiere)

SummerScape 2016 launches with the world premiere of Fantasque, a magical pageant for dancers and puppets that draws on the combined talents of two of today’s most innovative creative artists. Set to the music of Puccini’s contemporary Ottorino Respighi, who based his beloved score for the Ballets Russes’ La Boutique fantasque on piano pieces by Rossini, Bard’s family-friendly new ballet pairs original choreography from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award-winner John Heginbotham with puppetry and design by Amy Trompetter. The founding director of Dance Heginbotham, which makes its festival debut with three performances of Fantasque on July 1–3, Heginbotham previously appeared at SummerScape as a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, and it was his choreography that graced last year’s hit production of Oklahoma!; as the New York Times affirms, he has “a true theater artist’s instinct for commanding his audience.” No less distinguished is Amy Trompetter, longstanding doyenne of the puppet world. Currently a teaching artist at Bard College, Trompetter won acclaim with the politically radical Bread and Puppet Theater before founding Hudson Valley’s own Redwing Blackbird Theater. Her previous projects include a collaboration with choreographer David Neumann and a production of The Barber of Seville that prompted the New York Times to note: “In Ms. Trompetter’s world, an aria gives room for a whole suite of choreographed movement.”

SummerScape has featured significant dance performances each summer since 2005. The festival debut of Pam Tanowitz Dance last season prompted a five-star review from the Financial Times, while the Arts Journal’s Deborah Jowitt observed of its centerpiece, the world premiere of a new solo for Ashley Tuttle set to the music of featured composer Carlos Chávez:

“Tanowitz is remarkable for her skillful reimagining of formal devices. … What we see is a superb dancer firmly and gently on the prowl in a territory both familiar and unfamiliar. She wears her virtuosity as if it were made of silk.”


Film series: “Puccini and the Operatic Impulse in Cinema”

Opera has been an enduring reference point for filmmakers since the dawn of cinema at the end of the 19th century, precisely the moment of Puccini’s artistic ascendancy. The 2016 SummerScape Film Series explores the influence of Puccini and opera on innovative filmmaking of all periods, with screenings of The Toll of the Sea (1922), a silent retelling of the Madama Butterfly story; A Room with a View (1985), which uses Puccini arias to evoke its Italian setting; Martin Scorsese’s take on The Age of Innocence (1993), whose opening scenes depict a live performance of Gounod’s Faust; Joseph Calleja’s portrayal of Enrico Caruso in The Immigrant (2013); The Last Emperor (1987), which director Bernardo Bertolucci likened, despite its Chinese setting, to Italian opera; and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) – famously dubbed “an opera of violence” – in which Ennio Morricone’s leitmotivic soundtrack plays a prominent part throughout. Through Senso (1954), Rocco and His Brothers (1960), and The Leopard (1963), special attention will be paid to the cinematic legacy of Luchino Visconti; also a noted director of Italian opera who collaborated with such greats as Maria Callas and Leonard Bernstein, on the silver screen Visconti created explicitly operatic work that has inspired filmmakers for generations (July 21–Aug 14). Click here to see the operatic opening of The Age of Innocence, featuring the “Love Duet” from Faust.


Spiegeltent (photo Cory Weaver)

Spiegeltent (photo Cory Weaver)


Back for an eleventh magnificent summer, Bard’s authentic Spiegeltent has enchanted guests since its introduction to the festival in 2006. A handmade pavilion from Belgium, decorated with mirrors and stained glass, evoking a bygone era of glamour, the mirrored tent provides a sumptuous and magical environment to enjoy cutting-edge cabaret and world-class musical performances – almost all of which have sold out in recent years – capped by dining and late-night dancing throughout the festival. Back by popular demand for a third season, Tony Award-nominee Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, “the greatest cabaret artist of this generation” (New Yorker), returns to resume duties as host, emcee, and guest curator. Friday and Saturday evenings feature world-class performers, musicians and DJs, and Thursdays bring a lineup of one-of-a-kind jazz concerts presented in collaboration with Catskill Jazz Factory. Dining is inspired by seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients and served at lunchtime on Saturdays and Sundays and dinnertime on Thursdays through Saturdays, with a full bar offering to complement the menu. As Edinburgh Fringe magazine urges, “Enter the Spiegeltent – the tent of dreams – and you will never be the same again.”


SummerScape 2016 Schedule


July 1–3           SummerScape opens with first of three performances of John Heginbotham and Amy Trompetter’s Fantasque (world premiere)

July 1–Aug 13  Cabaret, live music, and After Hours dancing in the Bard Spiegeltent

July 7–17         Nine performances of Dan Hurlin’s production of Fortunato Depero’s Futurist puppet plays, Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (world premiere)

July 21–Aug 14            Film Series “Puccini and the Operatic Impulse in Cinema”

July 22–31       Five performances of Pietro Mascagni’s opera Iris (new production)

Aug 5–7           Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: “Puccini and Italian Musical Culture”

Aug 12–14       Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: “Beyond Verismo”


SummerScape 2016: key performance dates by genre


Bard Music Festival

Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: “Puccini and Italian Musical Culture” (Aug 5–7)

Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: “Beyond Verismo” (Aug 12–14)


Complete program details follow.



Pietro Mascagni: Iris

Sosnoff Theater

July 22* & 29 at 7:30 pm

July 24*, 27 & 31* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25



John Heginbotham and Amy Trompetter: Fantasque (world premiere)

Sosnoff Theater

July 1 & 2 at 7:30 pm

July 3* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25



Dan Hurlin: Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (world premiere)

LUMA Theater

July 7, 8, 9*, 14, 15 & 16 at 7:30 pm

July 10*, 13 & 17* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25



“Puccini and the Operatic Impulse in Cinema”

Ottaway Film Center

Thursdays and Sundays, July 21–Aug 14

Tickets: $10



Live Music, Cabaret, Festival Dining, and After Hours salon

Dates, times, and prices vary



Program details of Bard Music Festival, “Puccini and His World”


WEEKEND ONE: Puccini and Italian Musical Culture


Friday, August 5


Program One

Opera, Politics, and the Italian

Sosnoff Theater

7:30 pm Performance with commentary by Leon Botstein, with the Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein; and others


Excerpts from operas and other works by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Saverio Mercadante (1795–1870), Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–86), Arrigo Boito (1842–1918), Alfredo Catalani (1854–93), and Pietro Mascagni (1863–1945)


Tickets: $25–$75



Saturday, August 6


Panel One

Puccini: The Man and the Reputation

Olin Hall

10 am–noon


A panel discussion with renowned scholars which will include a short question and answer period. Participants to be announced.


Free and open to the public



Program Two

Sons of Bach, Sons of Palestrina

Olin Hall

1 pm Pre-concert Talk

1:30 pm Performance: Chamber works and songs by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–86), Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924), Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876–1948), Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936), and others


Tickets: $40



Program Three

Italy Beyond Opera

Sosnoff Theater

7 pm Pre-concert Talk

8 pm Performance: American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, and others


Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924): Il tabarro (1916)

Orchestral works by Puccini and Giuseppe Martucci (1856–1909)


Tickets: $25–$75



Sunday, August 7


Panel TWO

Defining the Italian: The Role of Music

Olin Hall

10 am–noon


A panel discussion with renowned scholars which will include a short question and answer period. Participants to be announced.


Free and open to the public



Program Four

Opera under Siege

Olin Hall

1 pm Pre-concert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Arias and ensembles from operas by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Antônio Carlos Gomes (1836–96), Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919), Alberto Franchetti (1860–1942), Francesco Cilea 1866–1950), Umberto Giordano (1867–1948), Italo Montemezzi (1875–1952), and Riccardo Zandonai (1883–1944)


Tickets: $40



Program Five

Opera for the People

Sosnoff Theater

3:30 pm Pre-concert Talk

4:30 pm Performance: Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein; and others


Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924): Le Villi (1883)

Jules Massenet (1842–1912): La Navarraise (1894)


Tickets: $25–$75



WEEKEND TWO: Beyond Verismo


Friday, August 12


Program SIX

Futurism, Modernism, and the Avant-garde

Sosnoff Theater

8 pm Performance with commentary


Works by Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971); Gerald Tyrwhitt (Lord Berners) (1883–1950); Luigi Russolo (1885–1947); Franco Casavola (1891–1955); Leo Sowerby (1895–1968); George Antheil (1900–59); Frank Signorelli (1901–75); and others


Tickets: $25–$60



Saturday, August 13



Artists, Intellectuals, and Mussolini

Olin Hall

10 am–noon


A panel discussion with renowned scholars which will include a short question and answer period. Participants to be announced.


Free and open to the public



Program SEVEN

Rediscovering the Past

Olin Hall

1 pm Pre-concert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Chamber works and songs by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), Alessandro Parisotti (1853–1913), Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936), Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880–1968), Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882–1973), and Alfredo Casella (1883–1947)


Tickets: $40



Program EIGHT

Music and Fascism in Italy

Sosnoff Theater

7 pm Pre-concert Talk

8 pm Performance: Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, and others


Works by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880–1968), Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882–1973), Alfredo Casella (1883–1947), Luigi Dallapiccola (1904–75), and Goffredo Petrassi (1904–2003)


Tickets: $25–$75



Sunday, August 14


Program NINE

Italian Choral Music since Palestrina

Olin Hall

10 am: Performance with Commentary, with Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral conductor


Choral Works by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924); Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525–94); Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643); Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613); Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901); Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880–1968); and others


Tickets starting at $40



Program TEN

After Puccini

Olin Hall

1 pm Preconcert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Works by Franco Alfano (1875–1954), Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968), Luigi Dallapiccola (1904–75), Gian Carlo Menotti (1911–2007), and Luciano Berio (1925–2003)


Tickets: $40



Program ELEVEN

The Turandot Project

Sosnoff Theater

3:30 pm Pre-concert Talk

4:30 pm Performance: Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, and others


Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)/Luciano Berio (1925–2003): Act 3 from Turandot (1924/2001)

Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924): Turandot (1917)


Tickets: $25–$75




Bard SummerScape ticket information


Tickets for all Bard SummerScape events go on sale to E-members on February 9 and to the public on February 15. For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit Bard SummerScape 2016.



SummerScape opera, theater, and dance performances and most Bard Music Festival programs are held in the Sosnoff Theater or LUMA Theater in Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and celebrated since its opening as a major architectural landmark in the region. Some chamber programs and other BMF events are in Olin Hall, and the Spiegeltent has its own schedule of events, in addition to serving as a restaurant, café, and bar before and after performances. Film Series screenings are at the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center in the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center.


New York City Round-Trip Coach Transportation:

To make a reservation on the round-trip SummerScape coach provided exclusively to ticket holders for specific performances indicated by * in the listings above, call the box office at 845-758-7900 or select this option when purchasing tickets. The round-trip fare is $40 and reservations are required. The coach departs from behind Lincoln Center, on Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. Find additional details at New York City Round-Trip Coach Transportation.


Full Schedule:

For a complete schedule of SummerScape and Bard Music Festival events (subject to change), follow the links given below. Updates are posted at the festival web site Bard SummerScape 2016


Fisher Center members receive priority access to the best seats in advance, and those who join the Center’s email list receive advance booking opportunities as well as regular news and updates.


Tickets and Subscriptions or by phone at 845-758-7900. Tickets start at $25.


Special offers:

Create Your Own Series: save 25% and enjoy maximum flexibility, by choosing four or more events across the entire festival.


SummerScape Mainstage Series: save 30% and guarantee seats for dance, theater, and opera events.


Opera Series: save 30% on Iris and both BMF concert operas


Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount and concierge service to assist with dining and lodging reservations.


All program information is subject to change.


London’s Times Literary Supplement lauds Bard SummerScape as “the most intellectually ambitious of America’s summer music festivals.” The New Yorker calls it “one of the major upstate festivals,” while Bloomberg News calls it, “the smartest mix of events within driving distance of New York.” Travel and Leisure reports, “Gehry’s acclaimed concert hall provides a spectacular venue for innovative fare.” The New York Times calls SummerScape “a hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure,” Newsday finds it “brave and brainy,” Huffington Post dubs it “a highbrow hotbed of culture,” Musical America judges it “awesomely intensive,” GALO (Global Art Laid Out) magazine considers it “one of the great artistic treasure chests of the tri-state area and the country,” Time Out New York names it one of “New York’s 20 coolest out-of-town spots,” and the International Herald Tribune pronounces it “seven weeks of cultural delight.” As the New York Sun observes, “Bard … offers one of the best lineups of the summer for fans of any arts discipline.” Summarizing SummerScape’s manifold appeal, the New York Post confesses, “It’s hard not to find something to like, and it’s even harder to beat the setting: the gleaming, Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Performing Arts Center in bucolic Annandale-on-Hudson.”

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