The Bayreuth Festival remains a place of tradition, but the stage that Richard Wagner built for his operas is not averse to innovation. While the festival is returning to personal appearances this year, parallel digital presentations will again be accessible on Deutsche Grammophon’s DG Stage streaming platform. For people who cannot travel to Germany or who are just curious about Wagner, this is a boon.
The premiere stream of this year’s production of “The Flying Dutchman” costs just under 10 euros (approx. 12 US dollars) and is available until 6 pm Eastern Time on Sunday. The rest of the online festival – focused on productions from the last few years – is free.
If you’d like to see a production that wasn’t released on Home-Video, register to stream the controversial (and revealing) ring cycle directed by Frank Castorf, shot in 2016. Since Bayreuth doesn’t offer English subtitles, live or online, the current Penguin Classics translation of Wagner’s epic poem will come in handy. There is still time for the Castorf Route 66 journey through “Das Rheingold” (48 hours from Friday at 10 am).
SETH COLTER WALLS
Few things say summer in New York is as good as live music outdoors – even if it means braising in the sun. Whatever the weather, you can count on neo-soul singer Ari Lennox to radiate warmth when she performs in Brooklyn on Saturday. It doesn’t matter if she sings about hot hookups (shout “On It”, her song with Jazmine Sullivan, and prepare to blush), the joys of being home alone (“New Apartment”) or the tight budget become (“Broke”), Lennox’s songs make everyday life sound comfortable and sensual.
Lennox is headlining the opening night of Celebrate Brooklyn !, BRIC’s annual series – now in its 43rd season – which features live music at the Prospect Park Bandshell. She gets support from the rapper and poet Kamauu and the R&B singers Adeline and Nesta. Admission to the concert, which begins at 7.30 p.m. (admission at 6 a.m.), is free and is awarded according to the first-come-first-served principle.
Appeal to young readers
Summer is not just about beaches and barbecues. It’s also a time of year to celebrate books – not just for kids, but by them too.
Preschool bibliophiles and grades 1-3 will enjoy the Woke Baby Book Fair, which focuses on titles on social justice issues. On Saturday from 1pm to 3:30 pm, this free event in and around Hearst Plaza at Lincoln Center features readings by authors such as Mahogany L. Browne, the centre’s poet in residence and the festival’s curator. Expect book signing, games, baby movement classes, and live banjo songs.
Through August 15, the Morgan Library & Museum is displaying 40 accordion-style volumes written by grades 3 through 12 writers. The exhibition “The Morgan Book Project” arises from an annual program of the same name, in which pupils are inspired by the library’s medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. Using traditional materials such as gold leaf and organic pigments, students illustrate their own stories.
This year’s pick includes a magical portal that appears in Hoboken and a fairy tale king who identifies his long-lost daughter through a DNA test. You will also see a well-known villain: the coronavirus.
Shakespeare on Wheels
In recent years, the Public Theater’s Mobile Unit has brought theater to underserved communities by setting up Shakespeare stores in prisons, libraries, homeless shelters, and community centers with a high-energy, space-saving approach to the classics.
After a pandemic-triggered hiatus, the program has returned in what it calls the Summer of Joy, bringing verse to outdoor spaces across town. Produced by the public and the National Black Theater, in partnership with the Department of Transportation, these free performances, currently scheduled to run through August 29, arrive at Manhattan’s Astor Place on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m., and then stop in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. (You can find locations and dates at publictheater.org.)
Each show provides the stage for Healing and Resistance from the National Black Theater, Malik Works “Verses @ Work – The Abridged Mix” and “Shakespeare’s Call and Response,” conceived and directed by Patricia McGregor. The Volksbus, a municipal initiative known as a community center on wheels, also stops at every stop.
Today dance is just as exciting online as it is on stage (perhaps even more so during this time of Covid-19). 92nd Street Y recognized this development a few years ago through the Mobile Dance Film Festival, which is returning for the fourth time this weekend. Three programs include 36 films by artists from around the world, all shot on mobile devices.
These are not home videos like those found on TikTok. They are cinematic, immersive, and imaginatively edited, and range from 30 seconds to more than 10 minutes. Examples are Yupei Tang’s ominous, fragmented “Inception”, Maksym Kotskyi and Elena Mesheryakova’s short but impressive “30 Seconds to Fastiv” and the mesmerizing, gold-colored “Untold Stories” by Nigerian dancer and choreographer Hermes Chibueze Iyele. Another series of student works rounds off the festival, where these programs will be premiered in person on Saturday in the Buttenwieser Halle; the films will also be available on demand until August 15th. Tickets for each program and access to the stream start at $ 10 and can be purchased at 92y.org/mobiledancefilmfestival.