The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces Its 2018–19 Season of MetLiveArts

New York—The Met announced the programming for its next MetLiveArts performance series and Artist in Residence, the powerhouse soprano Julia Bullock. Throughout 2018–19, leading artists will connect the Museum’s exhibitions and individual works of art to a collective human narrative through original commissions and site-specific performances.

Artist in Residence Julia Bullock has created five programs that will be presented throughout the year. Her residency will include collaborations with renowned guest performers and will draw on the lives, legacies, and words of Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Thornton Dial, among others.

The 2018–19 season also features a new artist residency focusing specifically on The Met Cloisters. The historical performance ensemble Sonnambula will invigorate the location’s medieval galleries through a series of concerts that bring a contemporary sensibility to the group’s historically informed performances.  During their residency at The Met Cloisters, Sonnambula will perform with world-renowned artists, including the renaissance wind ensemble Piffaro, lute virtuoso Esteban La Rotta, and author and photographer Teju Cole.

“MetLiveArts commissions powerful artists to explore the Museum’s collection and create relevant, thought-provoking performances,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met.  “This upcoming season of programming will connect our three locations with a broad and diverse audience, creating new pathways for engagement with our exhibitions and encyclopedic collection and exhibitions.”

Rosalie O'Connor
Silas Farley. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

Among the season’s other highlights are a new evening-length work by Cécile McLorin Salvant—the first ever written by this leading jazz vocalist; a world premiere by New York City Ballet dancer and choreographer Silas Farley set to spirituals and songs by current inmates at San Quentin State Prison; a collaboration between the South Bronx’s It’sShowtime NYC! and The Met’s Department of Arms and Armor leading to dance performances in the Arms and Armor Court that are inspired by the collection; and a durational work at The Met Breuer by artist Oliver Beer, who has created a sound installation (on view for seven weeks) featuring a range of vessels spanning centuries that will be activated in performances by musicians.

“The Met has always been a place for artists, and MetLiveArts continues and strengthens that tradition by collaborating with living artists,” said Limor Tomer, General Manager of Live Arts. “Julia Bullock, Silas Farley, Suzanne Bocanegra, and It’s Showtime NYC! have been working closely with our curators and conservators for months. Out of this intense incubation process, these new works will not only bring new interpretations, connections, and clarity but will also change us as practitioners.”

Performances will be both ticketed and free with Museum admission, and Bring the Kids for $1 tickets are available for almost every performance.

2018–19 MetLiveArts Artist in Residence: Julia Bullock

The vocalist Julia Bullock will craft a season of compelling, transcendent performances that bring to light some of world culture’s hidden and suppressed narratives through considering ways in which to give voice to objects and stories that have been made silent.

This “exceptional singer of the new generation” (The New York Times), hailed as “opulent and glorious” by Opera News, brings her rich and resonant soprano vocals—which have been garnering raves around the world—as well as her social consciousness and activism as an artist, to The Met collection.

“Social constructs not only impact the art that is made, but they directly influence how art is presented and for whom it is preserved,” said Julia Bullock. “The MetLiveArts team and The Met’s curatorial staff are currently filled with a conscious group of individuals who understand how creative voices can influence one another when put in close proximity. So to be given space to consider the art and history of The Met, and the opportunity to more deeply explore what The Met represents and communicates to the world, to New York, and to me personally, has been a great privilege.”

History’s Persistent Voice [World Premiere]
Saturday, September 15, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Julia Bullock sings the words of pioneering mixed-media Black American artist Thornton Dial in a recital featuring traditional slave songs and words penned by Black American artists from the southeastern United States, including the esteemed quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The texts are set to original compositions by a roster of all-women composers, including Tania León, Courtney Bryan, Jessie Montgomery, and Allison Loggins-Hull. This concert is presented in dialogue with the exhibition History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, May 22–September 23, 2018.

Tickets start at $50.

A Dream Deferred: Langston Hughes in Song
Sunday, December 2, 3 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Poems by Langston Hughes—such as “Harlem,” “Genius Child,” and “Song for a Dark Girl”—are set to music in this recital curated and performed by Julia Bullock. She will be joined by soprano Nicole Cabell (“sheer sumptuous gorgeousness,” The Mercury News); New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill (“trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character,” The New York Times); Jessie Montgomery, violin; and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Hughes settings by composers Ricky Ian Gordon, John Musto, and Chad Cannon will be performed.

Tickets start at $50.

Nativity Reconsidered
Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 5:30 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

Julia Bullock, soprano
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor
American Modern Opera Company (AMOC)
Christian Reif, conductor

An all-new chamber music version of contemporary master John Adams’s Christmas oratorio, El Niño, arranged for the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and adapted for the intimate setting of The Met Cloisters.

Tickets start at $65.

Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine
Wednesday, January 16, and Thursday, January 17, 8 p.m., The Great Hall

Julia Bullock, soprano
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Conceived by Peter Sellars
Zack Winokur, director
Tyshawn Sorey, composer, percussion, and piano
Texts by Claudia Rankine
Choreography by Michael Schumacher

“One of the most important works of art yet to emerge from the era of Black Lives Matter.” —The New York Times

Julia Bullock inhabits the body of a reimagined Joséphine Baker on the steps of The Met’s Great Hall in this darker, more intimate consideration of the life and legacy of the famous singer, activist, and cultural icon. With texts by poet Claudia Rankine and music recomposed by Tyshawn Sorey (both MacArthur Fellows).

Tickets start at $125.

El Cimarrón
Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

American Modern Opera Company (AMOC)
Zack Winokur, director

Hans Werner Henze’s El Cimarrón (The Runaway Slave) is a sonic experience based on the oral autobiography of Esteban Montejo, an Afro-Cuban slave who escaped bondage on a sugar plan-tation, survived in the jungle, fought for Cuban independence from Spain, and lived to tell about it all before dying at the age of 113.

Henze’s visceral score is a cry for freedom that transcends time and place—and a linchpin in Julia Bullock’s vision for her residency.

Tickets start at $55.

2018–19 Ensemble in Residence: Sonnambula

Sound and the City: Street Cries from Renaissance London
Saturday, November 17, 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

The chaos and cacophony of the busy city inspired some of the most innovative composers in Renaissance London. Hear Orlando Gibbons’s famous “Cries of London”—from the night watchman announcing the three o’clock hour to the closing of the market at the end of the day—in the urban oasis of The Met Cloisters.

Tickets start at $55.

Spanish Christmas at The Met Cloisters
Sunday, December 23, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters 

With special guest Esteban La Rotta, lute and guitar

Celebrate Christmas with a program of intimate Canciones (popular tunes with poetic texts), joyful Villancicos (songs with rustic themes), and virtuosic instrumental pieces, all drawn from the Cancionero Musical de Palacio, a manuscript found at the Royal Palace of Madrid that exemplifies the Spanish Golden Age of music.

Tickets start at $65.

Leonora Duarte: Converso in Antwerp
Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters 

Sonnambula teams up with acclaimed author and photographer Teju Cole in a dynamic performance of music and spoken word with a photo installation that celebrates the work of Leonora Duarte, the only known woman composer of viol music in the 17th century.

Tickets start at $55.

Michael Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore (1612)
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

Rarely heard live, Praetorius’s dances from Terpsichore, named for the Greek muse of the dance, display uncommon composition. This landmark program brings together the nation’s leading interpreters of Renaissance repertoire.

Tickets start at $55.

Commissions and Premieres

Ogresse [World Premiere]
Friday, September 28, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Written and performed by Cécile McLorin Salvant
Arranged and conducted by Darcy James Argue

“A woman lived in the woods on the outskirts of town. Her skin was chocolate brown. Upon her head she wore a crown of bones.” —Cécile McLorin Salvant

Vocalist Cécile McClorin Salvant returns to The Met with Ogresse, a provocative evening-length work arranged and conducted by the composer and conductor Darcy James Argue.

Tickets start at $65.

Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor
Friday, October 12; Friday, November 9; Friday, January 11; Friday, February 8; Museum hours in Gallery 371, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court

Dancers from It’s Showtime NYC!

The world of hip-hop dance culture collides with the bygone age of armor when these freestyle dancers meet chainmail, leather, and metal armor from around the world. Discover the unexpected parallels between hip-hop dance culture and the historical ceremonial combat traditions in this performance series. MetLiveArts, in collaboration with The Met’s Arms and Armor department, has commissioned the fierce artists of It’s Showtime NYC! from the South Bronx’s Dancing in the Streets urban dance organization to perform a series of pop-up dance battles in the gallery wearing pieces from The Met.

Free with Museum admission.

Honor [World Premiere]
Saturday, October 27, 7 p.m., Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

A panel discussion performance by Suzanne Bocanegra

Visual, installation, and performance artist Suzanne Bocanegra turns the concept of the “panel discussion” upside down in this disorienting and subversive theatrical work in which she delves into what she calls her “lifelong obsession” with the colossal Honor, The Met’s largest tapestry, woven in the 16th century.

Tickets start at $35.

Songs from the Spirit [World Premiere]
Friday, March 8—2 and 7 p.m.;  Saturday, March 9—12, 2, and 7 p.m.;  Sunday, March 10—11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.; in Gallery 401, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Assyrian Sculpture Court; Gallery 217, The Astor Chinese Garden Court; and Gallery 700, The Charles Engelhard Court

Silas Farley, choreographer and dancer
Dancers Cassia Farley, Rachel Hutsell, Taylor Stanley, and Claire Kretszchmar
Kelly Griffin, soprano
Robert May, tenor
Created in collaboration with Ear Hustle from Radiotopia

Farley brings fellow members of the New York City Ballet on a journey led by traditional spirituals and new songs composed and performed by current inmates at San Quentin State Prison who, through the podcast Ear Hustle, contribute music for the performance. A world premiere, Songs from the Spirit offers a nuanced view of an exiled population and the irrepressible human drive to create.

Free with Museum admission.

Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra [World Premiere]
Tuesday, June 25–Sunday, August 11, 2019, The Met Breuer, Floor 5, during Museum hours 

This unprecedented sculptural sound installation by British artist Oliver Beer features an “orchestra” of vessels from The Met collection alongside Beer’s own eccentric and autobiographical objects. The work engages with avant-garde practices of music-making and museology with vessels that range in origin from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America, each one chosen for the precise frequency in which it resonates—unchanged since the day it was made. Capturing each vessel’s unique sound with a small microphone, Beer invites a diverse group of musicians to work with his Vessel Orchestra installation as a pan-historical, pan-cultural musical instrument, bridging geographic and chronological divides.

Free with Museum admission.

In the Galleries

Saṃhāra Revisited
Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 21, 3 p.m., The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

Nrityagram with Chitrasena Dance Company

India’s classical dance company Nrityagram returns to The Temple of Dendur, this time in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company. Accompanied by a live original score, Saṃhāra brings together brilliant dance traditions with shared ancient roots.

Tickets start at $65.

14th-Century Avant Garde
Saturday, November 3, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

The renowned vocal group TENET Vocal Artists considers ars subtilior (the more subtle art)—experimental music created by a handful of renegade medieval musicians whose work was so shocking and ahead of its time that it disappeared for over half a millennium. This site-specific performance features TENET Vocal Artists with guest musicians from all over the world.

Tickets start at $55.

The Queen’s Six
Sunday, February 24, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters 

This captivating male vocal sextet is named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I. Based at Windsor Castle, they sing together every day, for services and both private and state occasions, frequently before members of the royal family. They will perform everything from early chant to vivid Renaissance polyphony and madrigals.

Tickets start at $55.

Dido and Aeneas
Saturday, March 30, 7 p.m., The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

The Handel + Haydn Society

The Museum’s Temple of Dendur is a powerful setting for Dido and Aeneas—Purcell’s operatic telling of the love story between the Queen of Carthage and the Prince of Troy.

Tickets start at $65.

ModernMedieval Trio of Voices
Saturday, April 13, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

ModernMedieval was created by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, a former member of the vocal quartet Anonymous 4, with Martha Cluver and Eliza Bagg, from the celebrated ensemble Roomful of Teeth, rounding out the trio. Following their triumphant debut at The Met in 2016, they return with a fresh repertoire of medieval and contemporary works in a program designed specifically for The Met Cloisters.

Tickets start at $55.

Exhibitions Amplified

The Sound of Stone
Friday, November 2, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Conceived by Kevork Mourad
Vache Sharafyan, piano and composition
Gevorg Dabaghyan, duduk
Zulal, vocals

The Sound of Stone refers to Karahunj, “the Armenian Stonehenge.” Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad illuminates the journey of the Armenian people from the fifth century onward with a multimedia work featuring his own live drawings and a new composition by the esteemed Armenian composer and pianist Vache Sharafyan. The performance is inspired by the exhibition Armenia!, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, September 21, 2018–January 13, 2019).

Tickets start at $50.

Delacroix and Music
Monday, November 5, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Program conceived by Brian Zeger
Samantha Hankey, mezzo-soprano
Brian Zeger, piano

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Delacroix (on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, September 17, 2018–January 6, 2019), this musical evening highlights the creative and personal connection between giants of French romanticism, including Chopin and Berlioz. Pianist Brian Zeger, one of today’s leading collaborative artists, is joined by mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, hailed for her “lushly distinctive” voice (Opera News), in this program that brings to life the deep friendship and creative synergy uniting these astounding artists.

Tickets start at $50.

Wu Man with fellow Silkroad Ensemble Artists
Friday, March 1, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The pipa is an ancient Chinese lute, and “a beauty to hear in Ms. Wu’s hands” (The New York Times). In this performance emphasizing musical exchanges between peoples, Pipa virtuoso and composer Wu Man is joined by fellow members of the Silkroad Ensemble, founded by Yo-Yo Ma, in celebration of the eagerly anticipated reopening of The Met’s renovated André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments.

Tickets start at $50.

Sight and Sound Series

Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now
Three Sundays at 2 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium 

Conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. Each of the three Sundays includes a discussion accompanied by musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now and on-screen artworks followed by a full performance and audience Q&A.

Tickets start at $40; $75 for the series.
metmuseum.org/sightandsound

Mahler and the Feminine Ideal
Sunday, September 30, 2 p.m.

Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and the artwork of Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso

In the early 1900s, artists across all genres were obsessed with the image of the feminine, depicting women as elevated aspirations for redemption and as objects of lust. Mahler was no exception. Kindertotenlieder evokes the idealization of the family and the reality of his life with his infamous wife, Alma.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection, on view at The Met Breuer, July 3–October 7, 2018.

Chopin, Delacroix and the Romantic Impulse
Sunday, November 18, 2 p.m. 

Chopin’s Variations on “Là ci darem la mano,” Berlioz’s Waverley Overture, and the artwork of Delacroix

Delacroix, a contemporary of Berlioz, was passionate about music. In his later years, he became close to Chopin and developed a fascination with Mozart. The romantic impulse embodied in their art can be seen through the prism of two radically different but equally innovative strategies depicting beauty and the sublime.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Delacroix, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, September 17, 2018–January 6, 2019.

Abstraction in Music and Art
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 2 p.m.

Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra, Feldman’s Orchestra (NY Premiere), and the artwork of the Abstract Expressionists

Painters have often been inspired by music as the ultimate abstract art form. Musical abstraction started with the radical modernist Anton Webern, who freed the form from the conventions of late Romanticism. At the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement, experimental composer Morton Feldman mirrored the painters and took his inspiration from their art.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, on view at The Met Breuer, opening November 27, 2018.

Holidays


For the Miracles: A Holiday Celebration
Sunday, December 9, 3 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Young People’s Chorus
Francisco Núñez, conductor

Each of the eight short movements in Samuel Adler’s The Flames of Freedom represents one of the eight lights of Hanukkah. The work was written for three-part, treble-voice choir to provide a counterpoint to Britten’s Christmas cantata, A Ceremony of Carols. In this family-friendly concert, the two joyous works are juxtaposed.

Tickets start at $65.

Handel and Lang
Saturday, December 15, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra
Julian Wachner, conductor

The Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street returns to The Met with a stunning double bill. Dixit Dominus (The Lord Said), Handel’s powerful setting of Psalm 110, is paired with David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Little Match Girl Passion, a “tender and mysterious” (The New York Times) contemporary choral work based on the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Tickets start at $65.

Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain: An Irish-Appalachian Celebration
Sunday, December 16, 2 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Apollo’s Fire
Jeanette Sorrell, conductor

Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (The Independent, London), Apollo’s Fire is a collection of creative artists led by the award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell. In this new program celebrating the Celtic roots of an Appalachian Christmas, the beloved troupe is joined by additional singers, dancers, and instrumentalists to perform pieces that range from the mystical Gregorian chant of old Scotland to folk carols and hymns.

Tickets start at $65.

For tickets and information, visit http://www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212-570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.
Prices are subject to change.
Bring the Kids for $1 tickets for children (ages 7–16) are available for all performances (unless specifically noted) when accompanied by an adult with a full-price ticket. For more information, visit http://www.metmuseum.org/tickets, call 212-570-3949, or visit the box office.

For evening concerts that take place in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, audiences can enjoy a pre-performance drink in the theater. Doors will open approximately one hour prior to the event.

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