Culture Magazine

The March Short List

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
We celebrate the 13th month with opera, symphony, and mis-printed calendars.

The March Short List

"Lousy Smarch Weather." Image from The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror VI"
© 1995 Gracie Films/20th Century Fox Televison

Spring comes swaggering in like the brass band in Mahler's Third Symphony. And we've got your monthly Short List: the Superconductor guide to all things classical music and opera in the merry month of....Smarch?
Damn AutoCorrect.
On March 1, the New York Philharmonic opens The Modern Beethoven, a three-week festival featuring conductor David Zinman and his idiosyncratic approach to six of the nine symphonies. The "modern" part is Mr. Zinman's decision to mate the works with 20th century concertos by Stravinsky, Samuel Barber and Karl Amadeus Hartmnn.
The Vienna Philharmonic arrives at Carnegie Hall for three concerts, starting March 2. The programs include symphonies by Sibelius, works by Richard and Johann Strauss, and conductor Lorin Maazel's arrangement of Wagner's Ring Without Words.
On March 3, Brooklyn's own Regina Opera opens Cavalleria Rusticana.
The Dicapo Opera unveils their musical offering of the 2012 spring season with Frank Loesser's charming comedy The Most Happy Fella. 

March 5 is opening night for the Metropolitan Opera's final run of the company's current production of L'Elisir d'Amore. Juan Diego Flórez reunites with Diana Damrau in this bel canto comedy. 
Also in repertory at the Met:
  • Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina, an historical drama with an all-star cast. Just five performances.
  • Don Giovanni, with Bryn Terfel as Leporello and Gerald Finley as the Don.
  • Verdi's Macbeth. The "Scottish opera" gets a rare revival on March 20 with Thomas Hampson in the title role.
  • On March 26, Anna Netrebko returns to the Met, singing the title role in a new production of Manon.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra comes to Carnegie Hall on March 6 for four nights, including a March 8 performance by the Boston Pops. Repertory includes the Missa Solemnis, (conducted by John Ogdon, a replacement for the incapacitated Kurt Masur) Berlioz' Symphonie-fantastique (led by Christoph Eschenbach) and the Shostakovich Fifth, conducted by Stephane Stéphane Denève.
On March 10, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila joins the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for songs by Carnegie Hall composer-in-residence Kaija Saariaho. The concert also features this underrated orchestra playing the complete ballet score of Stravinsky's Firebird.
The New York City Opera hopes critical lightning can strike twice with Christopher Alden's new production of Cosí fan tutte. The director's Don Giovanni was one of the hits of the early George Steel administration. Cosí opens March 18 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Four performances only.
Also on the 18th, the American Symphony Orchestra offers a rare performance of Notre Dame,
a German-language version of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The concert is at Carnegie Hall. Leon Botstein conducts.
On March 23, conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi leads the first of two weeks with the New York Philharmonic. Week One features music from Hans Werner Henze's The Bassarides paired with Schubert's Ninth Symphony. The second series (opening March 29) features music by Alfred Schnittke, Dvořák's Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony.
On March 27, Carnegie Hall welcomes the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for the American Mavericks residency. This is a four-concert series, focusing exclusively on contemporary American composers, from the mechanical experimentation of Harry Partch to the post-minimalism of John Adams and Morton Feldman. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts works by John Cage, Henry Cowell, Edgar Varèse, and the New York premiere of Absolute Jest by composer John Adams.
Got an item for the Short List? E-mail Superconductor editor Paul Pelkonen here.

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