The final phase of competition is the public Grand Finals concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $20,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world
Finals concert to be broadcast live on the Met’s website and SiriusXM
Following February 24th’s semi-final competition, nine young singers have advanced to the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2020 National Council Auditions. In the public concert, finalists perform on the Met stage Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., for an audience of judges, agents, industry leaders, and the general public (in the auditorium and live on the radio). The finalists, chosen by a panel of opera administrators from the Met and other companies, each perform two arias with the Met Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Prize money will increase for the first time in 20 years, with the winners receiving individual cash prizes of $20,000 (previously $15,000), and the prestigious and potentially career-launching title of National Council Auditions Winner. The remaining finalists receive $10,000 (previously $7,500).
The concert will be hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, a 2005 National Council Auditions winner, and will also feature a performance by tenor Javier Camarena, while the judges deliberate.
The concert will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75, and streamed live on the Met’s web site, www.metopera.org.
The 2020 finalists, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are:
Grammy Award-Winning Choir Performs New York Premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua Featuring Cellist Maya Beiser
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Grammy Award-winning new music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, performs the New York premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaraguawith cutting-edge cellist Maya Beiser, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its 125 Commissions Project.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua is inspired by Gordon’s hazy memory of his first eight years of life living on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua with his Eastern European parents who had emigrated to the country. In writing this third substantial work for The Crossing, Gordon—one of the founding members of Bang on a Can—also reaches beyond his childhood memories, pondering the world of the Maya and Aztecs and drawing on the words of poet Rube´n Dari´o and Mark Twain, who visited the country in the mid-1860s.
There’s a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.: Conductor Donald Nally and composer Michael Gordon in conversation with John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck. Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
Hailed as “America’s most astonishing choir” (The New York Times) and “ardently angelic,” (The Los Angeles Times), The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in three years. They have presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, LA Phil, the American Composers Orchestra,Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, The Rolling Stones, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and more. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical andJazz Public Radio.
The Crossing’s recordings of Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle’s Voyages (August 2019, Innova) and Kile Smith’s The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona) were both nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance. Lansing McLoskey‘s Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy; The Crossing’s collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), won the 2018 Grammy Award; and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, all for Best Choral Performance. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.
Hailed for her “stirring emotional power” by The New York Times, Maya Beiser has been called a “cello rock star” by Rolling Stone, praised as “a force of nature” by The Boston Globe, and dubbed “the queen of Avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post.
Raised on a Kibbutz in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Beiser was discovered at the age of twelve by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Upon graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a rebellious career, passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, expanding her art form and bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music.
Beiser is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Barcelona’s L’auditori, Paris’ Theatre de La Ville, Stockholm’s Concert Hall, and in major venues and festivals across five continents.
Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Philip Glass, Louis Andriessen, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Brian Eno, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, Lucinda Childs, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Mark Anthony Turnage, David Lang, Bill Morrison, and Wendy Whelan.
Beiser’s discography includes twelve solo albums, many of them topping the classical music charts. In the summer of 2019, she launched her own record label – Islandia Music records – and released delugEON, a concept album that deconstructs the classical canon. On January 10 2020, she released “Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar” – a reimagination of David Bowie’s last album – topping the Classical Crossover charts and receiving rave reviews. Beiser is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with James Newton Howard.
Maya Beiser is a United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music and was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT. Her mainstage TED Talk has been watched by over one million people. (www.mayabeiser.com)
Over the past 30 years, Michael Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio and kaleidoscopic works for groups of identical instruments. Transcending categorization, his music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
This season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with Roomful of Teeth and Splinter Reeds premiere the concert-length In a Strange Land, the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague feature Gordon as composer-in-residence and perform Timber plus all of Gordon’s string quartets; and the percussion/piano/bass trio Bearthoven premieres a new work.
Travel leader also introduces Norway and Slovenia adventures, expands cycling and Grand Canyon collections
REI Co-op‘s adventure travel company has introduced its first active trips in Shenandoah National Park, along with new trips in Norway and Slovenia. The global leader in small group active travel also announced its first international backpacking trip in Patagonia and continued expansion of its Grand Canyon and cycling collections.
“We intentionally design every active adventure to connect with local communities in a meaningful way that only REI can offer,” said Mark Seidl, REI divisional vice president of Experiences. “By doing so, we want our guests to gain a broader perspective of the world and be transformed through the experience.”
On REI’s multisport trip, guests hike to Shenandoah’s highest point and through deep caverns with streams and anthodite formations, zipline through the treetops, and float down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Star-filled evenings at camp are complete with hearty meals to refuel guests. The company’s lodge-to-lodge itinerary hikes a section of the Appalachian Trail from the doorsteps of iconic lodges that boast unique histories. The company’s cycling weekend stays at charming inns and lodges, providing a welcome reward from vigorous daily rides of 40 to 60 miles along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Adding to REI’s postcard-perfect national parks adventures is its expansion in the Grand Canyon. The company recently added six itineraries for a total of 14 adventures Grand Canyon National Park that range from three to eight days of hiking, backpacking and cycling. With so many options, adventurers can confidently select a trip based on his/her available time, interests and ability.
Backpacking Patagonia – Where Nature Reigns Supreme Building on REI’s widely popular North America backpacking trips, the company is introducing its first international itinerary to explore the undiscovered heart of Patagonia’s remote and rugged beauty. On Backpacking Patagonia – Fitz Roy and Los Glaciares National Park, the eight-day adventure starts in the small outpost of El Chalten known as the region’s trekking capital. Guests hike through meadows and lenga forests, across moraines and glaciers, and up to breathtaking vistas. A trip highlight is a trek past iceberg-laden bays and over high passes to reach the unparalleled views of the second-largest non-polar ice mass in the world.
The co-op now offers seven itineraries in Patagonia ranging in length from seven to 13 days for hiking, cycling, kayaking and volunteer trail maintenance to protect the famous “W” trail.
New Europe trips: Norway and Slovenia Known as the “land of the midnight sun” because one-third of the country is in the Arctic Circle, REI is expanding its classic Norway offering with the launch of two more itineraries – Norway Lofoten Islands Hiking and Norway Fjords Cycling. The nine-day archipelago hiking trip offers unparalleled beauty as guests hike up glacier-carved mountains to the reward of epic views, kayak “little Hawaii,” and experience life in remote fishing communities. Highlights also include a cruise through one of the country’s steepest and narrowest fjords in search of Europe’s largest eagle, a visit to the outermost and wildest islands of Værøy, and plenty of opportunities for traditional cold-water swims.
On REI’s Slovenia Hiking – The Alps to the Adriatic trip guests venture into the quiet solitude of the Julian Alps and more. The rugged Julian Alps are just as awe-inspiring as their Swiss and French cousins, with a big difference: far fewer hikers. Over eight days, marvel at high limestone peaks and dense spruce forests; raft the Soča River and swim in its pools and waterfalls; take a private tour of the subterranean chambers of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Škocjan Caves; and discover the region’s wine, olive oil and local cuisine with visits to a prosciutto producer and local beekeeper farm. For such a small country, its beekeepers produce up to 2,500 tons of honey a year.
An Expanded Range of Sketchers Styles Feature Goodyear Rubber Technology Outsoles For Enhanced Grip, Stability And Durability
Global footwear powerhouse Skechers is building on the technology in its footwear through a new collaboration with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Select styles across multiple categories for men, women and kids will utilize Goodyear rubber technology in custom Skechers outsoles that will deliver increased grip, stability and durability.
“This collaboration is an example of two trusted brands coming together to create a high-tech product that will truly benefit our consumer,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “Through this effort, select products will feature Goodyear Performance Outsoles, offering that extra edge where it’s needed most—be it enhanced stability on a run, excellent grip over slippery surfaces in the workplace, or durability on the playground for long-lasting wear. We expect this will resonate with our customers who need these innovations in the comfortable Skechers footwear that they love.”
“Goodyear has always worked to create innovative products that provide consumers with high-performance tires, and now we’re using that same ingenuity to enable consumers to wear high-performance shoes,” said Christian Jurado, Goodyear’s global director of licensed products.
The shoes, featuring Goodyear Performance Outsoles, are designed for durability with long-lasting wear, excellent grip on a variety of surfaces and weather conditions and enhanced stability through exceptional traction. This is made possible with Goodyear-developed rubber technology that contains a special polymer including sustainable soybean oil—a renewable, bio-based material used in some of the company’s top-performing tires – available in the U.S. and Canada – the Assurance® WeatherReady®, Eagle® Exhilarate® and Eagle® Enforcer® All Weather® and the Assurance ComfortDrive®.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of VMFA fellowships. Twenty-six students and professional artists were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive a total of $146,000 towards professional advancements in the arts. The VMFA Fellowship Program has awarded more than $5.8 million to over 1,395 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.
“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.”
VMFA awarded ten professional fellowships of $8,000 each this year. Professional fellowship recipients are:
Paul Finch, New & Emerging Media, Richmond;
Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond;
Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield;
Sue Johnson, Mixed Media, Richmond;
Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond;
Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond;
David Riley, Film/Video, Richmond;
Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond;
Jon-Philip Sheridan, New & Emerging Media, Richmond; and
Susan Worsham, Photography, Richmond.
Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, was the juror for the professional fellowship entries.
Undergraduate fellowships of $4,000 went to ten students this year. The recipients are:
Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy (VCU), Richmond;
Emma Carlson, Film/Video, VCU, Des Moines, IA;
Nicolas Fernandez, Photography, VCU, Fredericksburg;
“Jitish Kallat: Return to Sender” March 13–June 28, 2020
The Frist Art Museum presents Return to Sender, an exhibition of immersive installations created by the celebrated Indian artist Jitish Kallat. The dramatic works, which engage both mind and body, are inspired by historic messages that reveal the best and worst of humanity. The exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from March 13 through June 28, 2020.
Jitish Kallat is a Mumbai native who produces installations, paintings, photographs, and sculptures that often recall historic acts of speech. Return to Sender brings together two works based on missives: Kallat’s widely exhibited work titled Covering Letter (2012), which was selected for India’s pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and a new project called Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) (2019). “Kallat’s explorations of the epistolary mode are well suited to our museum as our building is the former main post office of Nashville,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Trinita Kennedy. “From here countless letters have been sent and received.”
Covering Letter is a haunting interactive digital projection of a 1939 typewritten letter from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, sent just a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II. The letter is seen on a curtain of traversable dry-fog in the dark. “Gandhi makes a radical appeal for peace, anticipating the brutal bloodshed that the impending war would unleash,” says Kennedy. In the spirit of his doctrine of universal friendship, Gandhi uses the salutation “Dear Friend…” and urges Hitler to resist “reducing humanity to a savage state.” Visitors walk through the screen of descending mist, simultaneously inhabiting and dissipating the moving text. Kallat describes the letter as “a space for self-reflection; a petition from one of the greatest proponents of peace to one of the most violent individuals who ever lived. It can also be read as an open letter from the past destined to carry its message into our turbulent present, well beyond its delivery date and intended recipient.” Kennedy hopes the work will have special resonance in Nashville. “This exhibition marks the first time that Covering Letter has been exhibited in the American South, a place where Gandhi’s ideas about of nonviolent resistance were a vital part of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) commemorates and reinvokes the Golden Record, sent as time capsules aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes launched by NASA in 1977. For those expeditions, select sounds, music, and images were placed on two gold-plated phonographic records with the intent to represent life on Earth to any extraterrestrial discoverer. Currently located over 13 billion miles away from planet Earth, they are expected to continue their cosmic journey well beyond the probable extinction of our species and our planet.
Upon entering this installation, visitors will hear a chorus of humanity greeting the universe in 55 languages. There is a projection of a map indicating Earth’s position in our solar system and a large round table with over a hundred images printed on parallax lenses, which are illuminated by lights that pulsate at the rate of human breath. The images, drawn from the Golden Record, include scientific and cosmological diagrams, representations of our genetic makeup and anatomy, as well as other life forms, and architecture, often annotated with measurements. “This is an epic presentation of Earth to an unknown other,” says Kennedy. At a time when we find ourselves in a deeply divided world, Kallat foregrounds these sounds and images for a collective meditation on ourselves as united residents of a single planet.
In Covering Letter (terranum nuncius) there is also a bench shaped like the hands of the Doomsday Clock. This symbolic clock, updated annually by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, represents a hypothetical human-made global catastrophe as midnight, and the proximity of the world to apocalypse as a number of minutes or seconds to twelve. “The Golden Record’s presentation of unity and harmony among earthlings is belied by the actual state of the world,” says Kennedy. “The reality is that our planet hangs in the balance through circumstances of our own making, and the clock bench is an ominous metaphor that differs from the euphoria and optimism associated with the midnight on occasions such as New Year’s Eve.” Woven into the hour are humankind’s worst fears and greatest hopes.
This exhibition marks the first time that Kallat’s two Covering Letter installations will be shown together. Exhibited in darkened galleries and open ended in meaning, they are intended to provoke contemplations of our world and the universe.
Born in India in 1974, Kallat has exhibited his work widely across the world in contexts such as galleries, museums, and biennials. In 2017, the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi) presented a mid-career retrospective of his work titled Here After Here, 1992–2017, curated by Catherine David. Kallat has had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other museums.
He has exhibited widely, at Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Serpentine Galleries (London), Tate Modern (London), the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (Spain), and other institutions. His work has been part of the Asian Art Biennial, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Curitiba Biennial, the Gwangju Biennale, the Havana Biennial, the Kyiv Biennial, and the Venice Biennale, among others. Kallat also served as the curator and artistic director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s second edition, in 2014.
Thursday, March 12
Artist’s Perspective: Jitish Kallat
6:30 p.m., Frist Art Museum Auditorium
Free; first come, first seated
Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat will share a cross section of his work, exploring the many processes, themes, and ideas that recur throughout his wide-ranging artistic practice. Kallat’s works often engage with the ideas of time, transience, sustenance, the ecological, and the cosmological. These explorations take the form of investigative animation videos, photo-works, paintings, sculptures, and elemental drawings that participate in atmospheric phenomena such as wind and rain. In works such as Covering Letter (2012), which will be on view at the Frist, a historic moment is invoked, prompting a contemplation on our present by mediating it through the past. This artist-talk may unfold into a dialogue, as a Q&A session will follow Kallat’s lecture.
The Exhibition Features Quilts And Wall Hangings By The Artist That Showcase Her Expressive And Narrative Approach To Quiltmaking.
A new exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum presents colorful quilts and wall hangings made by artist Pauline Parker (1915-2013), who used fabric and stitching as a platform for storytelling.
Opening March 20, 2020, The Quilts of Pauline Parker features more than thirty objects that showcase her expressive approach to quiltmaking, illustrating how Parker transformed a traditionally domestic craft into one that highlighted current events, historical and Biblical figures, and her own travels and experiences.
“Parker’s works are a wonderful result of her training as a painter, her exquisite eye for pattern, and her ability to create beautifully cohesive compositions from disparate parts,” said Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art. “The Milwaukee Art Museum has a long and rich history of presenting quilt exhibitions, dating back to the 1930s, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by presenting the work of this talented artist.”
Parker studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but her work in fabric began in Wisconsin, where she moved upon retirement. She initially worked with traditional patterns and used techniques she had learned from her mother and aunts, before expanding her subject matter, stitching more freely and exploring a less traditional approach to quiltmaking.
Many of Parker’s narrative quilts, or “fabric collages” as she termed them, resemble paintings in their construction, use of perspective and three-dimensionality. Each quilt was inspired by a personal experience, a poem or a misprinted piece of fabric, which could often lay the groundwork for a story. The artist layered fabrics and materials, including netting, buttons and shells, to build her compositions. Parker made the more than thirty fabric collages featured in the exhibition between the late 1980s and early 2000s.
The Quilts of Pauline Parker runs from March 20 through July 19, 2020, in the Bradley Family Gallery, and is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and curated by Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.
The McCombe and Pfeifer Families and the Gottlob Armbrust Family Fund in Memory of Helen Louise Pfeifer is the Presenting Sponsor of this exhibition. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Garden Club is the Contributing Sponsor.
Exhibitions are made possible by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Visionaries: Debbie and Mark Attanasio, Donna and Donald Baumgartner, John and Murph Burke, Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, Joel and Caran Quadracci, Sue and Bud Selig and Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation.
Tues, 1:30 p.m.
March 24, April 28, May 12
With Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art
Free with Museum admission, free for Members
Gallery Talk with Special Guest
Thurs, March 19, 6:15 p.m.
Discover the stories behind the works in the exhibition during this in-gallery conversation with the artist’s daughter, Margaret Parker, and Margaret Andera, Curator of Contemporary Art.
Sun, 1-4 p.m.
March 22, March 29, April 5
Bring your sewing project to the East End to sew and socialize with (and get tips from!) the guest artist. Museum admission is not required.