Arguably two of America's brightest creative forces, Leonard Bernstein and Walt Whitman still seem larger than life to this day. In this season, which encompasses anniversary celebrations for both great artists (Bernstein's 100th birthday and Whitman's 200th), The Knights celebrate with music that inspired the two artists and drove them to find their own voice, as well as original music composed by Bernstein and music featuring text by Walt Whitman.
America's Bard Walt Whitman had a lifelong obsession with opera, which blossomed especially in the years immediately preceding publication of the still-revelatory Leaves of Grass. In this year leading up to his 200th birthday, The Knights celebrate the music that inspired Whitman—that "loosened the tongue that was tied.” The program will feature pearls of the bel canto Italian operatic tradition, including songs by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Mozart.
Bernstein possessed a flair for the theatrical, whether it was delivering his influential Young People's Concerts, the distinguished Norton Lecture at Harvard, or conducting in his inimitable style. But it is perhaps with his musical theater works that he remains most widely associated today, and The Knights will perform excerpts of his hits Candide and West Side Story as part of this celebration.
In the second half of the program, we are treated to the wizardry of visual artist Kevork Mourad, whose mixture of projected animation and live-painting help tell the tale of an episode of Cervantes' Don Quixote, known as Master Peter's Puppet Show. This pocket-sized opera by the colorful Spanish composer Manuel De Falla is a comedic ride through the hallucinatory visions of the unfortunate Knight-errant, told through the voices of three stellar singers.
General Admission: Seated
The Knights residency at BRIC is made possible through generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and, in part, with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the National Endowment for the Arts.