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Arts & Culture Preview 2018: Who to Know And What To See This Season

With so many offerings this season, it’s hard to know what to see first: From New York to Los Angeles, London to Paris (and beyond), Indagare has scouted the season’s top tickets in the worlds of art, theater, opera and ballet just for you. So whether it’s Warhol at the Whitney, Picasso in Paris or Pinter on the West End that you’re curious about, here is Indagare’s Culture Preview—the best of the new season, with our picks of the top tickets for travelers. Plus, the countertenor and two conductors from Europe who are the talk of the classical music scene right now.

Contact Indagare to plan a culture-filled fall trip to one of these or other cities.

New York City

Art

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again

Because of the seeming omnipresence of his Pop art, Andy Warhol may be the 20th-century artist whose work we feel we know best. But the alluring figure whose Campbell soup cans and Marilyns assumed iconic status reveal only a part of his achievement and cultural influence. In this expansive show of more than 350 works, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, the Whitney Museum shines new light on the range of his career and considers drawings, photography, landscape paintings, as well as his role as an experimental filmmaker and provocateur. November 12, 2018-March 31, 2019. whitney.org. 

Theater

The Ferryman

By turns, funny, suspenseful, moving, mystical, The Ferryman by Lez Brotherton, the playwright of Jerusalem, is set during the Troubles (in 1981) in rural Northern Ireland. The drama begins with the revelation that a body has been found as the Carney clan prepares to celebrate the fall harvest. Into their midst, a visitor appears. Sam Mendes directs the large cast that includes Paddy Condisine and Laura Donnelly, who appeared in the London smash hit. Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, opens October 21. theferrymanbroadway.com

To Kill a Mockingbird

The beloved classic by Harper Lee about racial injustice and childhood innocence arrives on Broadway in a much-anticipated adaptation by Aaron Sorkin. Jeff Daniels stars as Atticus Finch and Celia Keenan-Bolger, as Scout, in a production staged by Barlett Sher. Miriam Buether, admired for her scenic design of Three Tall Women (New York) and The Jungle (London), creates the world of 1930’s Alabama, with costumes by Ann Roth, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Shubert Theater, opens December 13. tokillamockingbirdonbroadway.com

Opera and Dance

American Ballet Theatre

New works by women choreographers take center stage during American Ballet Theatre’s fall season at Lincoln Center. They include a ballet by tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, featuring music by Duke Ellington; a piece by Jessica Lang, set to Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, “Dumky,” and Le Jeune by Lauren Lovette, to the score Equus by Eric Whitacre. They join repertory by Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine. David H. Koch Theater, October 17-28. abt.org

Hungarian State Opera and Ballet

For the first time in its 183-year history, the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet travels to the United States, bringing four full productions, operas and three ballets. Its debut at New York’s Lincoln Center features Bartók’s operatic masterwork Bluebeard’s Castle and the U.S. premiere of operas by Hungarian composers Ferenc Erkel and János Vajda. The ballets Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and a trio of contemporary works complete its season. (David H. Koch Theater, October 30-November 11; davidhkochtheater.com). As part of its residency, the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra appears on November 5 at Carnegie Hall and offers symphonic works by Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi. carnegiehall.org

New Directions

This fall, Lincoln Center cultural institutions welcome two new leaders: Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden becomes music director of the New York Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin assumes the same post at the Metropolitan Opera. Throughout the season, Van Zweden leads five world premieres, including works by Louis Andriessen, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe (nyphil.org).  Nézet-Seguin conducts a new production of La Traviata, starring Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez (December 2018) and revivals of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. metopera.org

Related: 3 Reasons to Visit the South Street Seaport, NYC’s Coolest New Neighborhood

London

Art and Design

Fashioned from Nature and Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

Two contrasting shows at the Victoria & Albert Museum (vam.ac.uk) survey the evolution of design in broad and specific terms: Fashioned from Nature considers the relationship among natural materials and ornament, innovative fabrics and technical processes, in clothing from the 16th century to the present day (through January 27, 2019).  Whether an ardent gamer or a puzzled by its culture, the exhibition Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt promises an immersive experience, both real and virtual (through February 27, 2019).

Theater

Pinter at the Pinter

Whether an enthusiast of the British playwright Harold Pinter or unfamiliar with his work, Pinter at the Pinter, proves the ideal opportunity to dive in or dip a toe into such modern classics as The Lover, The Dumb Waiter, Party Time, Moonlight, and some rarities. All 20 of Pinter’s one-act plays—playful, provocative, political—are offered in seven repertory groupings, and performed by a starry cast, Michael Gambon, Tasmin Greig, Celia Imre, John Macmillan, Antony Sher, David Suchet, Russell Tovey, and Penelope Wilton, among others. The Harold Pinter Theatre, through February 23, 2019. pinteratthepinter.com

The Inheritance

After critical acclaim and a sold-out run at the Young Vic, The Inheritance opens in the West End. Written by American playwright Matthew Lopez, the vibrant, witty, and affecting play suggests a cross between Angels in America and E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End: the legacy of AIDS on a new generation of New Yorkers and the bequest of property, coupled with the palpable loss. Stephen Daldry directs the British-American cast, which includes Vanessa Redgrave. Noel Coward Theatre, through January 19,2019. delfontmackintosh.co.uk

Related: Where to Eat in London this Fall

Paris

Art

Picasso. Blue and Rose and Picasso. Masterpieces!

Against the background of the nineteenth century, the exhibition Picasso. Blue and Rose provides a fresh evaluation of the period 1900-1906 in the young Spanish master’s career. This show, which marks the first large-scale collaboration between the Musée D’Orsay and the Musée national Picasso-Paris (through January 6, 2019; musee-orsay.fr), considers the decisive years in Barcelona and Paris as a whole. Across town, at the Picasso Museum—reopened in 2014 after a lengthy and meticulous renovation of the splendid Hotêl Salé in the Marais—the unequivocally titled Picasso. Masterpieces! is on display through January 13, 2019. museepicassoparis.fr

Opera and Dance

Les Troyens

Hector Berlioz’s sprawling five-act opera Les Troyens (The Trojans), is based on Virgil’s The Aeneid. The two-part epic requires a large cast, chorus, and orchestra. Only a few of the world’s companies have the resources to produce it. The Paris Opera is one of them and to celebrate the 350th anniversary of its founding by Louis XIV and the 30th anniversary of the opening of the company’s modern Opéra Bastille theater, it is mounting an important new production, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Philippe Jourdan.  Opéra Bastille, January 22-February 12, 2019. operadeparis.fr.

Related: Paris’ Left Bank Renaissance

Los Angeles

Art

Palmyra, Loss and Remembrance

History’s lessons are on view in Palmyra, Loss and Remembrance, at the Getty Villa, where a collection of sculpture, funerary portraits, and historical engravings reveals the cosmopolitan nature of this ancient Syrian caravan city and its inhabitants—Greek, Roman, and Parthian (ancient Iranian).  Here, artifacts on loan from Copenhagen and Stanford University stand as enduring and expressive exemplars of Palmyra, from the first to third centuries, even as the contemporary Syrian civil war has resulted in inestimable loss of life and cultural patrimony. Through May 27, 2019. getty.edu

Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo

The Armand Hammer Museum is in the midst of an ambitious expansion, slated for completion in 2020, that will increase its gallery space by 60 percent.  Throughout the project, imaginative programming, an institutional hallmark, remains undiminished. Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo reveals an unusual dimension of the writer and playwright: as a fine draftsman of mysterious abstractions and painterly forms in ink, wash, and augmented with stencil and collage (through Dec 30, 2018). Also, back on view, the museum’s exceptional collection of Old Masters, Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and American paintings.  hammer.ucla.edu

Beyond

Berlin

Alongside works by Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera) has become renowned for its annual festival of Baroque opera. This November, for the first time, the company is producing Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (Hippolytus and Aricia). Conductor Simon Rattle leads a starry cast, including Anna Prohaska, Magdalena Kožená, Reinoud Van Mechelen, and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. In striking contrast: sets and costumes are by the contemporary Icelandic-Danish artist Ólafur Elíasson. Staatsoper Unter den Linden, November 25-December 8, 2018. staatsoper-berlin.de

Venice

This fall, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his birth, the city turns its eye on its native son and master of Renaissance painting, Jacopo Robusti, known as Tintoretto.  Four shows lend special focus to his remarkable achievement: The Young Tintoretto, a revelatory survey of 26 works from the first decade of his career at Gallerie dell’Accademia (through January 6, 2019; gallerieaccademia.it) serves as a primer for the exhibition Tintoretto in 1519-94, which puts on sumptuous display 50 paintings and 20 drawings lent from the world’s leading museums in the Doge’s Apartment, alongside large-scale paintings in the Ducal Palace (through January 6, 2019. palazzoducale.visitmuve.it). The exhibition Tintoretto in Venice: Art, Faith and Medicine, at Scuola Grande di San Marco, considers the fascinating interrelationships among science, religion, and art at one of the leading 16th-century charitable confraternities (through January 6, 2019; tintorettovenezia.com). At the Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice during the Age of Tintoretto, presents re-creations of the costumes depicted in Tintoretto’s paintings and reveals the craftmanship of the era’s fashion and its meaning in society (through January 6, 2019). mocenigo.visitmuve.it

Culture Spotlight: Two Tastemakers to Watch

Castro Smith

Since the untimely death of Alexander McQueen, the designer’s legacy shines bright through Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation sarabandefoundation.org. Located in former stables in East London, the foundation provides 15 subsidized studios for emerging artists and designers. Talks by figures such as designer Thom Browne and painter Maggi Hambling, exhibitions, and classes, life-drawing to e-commerce, are part of a rich stew. It is an incubator for talent such as cult jewelry designer Castro Smith, whose sought-after work is on view in November and whose finely engraved rings are available at Dover Street Market.

Philippe Jaroussky

Few countertenors possess the expressive range and beguiling vocal quality of French singer Philippe Jaroussky. In demand by the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls in the music of Monteverdi, Vivaldi, and Handel, this season he moves beyond Baroque repertoire, appearing in Only the Sound Remains—the latest opera by contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho—in Madrid at Teatro Real (teatro-real.com) and New York at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival (whitelightfestival.com). Yet, he also finds time to head the training academy (academiejaroussky.org) for children and young singers at Paris’s newest arts complex, La Seine Musicale, at which they and he perform. laseinemusicale.com

Contact Indagare for assistance in planning a trip to our top culture cities. Our travel specialists can incorporate insider access to these events in your itinerary, as well as book you at the perfect hotels and restaurants for your interests.

– Mario R. Mercado on October 16, 2018

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