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Highlights of 8-week arts festival in NY's Hudson Valley include Meyerbeer's opera “Le prophète” and Bard Music Festival, “Berlioz & His World.”

By: Jun. 18, 2024
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The curtain rises this week on Bard Summerscape's 21st season, presented by the Fisher Center at Bard in New York's bucolic Hudson Valley.

Highlights of the eight-week annual arts festival include the first new American production in almost five decades of Giacomo Meyerbeer's grand opera Le prophète, starring Robert Watson, Jennifer Feinstein, and Amina Edris in an original staging by German director Christian Räth (July 26–August 4), and the 34th Bard Music Festival, “Berlioz and His World”: eleven themed concerts – plus talks, commentary, and panel discussions – offering an in-depth re-examination of definitive French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz (August 9–11; August 15–18). Chartered coach transportation from New York City is available for Le prophète (July 28 and August 4) and the final program of the Bard Music Festival (August 18); more information is available here. In addition, Le prophète and six concerts will stream live to home audiences worldwide on Upstreaming, the Fisher Center's virtual stage.
Also on SummerScape's main stage are the world premieres of two new SummerScape commissions. In Ulysses, New York-based theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service offers an original, sometimes madcap staging of James Joyce's modernist masterpiece (June 20–July 14). Urban Bush Women's SCAT!… The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar is a new dance-driven musical that tells the story of a family and a people during the Great Migration; conceived, directed, and co-choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, it will be performed with a live band to an original jazz score by Craig Harris (June 28–30). Ulysses will be accompanied by an opening night preshow event (June 22), a postperformance talk (June 26), and a preperformance talk (July 14 at 1pm), while SCAT! will be accompanied by a postperformance party to celebrate Urban Bush Women's 40th anniversary (June 28) and a preperformance talk (June 30 at 2pm). Round-trip transportation from New York City is available for the June 30 performance of Ulysses and the July 14 performance of SCAT!; more information is available here.
SummerScape's one-of-a-kind Belgian Spiegeltent returns for sumptuous weekends of dancing, drinks, and live performances curated by Caleb Hammons and hosted by longtime Spiegeltent favorite Adrienne Truscott. Featured artists will include Monét X Change, Susanne Bartsch, Sandra Bernhard, Justin Vivian Bond, Ari Shapiro, Nona Hendryx, Larry Owens, Mali Obomsawin, Michela Marino Lerman's Love Movement, and Sunny Jain (June 28–August 17).
Tickets for mainstage events start at $25. For complete information regarding tickets, series discounts, and more, visit or call Bard's box office at (845) 758-7900.

SummerScape 2024

June 20–July 14
Theater: Ulysses by Elevator Repair Service
(world premiere of new SummerScape commission)
June 28–30
Dance: SCAT! The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar
(world premiere of new SummerScape commission)
June 28–August 17
Spiegeltent: live music and dancing
July 26–August 4
Opera: Meyerbeer's Le prophète (new production)
August 9–11
Bard Music Festival: Berlioz and His World
   Weekend One: Revolutionary Spectacle and Romantic Passion
August 15–18
Bard Music Festival: Berlioz and His World
   Weekend Two: Music and the Literary Imagination
All programs subject to change


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