- Last Updated: 11:03 AM, July 5, 2012
- Posted: 10:42 PM, July 4, 2012
Summertime, and the listening is easy, often outdoors and sometimes even free.
On the other hand, on a humid July night, it’s nice to escape the city for the opera up north — at the Caramoor Festival, an hour away in Katonah, NY.
The bel canto programming kicks off Saturday with a first: the American premiere of “Ciro in Babilonia.” Contralto Ewa Podles sings the title role of Old Testament hero Cyrus the Great in Rossini’s 1812 opera, the score of which director Will Crutchfield was working feverishly to prepare this week.
“The original manuscript is lost, so the opera had to be edited from copies made by hand back at the time,” he said. “They are full of mistakes, so we have to do a lot of creative guessing!”
On July 21, there’s a more familiar work: Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi,” starring mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich and soprano Eglise Gutiérrez as Romeo and Juliet. For tickets, $15 to $100, and information about the Caramoor Caravan’s departures from Grand Central Terminal, call 914-232-1252 or visit caramoor.org.
Farther afield, in Cooperstown, NY, the Glimmerglass Festival showcases Met bass-baritone Eric Owens in “Aida” and Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars” in a season that runs Saturday to Aug. 25. Individual tickets are $10 to $112; consider making the 200-mile trek on a long weekend, when you can top off the shows with a pilgrimage to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; 607- 547-2255, glimmerglass.org.
“Madama Butterfly” — fully staged and free — alights on Central Park July 18 at 7:30 p.m., when that 39-year-old New York institution, New York Grand Opera, performs Puccini’s tear-jerker at the Naumburg Bandshell; Vincent La Selva conducts the orchestra; 212-245-8837, newyorkgrandopera.org.
Music lovers with a taste for the avant-garde — or a preference for air conditioning, or both — will probably be drawn to the Lincoln Center Festival’s presentation of “Émilie.” This multimedia show about French Enlightenment thinker Émilie du Châtelet features music by Kaija Saariaho, Carnegie Hall’s 2011-2012 composer-in-residence.
In the complex tour-de-force title role of a 1700s feminist, mathematician and gambling addict, Elizabeth Futral is onstage alone for almost all the work’s 75 minutes.
One of her favorite moments, the soprano says, is a scene titled “Tombe,” in which Émilie “muses as to how she will be remembered after her death” — and a touching lullaby the character sings to her unborn child. Performances run July 19 to 22 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, 899 10th Ave.; for tickets, $35 to $75, call 212-72-6500.
The Met joins the action beginning July 25, with its free annual Summer Recital Series. Rising stars from the company will tour all five boroughs offering light programs of arias, opera scenes and songs. The concerts begin at the Central Park SummerStage, headlined by soprano Danielle de Niese, star of last season’s “The Enchanted Island.” Five more dates with a variety of soloists follow through Aug. 9; 212-362-6000, metopera.org.