Opera, jazz and more for bridge-and-tunnel crowd

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It is wonderful to live in a city where, on any given night, one can see an enchanting opera, be stirred by the symphonies and concertos of the great masters, or groove to America’s classical music at one of the city’s jazz spots.

To add to the many worthwhile spots Queens has to offer for music, we offer some selections of musical events in Manhattan that are worth the trip this fall:


Don’t miss Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés with the Afro-Cuban Messengers at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Valdés is just as captivating playing tender solo piano as he is bringing down the house with “fiery clavé rhythms [and] heart-stopping montuno passages.”

To view the entire JALC season to

Fans of Afro-Cuban music should also check out Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at Birdland Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 (all shows are on Sunday). Shows at 9 and 11 p.m. each night. Directed by Chico’s son Arturo, the band may very well be the most formidable locally based Afro-Cuban orchestra.

As usual, Birdland will also host the annual Django Reinhardt NY Festival, from Tuesday to Sunday, Nov. 2-7, at 8:30 and 11 p.m. For information and to purchase tickets, go to Birdland is at 315 West 44th St. (212) 581-3080.

Anat Cohen, an Israeli saxophone and clarinet player, and her quartet is scheduled to play at the classic Village Vanguard this week, through Sunday, Oct. 3.

The Grammy-award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, has been playing at the Vanguard on Monday nights since 1966.

The Vanguard is located at 178 Seventh Ave. South.

Reservations are taken primarily over the phone, (212) 255-4037.


The New York City Opera is proud that their new season will include world premieres, New York City premieres and the debut of 20 artists including Patricia Risley, Joshua Hopkins, Dominic Armstrong, Andrew Bidlack, David Lomeli, José Adán Pérez, Kara Shay Thomson, Anu Komsi and Kim Josephson. There will also be an all-new concert series at the David H. Koch Theater.

The new season will kick off with a fall gala, “An Evening with Renowned Soprano Christine Brewer,” on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. It will include works from Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” Puccini’s “Turandot,” and a selection of popular American songs by Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern.

The season itself begins on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. with “A Quiet Place,” by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Wadsworth. The final stage-work of Leonard Bernstein makes its New York premiere, and its first performance on any professional stage in 22 years.

A revival of Richard Strauss’ “Intermezzo,” opens on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 1:30 p.m. Strauss was inspired by an incident in his own marriage and wrote a “lighthearted domestic comedy,” which “creates a real-life portrayal of his temperamental yet devoted wife.” For tickets, call (212) 870-5570, or go to

To appreciate the Metropolitan Opera’s enduring history in New York City, opera fans need look no further than the evening of Friday, Dec. 10, when the Met will stage a 100th anniversary performance of Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West,” which had its world premiere at the Met on the same date in 1910. (That performance was conducted by Toscanini and had Caruso in the cast).

The Met’s opened its season on Mondaywith a new production of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold,” the first installment of a new production of the epic four part “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”

Three more new productions premiere this fall, including Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov,” on Monday, Oct. 11; “Don Carlo,” Monday, Nov. 22; and Verdi’s “La Traviata,” on New Year’s Eve.

Recent productions returning to the Met repertoire this season include “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” on Tuesday, Sept. 28; Il Trovatore,” on Tuesday, Oct. 26; “Don Pasquale,” on Friday, Oct. 29; and “Carmen,” on Thursday, Nov. 4.

For a full listing of the performers and others, and to order tickets go to The Met can be reached by phone at (212) 362-6000. The Met is located in the grounds of Lincoln Center on Broadway, between 62nd and 65th Sts.

Classical Music

Carnegie Hall will be celebrating its 120th season this year. Early season highlights include a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra on Tuesday Oct. 12, at 8 p.m., including works by Dutilleux, Liszt, and Prokofiev. Cello master Yo-Yo Ma will perform works by Schubert, Shostakovich and others, on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m.

For more information, go to, or call (212) 247-7800. Carnegie Hall is at 7th Ave. and 57th St.

The New York Philharmonic’s season is also underway. It opened with a composition by renowned jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis entitled “Swing Symphony (Symphony No. 3),” last week. Other early season highlights include performances of Mahler’s “Sixth Symphony” Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 1 at 8:30 p.m., and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell performing works by Sibelius, Debussy and others, Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the season or to order tickets, go to, or call (212) 875-5656. The New Philharmonic performs at Avery Fisher Hall, Broadway and 65th St.

Several other institutions offer a wonderful variety of music and other events for the 2010-11 season, including the 92nd St. Y (; Symphony Space ( and the Brooklyn Academy of Music ( . Make sure to check out their websites.

Updated 6:31 pm, October 10, 2011
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