Park Avenue Armory Announces 2020 Season
With Array of Multi-Disciplinary Works, 2020 Season Features World Premieres, Armory Original Productions, and Collaborations with Artists from around the Globe, Including
With Array of Multi-Disciplinary Works, 2020 Season Features World Premieres, Armory Original Productions, and Collaborations with Artists from around the Globe, Including
- North American premiere of Claudio Monteverdi’s magnum opus Maria Vespers, an unconventional, 360-degree sonic kaleidoscope with Raphaël Pichon conducting Paris-based Ensemble Pygmalion in its North American debut directed by Pierre Audi, and with Berlinde De Bruyckere’s haunting sculpture Cripplewood as a centerpiece.
- World premiere of Armory commission Deep Blue Sea by Bill T. Jones, with design by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, featuring a cast of 100 dancers/community members, exploring the interplay of single and group identity in pursuit of the elusive “we” during these fractious times.
- The Olivier Award-winning director Robert Icke’s acclaimed stagings of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Aeschylus’s Oresteia in repertory, re-examining two classics through the use of cutting-edge digital media to accentuate themes of surveillance, justice, and retribution. Lia Williams will return to the production as Klytemnestra, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress, as well as playing Gertrude to the Hamlet of Alex Lawther, who is currently starring in the Netflix hit mini-series The End of the F***ing World.
- The Second Violinist, a North American premiere composed by Donnacha Dennehy and directed and written by Tony-award winner Enda Walsh, examining an isolated musician’s search for beauty through an elegant synthesis of opera, theater, and film.
- The premiere of Doppelganger, a theatrical staging of Schubert’s cycle Schwanengesang, performed by critically acclaimed and Gramophone Classical Music Award-winning tenor Jonas Kaufmann and created for Armory’s unique space by a creative team led by acclaimed German opera director Claus Guth.
- A new commission by visual artist Rachel Rose of a large-scale film about a grifter and his followers during the period of the Enclosure Acts of 1699 in England and the resulting displacement, loss of public space, and destruction of landscape.
- A wide-ranging curation of intimate performances in the Armory’s historic period rooms as part of the ongoing Recital Series and Artists Studio programs, featuring tenor Allan Clayton, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton with Warren Jones, 20-member chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound, soprano Rosa Feola with pianist Iain Burnside, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, and a performance by Artist Studio Curator Jason Moran with musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson, among many other artists.
- As part of the Interrogations of Form conversation series, 100 Years|100 Women will mark the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment with a symposium, gathering, and sharing of works by 100 self-identified women artists, commissioned by a partnership of 10 local cultural organizations, led by the Armory and the National Black Theatre.
Park Avenue Armory announced today its programs for the coming year, an adventurous season that evocatively blends old and new, from reimagined masterpieces by revered cultural icons, and rising artists, to new commissions and North American premieres. The 2020 season continues the Armory’s commitment to supporting groundbreaking and genre-bending works that require non-traditional spaces for their full realization, including theater, modern opera, and classical music productions, as well as new dance and visual art commissions, in which the Armory’s architecture becomes the partner in the experience of the works. Alongside its grand-scale Drill Hall productions, the season includes intimate performances in the Armory’s historic reception rooms by virtuoso singers and musicians.
“There’s something truly magical that happens when artists like those in our 2020 season—local and international masters of their crafts—create and present their work in a freeing, unconventional space like the Armory’s 55,000 square-foot Drill Hall and in its storied, more intimate period rooms,” said Rebecca Robertson, Founding President and Executive Producer at Park Avenue Armory. “Our programs thrive on providing artists with these very special spaces as their creative canvas, and we are always astonished by the worlds they invent.”
“The intent of this season is to try to understand the major existential questions through the lens of theater, opera, dance, film, music, and sculpture. Through the curation of these breathtaking and exceptional works, we are looking at isolation, tragedy, loss, surveillance, and identity as our society continues to grapple with what it means to be human in the 21st century,” said Pierre Audi, the Marina Kellen French Artistic Director at Park Avenue Armory.
The Armory’s 2020 Wade Thompson Drill Hall programming begins in March with the North American premiere of Maria Vespers, a dynamic and theatrical staging of Monteverdi’s sacred meditation to the Virgin Mary, written at the turn of the 17th Century. Famed for his reputation as the first opera composer, Monteverdi combined the old, strict composition style with the modern, free way of setting words to music that led to the creation of music-theater. In its time, the composition was unprecedented in scale and scope; it was composed for seven voices and a large orchestra. The work is often associated with the San Marco Cathedral in Venice with its impressive architecture and soaring acoustics. The work will be performed by Raphaël Pichon and world-renowned Ensemble Pygmalion in its North American debut and will be directed by Pierre Audi, in collaboration with noted Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere. The fresh visual and spatial interpretation first presented by the Dutch National Opera at the Holland Festival in 2017 has at its center De Bruyckere’s massive wax sculpture installation that suggests the vulnerability and fragility of man. Entitled Cripplewood, the sculpture was displayed at the Belgian pavilion as part of the 2013 Venice Biennale. Through the visualization of this religious relic, Audi examines the multidimensional complexities of theological symbolism and mythology, creating a 360-degree, fully immersive scenescape that accentuates the length and expansiveness of the space, bringing this epic scale production to life through Monteverdi’s grandiose and sweeping opera.
The world premiere of Deep Blue Sea, a work by director and choreographer Bill T. Jones, continues the spring programming with a massive new work commissioned and produced by Park Avenue Armory that expands on Jones’ recent practice, revolving around the interplay of single and group entities. Jones, who is a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Award and two Tony Awards for choreography (Spring Awakening, Fela!) and is revered internationally for his adroitness at storytelling through movement, conceived this highly personal work in pursuit of the elusive “we” during these fractious times. The production includes a cast of 100 dancers/community members led by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and deconstructed texts from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall will be transformed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and projection designer Peter Nigrini. The soundscape, an original composition by Nick Hallett, with an electronic component by New York-based music producer Hprizm aka High Priest. In addition to choreographing and directing, for the first time in over 15 years, Jones himself performs.
From June through mid-August, the Armory’s Drill Hall will house the award-winning modern interpretations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Aeschylus’s Oresteia, directed and interpreted by Robert Icke, one of the major forces in British theater. Both productions originated at the internationally acclaimed Almeida Theatre, which was founded in 1979 by Pierre Audi. Rising star, Alex Lawther, will head the cast of Hamlet as the brooding protagonist and Lia Williams returns to Oresteia in her Olivier nominated role as Klytemnestra. The Armory will present these works in repertory for 11 weeks, performed by a single British company. With Hamlet, Icke emphasizes themes of madness, sanity, family, and surveillance in the tragedy of the Danish prince, reflecting the text’s obsessive scrutiny through the use of cameras, screens, and Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV). Digital media is similarly employed in Icke’s original adaptation of Oresteia, Aeschylus’s epic ancient Greek trilogy that follows a succession of brutal family murders and asks whether justice can be achieved through revenge. Icke has condensed and modernized the Greek masterpiece into a single three-hour performance that presents the play as a bold family drama. Icke is widely acknowledged for his intelligent and accessible productions, and his ability to bring fresh, new perspectives to classic texts.
Fall 2020 at the Armory begins with the North American premiere of The Second Violinist, Winner of Best Opera at the Irish Times Theatre Awards, and the prestigious Fedora Prize, this contemporary opera that depicts parallel lives in a brooding thriller with an otherworldly, almost compulsive score. Composed by Donnacha Dennehy directed and written by Tony-award winning playwright Enda Walsh, and conducted by Ryan McAdams, this technological dreamscape uses film, music, sound, and LED projections to invoke a sensorial and psychological dark drama. Ireland’s Crash Ensemble and the Irish National Opera Chorus join the four-person cast, as the past, present, and future collide in an unsettling climax. Marking Walsh and Dennehy’s second collaboration (previously, The Last Hotel, 2015), the opera follows the alienated violinist Martin as he seeks solace in the Italian composer Carlo Gesualdo’s 16th-century chromatic melodies.
In a rare solo performance, Jonas Kaufmann, heralded as the world’s greatest tenor, takes on the Wade Thompson Drill Hall in October in Doppelganger, a theatrical staging of Franz Schubert’s Schwanengesang (“Swan Song”), led by one of opera’s most adventurous directors, Claus Guth and designed by Michael Levine. A longtime collaborator of Kaufmann, the incomparable pianist Helmut Deutsch provides the piano accompaniment to the cycle. Composed in 1828 in Schubert’s final days, Schwanengesang is a wrenching collection of songs that portray a man in despair, delusion and at times, in ecstasy. The production folds in additional Schubert repertory as well as sound compositions by Mathis Nitschke. Named for the last song, Der Doppelgänger, this production stages songs with lyrics from poems by Ludwig Rellstab and Heinrich Heine, that are the pinnacle of a vocalist’s repertory. The myriad emotions that the cycle runs—from jubilant Liebesbotschaft to the somber depth of Der Doppelgänger—will display a genre-defying performance by Kaufmann. Drawing on the universal themes of love and loss, Doppelganger portrays an individual emerging from tragedy, reconciling pangs of grief and isolation with the impulse to find comfort in community.
Rounding out the 2020 season is Rachel Rose, an American visual artist, who will transform the Drill Hall as a canvas for her large-scale film, Enclosure, commissioned by the Armory and the LUMA Foundation and curated by Tom Eccles. Enclosure is a heist film about survival in the 17th-century agrarian English countryside during a period of radical transformations that left the disenfranchised in a state of uncertainty and fear. As an artist who is “redefining video art” (Interview Magazine), Rose uses the massive Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an opportunity to push her practice to a new scale. The film follows the Famlee, a cult-like clan of grifters led by Jaccko, a hustler who in the wake of the Enclosure Laws, convinces the rural inhabitants to sell him their land for almost nothing. Set beneath a mysterious black orb whose inky aura and other-worldly presence hints at a major cosmic event, the film shows how the natural world was perceived at the time and alludes to the scale of the dire changes soon to come. Accompanying the presentation of the film will be supportive materials on the Enclosure Laws and their widespread social, economic, and ecological consequences that resonate with many of today’s issues.
For the 100 Years |100 Women initiative, a 2020 highlight of the annual Interrogations of Form series, the Armory, in partnership with the National Black Theatre, will mark the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment by convening 10 cultural institutions from across New York City to commission 100 self-identified women artists to create works that respond to the impact of the Amendment on American culture, history, and politics. The full list of partners and commissioned artists will be announced at the Armory’s annual “Culture in a Changing America” symposium in February 2020; the artists will showcase their works in May 2020 at an event in the Drill Hall.
The 100 Years|100 Women initiative, along with a series of artist talks, keynotes, installations, performances, and salons, continues the Armory’s convening of artists, community, and thought leaders to engage in a vigorous, multi-dimensional exploration of today’s social and cultural landscape. This year’s Interrogations of Form series covers a range of pertinent and timely topics, including the power of art to document and uplift communities in crisis and to confront stereotypes through humor and testimony. For further programming announcements, visit armoryonpark.org.
The Armory’s historic period rooms will also host a series of intimate performances through the longstanding Recital Series and Artists Studio that showcase extraordinary artists from around the world. The Board of Officers Room provides a home for chamber music concerts through the Armory’s Recital Series, which features this year performances by mezzo soprano Jamie Barton, soprano Rosa Feola, tenor Allan Clayton, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, and ensemble Alarm Will Sound, among others. The Veterans Room hosts a contemporary, eclectic mix of experimental music, as part of the Artists Studio, curated by MacArthur Genius, Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Jason Moran. Now in his fifth year of curating the Artists Studio at the Armory, Moran has meticulously constructed a superb lineup of multidisciplinary artists, including an evening in which he will perform in collaboration with Grammy-winning musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson. The other 2020 Artist Studio performers include trumpeter Jaimie Branch in collaboration with Carol Szymanski; Annie Dorsen and James Hannaham, whose work crosses between novels and conceptual art; and accordionist Krency Garcia (El Prodigio).
Alongside the Armory’s artistic program, the Armory offers a creativity-based Arts Education program that annually serves more than 5,000 under-resourced NYC public school students by building on the Armory’s unique assets—a magical ruined palace setting and world-class artists developing site-specific, non-traditional work. The program has three components: (1) Student-Only Performances for every production at the Armory, in which students attend major productions of music, theater, dance, and visual art, and participate in pre- and post-visit workshops with the Armory’s talented corps of teaching artists; (2) Partner School program, in which the Armory supplements the arts programs of eight under-resourced schools with attendance at all student-only productions, up to 20 workshops per term in-school and at the Armory, teaching materials for artists, and end-of-term events at the Armory; and (3) the Armory Youth Corps, a program focusing on students from underserved NYC public schools, that provides more than 13,000 hours of paid and closely mentored internships annually; meaningful interaction with the extraordinary artists who appear at the Armory; job and skills training; and intense term-long workshops on Armory productions.
Single tickets and subscriptions for the 2020 season go on sale on November 12 at www.armoryonpark.org / (212) 933-5812. See page 5 for additional ticketing information.
PARK AVENUE ARMORY 2020 SEASON WADE THOMPSON DRILL HALL PROGRAMS
See appendix for all artist bographies
March 21 – March 29, 2020
The magnificent Marian Vespers are one of Claudio Monteverdi’s greatest musical achievements.
Monteverdi, the first composer to develop opera to its full dramatic and musical potential, breathed new life into the religious music of his day, combining traditional composition style with a modern, free way of setting words to music that led to the creation of musical theater. This monumental work written in 1610 will be performed in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, directed by Pierre Audi, in a fresh visual and spatial interpretation, first presented by the Dutch National Opera at the Holland Festival in 2017. The production was developed in collaboration with Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere with her massive, haunting Cripplewood sculpture that suggests vulnerability and fragility of man, as the central visual element.
Conductor Raphaël Pichon leads the world-renowned orchestra and choral ensemble, Pygmalion as it performs this ambitious and inspiring tour de force, using period instruments, to create a sonic kaleidoscope set in a spellbinding ritualistic gathering.
A Park Avenue Armory, Dutch National Opera and Holland Festival Production
Performances: March 21 - March 29
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 3:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $45
North American Premiere
By Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor Raphaël Pichon
Featuring Ensemble Pygmalion
Staging Pierre Audi
Cripplewood sculpture Berlinde De Bruyckere
Design Roel van Berckelaer
Lighting Design Urs Schönebaum
Sound Design Jan Panis
DEEP BLUE SEA
April 14 – April 25, 2020
Director, choreographer, dancer Bill T. Jones creates a massive new work that expands on his recent practice revolving around the interplay of single and group identities. Revered internationally for his skill at storytelling through movement, Jones conceived this highly personal work in pursuit of the elusive “we" during these fractious times through a cast of 100 dancers/community members led by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and a deconstructed text from Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The Armory's Wade Thompson Drill Hall will be transformed by Elizabeth Diller of the renowned architecture team Diller Scofidio + Renfro and projection designer Peter Nigrini. The soundscape, an original composition by Nick Hallett with an electronic component by New York-based music producer Hprizm aka High Priest. In addition to choreographing and directing, for the first time in over 15 years, Jones himself performs.
Performances: April 14 - April 25
Monday - Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Friday – Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $45
A New Commission by Park Avenue Armory in collaboration with Holland Festival
Featuring Bill T. Jones and Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company
Produced and developed by Park Avenue Armory in collaboration with New York Live Arts
Additional commissioning support provided by The Mann Center for the Performing Arts and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.
Creator and Director Bill T. Jones
Associate Director Janet Wong
Choreography Bill T. Jones, Janet Wong and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
Visual Environment Elizabeth Diller (DS+R) and Peter Nigrini
Lighting Design Robert Wierzel
Original Score Nick Hallett
Music Producer Hprizm aka High Priest
Sound Design Mark Grey
Costume design Liz Prince
Dramaturg Mark Hairston
June 2 – August 15, 2020
Following sold-out runs at London’s Almeida Theatre and in London’s West End, award-winning director Robert Icke brings his acclaimed production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet to Park Avenue Armory, reimagined for the majestic Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Icke’s extraordinary skill at pulling Shakespearean language into the present makes this Hamlet a revelation not to be missed. The Evening Standard describes Icke’s interpretations of classic plays as “unapologetically audacious, yet they have a rigorous logic. Here the tone is conversational rather than declamatory.” With visceral, fast-paced, and powerful staging and the cross-cutting effects of movies and TV, Icke’s Hamlet is vividly brought to the stage by the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning creative team behind the director’s productions of 1984 and Oresteia. Alex Lawther, who recently appeared in television shows Black Mirror and The End of the F***ing World, will play the title role of this astounding production.
From June through mid-August, the Armory’s Drill Hall will house Robert Icke’s modern interpretations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Aeschylus’s Oresteia, placing these two ambitious works in repertory.
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
Direction Robert Icke
Set & Costume Hildegard Bechtler
Previews: June 2 – June 22
Performances: June 24 – August 15
Evenings at 7:00 p.m.; Matinees at 1:30 p.m.
Times and dates will vary. Please check the website for a full Hamlet schedule.
Tickets start at $49
North American premiere
June 11 – August 15, 2020
For an unprecedented 11-week run, and in repertory with Icke's Hamlet, the Olivier-Award winning Oresteia will play at the Armory. This electrifying adaptation by Robert Icke of Aeschylus' seminal trilogy played to sold-out houses at the Almeida and in London's West End. Icke has condensed and modernized the Greek trilogy into a single performance that presents the play as a bold family drama that “flows by like a waking dream” (Time Out London). Recognized as one of the greatest theater directors working today, Icke is acclaimed for his intelligent and accessible productions and his ability to bring fresh, new perspectives to old texts. For his production of Oresteia, he became the youngest winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director and also won the Best Director prize at both the Critics Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Lia Williams will return to the production as the enthralling Klytemnestra, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress. The distinguished company presents a new version of this epic revenge tragedy that is contemporary and exhilarating.
Oresteia, by Aeschylus
Direction Robert Icke
Set and Costume Hildegard Bechtler
Previews: June 11 – June 20
Performances: June 23 – August 15
Evenings at 7:00 p.m.; Matinees at 1:30 p.m.
Times and dates will vary. Please check the website for a full Oresteia schedule.
Tickets start at $49
North American premiere
THE SECOND VIOLINIST
September 25 – September 29, 2020
Winner of Best Opera at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the 2017 Fedora-Generali Award for Opera, The Second Violinist depicts parallel lives in a brooding thriller with an otherworldly, almost compulsive score. Composed by Donnacha Dennehy, directed and written by Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh, and conducted by Ryan McAdams, this technological dreamscape uses film, music, sound, and LED projections to invoke a sensorial and psychological dark drama. Produced by Landmark Productions and Irish National Opera, Ireland’s Crash Ensemble and Irish National Opera Chorus round out the four-person cast, as the past, present, and future collide in an unsettling climax. Marking Dennehy and Walsh’s second collaboration (previously, The Last Hotel, 2015), the opera tells the story of a life falling apart and unfolds like an unnerving page-turner. Martin, an orchestral violinist, is consumed by social media platforms, morbid fantasies and violent video games. Seeking solace in the 16th-century chromatic melodies of tortured Italian Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, his inner turmoil becomes ever more apparent as he searches for beauty in a dark world.
Performances: September 25 - 29
Friday - Saturday: 8:00 p.m.
Monday - Tuesday: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $45
North American Premiere
Composer Donnacha Dennehy
Writer and director Enda Walsh
Conductor Ryan McAdams
Set design Jamie Vartan
Lighting design Adam Silverman
Video Jack Phelan
Sound design David Sheppard and Helen Atkinson
Costume design Joan O’Clery
Orchestra Crash Ensemble
Featuring Sharon Carty, Máire Flavin, Aaron Monaghan, Benedict Nelson
Produced by Irish National Opera
October 16 – 20, 2020
In a rare solo performance, Jonas Kaufmann, “the world’s greatest tenor” (Telegraph UK), takes on the Wade Thompson Drill Hall in a theatrical staging of Franz Schubert’s Schwanengesang (“Swan Song”), directed by one of opera’s most adventurous directors, Claus Guth, and designed by Michael Levine. Composed in 1828 in Schubert’s final days, Schwanengesang is a heart-melting collection of songs that portray a man in despair, delusion, and at times, in ecstasy. The production folds in additional Schubert repertory as well as sound compositions by Mathis Nitschke. Named for the ultimate song Der Doppelgänger, this production stages songs with lyrics from poems by Ludwig Rellstab and Heinrich Heine, works that are the pinnacle of a vocalist’s repertory. The myriad emotions that the cycle runs from the jubilant Liebesbotschaft to the somber depth of Der Doppelgänger will display a genre-defying performance by Kaufmann.
October 16 - 20
Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Monday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: start at $45
Starring Jonas Kaufmann
Pianist Helmut Deutsch
Director Claus Guth
Scenic design Michael Levine
Lighting design Urs Schönebaum
Video design ROCA Film
Sound Composition Mathis Nitschke
December 9, 2020 – January 10, 2021
In this commissioned work, Rachel Rose offers Enclosure, a heist film about survival in the 17th-century agrarian English countryside during a period of radical transformations that left the disenfranchised in a state of uncertainty and fear. As an artist who is “redefining video art” (Interview Magazine), Rose uses the Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an opportunity to push her practice to a new scale. The film follows the Famlee, a cult-like clan of grifters led by Jaccko, a hustler who in the wake of the Enclosure Laws, persuades the rural inhabitants to sell him their land for almost nothing, for his own mercenary purposes. Recent, the key teenage member of the Famlee, is essential to Jaccko as she is tasked with learning the behaviors and livelihoods of their targets, and then closing the deal. It is on the journey to their last predation that the story begins. Set beneath a mysterious black orb whose inky aura and other-worldly presence hints at a major cosmic event, the film shows how the natural world was perceived at the time and alludes to the scale of the dire changes soon to come. Accompanying the presentation of the film will be supportive materials on the Enclosure Laws and their widespread social, economic, and ecological consequences that resonate with many of today’s issues.
Timed Entry between 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – Sunday, January 10, 2021
Closed Mondays, December 25, December 31 and January 1
Check website for special holiday hours
Tickets start at $18
Curator Tom Eccles
Presented in the salon setting of the Board of Officers Room, the Armory’s celebrated Recital Series provides a home for some of the most dynamic chamber music concerts in the city. The 2020 series presents North American and New York recital debuts and artists that are bridging the gap between classic and contemporary musical works.
Rosa Feola, soprano
Iain Burnside, piano
Established as a rising star throughout Europe, young Italian soprano Rosa Feola has won over audiences in the United States through acclaimed appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as a soloist with the 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival and in a Metropolitan Opera debut in the spring of 2019 as Gilda in Rigoletto. Feola partners with Scottish pianist Iain Burnside, who has appeared with the world’s leading singers, to present a varied program that includes works by Giuseppe Martucci, Franz Liszt, Ottorino Respighi, and Ciro Pinsuti.
Monday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists
The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program was established to nurture and develop extraordinarily talented young artists in the realm of opera. The program has trained a new generation of celebrated American and international opera singers. Notable alumni include Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Christine Goerke, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Sondra Radvanovsky. In this program, soprano Gabriella Reyes and mezzo-soprano Megan Esther Grey will perform selections from Mahler, Rossini, and more. Nate Raskin returns as accompanist.
Gabriella Reyes, soprano
Megan Esther Grey, mezzo-soprano
Nate Raskin, piano
Tuesday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
As one of the most versatile and sought-after performers today, German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt makes his Armory debut performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s iconic Six Suites for Cello. The Six Suites for Cello are considered the Baroque composer’s most recognizable set of chamber music and are noted for their rich texture and emotional resonance. Experience Altstaedt as he performs this marathon set in the intimate setting of the Board of Officers Room.
Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Allan Clayton, tenor
James Baillieu, piano
North American Recital Debut
The Royal Philharmonic Society Singer of the Year Award winner, tenor Allan Clayton is a fearless artist who brings to his performances intelligence and disregard for tradition and has garnered critical raves around the world. In his North American recital debut, Clayton has devised an all English language program that will highlight his range and include works from Henry Purcell, Nico Muhly, Samuel Barber, Edward Elgar, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Pianist James Baillieu returns to the Armory to partner with Clayton on this program.
Monday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano
Warren Jones, piano
Charismatic American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton partners with the incomparable Warren Jones on a program of Brahms and Sibelius with special attention to female composers. Recipient of the Beverly Sills Artist Award, the Richard Tucker Award, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition (both Main and Song Prizes), and a Grammy nomination, Barton is navigating a huge career on both the opera and recital stage. “Leader of a new generation of opera stars” (New York Times), Barton brings this leadership to what promises to be stirring and engaging performances. Barton will showcase the sheer beauty of her voice in the intimate Board of Officers Room.
Friday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 17 at 3:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound
New York Premiere
Continuing the tradition of inviting engaging ensembles to use the Armory in unusual ways, the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound will take over the entirety of the Armory’s historic rooms along with the Wade Thompson Drill Hall to perform Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds. The work is based on the songs of birds that are native to or migrate through the area in which the piece is performed. It explores the connections between nature and music, and Alarm Will Sound performs the work in an open-space setting where performers and audiences move freely around the space. The work takes its inspiration from the minutest gesture of a single bird to the cacophony of thousands of birds. Designed by the ensemble’s Artistic Director Alan Pierson, this adventurous work will recreate our native birds’ daylong song cycle in the span of 70 minutes.
Friday, August 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 22 at 8:00 p.m.
Günther Groissböck, Bass
Julius Drake, Piano
Rounding out the 2020 Recital Series is one of the world’s most sought-after Wagnerian basses, Austrian Günther Groissböck. Not only at home on the opera stage, where he has performed at virtually every major opera house in the world, he is equally known for his powerful recitals. For his New York City recital debut, Groissböck partners with Julius Drake on a program featuring Brahms, Schubert, and the hefty repertory of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. With a tone described by the Financial Times as “memorably poignant,” this recital will showcase his unique artistry and dynamic voice.
Sunday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m.
Monday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented in dialogue with the eclectic design of the Veterans Room and curated by MacArthur “Genius” Jason Moran, the Artists Studio features a range of contemporary performances across genres by artists who blur the lines of artistic categorization.
Krency Garcia (El Prodigio)
Dominican accordionist El Prodigio brings his syncopated merengue playing to the Armory in an explosion of sound and joy. He and fellow band members introduce us to the multiple styles of merengue playing found in the Dominican Republic. El Prodigio, known for his contemporary and improvisational compositions, will travel through some of the rich musical styles of accordion merengue from the “güira” and the “tambura” and to the “perico ripiao.” Joined by his ensemble band, El Prodigio delivers an updated contemporary sound with harmonic and rhythmic colors resulting in an updating of this infectious musical form.
Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Carol Szymanski and Jaimie Branch
One of today’s outstanding avant-garde trumpeters, Jaimie Branch, and Rome Prize Winner sculptor Carol Szymanski team up for the first time to present the Phonemophonic Alphabet Brass Band. Szymanski and her obsession with the shape of sound will fill the intricate architecture of the Veterans Room with a collection of instrument sculptures consisting of 26 brass horns whose shapes are based on the alphabet. The aural animation of this installation will be led by Branch and joined with a large ensemble of fellow brass musicians.
Saturday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Jason Moran and Laurie Anderson
MacArthur Fellow and Curator of the Armory’s Artist Studios, Jason Moran continues his Veterans Room tradition of inviting a musical dialogue with fellow world-renowned artists; first with composer Louis Andriessen (2016), then tenor Lawrence Brownlee (2018). In 2020, Moran will perform a musical collaboration with Grammy Award-winning music, visual, and performance artist Laurie Anderson. Moran pushes the importance of the jazz form as well as other forms of exchange and improvisation. For these performances, he invites Anderson to join him in an exchange of improvisation and a cataloguing dialogue. Moran and Anderson have expanded careers in music and visual arts. Their parallel practices will launch an evening of shared experiences, improvisation, and new surprises.
Sunday, October 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m.
James Hannaham and Annie Dorsen
On the eve of the 2020 election, PEN/Faulkner award winner and co-founder of the performance group, Elevator Repair Service, James Hannaham, is joined by MacArthur Fellow and Obie Award-winning artist Annie Dorsen in what promises to be an unforgettable event of provocative ideas and conversation. Hannaham, a writer, monologist, and visual artist, has a vision of America that will reach out, explore and explode with the incomparable Dorsen. Together, the two will algorithmically generate monologues that draw on infamous 20th-century speeches as well as other, earlier writings about astrophysics, astronomy, afro-futurism, black space cults, Melanesian cargo cults, and trash on the moon.
Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm and 9:00pm
INTERROGATIONS OF FORM: CONVERSATION SERIES
Held in the Armory’s historic period rooms, these insightful gatherings feature artists, scholars, cultural leaders, and social trailblazers in spoken word and performance to offer new points of view and unique perspectives on Armory productions, explore a range of themes and relevant topics, and encourage audiences to think beyond conventional interpretations and perspectives of art. In addition, the Armory also hosts conversations with artists and creative thinkers whose work is showcased in its Drill Hall presentations. Additional programming in the Interrogations of Form series will be announced at a later date.
Details of the Interrogations of Form series follow below and can be found online at
100 Years | 100 Women
Part I: Culture in a Changing America Symposium – Saturday, February 15, 2020
12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
$25 per session
Part II: Celebration of 100 Commissions – Saturday, May 16, 2020
The Park Avenue Armory, in partnership with the National Black Theatre is curating two rigorous, day-long, multi-disciplinary celebrations, currently entitled 100 Years | 100 Women, which will mark the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment: “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” In honor of this anniversary, we are convening a commissioning cohort of 10 institutions, led by the Armory and the National Black Theatre, from across the city, representing multiple artistic disciplines. The partners will commission a total of 100 artists, who all self-identify as women, to respond to the impact of the 19th Amendment on American culture, history, and politics. Part I will be presented as part of the Armory’s annual “Culture in a Changing America” symposium on February 15, 2020, featuring conversations, performances, and salons featuring scholars, artists, performers, activists, and community leaders. At the Symposium, the 100 commissioned artists whose work will be exhibited and celebrated in Part II will be announced. All events will be hosted in the historic rooms at the Park Avenue Armory, with the culminating Part II event also taking place in the epic Wade Thompson Drill Hall on May 16, 2020.
Artist Talk: Maria Vespers
Monday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Deep Blue Sea
Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Salon: Fazal Sheikh
Sunday, April 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Renowned photographer Fazal Sheikh, who uses photographs to document people living in displaced and marginalized communities around the world, hosts a special afternoon of installations and conversation. Sheikh will display his signature combination of portraits, personal narratives, found photographs, archival material, sound, and his own written texts and discuss his conviction that a portrait is, as far as possible, an act of mutual engagement, and only through a long-term commitment to a place and to a community can a meaningful series of photographs be made.
Friday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Confrontational Comedy returns for a fifth year. This unforgettable evening of comedy sets and conversation highlights the power of humor to confront stereotypes and engage audiences around uncomfortable topics. Previous participants have included: Warrington Hudlin, Nish Kumar, Hari Kondabolu, Negin Farsad, Aparna Nancherla, Jena Friedman, Jordan Carlos, Leighann Lord, Charla Lauriston, Billy Wayne Davis, Jes Tom, and Tien Tran.
Artist Talk: Hamlet
Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Oresteia
Tuesday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Salon: Transformative Art of Remembrance II: An Afternoon of Performance, Testimony, and the Word (Hosted in Collaboration with Rev. Alfonso Wyatt)
Sunday, July 12 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday Salon: Shani Jamila
Sunday, September 20 at 3:00 p.m.
An afternoon exploration of lineage and the idea of home with visual artist Shani Jamila, whose travels to nearly fifty countries deeply inform her painting, photography, and collage practice.
Artist Talk: Second Violinist
Saturday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Artist Talk: Doppelganger
Monday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Enclosure
Thursday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Citi and Bloomberg Philanthropies are the Armory’s 2020 season sponsors.
Support for Park Avenue Armory’s artistic season has been generously provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Foundation, the Marc Haas Foundation, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, the Richenthal Foundation, and the Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation. The artistic season is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support has been provided by the Armory's Artistic Council.
Enclosure is supported in part by a generous gift from Ken Kuchin and Tyler Morgan.
The Recital Series is supported in part by The Reed Foundation.
The Artist-in-Residence Program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Deep Blue Sea and Interrogations of Form are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.
ABOUT PARK AVENUE ARMORY
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create, students to explore, and audiences to experience, unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of 19th-century European train stations—and an array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory offers a platform for creativity across all art forms.
Since its first production in September 2007, the Armory has organized and commissioned unconventional performances, installations, and cross-disciplinary collaborations in its vast drill hall that defy traditional categorization and challenge artists to push the boundaries of their practice. In two exquisitely restored historic period rooms, the Armory presents more intimate performances and programs, including its acclaimed Recital Series, which showcases musical talent from across the globe within the intimate salon setting of the Board of Officers Room; and Artists Studio series in the Veterans Room. A talk/performance series entitled Interrogations of Form offers symposiums and salons that use the rooms throughout the building. The Armory also offers creativity-based arts education programs at no cost that serves more than 5,000 under-resourced New York City public school students a year.
Programmatic highlights from the Armory’s first 12 years include Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s harrowing Die Soldaten, in which the audience moved “through the music”; Ernesto Neto’s sprawling and gauzy Anthropodino; the event of a thread, a site-specific installation by Ann Hamilton; the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company across three separate stages; WS by Paul McCarthy, a monumental installation of fantasy, excess, and dystopia; an immersive Macbeth set in a Scottish heath with Kenneth Branagh; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion staged by Peter Sellars and performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Heiner Goebbels’ De Materie with floating zeppelins and a flock of 100 sheep; an acclaimed The Hairy Ape, directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale; Pierre Boulez’s masterwork Répons, performed by Ensemble intercontemporain under the baton of Matthias Pintscher; Simon Stone’s award-winning Yerma, starring Billie Piper; Nick Cave’s The Let Go, an immersive, multi-sensory dance-based town hall; Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of Visconti’s The Damned, starring Comedie-Française; William Kentridge’s massive and devastating music/theater work, The Head and The Load; Sam Mendes’ The Lehman Trilogy; and Satoshi Miyagi’s brilliant production on water of Antigone.
Concurrent with its artistic program, the Armory has undertaken an ongoing $215-million revitalization of its historic building, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron with Platt Byard Dovell and White as executive architects. www.armoryonpark.org.