Bard SummerScape returns in 2022 summer with eight weeks of live music, opera, dance, and theater at the Fisher Center, located on the campus of Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley, from June 23 to August 14. Fisher Center supports artists, students, and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present, as well as visions of the future.
Highlights include the 32nd Bard Music Festival, Rachmaninoff and His World; a new production of Strauss’s The Silent Woman, directed by Christian Räth; a World Premiere commission from Pam Tanowitz and David Lang; a new adaptation of Molière’s Dom Juan, directed by Ashley Tata; and more.
Molière’s Dom Juan
SummerScape Commission/World Premiere Production
New translation by Sylvaine Guyot and Gideon Lester
Conceived and directed by Ashley Tata
A glittering and ferocious study of lust and power, Molière’s portrait of the libertine Dom Juan combines slapstick comedy with the taut psychology of a thriller. In this bold new adaptation, director Ashley Tata (whose digital production of Mad Forest astonished Fisher Center audiences in 2020) sets the story in a fantasy world where 17th-century France meets late-1970s America, raising pertinent questions about class, faith and gender. Casting both the titular libertine and her sidekick as women, Tata’s production literally recasts this subversive and brilliant tragicomedy in a contemporary light—celebrating Molière’s 400th anniversary with a Dom Juan for the 21st century. Commissioned as the opening production of Bard SummerScape 2022, and marking this year’s global celebrations of Molière’s 400th anniversary, Dom Juan makes its world premiere June 23–July 17.
Song of Songs
SummerScape Commission/World Premiere
Choreography by Pam Tanowitz
Music by David Lang
Spiritual and erotic, playful and mysterious, The biblical Song of Songs (also known as The Song of Solomon ) is perhaps the greatest of all love poems—a hymn of yearning, steeped in images from the natural world. The poem’s unforgettable images of the natural world have inspired artists and lovers for millennia – indeed some scholars argue that the entire tradition of Western love poetry springs from its glorious verses. Now, composer David Lang and Fisher Center resident choreographer Pam Tanowitz join forces to create a major new dance-theater performance based on this radiantly beautiful text. A collage of sound, song, and movement that reimagines ancient rituals of love and courtship, Song of Songs holds the sacred and profane threads of the Song in perfect balance. The performance is making its world premiere July 1-3 as part of the 2022 edition of the Bard SummerScape festival.
“Tanowitz has long been one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around.”New York Times
The Silent Woman (Die Schweigsame Frau)
By Richard Strauss
The American Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Leon Botstein
Directed and designed by Christian Räth
Considered Strauss’s only true comic opera, this rarely performed work is by turns elegiac and incisively witty. The brilliantly written libretto by Stefan Zweig (loosely based on the Renaissance play by Ben Jonson) features a madcap cast of characters in a variety of guises. The imaginative and colorful production by Christian Räth (Das Wunder der Heliane, SummerScape 2019) featuring a stellar group of performers will be sung in German with English supertitles. Räth’s colorful, fast-paced new staging runs for five performances on July 22, 24, 27, 29 and 31.
a stentorian bass … with impressive focus, carrying power and quiet charismaNew York Times
Bard Music Festival
Rachmaninoff and His World
The Bard Music Festival returns for its 32nd season with an exploration of the life and work of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), perhaps the last great exponent of Russian Romanticism, who nevertheless embodied many contradictions.
Through a series of themed concert programs, lectures, and panel discussions, Rachmaninoff and His World explores such themes as composition during the Cold War, virtuoso pianists and their public, and America’s ongoing love affair with Rachmaninoff’s music.
An edifying mix of academic and aesthetic delights.– New Yorker
Through the prism of his life and career, Weekend One traces the complex course the composer navigated between Russia and Modernity (Aug 5–7), and Weekend Two investigates his relationship with the New Worlds he went on to conquer (Aug 12–14).
After a two-year absence, a magnificent Spiegeltent returns to SummerScape for a celebratory 15th year. Highlights include your first chance to experience new performances from Ms. Lisa Fischer and The Badass & Beautiful Band; the return of Black Roots Summer, a celebration of Black roots music curated by Michael Mwenso and Jono Gasparro; and returning favorites Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, Nona Hendryx, Susanne Bartsch, and more!
Gala: “Summer Enchanted Evening”
On July 16, Bard’s Montgomery Place Campus plays host to “Summer Enchanted Evening,” a special gala celebration to benefit the Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival.
Tickets for mainstage events go on sale on March 9, starting at $25, and Spiegeltent tickets go on sale in April. For complete information regarding tickets, series discounts and more, visit fishercenter.bard.edu. or call Bard’s box office at (845) 758-7900.
June 23–25, & 30, July 1, 3, 7–9, 14, & 15 at 7:30 pm
July 2 at 7pm; June 26, 29, July 6, 9, 10, 13, 16, & 17 at 2pm
July 2 at 1pm
opening night reception for members on July 2
post-performance conversation on July 10
pre-performance conversation on July 13.
July 22 at 6:30 pm
July 24 at 2:00 pm
July 27 at 2:00 pm
July 29 at 4:00 pm
July 31 at 2:00 pm
Russia and Modernity • August 5–7
New Worlds • August 12–14
June 24 – August 6
July 16 at 6:00 pm
August 5 at 5:30 pm