The Museum of Modern Art reopens on October 21 after a multi-year expansion, increasing gallery space by a third. What’s new: an auditorium-studio space for performance and film, a glass façade allowing passersby to see art from the street, and a sixth-floor lounge and outdoor terrace. The museum is marking the opening with some of the greatest hits from the permanent collection: Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Alexander Calder mobiles, Jackson Pollack’s large-scale canvases. • Following sold-out runs in London, The Inheritance arrives on Broadway on September 27. Written by American playwright Matthew Lopez, the two-part play, sharply witty and affecting, reimagines E.M. Forster’s Howards End in 21st-century New York, alongside the palpable legacy of AIDS. • Actress Marisa Tomei returns to the stage in the Roundabout Theatre’s revival of The Rose Tattoo, Tennessee Williams’s play about love, loss, and second chances (opens October 15). • The artistic demands of George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess make productions a rarity. But the Metropolitan Opera has assembled a superior cast for its season opener with Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles. James Robinson directs the evocative staging, with conductor David Robertson taking up the baton (opens September 23). • Programming at The Shed in the Hudson Yards, which opened last spring, continues to unfold in unexpected ways. One of its most intriguing fall concerts: Verdi’s Messa da Requiem led by dynamic Greek-Russian maestro Teodor Currentzis and the chorus and orchestra MusicaAeterna from Perm, Russia, in their North American debut (November 19-24).
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating the opening of The Reach—three new pavilions designed by architect Steven Holl—in grand style with a free 16-day festival. The 400 events range from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to an outdoor screening of The Muppet Movie and a concert with soprano Renée Fleming and Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo (September 7-22). • Artists have been fascinated by the moon since Galileo Galilei painted watercolors of the orb, as seen through his telescope, in 1609. The exhibition “By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs to Apollo 11,” at the National Gallery of Art, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with images from the mid-19th-century to the Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s own photographs (through January 5, 2020). • Glenstone, the indoor-outdoor gallery in suburban Montgomery County, presents “Fear Eats the Soul,” an installation by Argentine-born, Thai provocateur Rirkrit Tiravanija that mediates between the public and private, drawing visitors into immersive experiences from soup kitchens to tee-shirt silk screening (September 26 through mid-2020; advance booking required).
Opening on September 18, the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum documents the rise and fall of the Nazi regime through artifacts, such as a restored Nazi-era boxcar used to deport Jews to concentration camps. Other galleries document the struggle for universal human rights that arose after the war, and explore marginalized groups in contemporary American society. • The Meadows Art Museum is home to one of the world’s preeminent collections of Spanish art, as is Durham, England’s Bowes Museum. Now the Meadows presents “El Greco, Goya, and a Taste for Spain: Highlights From the Bowes Museum,” featuring works never before displayed in the United States (opens September 15). • Dallas Opera opens its season with Mozart’s The Magic Flute in a vibrant production by legendary British director Peter Hall (October 18–November 3), while the American Baroque Opera Company debuts Orphée, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s 1686 interpretation of the Greek myth, on November 1.
The San Jose Museum of Art pays tribute to its Silicon Valley surroundings with “Networked: Digital Art from the Permanent Collection,” an intriguing look at the use of technology in art. The survey of 14 artists includes Bill Viola’s mesmerizing video installations, Tony Oursler’s flower projections, and virtual reality works by Zara Houshmand and Tamiko Thiel (September 22–August 9, 2020). • For music fans, Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall presents a lineup featuring violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Alessio Bax (November 1), Afro-Cuban musician Chucho Valdés (October 18), jazz artist Jon Batiste (November 2), and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (November 13).
October has been unofficially rechristened Artober in and around Cancún, where twelve multi-day events showcase Mexican and Pan Caribbean cultural innovation across art, dance, film and music. Highlights include a harp festival with musicians from Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Germany, and Mexico (October 4 and 5); the nine-day, 7th-annual Festival Internacional de Música Cancún, which is celebrating 500 years of wide-ranging influence from Veracruz and Havana (October 18-26); and the International Forum of Cinema, held for the first time in Cancún. At the latter, expect the unexpected from a new vanguard of Mexican filmmakers, plus screenings of avant-garde international releases from Germany, Iceland, Portugal, Chile, and France (October 4-17). • Late each November, music lovers converge upon Playa del Carmen’s Mamita’s Beach for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. Past performers have included Norah Jones, Bebel Gilberto, Drew Tucker and the New Standard, and Pepe Hernández (slated for November 29 – December 1).
Stephen Mangan stars on the West End as The Man in the White Suit, a new stage version of the 1954 film masterpiece that starred Alec Guinness. The fast-paced satire revolves around a modern everyman who invents a fabric that never gets dirty…or wears out (September 26–January 11, 2020). • Tate Modern’s “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life,” highlights the Danish-Icelandic conceptual artist, whose work plays with perceptions of light and color and engages the viewer’s imagination in contemporary issues, from climate change to migration (through January 5, 2020). • Visitors walking over Millennium Bridge to the Tate at twilight will encounter a visual experience of another kind: American artist Leo Villareal has strikingly illuminated the Norman Foster–designed span and three other bridges. The multimillion-dollar, decade-long Illuminated River will eventually include 15 bridges across the Thames (ongoing) • The Royal Opera House (pictured, top) is putting on Benjamin Britten’s final opera, the rarely staged Death in Venice. Mark Padmore takes on the complex role of Thomas Mann’s protagonist Gustav von Aschenbach, with David McVicar directing (opens November 1).
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Louvre—which holds five of the artist’s paintings and 22 drawings—is mounting a retrospective that it alone could organize. The exhibition brings together most of the handful of known surviving paintings by the Italian master, who lived his last years in France (October 24–February 24, 2020; advance reservations recommended). • The works of a more modern virtuoso are on view at the Picasso Museum’s “Picasso. Magical Paintings.” The show focuses on the period between 1926 and 1930, when the Spanish artist moved into a new stage of experimentation and creativity, with figure paintings that anticipate his legendary Guernica (October 1–February 23, 2020). • The celebrated Théâtre des Champs-Elysées—where the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring caused a sensation, with both enthusiastic cheering and jeers and catcalls—starts its season with Don Giovanni (September 19), followed by performances by Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project (October 31–November 3) and the Kiev National Opera Ballet’s production of Swan Lake (December 24–January 5, 2020).
The Louvre Abu Dhabi presents a pair of enticing exhibitions this fall. “Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co (1900-1939),” organized with the Centre Pompidou, considers the revolutionary visual culture that developed in Paris during the 1920s (September 18–December 7). Meanwhile, “10,000 Years of Luxury” offers a sweeping and lavish survey of the precious and finely made, from ancient jewelry and royal furniture to French couture (October 30–February 18, 2020). Complementing that show is “USO-Unidentified Scented Object-The Perfumed Cloud,” an immersive sensory experience created by a Cartier perfumer, which draws visitors into an atmosphere of fragrance captured within a glass cube and suspended above the museum’s pool.
The UCCA Center for Contemporary Art presents “Matthew Barney: Redoubt,” the American artist’s first solo show in China. Works include five monumental sculptures, more than 40 engravings, a film, and an artist-conceived catalogue that reflect Barney’s interest in the northern Idaho landscape where he grew up (September 28–December 15). In contrast, the group show “Society Guidance: Part II” considers the work of contemporary Chinese artists Chen Zhen, Huang Jingyuan, and Li Juchuan, among others, and their response to the economic tumult and rising consumerism of 1990s China (through November 24). • At the National Center for the Performing Arts, housed in the striking egg-shaped building by French architect Paul Andreu, the Peking Opera’s production of New Dragon Gate Inn offers a glimpse into the characteristic sound-worlds of Chinese classical drama and music (September 13 and 14), as do ongoing performances by the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra. Guest ensembles from abroad include the London Symphony Orchestra (October 3), the Vienna Boys Choir (October 4) and the Mariinsky Orchestra (November 25-27).
The inaugural Hainan International Film Festival in 2018 assembled a roster of distinguished movies from around the world, such as Turkey’s The Wild Pear Tree, nominated for the Palm d’Or at Cannes—as well as a slew of celebrities (Jackie Chan, Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche)—to its beachside screenings. There were film entries from France, the U.K., Peru, Poland, among others, plus a showcase of the country’s contemporary film scene through the festival’s Now China segment. This year’s festival promises to be even more impressive, returning after a year of international promotions from December 1 – 8.
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