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The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2018–19 Season of MetLiveArts


2018–19 MetLiveArts Artist in Residence: Julia Bullock

The vocalist Julia Bullock will craft a season of compelling, transcendent performances that illuminate some of world culture’s hidden and suppressed narratives through considering ways in which to give voice to objects and stories that have been made silent.

Of the first performance in her yearlong residency, The New York Times said: “Ms. Bullock seemed to be emphasizing that, at the Met, she would truly be an artist, not a diva, in residence… She serves the work she’s singing, even as she makes it better.” Hailed as “opulent and glorious” by Opera News, Bullock brings her rich and resonant soprano vocals—which have been garnering raves around the world—as well as her social consciousness and activism as an artist, to The Met collection.

“Social constructs not only impact the art that is made but they directly influence how art is presented and for whom it is preserved,” said Julia Bullock. “The MetLiveArts team and The Met’s curatorial staff are currently filled with a conscious group of individuals who understand how creative voices can influence one another when put in close proximity. So to be given space to consider the art and history of The Met, and the opportunity to more deeply explore what The Met represents and communicates to the world, to New York, and to me personally, has been a great privilege.”

A Dream Deferred: Langston Hughes in Song
Sunday, December 2, 3 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Poems by Langston Hughes—such as “Harlem,” “Genius Child,” and “Song for a Dark Girl” —are set to music in this recital curated and performed by Julia Bullock. She will be joined by soprano Nicole Cabell (“sheer sumptu­ous gorgeousness,” The Mercury News); New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill (“trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character,” The New York Times); Jessie Montgomery, violin; and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Hughes settings by composers Ricky Ian Gordon, John Musto, and Chad Cannon will be performed.

Tickets start at $50.

Nativity Reconsidered
Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 5:30 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

Julia Bullock, soprano 
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor 
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
American Modern Opera Company (AMOC)
Christian Reif, conductor

An all-new chamber music version of con­temporary master John Adams’s Christmas oratorio, El Niño, arranged for the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and adapted for the intimate setting of The Met Cloisters.

Tickets start at $65.

Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine
Wednesday, January 16, and Thursday, January 17, 8 p.m., The Great Hall

Julia Bullock, soprano
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Conceived by Peter Sellars
Zack Winokur, director
Tyshawn Sorey, composer, percussion, and piano
Texts by Claudia Rankine
Choreography by Michael Schumacher

“One of the most important works of art yet to emerge from the era of Black Lives Matter.” —The New York Times

Julia Bullock inhabits the body of a reimag­ined Joséphine Baker on the steps inside The Met’s Great Hall in this darker, more inti­mate consideration of the life and legacy of the famous singer, activist, and cultural icon. With texts by poet Claudia Rankine and music recomposed by Tyshawn Sorey (both MacArthur Fellows).

Tickets start at $125.

El Cimarrón
Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

American Modern Opera Company (AMOC)
Zack Winokur, director

Hans Werner Henze’s El Cimarrón (The Runaway Slave) is a sonic experience based on the oral autobiography of Esteban Montejo, an Afro-Cuban slave who escaped bondage on a sugar plan­tation, survived in the jungle, fought for Cuban independence from Spain, and lived to tell about it all before dying at the age of 113.

Henze’s visceral score—a cry for freedom that transcends time and place—is a linchpin in Julia Bullock’s vision for her residency.

Tickets start at $55.

2018–19 Ensemble in Residence: Sonnambula

Spanish Christmas at The Met Cloisters
Sunday, December 23, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

With special guest Esteban La Rotta, lute and guitar

Celebrate Christmas with a program of inti­mate Canciones (popular tunes with poetic texts), joyful Villancicos (songs with rustic themes), and virtuosic instrumental pieces, all drawn from the Cancionero Musical de Palacio, a manuscript found at the Royal Palace of Madrid that exemplifies the Spanish Golden Age of music.

Tickets start at $65.

Leonora Duarte: Converso in Antwerp
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 7 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

Sonnambula teams up with acclaimed author and photographer Teju Cole in a dynamic performance of music and spoken word with a photo installation that cele­brates the work of Leonora Duarte, the only known woman composer of viol music in the 17th century.

Tickets start at $55.

A Portrait in Music: Sounding the Dutch Baroque
Friday, May 10, 2019, 6 and 7 p.m., Gallery 963, Robert Lehman Collection

Sonnambula will present two in-gallery concerts highlighting the exceptional music created and performed in the early modern Low Countries. Through pieces ranging from Dutch compositions with Continental influence to English and French works known via the print trade, the Renaissance ensemble will create sonic portraits of musical life infused with the conceits of Dutch and Flemish painting.

Michael Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore (1612)
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

Rarely heard live, Praetorius’s dances from Terpsichore, named for the Greek muse of the dance, display uncommon com­position. This landmark program brings together the nation’s leading interpreters of Renaissance repertoire.

Tickets start at $55.

Commissions and Premieres

INK: A Piece for Museums
Saturday, January 5, 2019, 7 p.m.; Sunday, January 6, 12 and 3 p.m.; Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Created and performed by James & Jerome in collaboration with Shawn Duan
Directed by Rachel Chavkin and Annie Tippe

INK is an art lecture, live personal essay, and electronic music concert all in one. With stunning visuals by media designer Shawn Duan, musician-storyteller duo James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis explode the traditional art lecture into a unique theatrical experience—one that is at once playful, intellectual, and spiritual—by performing a lush live score as they lovingly analyze works from around the world. Together, they guide us through a meditation on calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts, on music and silence, and on Jerome’s intimate relationship to the spoken and written word, in this first-ever collaboration between Under the Radar and The Met.

Presented as part of The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival 2019.

Tickets start at $25.

Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor
Fridays in 2019—January 11, February 8, March 22, April 12, and June 7—5–8 p.m. in Gallery 371, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court

Dancers from It’s Showtime NYC!

The world of hip-hop dance collides with the bygone age of armor when freestyle dancers meet chainmail, leather, and metal armor from around the world. Unexpected parallels between hip-hop dance culture and historical ceremonial combat traditions come to light throughout this performance series. MetLiveArts, in collaboration with The Met’s Department of Arms and Armor, has commissioned the 29 artists of It’s Showtime NYC! from the South Bronx’s Dancing in the Streets urban dance organization, to perform a series of pop-up dance battles in the gallery wearing replica pieces from the Museum that interact with and enhance their specific dance styles.

 Free with Museum admission.

Songs from the Spirit
All performances are 2019: Friday, March 8—2 and 7 p.m.;  Saturday, March 9—12, 2, and 7 p.m.;  Sunday, March 10—11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.; in Gallery 401, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Assyrian Sculpture Court; Gallery 217, The Astor Chinese Garden Court; and Gallery 700, The Charles Engelhard Court

Silas Farley, choreographer and dancer 
Dancers Cassia Farley, Rachel Hutsell, Taylor Stanley, and Claire Kretszchmar 
Kelly Griffin, soprano 
Robert May, tenor

Created in collaboration with Ear Hustle from PRX’s Radiotopia

Farley brings fellow members of the New York City Ballet on a journey led by traditional spirituals and new songs composed and performed by current inmates at San Quentin State Prison who, through the podcast Ear Hustle, contribute music for the perfor­mance. A world premiere, Songs from the Spirit offers a nuanced view of an exiled population and the irrepressible human drive to create.

Free with Museum admission.

In the Galleries

The Queen’s Six
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

This captivating male vocal sextet is named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I. Based at Windsor Castle, they sing together every day, for services and both private and state occasions, frequently before members of the royal family. They will perform everything from early chant to vivid Renaissance polyphony and mad­rigals.

Tickets start at $55.

Dido and Aeneas
Saturday, March 30, 2019, 7 p.m., The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

The Handel + Haydn Society

The Museum’s Temple of Dendur is a power­ful setting for Dido and Aeneas—Purcell’s operatic telling of the love story between the Queen of Carthage and the Prince of Troy.

Tickets start at $65.

ModernMedieval Trio of Voices
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

ModernMedieval was created by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, a former member of the vocal quartet Anonymous 4, with Martha Cluver and Eliza Bagg, from the celebrated ensemble Roomful of Teeth, rounding out the trio. Following their triumphant debut at The Met in 2016, they return with a fresh repertoire of medieval and contemporary works in a program designed specifically for The Met Cloisters.

Tickets start at $55.

Exhibitions Amplified

Musical Instruments Interpretive Concerts: Art of the Harp
Friday, December 14, 6 p.m., Gallery 963

Salieu Suso, kora

The kora (West African harp) originated in the valley of the River Gambia and is found in more than 150 cultural groups throughout Africa. Born into a family of farmers, traditional musicians and historians hailing from The Gambia, Salieu Suso began his study of the 21 stringed instrument at the age of 8. Taught by his father, the renowned kora player Alhaji Musa Makang Suso, Salieu is a descendant of JaliMady Wulayn Suso, the originator of the kora.

Free with Museum admission.

ASEFA: Delacroix’s Moroccan Nights: Judeo-Islamic Soundscapes from City to Village
Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 5–8 p.m., the Great Hall Balcony Bar

Dr. Samuel Torjman Thomas, vocals, oud, nay, lotar
Laura Lassy Townsend, vocals
Jeremy Brown, violin
John Murchison, qanun, bass, guimbri
Jeremy Smith, percussion
Daniel Kurfirst, percussion

Samuel Torjman Thomas, Ph.D, brings Delacroix’s paintings to life in a two-night journey through Moroccan musical cultures. The first night highlights sounds of city life; the second night highlights sounds of village life. Featuring vocals, oud, violin, qanun, nay, lotar, guimbri, and percussion, the performances are presented in conjunction with the exhi­bition Delacroix, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue through January 6, 2019.

Wu Man with fellow Silkroad Ensemble Artists
Friday, March 1, 2019, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The pipa is an ancient Chinese lute, and “a beauty to hear in Ms. Wu’s hands” (The New York Times). In this performance emphasizing musical exchanges between peoples, pipa virtuoso and com­poser Wu Man is joined by fellow members of the Silkroad Ensemble, founded by Yo-Yo Ma, in celebration of the eagerly anticipated reopening of The Met’s renovated André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments.

Tickets start at $50.

Murasaki’s Moon
Friday, May 17, 2019, 4 and 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, 2 and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; in The Astor Court 

Michi Wiancko, Composer
Deborah Brevoort, Librettist
Eric Einhorn, Stage Director
Geoffrey McDonald, Conductor
Kristen Choi, mezzo-soprano 
Andrew Stenson, tenor
Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto
Satoshi Takeishi, percussion
Kaoru Watanabe, Japanese flutes, percussion, taiko

Aizuri Quartet
Ariana Kim, violin
Miho Seguesa, violin
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Karen Ouzouninan, cello

This site-specific opera delves into the life and work of one of the most extraordinary women in Japanese history, Lady Murasaki, author of what is considered the world’s first novel. Shocking modern parallels will be revealed as the story follows Lady Murasaki on her non-traditional path to becoming one of the most significant literary figures of all time. Presented in conjunction with The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, March 5–June 16, 2019.

A co-production of MetLiveArts and On Site Opera 

Commissioned by MetLiveArts, On Site Opera, and American Lyric Theater

Sight and Sound Series

Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now
Sundays at 2 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. Each of the three Sundays includes a discussion accompanied by musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now and on-screen artworks followed by a full performance and audience Q&A. The May 19 performance is the last in the series, which began in fall 2018.

Tickets start at $40.

Abstraction in Music and Art
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 2 p.m.

Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra, Feldman’s Orchestra (NY Premiere), and the artwork of the Abstract Expressionists

Painters have often been inspired by music as the ultimate abstract art form. Musical abstraction started with the radical mod­ernist Anton Webern, who freed the form from the conventions of late Romanticism. At the height of the Abstract Expression­ist movement, experimental composer Morton Feldman mirrored the painters and took his inspiration from their art.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibi­tion Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue, opening December 17, 2018.


For the Miracles: A Holiday Celebration
Sunday, December 9, 3 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Young People’s Chorus
Elizabeth Núñez, conductor

Each of the eight short movements in Samuel Adler’s The Flames of Freedom represents one of the eight lights of Hanukkah. The work was written for three-part, treble-voice choir to provide a counterpoint to Britten’s Christmas cantata, A Ceremony of Carols. In this family-friendly concert, the two joyous works are juxtaposed.

Tickets start at $65.

Handel and Lang
Saturday, December 15, 7 p.m., the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra
Julian Wachner, conductor

The Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street returns to The Met with a stunning double bill. Dixit Dominus (The Lord Said), Handel’s powerful setting of Psalm 110, is paired with David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Little Match Girl Passion, a “tender and mysterious” (The New York Times) contemporary choral work based on the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Tickets start at $65.

Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain: An Irish-Appalachian Celebration
Sunday, December 16, 2 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Apollo’s Fire
Jeanette Sorrell, conductor

Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (The Independent, London), Apollo’s Fire is a collection of creative artists led by the award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell. In this new program celebrating the Celtic roots of an Appalachian Christmas, the beloved troupe is joined by additional singers, dancers, and instrumen­talists to perform pieces that range from the mystical Gregorian chant of old Scotland to folk carols and hymns.

Tickets start at $65.

Nativity Reconsidered
Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 5:30 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

[See full description under 2018–19 MetLiveArts Artist in Residence: Julia Bullock]

Spanish Christmas at The Met Cloisters
Sunday, December 23, 1 and 3 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

 [See full description under 2018–19 Ensemble in Residence: Sonnambula]

For tickets and information, visit or call 212-570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.
Prices are subject to change.
Bring the Kids for $1 tickets for children (ages 6–16) are available for all performances (unless specifically noted) when accompanied by an adult with a full-price ticket. For more information, visit, call 212-570-3949, or visit the box office.

For evening concerts that take place in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, audiences can enjoy a pre-performance drink in the theater. Doors will open approximately one hour prior to the event.

Every Friday and Saturday evening, from 5 to 8 p.m., ETHEL & Friends performs in The Great Hall Balcony Bar.

About MetLiveArts:
The groundbreaking live arts series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art explores contemporary performance through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces with singular performances. MetLiveArts invites artists, performers, curators, and thought leaders to explore and collaborate within The Met, leading with new commissions, world premieres, and site-specific durational performances that have been named some of the most “memorable” and “best of” performances in New York City by The New York TimesNew Yorker, and Broadway World.

Program Credits:
Julia Bullock as MetLiveArts Artist in Residence is made possible by the Chester Dale Fund and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Nativity Reconsidered is made possible by The Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation. MetLive Arts programming at The Met Cloisters is made possible by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Perle Noire: Meditations on Joséphine is made possible in part by the Lavori Sterling Foundation.

El Cimarrón is made possible by The Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation and Helen Little.

Ensemble in Residence: Sonnambula is made possible by the Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund. Live Arts programming at The Met Cloisters is made possible by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

The world premiere of Songs from the Spirit is supported by William H. Wright II and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Sarah and Howard Solomon Foundation, and Jody and John Arnhold with additional funding by the Harkness Foundation for Dance. Open rehearsals are supported by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

Battle! Hip Hop in Armor is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support provided by the Harkness Foundation for Dance. Performances are offered free with Museum admission thanks to The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., and The New York State Council on the Arts.

Exhibition Credits:

The exhibition is made possible by the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust.

Additional funds are provided by the Janice H. Levin Fund, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, The Florence Gould Foundation, and the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund. 

It is supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée du Louvre.

The catalogue is made possible by the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund and the Janice H. Levin Fund.

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated
The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum and Ishiyamadera Temple.

It is made possible by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Estate of Brooke Astor; the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; and Ann M. Spruill and Daniel H. Cantwell.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund; the Charles A. Greenfield Fund; the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Foundation;  the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Parnassus Foundation; and Richard and Geneva Hofheimer Memorial Fund.

Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera
The exhibition is made possible by Alice Cary Brown and W.L. Lyons Brown and the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund.

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