Twin Cities 2012 Fall Arts Preview

Our annual fall preview of must-see shows in museums and galleries, theater, dance, choral and classical music.

New York City Ballet


Clarinet festival


“We want to celebrate Osmo [Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra artistic director] and the clarinet [his instrument],” says Lilly Schwartz, Minnesota Orchestra director of pops and special projects, about the orchestra’s two-week Clarinet Festival. The first week will feature a pop and jazz program conducted by Sarah Hicks, including a concert by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Vänskä will lead the second week’s classical concerts, which include the Copland Clarinet Concerto, one of the most difficult in the repertoire. Guests include Evan Christopher, one of the best jazz clarinetists around, as well as Israeli clarinet virtuoso Anat Cohen and the Klezmatics.
Nov. 9–17. Minneapolis Convention Center 612-371-5656

Anna Bolena


As part of its ongoing commitment to bel canto opera, the Minnesota Opera has staged two of Donizetti’s “Tudor Trilogy”: Roberto Devereux and Maria Stuarda. But they saved the best for last: Anna Bolena, about the second wife of Henry VIII. The opera has some of the most dramatically compelling coloratura music ever written, a fantastical woman-gone-mad scene, and one of the most sublime soprano/mezzo duets in the repertoire.
Nov. 10–18 Ordway Center 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 612-333-6669

Bruckner’s Mass No. 2 in E Minor


VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle’s choice for guest conductor this year is one of the great figures in choral music, Helmut Rilling. “At 79, he is still at the height of what he does,” Brunelle says. The program features the massive Bruckner Mass No. 2 in E minor.
Oct. 19 Cathedral of Saint Paul 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 612-371-5642


Since Maria Schneider wrote the song cycle Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories for The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic partner Dawn Upshaw in 2008, she has revised it a bit and led the SPCO in a performance last year at Carnegie Hall. The revival of this mesmerizing piece is connected to a recording of it and is part of a two-week program of 20th-century American music by Barber, Rorem, Piston, and Harbison.
Sept. 20–23 Various locations



One reason Verdi’s Nabucco is rarely performed is that it has one of the most torturous soprano roles in the repertoire, featuring fierce coloratura combined with intense dramatic singing. “It can be a voice threatener,” says Brenda Harris, who will sing Abigaille for the first time with the Minnesota Opera. “It has a lot of Donizetti in it, but with Verdi’s own voice.”
Sept. 22–30 Ordway Center 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 612-333-6669


Path of Miracles


English composer Joby Talbot actually walked the Camino de Santiago, the main pilgrimage path through northern Spain, before writing Path of Miracles, which is getting its area premiere by The Singers. The four-movement work describes four locations on the trail. “It is a marriage of history and spirituality,” says Singers artistic director Matthew Culloton. “There are challenging dramatic moments, but it’s very accessible.”
Oct. 26–27 Various locations



The Schubert Club’s Music in the Park artistic director Julie Himmelstrup says she wanted to start the season with “something a little more spectacular,” so she engaged the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin. The four are members of the Berlin Philharmonic, an orchestra renowned for its string sound. The quartet has “a togetherness that sounds as if they are of one mind,” she says.
Oct. 7 The Southern TheaterSt. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, 2129 Commonwealth Ave., St Paul, 651-292-3268


Baroque Invention


The SPCO presents a program exploring the evolution of Baroque music. Major works by Bach and Vivaldi are surrounded by music from early innovators Salomone Rossi and Arcangelo Corelli, as well as one of the era’s overlooked gems by Giuseppe Torelli.
Oct. 25–27 Various locations


Accordo: Season 4


In its first three seasons, the all-star chamber group Accordo—composed of principal players from both the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO—somehow made chamber music improbably cool. This season kicks off with an Austria-Hungary theme, featuring pieces by Haydn, Bartók, Mozart, and Dohnányi.
Oct. 15 Christ Church Lutheran 651-292-3268


New Music Cabaret


Lovers of new music can’t afford to miss the Zeitgeist’s fourth annual New Music Cabaret. The four-day event features three to four hours of local live music in each performance, bringing together some of the Twin Cities’ best musicians to perform an eclectic variety of new music.
Nov. 15–18 Studio Z 275 E. 4th St., Ste. 200, St. Paul