Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season this month at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with a selection of three of NYC’s most iconic holiday traditions, from classic ballet to oratorio concert to opera.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker – Each year, people of all ages from NYC and around the world fill the David H. Koch Theater to be captivated by the lure of Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s music, George Balanchine’s choreography, Karinska’s sumptuous costumes, and Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s magical sets. One of the most complex theatrical staged ballets in the New York City Ballet company’s active repertory – and one of its most popular – the full-scale production features 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 40 stagehands, and more than 125 children, in two alternating casts from the School of American Ballet, joining forces for each performance.
The elaborate staging and intricate lighting unleash the viewers’ imagination by providing extraordinary visual effects. The most famous example is the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a height of twelve feet to 41 feet, and never fails to evoke audible gasps from the audience at each performance.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker plays now through December 31, 2022, at the New York City Ballet, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza (between West 62nd and 65th Streets, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues) NYC. For tickets (starting at $60, plus fees), go online. Mask are recommended but no longer required.
Handel’s Messiah – As part of its annual family-friendly festive tradition of Holidays at NY Phil, the New York Philharmonic orchestra will perform the 1741 English oratorio by the German-born London-based composer George Frideric Handel from December 13-17, at Wu Tsai Theater, in a completely reimagined David Geffen Hall – the result of an extensive renovation in partnership with Lincoln Center. Presented by Gary W. Parr, “the Messiah of Messiahs” features dazzling vocal solos, instrumental fireworks, and splendid choral writing that combine to make it the musical crown of the season, with Baroque specialist Masaaki Suzuki conducting soprano Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenor Leif Aruhn-Solén, baritone Jonathon Adams, and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus.
Outside the theater space, in the hall’s LeFrak Lobby, The Hauser Digital Wall will feature digital artworks and allow anyone passing by to experience the live concert, free of charge
Handel’s Messiah plays December 13-17, 2022, at the New York Philharmonic, Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (between West 62nd and 65th Streets, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues), NYC. For tickets (starting at $70.50, including fees), go online. Masks are not required in the building.
The Magic Flute – Holiday Presentation – The Metropolitan Opera’s irresistible family-friendly abridged version of Mozart’s musical fairytale by Julie Taymor returns this season beginning on Friday, December 16, with special holiday pricing from $32.50. Sung in English, with English, German, and Spanish titles, the production will be conducted by Maestro Duncan Ward making his company debut, with tenors Ben Bliss and David Portillo sharing the role of Tamino, the noble prince on a quest to win the fair princess Pamina, sung by sopranos Joélle Harvey and Sydney Mancasola. The cast also features baritones Joshua Hopkins and Chris Kenney as the bird catcher Papageno, soprano Aleksandra Olczyk as the Queen of the Night, and bass Soloman Howard as Sarastro.
On Sunday, December 18, all ticket holders for the 3:00 matinee are invited to a free pre-performance Open House beginning at 1 pm, when Met artists and craftspeople will lead a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations for the whole family.
The Magic Flute – Holiday Presentation plays December 16, 2022- January 6, 2023, at the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza (between West 62nd and 65th Streets, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues), NYC. For tickets (starting at $32.50, including a $2.50 fee), go online. Masks are now optional.