You’re never too small for Carnegie Hall. This venerable institution is entertaining even the tiniest children with free online projects — all accessible from its website — that range from writing lullabies to discovering the orchestra.
Have a high-energy preschooler? Explore Sing With Carnegie Hall, a series of six interactive videos on subjects like rhythm, imagination and play. Hosted by the singer-songwriter Emily Eagen, each brief session features a guest artist offering movement as well as music. Little ones can count in Spanish with Sonia De Los Santos, pretend to toss smelly socks with Onome and imitate the expressive antics of Nick Demeris, a.k.a. Human Instruments.
Demeris is also a voice in “Camille’s Rainbow,” described as “an opera for babies.” (You read that right.) Composed by Thomas Cabaniss and Saskia Lane, with a libretto by Zoë Palmer, this work celebrates color with soaring vocals and Riza Printup’s harp. For the six online segments, Dan Scully created animations that are as dreamlike and lyrical as the score.
A post-Covid future is finally on the horizon for music festival organizers, who have begun announcing lineups for the summer and fall. But the fields of Worthy Farm in Somerset, England, will lay mostly dormant for a second consecutive year: Glastonbury, the flagship festival normally held there, won’t welcome back the music-loving masses until 2022.
Instead, a virtual program this weekend will give attendees a mud-free alternative. The rock-oriented bill features strong British representation, with Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Idles and Wolf Alice playing sets from the festival grounds. Joining them on the farm are Haim, offering a West Coast perspective with their summery pop-rock, and Jorja Smith, performing silky R&B. Spoken word contributions from P.J. Harvey and Jarvis Cocker are also planned.
The festival will provide a range of time-zone-specific streams to choose from, including one at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, with encore broadcasts at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets to each stream start at $27.50 and are available at worthyfarm.live.
Remaking a Problematic ‘Tea’
A few years ago, the New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin and the arts administrator Phil Chan founded Final Bow for Yellowface, an initiative calling for an end to outdated, offensive portrayals of Asian people in ballet. What began with a mission to update the classical canon — most notably the section of “The Nutcracker” known as “Tea” — has since blossomed into a larger platform celebrating Asian dancers and choreographers.
Throughout May, for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, yellowface.org is hosting 10,000 Dreams: Virtual Choreography Festival. Each day, the series features one short digital work by a choreographer of Asian descent. This weekend brings contributions from Jessica Chen (Friday), Keerati Jinakunwipat (Saturday) and Pallabi Chakravorty (Sunday). Final Bow has also partnered with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to present “Unboxed,” for which three choreographers have dreamed up their own versions of “Tea.” The first two, by Yin Yue and Edwaard Liang, have been released; the third, by Peter Chu, arrives on Monday at hubbardstreetdance.com/unboxed.
A ‘Lady’ With Some Restraint
At first glance, Shostakovich’s opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” might seem easy to sell. It boasts lurid murders, explicit sensuality and broad satire — as well as a riotous orchestration.
Yet it’s more than pulp fiction. The lead character (actual name: Katerina) needs to do more than suffer claustral domesticity and physical assaults before she deals out violence in turn. The opera works best when hints of defiant idealism are allowed to creep in. So it’s thanks chiefly to the approach of the mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams that a 2019 performance, newly streaming on the website operavision.eu and its YouTube channel, works so well.
Staged by the director Graham Vick in an English translation, and performed by the Birmingham Opera Company in a “disused, iconic nightclub,” Williams is given plenty of space to bring across the physicality inherent in the role, though she and Vick stop short of the grind-house ambience courted in the director Martin Kusej’s famous approach. Easing up on the Grand Guignol allows the crushing final scenes to hit even harder.
SETH COLTER WALLS
Tales of the Asian Diaspora
Celebrate the final full week of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with two digital offerings from Ma-Yi Theater Company on its broadcast studio and streaming platform at ma-yistudios.com.
From Thursday to Sunday it will broadcast a reading of Daniel K. Isaac’s “ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME.” Isaac, an actor known for his sensitive stage and screen performances, shows a deft, delicate touch as a playwright, imbuing his characters with a love of history and tradition in a tale about a Korean girl trying to make sense of the chaos around her. Tickets are between $5 and $50, and proceeds will fund a future production of the play.
Through May 31 the platform is also offering “Vancouver,” an endlessly moving puppet play written and directed by Ma-Yi’s artistic director, Ralph B. Peña. The intimate story shares the plight of a Japanese family as they relocate to the Pacific Northwest in search of a place to call home. You can watch the play for free, but donations are encouraged.