HANOVER, NH—The Hopkins Center for the Arts’ 2016-2017 season begins Wednesday, September 14, with the thrilling urban dance show FLEXN—one of many highs in a season of astonishing artists in classical, jazz, world and roots music; dance, theater and circus; from family fun to edgier, more adult fare—including violinist Hilary Hahn, jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, dancemaker Mark Morris and the incredible Cirque Mechanics.
Tickets went on sale August 1; and many patrons are taking advantage of “subscriber” discounts by which you can reap up to 20 percent in savings by buying tickets in advance.
Hop Ensembles and Main Stage productions by the Dartmouth Department of Theater also have lots in store, for ticket prices as low as $10 for shows of great repertoire, professionally directed. Theater’s fall show is Lynn Nottage’s award-winning 2009 play Intimate Apparel, about an African American seamstress in turn-of-the-century New York City; and its winter show is the riotous dystopian musical Urinetown. The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble offers a year-long series focusing on the evolution of the wind ensemble as robust musical entity; and the Dartmouth College Glee Club’s fall concert is Nolan Gasser’s poignant Repast, An Oratorio, which tells a true, less-than-well-known Civil Rights story. The Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble’s fall concert features two noted guest artists, Peter Apfelbaum and Nicole Mitchell. The Handel Society’s year includes major works by Bernstein and Dvořák.
Hop Film begins September 16 with its ever-popular “Telluride at Dartmouth” series—six films fresh from the famed Telluride Film Festival, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. In addition to new and vintage films of all types every weekend of the academic terms, Hop Film also presents HD video broadcasts from the Met Opera, the London stage, topflight art museums and concert venues.
Visiting Performing Artists
As for Hop visiting performing artists, as always, the Hop will bring in renowned musicians of all genres. Classical musicians in 2016/2017 are radio stars the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with MacArthur “genius” pianist Jeremy Denk and the world premiere of a new composition by George Tsontakis (October 14); superstar English tenor Ian Bostridge with composer Thomas Adès on piano, performing a Bostridge speciality, the Schubert song cycle Winterreise (October 25); Oxford University’s quartet-in-residence the Villiers Quartet, in a program including a quintet with Hop pianist-in-residence Sally Pinkas (November 12); the young, charismatic Danish String Quartet in a program combining classical rep and rollicking Scandinavian folk music (January 31); the Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski, one of the greats of his generation (February 14); a solo concert by Pinkas of Bach and Schumann (March 7); superstar violinist Hilary Hahn (March 31); and early music ensemble Apollo’s Fire in a program called Bach’s Coffeehouse (May 3).
Jazz artists are singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, with the brilliant Aaron Diehl Trio (September 23); the Mexican rock-jazz-mariachi-and-more fusion band Troker (October 15); saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa in a program called Bird Calls (January 27); and pianist Brad Meldau, playing in the solo format for which he is internationally cherished (April 4).
World music artists are Azerbaijani master singers Alim and Fargana Qasimov and The Silk Road Ensemble providing live music for the Mark Morris Dance Group (January 6 & 7); the PAN Project, new music improvisational music from East Asia (February 15); transatlantic Celtic supergroup The Gloaming (April 21); and, in a joyful return visit, The Nile Project, collaborative music from 11 Nile countries (April 25).
Roots artists are Martha Redbone, in a new show that digs deep into her combined Native American, Africa American and Appalachian heritage (September 30); The Jones Family Singers, with a Texas-born R&B gospel forged in decades on the Southern gospel circuit (January 19); and singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon and her band BIGLovely performing live music as part of Dorrance Dance’s The Blues Project (April 7 & 8).
Dance includes two artists previously mentioned—Mark Morris Dance Group in Layla and Majnun, based on an ancient Persian tale well known in the Islamic world (January 6 & 7) and Dorrance Dance, led by MacArthur “genius” tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, in The Blues Project—and the show FLEXN, celebrating the electrifying new American street dancer form of flex (September 14 & 15); and the aerial dance troupe Bandaloop, performing midair off the sides of buildings in the Hop’s neighborhood (September 16).
Family theater is a Hop regular and this season consists of: Theatreworks USA’s Pete the Cat, a finger-snapping pop musical based on James Deen’s popular books (September 25); Cirque Mechanics’ Pedal Punk, a steampunk-inspired circus involving spectacular stunts on manner of wheels (December 1 & 2); Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle, using Mermaid’s captivating blacklight puppetry (January 8); and Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are In a Play!”, a stylish musical romp by the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences (February 15).
Edgier, more adult-oriented theater, another Hop specialty, consists of choice works: Motherstruck!, performance poet Staceyann Chin’s funny, honest autobiographical solo show (September 21); bi-partisan DC funny people The Capitol Steps in a new show for the 2016 presidential election, What To Expect When You’re Electing (October 27); the US premiere of Hungarian theater treasure Béla Pinter and Company’s darkly hilarious look at folk dancing and secret-police informing in Communist Hungary (January 13 & 14); and the New England premiere of a co-production with Nordland Visual Theatre and the Hop, Wakka Wakka Production’s Made in China, a highly entertaining and subversive musical puppet theater show addressing human rights, consumerism and American-Chinese relations (March 31 & April 1).