SummerScape 2021

Main Image for SummerScape 2021

SummerScape 2021

This July and August, Bard SummerScape returns with a full season of live music, dance, opera, and performance, culminating in the 31st annual Bard Music Festival, Nadia Boulanger and Her World.

Productions will be staged for limited in-person audiences both indoors and out, across Bard’s idyllic 1,000-acre campus, adhering to rigorous health and safety protocols while celebrating the joys of live performance and the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Virtual livestreaming will be available for select events.

“This summer’s festival includes new works by artists who have deep and evolving relationships with the Fisher Center. We are also thrilled to be presenting several artists for the first time, including some we’ve collaborated with over the past year as part of our continuing journey toward becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization. After the uncertainty and isolation of the pandemic, the coming months will offer particularly joyous and meaningful opportunities for all these artists to return to rehearse and perform again, and invite audiences to join us and them on voyages of creation and discovery. ” —Gideon Lester, Artistic Director (Read the full statement here.)
DancePam Tanowitz & Jessie Montgomery
Pam Tanowitz and Jessie Montgomery by Jeremy Jacob

Dance
Pam Tanowitz & Jessie Montgomery

I was waiting for the echo of a better day
July 8–10
Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


Performed with live music, this large-scale world premiere dance is set against the spectacular backdrop of the Hudson River and the sun setting behind the Catskill Mountains—beckoning us back to gather on this land and paying tribute to what came before.
ConcertMx. Justin Vivian Bond
Mx. Justin Vivian Bond by Kyle Kupres

Concert
Mx. Justin Vivian Bond

Your Auntie Glam’s Midsummer Flutter By
with Matt Ray, Nath Ann Carrera, and Claudia Chopek
July 15–17
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


A longtime SummerScape favorite, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond has been heralded as “the greatest cabaret artist of this generation” (New Yorker). They return this season as Your Auntie Glam for three performances of a new concert specially commissioned for Montgomery Place.
 
Concert Series
Mwenso and the Shakes by Oluwaseye Olusa

Concert Series

Black Roots Summer
July 23–31
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Events


The uplifting spirit of Black roots music ripples through two weekends this July, with Black Roots Summer, presented in association with Electric Root and curated by jazz vocalist Michael Mwenso and producer Jono Gasparro.
ConcertBlack Roots Summer
Michael Mwenso by Oluwaseye Olusa

Concert
Black Roots Summer

Love Will Be The Only Weapon
July 23–24
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


An explosion of ideas, sounds, and radiant joy await as Mwenso & The Shakes bring their empowering quest to unify with love and healing to the Stage at Montgomery Place. Come along on their journey through the kaleidoscope of Black ancestral diasporic music and traditions, overcoming the darkness of the past and ascending to our highest human potential. 
ConcertBlack Roots Summer
Brianna Thomas by Oluwaseye Olusa

Concert
Black Roots Summer

Genius Mother Mary: A Sonic Retrospective of Mary Lou Williams
July 29
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


For over half a century, Mary Lou Williams tirelessly persisted as a talented Black woman in the male-dominated field of jazz. Music director Chris Pattishall leads this uplifting tribute to the fearless mother of jazz.
ConcertBlack Roots Summer
Vuyo Sotashe by Oluwaseye Olusa

Concert
Black Roots Summer

THE SOUND OF (BLACK) MUSIC
July 30–31
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


The hills are alive with the sound of Black music! Experience the songs from one of the most beloved American musical classics as reimagined through an Afrofuturistic lens, led by a dynamic group of over 20 musicians and vocalists, including Michael Mwenso, Brianna Thomas, Chareene Wade, Vuyo Sotashe, Zhanna Reed, and more. 
Opera
Norman Garrett as King Arthur by Maria Baranova

Opera

King Arthur
(Le roi Arthus)
by Ernest Chausson
July 25 – August 1
Sosnoff Theater
Live In-Person & Virtual Livestreamed Events


Idealism, treachery, honor, and perfidy collide in this richly lyrical opera by French composer Ernest Chausson, in a new SummerScape production conducted by festival founder and artistic director Leon Botstein, directed by Louisa Proske, and featuring a stellar cast helmed by baritone Norman Garrett and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.
Concert
Tina Fabrique (left) and Mary Testa (right) by Maria Baranova

Concert

Most Happy in Concert
August 5–7
The Stage at Montgomery Place
Outdoor Live In-Person Event


Frank Loesser’s masterpiece, The Most Happy Fella, is a gorgeous meditation on our longing for human connection. In this concert version of Most Happy, Loesser’s lyrical score is performed by seven female and non-binary voices backed by thirteen musicians, giving audiences a new way to experience the songs of an American musical treasure. 
Bard Music Festival
Photo Courtesy of Centre international Nadia et Lili Boulanger

Bard Music Festival

Nadia Boulanger and Her World

August 6–15
Live In-Person & Virtual Livestreamed Events


The Bard Music Festival returns for its 31st season with an exploration of the life and work of Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979), the pioneering Parisian pedagogue, composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and indomitable personality who shaped more than a generation of American musicians. Through a series of concerts, this year's festival pays tribute to one of the most important female figures in the history of classical music.


Support

Commissioning funds for I was waiting for the echo of a better day are provided by Jay Franke and David Herro. Commissioning and development support for the Stage at Montgomery Place are provided by the Fisher Center’s Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold and S. Asher Gelman ‘06 through the March Forth Foundation.

The 2021 SummerScape season is made possible in part through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Advisory Boards of the Fisher Center at Bard and Bard Music Festival, and Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.