Please join us to celebrate the artists, audiences, students, faculty, and communities that have written the Fisher Center’s story for its first two decades and will imagine it into the future.
—Gideon Lester, Artistic Director and Chief Executive
The Fisher Center’s 20th Anniversary Season: Breaking Ground is dedicated to the founders of the Fisher Center, who have cultivated extraordinary artistic experiences—past, present, and future. We honor the memory of Richard B. Fisher, a true champion of the arts and Bard College, and his visionary leadership.
World Premiere/SummerScape Commission
Music and Lyrics by Sufjan Stevens
(based on the album Illinois)
Story by Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed and Choreographed by Justin Peck
Tony Award-winner Justin Peck (New York City Ballet, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story) transforms Sufjan Stevens’s 2005 concept album Illinois into a full-length theatrical performance with a cast of virtuosic dancers, singers, and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury.
June 23 – July 2
By Camille Saint-Saëns
Libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Paul-Armand Silvestre
Directed by Jean-Romain Vesperini
American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein
Henri VIII is French grand opera at its most magnificent. In this love triangle for the ages, an infamous Tudor king is determined to divorce Catherine of Aragon in favor of the ambitious, beautiful Anne Boleyn. Saint-Saëns’s exquisite vocal passages and rich orchestration bring this rarely performed masterpiece to vivid life in this captivating new production.
Vaughan Williams and His World
The Bard Music Festival returns for its 33rd season with an exploration of the life and work of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century.
Few figures have had such a formative and protean influence on their musical environment as the British composer. With an oeuvre that ranges from songs and hymns to opera, film music, and full-scale orchestral and choral works and includes popular works such as the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending as well as scores of uncompromising modernity, Vaughan Williams’s voice defined an era. The festival will explore the full scope of his work and set it in the context of his politics and the culture of the time.
WEEKEND ONE • August 4–6
Victorians, Edwardians, and Moderns
WEEKEND TWO • August 10–13
A New Elizabethan Age?
CELEBRATE OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Recognize this milestone year and ensure the Fisher Center remains a cultural beacon.
For twenty years, our extraordinary supporters have helped the Fisher Center evolve into a vibrant professional performing arts center, unmatched in its commitment to artists and innovation across disciplines. Give today to support groundbreaking work and the future of our artistic home for many years to come.
Live Music | Performance | Dancing
The spectacular Spiegeltent, with sumptuous summer weekends of dazzling performances, drinks, and dancing, returns to SummerScape. Longtime favorites and first-time faces (including a new Bluegrass on Hudson series) inhabit a summer-long party with a program that offers something for everyone.
June 22 – August 12
20th Anniversary Community Celebration
The Fisher Center invites you to a day of events and activities for all ages, in honor of YOU—our community.
Discover the Fisher Center like never before, with interactive, behind the scenes tours full of surprises. Kingston’s own DJ Ali brings her Kinder Disco to the Spiegeltent for movers and shakers of all ages. The Latin Grammy Award-winning, all female mariachi sensations Flor de Toloache fill the lawn with their enlightened interpretations of traditional mariachi music. End the evening dancing the night away with DJ MK Ultra (of WKZE radio) in the Spiegeltent.
Saturday, July 15
Free; advance reservations are recommended.
Neil Gaiman: The Bard Lectures
Award-winning author, professor in the arts at Bard, and Fisher Center Advisory Board member, Neil Gaiman has an astonishingly broad career: from journalism to graphic novels; fiction for adults and children; and writing for film, television, and theater. Over five nights, Gaiman will debut a series of five lectures on writing in which he will explore his creative strategies, sharing stories and offering advice—live and in-person at the Fisher Center.
Lecture 3 • Pulling Back the Curtain: How Fiction Works and Why It Still Matters
Thursday, October 12 at 7 pm
Lecture 4 • To Pay the Pied Piper: The Cost of Stories
Friday, October 13 at 7 pm
Lecture 5 • On Endings, Epilogues, and Afters
Saturday, October 14 at 7 pm
Elevator Repair Service
September 21 – October 1
Bread and Puppet Theater
Saturday, September 9
The Orchestra Now
with Maestro Leon Botstein
September 16, 17
Bard Conservatory of Music
Film with Live Orchestra
Singin’ in the Rain
September 23, 24
The Orchestra Now
with special guest conductor
September 30, October 1
Tickets go on sale this summer.
Performing Arts Studio Building Groundbreaking
This fall, we invite you to join us for a special celebration of the Fisher Center and groundbreaking of the site for our new Maya Lin–designed performing arts studio building, featuring a special concert event with Ms. Lisa Fischer and The Orchestra Now
Saturday, October 21
Tickets go on sale this summer.
The Performing Arts Are Essential
Support the creation of innovative work by adventurous artists.
Opening Night Package
Attend all of our opening night performances and summer soirees and save 25%. The Opening Night Package includes a premium opening night seat and these events:
- Illinois Opening Night Cast Party • June 23
- Henri VIII Opening Night Premiere Party • July 7
- Bard Music Festival Opening Night Social • August 4
This season is generously supported by Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, Felicitas S. Thorne, the Advisory Boards of the Fisher Center at Bard and Bard Music Festival, Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members, the Ettinger Foundation, the Thendara Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Fisher Center LAB has received funding from members of the Live Arts Bard Creative Council, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, and the Fisher Center’s Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold and S. Asher Gelman ’06 through the March Forth Foundation.
Visit the Fisher Center
The Fisher Center at Bard is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, situated on the east bank of the Hudson River in the beautiful Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of New York City and 220 miles southwest of Boston.