Things to Do Around NYC: December 30–January 5

December 30, 2016 Last Updated: December 30, 2016

COMMUNITY EVENTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Pirandello 150
Jan. 13–19
209 W. Houston St.
A one-week film festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello. The Nobel laureate has become an adjective for theater around the world via deeply probed themes of illusion and identity, with actors everywhere breaking the fourth wall, and commenting freely on the works they’re simultaneously performing. But further, in his stories and novels, he evoked the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes of his native Sicily. $14. FilmForum.org

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair
Jan. 19–22
Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rd St.
The singular fair of its kind in the United States continues to attract a stellar roster of internationally renowned specialists—from ancient to contemporary, spanning five centuries. $20. NYCeramicsAndGlass.com

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

By the People: Designing a Better America
Through Feb. 26
2 E. 91st St.
An exhibition of 60 collaborative designs from throughout the United States and across borders, By the People challenges the country’s persistent social and economic inequality. CooperHewitt.org

New York & The Nation
Ongoing
The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History
170 Central Park West
Explore the story of New York and America in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History. $20 for adults, $12 for students, $15 for seniors. NYHistory.org

Painting the Natural World
Tuesdays through Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.
American Museum of Natural History
In an after-hours painting workshop, artists Greg Follender, and Eric Hamilton provide hands-on instruction in acrylic paint. Get a glimpse into the history and craftsmanship behind world-class dioramas and take home a painting of your own. $255; $240 members. AMNH.org

ONGOING ELSEWHERE

Thursday Nights at the Brooklyn Museum
Thursdays
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy.
See all that the Brooklyn Museum has to offer—compliments of Squarespace. Get access to world-class permanent collections and tours of special exhibitions and events like films and salsa dancing. Free. ThursdayNightsBKM.org

Pushing the Envelope: A Decade of Documentary at the Cinema Eye Honors
Through Jan. 8
Museum of Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Queens
Highlights from the Cinema Eye Honors’ first decade with a series featuring more than twenty films that have won or been nominated, along with a few key films released in the year before that inaugural Cinema Eye Honors award ceremony. MovingImage.us

VISUAL ARTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

The Poetics of Place
Dec. 12–May 28
The Met Fifth Avenue
The 60 works in The Poetics of Place will survey the diverse ways in which contemporary artists have photographed landscape and the built world over the last half century. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

A True Friend of the Cause: Lafayette and the Anti-Slavery Movement
Dec. 7–Feb. 4
Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St.
Hailed as the “Hero of Two Worlds,” the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) has received renewed attention for his multifaceted contributions in several areas, including international politics, diplomacy, the military, and the human rights movement. His sustained efforts deployed on both sides of the Atlantic on behalf of the abolition of slavery however are not widely known. This is the first public exhibition devoted to Lafayette’s role as an international anti-slavery advocate. Free. GrolierClub.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Velázquez Portraits: Truth in Painting
Through March 12
The Met Fifth Avenue
Velázquez’s portraits of a young girl (circa 1640) and of Cardinal Camillo Astalli-Pamphili (circa 1650), both from the collection of The Hispanic Society of America in New York City, were recently examined and treated at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The removal of extremely discolored varnish layers that had masked these paintings revealed Velázquez’s remarkable technique and subtle sense of color in ways that had not been seen in more than a century. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

ENDING IN MANHATTAN

Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant
Through Jan. 8
The Met Fifth Avenue
Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)—one of the most forward-looking and inventive artists of the 18th century—was equally skilled in painting, drawing, and etching. Unlike many old masters for whom drawing was a preparatory tool, Fragonard explored the potential of chalk, ink, and wash to create sheets that were works of art in their own right. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven
Through Jan. 8
The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 899
This exhibition will illuminate the key role that the Holy City played in shaping the art of the period from 1000 to 1400. While Jerusalem is often described as a city of three faiths, that formulation underestimates its fascinating complexity. In fact, the city was home to multiple cultures, faiths, and languages. History records harmonious and dissonant voices of people from many lands, passing in the narrow streets of a city not much larger than midtown Manhattan. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio
Through Jan. 16
The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999
This will be the first monographic exhibition devoted to Valentin, who is little known because his career was short-lived—he died at age 41—and his works are so rare. Around 60 paintings by Valentin survive, and this exhibition will bring together 45 of them, with works coming from Rome, Vienna, Munich, Madrid, London, and Paris. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene: An Italian Baroque Masterpiece From the Norton Simon Museum
Through Jan. 22
The Frick Collection
Guido Cagnacci was one of the most eccentric painters of seventeenth-century Italy, infamous for the unconventionality of both his art and his lifestyle. Frick.org

PERFORMING ARTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Jan. 9–Feb. 11
Metropolitan Opera
Peter Mattei reprises one of his most compelling portrayals, that of the wily barber Figaro. The Met’s popular production of Rossini’s comedic jewel—performed in the full-length Italian version—also pairs bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena as the lovers Rosina and Count Almaviva, with Maurizio Benini conducting. From $25. MetOpera.org

Shen Yun Performing Arts
Jan. 11–15
David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center
Fascinating stories from 5,000 years of Chinese culture are told through the vivid athleticism and deep expressiveness of classical Chinese dance, one of the most demanding art forms in the world. $80–$300. ShenYun.com

Balanchine Short Stories
Jan. 17–29
David H. Koch Theater
An ethereal sleepwalker leaving tragedy in her wake. A seductive siren interrupting the path toward redemption. A creature of flickering flame heralding the demise of an evil sorcerer. Three of Balanchine’s greatest narrative works coincide to demonstrate his masterful storytelling. $30–$175. NYCBallet.com

Carmen
Jan. 19–Feb. 18
Metropolitan Opera
Two French mezzo-sopranos, Sophie Koch and Clémentine Margaine, alternate as Bizet’s immortal heroine. Tenor Marcelo Alvarez is her hapless soldier Don José, and newcomer Maria Agresta—a sensation in her debut in La Bohème in the current Met season—is the devoted Micaëla, who fights to save him. Dan Ettinger and Louis Langrée share conducting duties. From $25. MetOpera.org

Rigoletto
Jan. 20–April 27
Metropolitan Opera
Michael Mayer’s hit production of Rigoletto places the action in a neon-bedecked Las Vegas in 1960. Stephen Costello and Joseph Calleja alternate as the womanizing Duke, Olga Peretyatko is the innocent Gilda, and Zeljko Lucic reprises his heartbreaking take on the tragic title role. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts. From $25. MetOpera.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

The Magic Flute
Dec. 20–Jan. 5
Metropolitan Opera
The Met’s English-language family adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey, a new holiday tradition in the city, returns in Julie Taymor’s fanciful production. Young stars Layla Claire and Ben Bliss are the fairy-tale princess and prince, and Christopher Maltman reprises his acclaimed interpretation of the bird-catcher Papageno. Special holiday pricing and weekday matinees are available for this abridged version, conducted by Antony Walker. From $25. MetOpera.org

Roméo et Juliette
Dec. 31–March 18
Metropolitan Opera
Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo are back as opera’s classic lovers, in Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation. The production, by director Bartlett Sher, has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the sumptuous score. From $27. MetOpera.org

Nabucco
Through Jan. 7
Metropolitan Opera
The legendary Plácido Domingo brings another new baritone role to the Met under the baton of his longtime collaborator James Levine. Liudmyla Monastyrska is Abigaille, the warrior woman determined to rule empires, and Jamie Barton is the heroic Fenena. Dmitri Belosselskiy is the stentorian voice of the oppressed Hebrew people. From $27. MetOpera.org

MUSIC

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Copland and Marsalis
Dec. 28–30 & Jan. 3
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis join the Philharmonic in the World Premiere of the jazz legend’s latest creation, one of The New York Commissions for the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary. With style, class, and talent to spare, Marsalis is one of the world’s finest musicians and composers. Plus William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, featuring Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi. $34–$124. NYPhil.org

New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave.
Founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984, the annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace is a signature Cathedral event, gathering old friends and new for more than a quarter of a century. This year we begin with the optimism of Haydn through his “Morning” Symphony and continue with the exuberance of Bach’s Gloria/et in terra pax, “And on earth peace,” from the monumental Mass in B Minor. $40–$150. StJohnDivine.org

NY Philharmonic: New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Celebrate New Year’s Eve by joining the Philharmonic for an “Enchanted Evening” of American classics, including beloved works by Rodgers & Hammerstein. $105–$275. NYPhil.org

Emanuel Ax, Gruber & Schubert
Jan. 5–7
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Emanuel Ax takes center stage in a new Piano Concerto by HK Gruber. Alan Gilbert conducts. $34–$130. NYPhil.org

Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and Brahms’s Third Symphony
Jan. 11–14
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Beethoven’s magisterial and poetic Emperor Concerto will be performed to perfection by Stephen Hough. Also on the program: Brahms’s Third Symphony—perhaps his most personal and serene, once compared to “a rainbow after a thunderstorm.” $34–$145. NYPhil.org

Valley of Tears: Bass Cantatas and Instrumental Sonatas by Johann Rosenmüller
Jan. 15 at 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church, 529 W. 121st St.
Singer Jesse Blumberg and ACRONYM’s twelve instrumental soloists intersperse Johann Rosenmüller’s chamber sonatas, published in Venice in 1670, with unpublished bass cantatas—one of which contains the words, “lachrimarum valle.” Mid-career, Rosenmüller was forced to flee from Leipzig to Venice where he lived for many years, lavishing his musical gifts upon that city. $25–$40. MB1800.org

Beloved Friend: Tchaikovsky and His World
Jan. 24–Feb. 11
Various locations
A luxurious deep dive into Tchaikovsky and composers close to him. Semyon Bychkov conducts the three-week festival, featuring pianists Yefim Bronfman and Kirill Gerstein. $31–$145. NYPhil.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Spiral Music
Wednesdays
Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th St.
Spiral Music presents acoustic music every Wednesday evening at the base of the museum’s spiral staircase. Artists who specialize in music from the Himalayas and South Asia are invited to forge a connection between their music and the art in the galleries. Free. RubinMuseum.org