Don’t Miss Anything!
The economy sputtered in 2009-2010, but Milwaukee’s visual and performing arts institutions hit on all cylinders. Most did well at the box office, and the level of artistic achievement was high across the board. All signs suggest that the artistic momentum will roll though 2010-2011.
Cross-pollination is one theme of the season. Michael Pink, artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, is choreographing the Rep’s first musical ever, Cabaret, which opens Sept. 17. Cabaret is also important as Mark Clements’ first production as Rep artistic director. The Florentine Opera, formerly an island unto itself, has reached out in a major way. Paula Suozzi, long associated with the Skylight Opera Theater and Milwaukee Shakespeare, will direct the Florentine’s first world premiere, Don Davis’ Rio de Sangre (Oct. 22). Simone Ferro, a modern dancer from the UWM faculty, is Rio‘s choreographer. Skylight artistic director Bill Theisen will be the hardest-working man in Milwaukee show business this year: In addition to his AD duties, he will play Oliver Hardy in Laurel and Hardy at the Rep and will direct the Florentine’s Italian Girl in Algiers in March. Dani Kuepper, artistic director of Danceworks, will choreograph the Florentine’s double bill of Dido and Aeneas and Venus and Adonis in the spring.
In music, it’s all about Edo (de Waart, a huge hit in his 2009-2010, his first year on the MSO podium) and new opera. The Florentine’s Rio is an exciting development. The Skylight will bring Josh Schmidt’s The Adding Machine, a hit in New York, to the composer’s home town on May 20. Chamber music, also, abounds in Frankly Music, UWM’s Chamber Music Milwaukee, the Fine Arts Quartet, and the Wisconsin Conservatory’s Philomusica jazz concerts, Philomusica String Quartet and the Prometheus Trio, and more.
In dance, it’s the year of Mark Morris at UWM. Students there will immerse themselves in the work of perhaps the world’s most famous choreographer, under instruction from his most trusted aides. The Milwaukee Ballet’s consistently fascinating Genesis Choreography Competition, which draws entries from all over the world, returns to the Pabst Theater Feb. 10. Alverno Presents weighs in with Compagnie Jant-Bi, from Senegal (Oct. 16), and Heidi Latsky’s daring The Gimp Project (Jan. 28-29).
In visual art, Marquette’s Haggerty Museum, UWM’s Inova and several galleries, in addition to MAM, bring edgy new art to the city.
I could go on and on — and I and other TCD writers will go on and on this week, as TCD rolls out season overviews specific to dance, concert music, visual art and theater, one topic each day, Monday through Thursday (Sept. 13-16).
Let TCD help you get your head around the new arts season. We know you wouldn’t want to miss anything.
Photo credits: montage by Brian Jacobson. Original photos courtesy Fidel Martinez (CC Lic.), Mark Royce, Droog Design, Viriya (Q) Pinyokool of the Visual Resources Design Group (MIAD), and Robert McDuffie courtesy Chamber Music Milwaukee.