The first event held in Symphony Space was a signal of the venue's ambitions and its creative approach to programming. In 1978, Allan Miller and Selected Shorts public-radio host Isaiah Sheffer reopened the formerly decaying market-turned-skating-rink-turned-theater to the public with 12 straight hours of Bach, including a night's-end chorus of hundreds of amateur and professional voices singing the composer's Mass in B Minor. Today, Symphony Space continues to welcome a diverse community from the neighborhood and beyond for performances from established and emerging artists.
For almost three decades, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra has harnessed the melodious power of strings, horns, woodwinds, and percussion to re-create classical pieces and vivify modern works. Shows speckle the schedule throughout the year, welcoming duos for “Date Night!” performances, delighting the senses with songs by local choirs, and celebrating snowmen’s birthdays with classic holiday tunes.
Having survived two kidney transplants, Denise Perry is no stranger to poor health—or to promoting good health. In 1994 in the basement of a local church, she and her first three dance pupils planted the seeds for Millennium Dance Company, a business that embodies wellness. Today, Denise and her staff of international instructors spur more than 200 students—from 3-year-olds to adults—toward a lifetime of agility, fitness, and creativity in adult and youth dance classes. The classes cater to pupils seeking active fun or professional careers, as Millennium's three dance companies have dominated stages at the Apollo Theater, the Bronx Museum, and the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Adult classes range from the sensual swivels of pole dancing to the flowing poses of yoga. For kids, African dance fosters a sense of community as students move as one to the beat of a live drummer. Modern dance presents the opportunity for pupils to choreograph their own routines based on their innermost emotions or the emotions their mood rings recommend. At year's end, all dancers unite for a community recital that showcases each athlete's talent.
Founded smack-dab in the middle of Chester A. Arthur's presidency, The Metropolitan Opera has been a vibrant cultural center for more than 130 years. The Met's accomplished conductors, performers, and composers form a who's who of opera?Arturo Toscanini and Gustav Mahler are among them?and they've premiered some of history's most remarkable works, including those by Wagner and Puccini. The current music director, James Levine, has steered the ship since 1976, witnessing not only the birth of groundbreaking works by Philip Glass and Tobias Picker, but also the creation of new opera fans across the country. In 1977, a televised performance of La Boh?me reached more than four million people, leading to regular broadcasts and HD screenings in movie theaters.
Since 1966, the Met's performers have sent their voices soaring in one of the world's most stunning opera houses, designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison. Past the lobby's two towering Marc Chagall paintings, twinkling Viennese chandeliers light the way to nearly 4,000 seats. There, the auditorium's timeless design blends seamlessly with technology: on each seat back, a small screen displays simultaneous translation through the company's unique Met Titles system, granting audiences the chance to follow the libretto in English, Spanish, or German.