- $16 for one ticket to see Mona Lisa, performed by the American Symphony Orchestra with singing from Bard Festival Chorale (up to $32.25 value)
- When: Friday, February 20, at 8 p.m.
- Where: Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
- Seating: dress circle
- Door time: 6:30 p.m., with a conductor Q&A at 7 p.m.
- Full offer value includes ticketing fees
- Click to view the seating chart
For centuries, art scholars have debated the source of Mona Lisa’s knowing smile. Max von Schillings’ opera, named after the world’s most famous painting, provides an answer—one that’s filled with scandal. The story—as sung by Bard Festival Chorale—centers on Francesco Giocondo and his wife, Mona Lisa, who are celebrating the last night of the Carnival. Unfortunately, all Francesco can think about is the mysterious smirk of his betrothed, a look that he’s unknowingly immortalized after commissioning Leonardo da Vinci to paint a portrait of her. All is revealed, however, with the arrival of an enigmatic man named Giovanni, who sets off a chain of tragic events involving a torrid love affair and a string of precious pearls.
While Mona Lisa’s score has shades of Wagner to match the dark events of the story, it’s not without moments of levity. The Carnival theme, for example, skips along with merry woodwinds that convey the joy of the festival. This mixing of the ominous and the fanciful won over audiences at the opera’s German premiere back in 1915; Schillings received an enormous amount of fan mail, thanking him for the welcome change of pace and offering chunks of wiener schnitzel as a sign of worship.
American Symphony Orchestra
For more than half a century the American Symphony Orchestra has hewn to founder Leopold Stokowski's original vision: "to offer concerts of great music within the means of everyone." That means its shows aren't just financially affordable, they're also demystified by conductor lectures and never held inside biodomes. In recent years, the organization has added a new facet to its time-tested strategy: curated concerts built around a theme. Shows might explore a particular place and time, examine a literary motif, or delve into the interaction between music and visual art. This strategy has attracted a lot of attention, and not just from audiences: such greats as Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voigt, Sarah Chang, and Carnegie Hall's mask-wearing Phantoms of the Barbershop Quartet have all vied to play with the Orchestra.