At Lincoln Center some Dreams come True

One place I have gone to so often down in Manhattan is Lincoln Center. It is one of the best places for the performing arts that can be found. There is music, theater, and dance featured on the stages at Lincoln Center and I’ve been to performances at Avery Fischer Hall, the State Theater, and the Met. With Juliards a part of the complex, future generations of performers are trained to go on the stages found at Lincoln Center. I’ve yet to attend a chamber concert at Alice Tully Hall. But someday I hope my music is performed there as well as at the other theaters.

The stage at the Metropolitan Opera is what you would expect from a world-class venue for the performing arts. Sometimes the best seat in the house for a performance of “The Nutcracker Ballet” is the center against the railing on the top tier. You get to see everything for a “God’s Eye View.” The music can clearly be heard up there too. I haven’t attended an opera yet. But I’m sure a patron could hear everything from there too. With the screens in front of most of the people so they can read the translations, an opera-goer can enjoy the musical theater more because they have the English translation in front of them.

The stage at the New York State Theater is great for ballet. Most seats are good seats. I choose to sit about four or five tiers up to see the entire stage and the performers. As the giant chandelier ascends and the lights lower, you know the performance is about to begin. After that, expect magic.

Not all ballet performances are alike. One year the street scene for Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” is one way and the next year it can be totally different. I go for both the gorgeous music and the dancing. But when you look at the dancers in the program, the beautiful women and handsome men are a great draw too. The home of the New York State Ballet Theater is perfect for the performers.

I’ve been to Avery Fischer Hall often both during the day and night. The Saturday matinee concerts are great because they cost less and often you get the chance to ask perfomers questions. Also on Saturdays, people don’t feel like they need to dress formally. It is relaxed and inviting. I was able to ask Andre’ Previn who his favorite movie composers were since he has composed music for movies and TV. He told me that the one composer he doesn’t like is the one that composed music for a ship that sunk. Of course he was talking about James Horner who sold a lot of recordings of the soundtrack. Previn may have been a bit jealous. At a later concert, he confessed that he heard the music of the composer he disliked and that it was pretty good.

Then there was the night I got the chance to be a part of a choir that consisted of maybe more than 1000 people. It was the Handel’s “Messiah” sing-in in which the audience has a chance to sing the choir pieces. My personal favorite choir piece is “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.” The “Hallelujah Chorus” is great. But I prefer the song I chose which is sung earlier in the performance because it confirms that Christ is God. After the concert, the snow was covering the sidewalks which put people into the holiday spirit.

One of the great things about Lincoln Center is its accessibility. If you take the train down to Grand Central Station and the shuttle subway to Time Square, you can take the Number One train directly to Lincoln Center and never need to be outside unless you have to be at the Metropolitan Opera House. Also, with the passages below the street between each theater, going from one theater to another is simple. And if you have some time to kill, stop in at the music and book store. It has a fine collection of concert, opera, and ballet CDs and videos and DVDs. There are also fascinating books for sale. I briefly looked at a book of Prokofiev’s letters to friends and relatives a few times. You can learn a lot about the personal life of composers in the music and book store.

If you get the chance to go to New York, I would advise that you take in a performance at Lincoln Center. And if you are there during the day, you may want to take in the tour of Lincoln Center. It is informative and you may get the chance to see someone famous at a rehearsal of an opera. At Juliards you may get the chance to see a future star performer at Lincoln Center.

New York City has at times been called the city of dreams. At Lincoln Center, some dreams come true.