Arts Agenda: Summertime is festival time, from Breckenridge to Bayreuth


If it's summer, it must be festival time all over the world. From opera to jazz to chamber music to theater to literature, it promises to be a very festive summer in sites as far-flung as New York's Lincoln Center; Helsinki, Finland; and Bayreuth, Germany.


Baltimore -- The Mount Royal neighborhood is the setting for the 24th annual Artscape. From July 22 to 24 the 1200 block of Mount Royal Avenue features art exhibits, fashion, theater, film, workshops and free musical performances.

Breckenridge, Colo. -- From classical to contemporary, the Breckenridge Music Festival offers fine music in a glorious setting from July 19 to Aug. 20.

Jackson Hole, Wyo. -- The views are spectacular and the music is first-rate at the annual Grand Teton Music Festival from July 24 to Aug. 27 at the base of Rendezvous Mountain.

Key West, Fla. -- Fans of Ernest Hemingway won't want to miss the annual Hemingway Days Festival from July 22 to 24. Focusing on the author's life and interests, the festival offers a special attraction for bearded men -- a Hemingway look-alike contest. 

Los Angeles -- The King Tut exhibit may be breaking attendance records at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, but it isn't the only game in town. The traveling exhibit "Basquiat," at the Museum of Contemporary Art though Oct. 10, focuses on the short but brilliant career of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who incorporated street experiences into his work.

Mountainville, N.Y. -- The work of sculptor Mark di Suvero is the attraction at the Storm King Art Center's exhibition, "Richard Bellamy and Mark di Suvero," through Nov.13. In addition to more than 20 works by di Suvero displayed outdoors, the center also features an indoor exhibition of more than 80 photos of di Suvero's sculptures by art dealer Richard Bellamy.

New York -- The Big Apple is a hot spot for arts and culture this summer. There's excitement in the theaters of America's leading arts center. The annual Lincoln Center Festival, July 12 to 31, features world and U.S. premieres of opera, theater and dance directed by such contemporary masters as Robert Wilson. As the festival nears its end, the annual Mostly Mozart festival returns to Lincoln Center's concert halls and theaters. From July 28 to Aug. 27, concerts and recitals featuring such noted performers as Renee Fleming, Emanuel Ax and James Galway take over the center's stages. There's even more to see at Lincoln Center as the famed Bolshoi Ballet performs at the Metropolitan Opera House from July 18 to 30, presenting such classics as "Don Quixote" and "Spartacus."

Nearby, in Central Park, one of America's top summer theater offerings, the 50-year-old Public Theater's annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival, presents its summer season. "As You Like It" is on tap through July 18 followed by "Two Gentlemen of Verona" from Aug. 16 to Sept. 11.

Meanwhile, the photography of one America's most controversial artists is the attraction at the Guggenheim Museum through Aug. 24. "Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition: Photographs and Mannerist Prints" explores the photographer's relationship to classical art emphasizing the emotional  and narrative elements.

Artists of the Hudson River School known for their luminous landscape paintings are the attraction at the New-York Historical Society through Feb. 5. A series of exhibitions built around several different themes under the overall title, "The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society: Nature and the American Vision," includes paintings, prints, and watercolors by such artists as Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand and Albert Bierstadt and ceramic tableware decorated with American landscape scenes.

San Diego -- "Maxfield Parrish, Master of Make-Believe" through Sept. 11 at the San Diego Museum of Art features more than 80 works by one of America's best-known illustrators and artists, including several of his murals and his calendar and book illustrations.

Santa Fe, N.M. -- The Santa Fe Opera hosts one of America's oldest and most prestigious opera festivals through Aug. 27.

Washington -- Portraits of Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp are among the photographic works included in "Irving Penn: Platinum Prints" at the National Gallery of Art through Oct. 2.


Amsterdam -- Over 100 of the artist's finest drawings are on view in "Van Gogh Draughtsman" at the Van Gogh Museum through Sept. 18.

The Richard Wagner Festival will be held from July 25 to Aug. 28 at Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany.Bayreuth, Germany -- The Richard Wagner Festival draws visitors from all over the world for opera presented at Bayreuth's Festspielhaus from July 25 to Aug. 28.

Brussels -- Several of Belgium's leading museums have joined together to present an important exhibition of Flemish art in celebration of  Belgium's 175 years as a nation. "Ensor to Bosch" is on view at the Centre for Fine Arts through Sept. 11.

Edinburgh, Scotland -- Hundreds of items relating to Russia's last czar and his family are featured in "Nicholas and Alexandra" at the Royal Museum of the National Museum of Scotland from July 14 to Oct. 30.

Visitors also can catch the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the first of its kind, and now in its 59th season, from Aug. 7 to 29. Some 800 shows will be held throughout the city. 


Helsinki, Finland -- Symphonic music, dance, theater and children's programs are among the events at Finland's most diverse cultural event, the Helsinki Festival, from Aug. 19 to Sept. 4. 

London -- If you like your music flavored with a bit of history, you'll want to attend the first-ever Tower of London Festival of Music running through July 16. Opera, jazz and pop music share the stage at one of England's most historic sites.

Munich -- With over 20 different productions and Zubin Mehta conducting three of the operas, the Munich Opera Festival, through July 31, is a key event for music lovers.

Perugia, Italy -- The music is hot and cool at one of Europe's key jazz events. The Umbria Jazz Festival runs through July 31.

Long-time arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is editor of the Travel Arts Partnership Newsletter (TAP), which is published by Museums Magazine, the Arts & Business Council and the Art Knowledge Corp. For more details visit

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