Press Room

The Fisher Center at Bard Announces SummerScape 2024 (June 20–August 18): Eight Weeks of Opera, Theater, Dance, Music, Spiegeltent, and 34th Bard Music Festival: “Berlioz and

Two preeminent New York companies premiere new work for SummerScape 2024: Elevator Repair Service and Urban Bush Women, the latter celebrating its 40th anniversary and presenting the farewell performance from legendary founder and choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Early ticket access to Fisher Center Patrons begins February 20. Fisher Center Member access begins February 27. Tickets go on sale to the general public on March 6.

SummerScape 2024 highlights:

· Ulysses, continuing Elevator Repair Service’s staging of modernist literary works with the canon’s Mount Everest, James Joyce’s masterpiece (June 20–July 14)

· SCAT!, Urban Bush Women’s new jazz club spectacular is a journey from the Great Migration (to Kansas City) to the present, conceived, directed, and choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar in her final production with the company, with original music composed and performed by Craig Harris (June 28–30)

· A rare, fully-staged production of Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer (set to a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps), marking director Christian Räth’s third opera production for SummerScape, with the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein (July 26–August 4)

· 34th Bard Music Festival, “Berlioz and His World,” contextualizing the Romantic composer’s musical thinking and innovations (August 9–18)

· Return of the Spiegeltent, with programming curated by Caleb Hammons TBA (June 28–August 17)

The Fisher Center at Bard – one of the country’s leading multidisciplinary producing houses, offering extraordinary support to artists to realize ambitious and visionary projects – announces SummerScape 2024 (June 20–August 18). The festival, a “hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure” (New York Times), brings eight weeks of live music, opera, dance, and theater to the Hudson River Valley. It also serves as an incubator for adventurous works that often go on to have extended lives and make significant impacts on the performance landscape in New York and around the country and world. This season, the Fisher Center presents work from two iconic New York companies – Urban Bush Women and Elevator Repair Service – that continue to push their distinct styles to new heights in milestone performances.

Every production at SummerScape has been commissioned, developed, and is premiering at the Fisher Center, giving audiences an opportunity to catch pivotal works in the idyllic setting where they originate. Praised by the New York Times as “a hothouse for the creation of uncompromising, cross-disciplinary and sometimes hard to describe hits,” in recent years, the Fisher Center has developed large-scale works whose momentous journeys were launched from their SummerScape birthplace, including Justin Peck’s arresting music theater interpretation of Sufjan Stevens’s Illinois, currently at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater before its run at the Park Avenue Armory; Pam Tanowitz and David Lang’s biblical poem-inspired Song of Songs, which was recently presented at New York City Center; Tanowitz’s take on T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece Four Quartets, which traveled to the Barbican Centre, CAP UCLA, and BAM; and Daniel Fish’s universally acclaimed reconsideration of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, whose life continued at St. Ann’s Warehouse and on Broadway and the West End, as well as a U.S. national tour.

Both Urban Bush Women (UBW)’s and Elevator Repair Service (ERS)’s new works for SummerScape 2024 are, themselves, theatricalizations of staggering journeys. Dance, music, and text drive SCAT!, UBW’s 40th anniversary production and celebrated founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s farewell work with the company (June 28–30). The visionary choreographer reunites with frequent collaborator, composer Craig Harris. Conceived, choreographed, and directed by Zollar, the work uses movement, music, and words to explore the interlaced histories of the Great Migration and jazz. Here, Zollar tells a story of our country through a “biomythography” (in the vein of Audre Lorde) of her parents.

Of wanting to develop and premiere this landmark work – which also features Bard alumna Roobi Gaskins ’19 –at SummerScape, Zollar says:

“We’re iterative, we’re process-based. I am working with Craig Harris and others who need to work with people who really get that, and are excited about and comfortable with the unknowns of process-based work, and in investing in the artist and where their journey is going to go. That’s what I felt with the Fisher Center, and it’s more unique in this country than it should be.”

Gideon Lester, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Fisher Center at Bard, says:

“SummerScape has a history of presenting superb contemporary artists at the height of their game in collaborations with virtuosic ensembles. With SCAT!, Jawole continues to expand her exuberant art in a profoundly moving farewell to working with her company. Combining social dance with music and storytelling, SCAT! is a reflection of a crucial chapter in American history and a search for justice told with a sense of joy, energy, and celebration. It is equally a reflection of a crucial chapter in New York performance history: that of Jawole’s 40 years of creation with the company built from her vision.”

Elevator Repair Service has mastered the art of staging modernist literature with its highly acclaimed productions Gatz, The Sound and the Fury, and The Select (The Sun Also Rises). In its latest work, the company takes on one of the most daunting masterpieces of the Western

canon: Ulysses, James Joyce’s epic approach to the quotidian, Dublin-traversing journey of Leopold Bloom. Directed by John Collins, with co-direction and dramaturgy by Scott Shepherd, Elevator Repair Service’s Ulysses (June 20–July 14) was presented in two preview performances in fall 2023 but the production was halted when COVID interrupted. Now, as a centerpiece of SummerScape, Ulysses receives a much longer run than was originally programmed for 2023.

Lester says:

“We got so excited by what ERS had developed and by the way audiences responded in those two preview performances that we really wanted to give it a bigger platform. This ensemble work is a loving response to Joyce and his sense of invention, fun, and bawdiness. It is wild, imaginative, highly theatrical, and feels like taking a bath in Joyce’s language. The disappointment of that initial postponement has actually led to a major opportunity: to continue to offer ERS time and resources to develop the work, and to put much more of a spotlight on it in the festival this summer.”

In another production capturing the contemporary resonances of large-scale artistic visions from the past, director Christian Räth (Die schweigsame Frau, 2022 and Das Wunder der Heliane, 2019) returns for a third SummerScape with another bold staging of a grand opera: Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Le prophète, set to a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps. Räth’s production of this 1849 opera about a false prophet highlights the work’s timeless commentary on the ways religion and ideology can be used to manipulate people and societies. Supported by the American Symphony Orchestra and Bard Festival Chorale under Leon Botstein’s leadership, Le prophète runs July 26–August 4.

SummerScape this year reconsiders another 19th-century classical composer’s legacy in the 34th annual Bard Music Festival: that of French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz. Drawing music and sound into dialogue with a wide range of cultural, political, scientific, and sociological currents, Berlioz’s musical thinking and innovations made an impact that is felt to this day. Across two weekends – “Revolutionary Spectacle and Romantic Passion” (August 9–11) and “Music and the Literary Imagination” (August 15–18) – “Berlioz and His World” interlaces performances, lectures, and panels to explore the many strands of Berlioz’s contributions as well as his crucial role in the musical life of 19th-century Europe and the world today.

Over eleven concert programs, the festival will present seminal works by Berlioz, among them the Symphonie fantastique and La damnation de Faust, as well as highlighting less familiar gems, including the Te Deum and a wide selection of songs. The soundscapes of cosmopolitan Paris and the places Berlioz encountered on his travels will be explored through works by composers such as Carl Maria von Weber, Anton Reicha, Luigi Cherubini, Franz Liszt, Gioachino Rossini, Niccolò Paganini, Georges Bizet, Pauline Viardot, Louise Farrenc, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Joachim Raff, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and others. Berlioz’s wide-ranging writings inspire not only programs exploring the transformation of the world of sound he initiated, but also events that look at the role of literature and criticism in the formation of the Romantic musical canon.

Throughout SummerScape, the Spiegeltent – the majestic handmade mirrored pavilion and platform for cutting-edge performance – will brim with music, dance, and more. The tent, which has enchanted guests since its introduction to the festival in 2006, returns for its 17th year. Spiegeltent programming, curated by Caleb Hammons, will be announced at a later date.

Bard SummerScape 2024: highlights, descriptions, and schedule


Elevator Repair Service
June 20–July 14
SummerScape commission/world premiere
Created by Elevator Repair Service
Directed by John Collins
Co-direction and dramaturgy by Scott Shepherd
Text: Ulysses by James Joyce

James Joyce’s Ulysses has fascinated, perplexed, scandalized, and/or defeated readers for more than a century. Building on a rich history of staging modernist works – Gatz, The Sound and the Fury, The Select (The Sun Also Rises) – Elevator Repair Service (ERS) takes on this Mount Everest of 20th-century literature in the company’s Fisher Center debut. Seven performers sit down for a sober reading but soon find themselves guzzling pints, getting into brawls, and committing debaucheries as they careen on a fast-forward tour through Joyce’s funhouse of styles. With madcap antics and a densely layered sound design, ERS presents an eclectic sampling from Joyce’s life-affirming masterpiece.

An opening night pre-show event will take place on Saturday, June 22; on Wednesday, June 26, there will be a talk immediately following the performance; on Sunday, July 14, at 1pm, there will be a pre-performance talk. Round-trip transportation from New York City will be available for the July 14 performance.

About Elevator Repair Service

“A heroic company that dares to venture into literary realms.” – New York Times

Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a New York City-based company that creates original works for live theater with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s shows are created from a wide range of texts that include found transcripts of trials and debates, literature, classical dramas, and new plays. Founded in 1991, ERS has created an extensive body of work that includes dozens of original pieces. These have earned the company a loyal following and made it one of New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theater companies. The company is best known for Gatz, its award-winning verbatim staging of the entire text of The Great Gatsby. ERS has received numerous awards and distinctions, including Lortel Awards, a Bessie Award, and an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award for Artistic Director John Collins.


Urban Bush Women
June 28–30
A New Jazz Club Spectacular
SummerScape commission/world premiere
Conception, direction, and choreography by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
Original music composed and performed by Craig Harris

Building upon a repertoire of bold, life-affirming dance works, Urban Bush Women celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new dance-driven jazz club spectacular that tells the story of two people making their way on a journey, from the Great Migration (to Kansas City) to the present. Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar grew up performing in floor shows in Black neighborhoods in a segregated Kansas City in the mid-20th century – an era when Black businesses were booming, and there was great hope of upward mobility post-WWII. Performed with a live band to an original jazz score by Craig Harris, this world premiere tells the powerful journey of the Zollar family and what happens when dreams encounter the harsh realities of American life in the 1940s and ’50s.

There will be a post-performance party celebrating Urban Bush Women’s 40th anniversary on Friday, June 28, and a pre-performance talk on Sunday, June 30, at 2pm. Round-trip transportation from NYC will be available on Sunday, June 30.

About Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
“Jawole Willa Jo Zollar has had a consistent and innovative interest in mining tradition and creating new ritual.” – New York Times

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar began a relationship with the Fisher Center in 2020, working with director Daniel Fish on the 2020 production Most Happy in Concert. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, she earned her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984 Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.

In addition to creating more than 34 works for Urban Bush Women, Zollar has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, and many universities across the United States. Her collaborations include projects with Compagnie Jant-Bi from Senegal and Nora Chipaumire. She was the choreographer of Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of American Popular Music. In 2023, Zollar was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to direct and choreograph a new Jake Heggie opera, Intelligence.

Urban Bush Women has toured five continents and was selected as one of three U.S. dance companies to inaugurate a cultural diplomacy program for the U.S. Department of State in 2010. Zollar serves as director of the UBW Summer Leadership Institute, founding and visioning partner of Urban Bush Women, and as the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance

and Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at Florida State University. Zollar has been a United States Artists Wynn fellow and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellow. She holds honorary degrees from Columbia College Chicago, Tufts University, Rutgers University, and Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

Zollar has received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the Dance Magazine Award, the Dance/USA Honor Award, the “Bessie” Lifetime Achievement in Dance Award for her work in the field, the Dance Teacher Award of Distinction, and the Martha Hill Dance Fund Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, the Ford Foundation declared Urban Bush Women one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Zollar has recently been awarded a 2021 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the 2022 APAP Honors Award of Merit for achievement in the performing arts, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

About Craig Harris
Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, bringing the entire history of the jazz trombone with him. Craig handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes the spoken word. He has performed with a veritable who’s who of progressive jazz’s most important figures, and his own projects display both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of musical expression. Those two qualities have dominated Craig’s 40 years of activity, bringing him beyond the confines of the jazz world into multimedia and performance art as a composer, performer, conceptualist, music curator, and artistic director. Craig, who comes from a tradition of art as cultural facilitation to help promote change, has employed his musical voice to comment on social injustice with projects including God’s Trombones, based on James Weldon Johnson’s book of sermons; Souls Within the Veil commemorating the centennial of W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal work; TriHarlenium, a sound portrait and 30-year musical time capsule of Harlem; and Brown Butterfly, a tribute to the exquisite movements of Muhammad Ali.

About Urban Bush Women (UBW)
Urban Bush Women (UBW) galvanizes artists, activists, audiences, and communities through performances, artist development, education, and community engagement. With the ground-breaking performance ensemble at its core and its ongoing programs, including the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), BOLD (Builders, Organizers & Leaders through Dance), and the Choreographic Center Initiative, UBW affects the overall ecology of the arts by promoting artistic legacies; projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color; bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the dance field and throughout the United States; and providing platforms and serving as a conduit for culturally and socially relevant experimental art makers.


Le prophète
by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps
New production
July 26–August 4
Sung in French with English supertitles
Directed by Christian Räth
American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein
Jean de Leyde: Robert Watson, tenor
Fidès: Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano
Berthe: Amina Edris, soprano

Religion, power, ego, and manipulation collide in composer Giacomo Meyerbeer’s glorious psychodrama. Shepherded by a trio of sinister Anabaptists, the simple innkeeper Jean de Leyde is persuaded into proclaiming himself king of Münster. Armed with charismatic leadership, Jean mobilizes the masses into a tumultuous religious uprising, denouncing his mother, Fidès, and antagonizing his beloved, Berthe, along the way. Visionary director Christian Räth (Die schweigsame Frau, 2022 and Das Wunder der Heliane, 2019) returns for a third SummerScape to lead a bold new production of a grand opera known for its colorful vocal passages, inventive orchestrations, and catastrophic end.

A premiere party will take place on Friday, July 26, at 5pm in the Spiegeltent; the July 26 performance will feature an opening night intermission toast. On Sunday, July 28, at 12pm, there will be a pre-performance talk with Maestro Botstein; round-trip transportation from New York City will be available on Sunday, July 28, and Sunday, August 4.

About Christian Räth
“The witty staging, engaging cast, and efficiently evocative designs made a good opera feel like a great one. … For Bard’s delightful production, the director and set designer Christian Räth stages Frau as an opera about putting on an opera. Stagehands execute scene changes in full view of the audience, and Morosus’s single-word mantra, ‘Ruhe’ (quiet), glows like an exit sign above the doors of his orderly home.” – New York Times, on Die schweigsame Frau (Bard SummerScape 2022)

“The real genius, however, is Räth, a director who really seems to understand what the music ‘means’ and in particular how that can be used to clarify and illuminate the densely expressionistic storyline. He’s sensual when he needs to be sensual while turning dark and dangerous when the music indicates it. At every turn he senses the proper focus while encouraging his intelligent singers to act their socks off…He moves his pieces with immaculate timing and a real eye for the stage picture. … Opera productions don’t get much better than this.” – Musical America, on Das Wunder der Heliane (Bard SummerScape 2019)

A native of Hamburg, director Christian Räth is renowned throughout Europe, Japan, and the USA. His work takes him to many of the world’s leading opera houses, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Opéra national de Paris, and London’s Royal Opera House.

Recent new productions include Richard Strauss’s Die schweigsame Frau and Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane at Bard SummerScape 2019/22, Der Freischütz and Macbeth at the Wiener Staatsoper, Le baron tzigane at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, L’italiana in Algeri in Portland, OR, and the direction and design of Kiss Me, Kate for the Haut École de Musique de Genève, in collaboration with the Théâtre du Galpon, Geneva. Upcoming highlights include the world premiere of Woman with Eyes Closed by Jennifer Higdon at Opera Philadelphia.

In 2021, Christian conceived and directed two unique historical events in Egypt: “The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade,” celebrating the journey of 22 royal mummies through the city of Cairo, and the opening ceremony of the antique “Avenue of Sphinxes” at Luxor. Both productions involved more than a thousand participants and were broadcast worldwide.


34th Bard Music Festival
“Hector Berlioz and His World”

Weekend One: “Revolutionary Spectacle and Romantic Passion”
August 9–11

Weekend Two: “Music and the Literary Imagination”
August 15–18

Also a singular writer and conductor, Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) is perhaps the definitive Romantic composer. Drawing music and sound into dialogue with a wide range of cultural, political, scientific, and literary currents, his musical thinking and innovations made an impact that is felt to this day. The 2024 Bard Music Festival will explore the many strands of Berlioz’s contributions and his crucial role in the musical life of 19th-century Europe and the world today.

Weekend One: “Revolutionary Spectacle and Romantic Passion”

Program One: “Staging the Musical Imagination”
Friday, August 9
Sosnoff Theater
7pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Symphonie fantastique: Episode de la vie d’un artiste, Op. 14 (1830)
Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie: monodrame lyrique, Op. 14b (1831–32)

Panel One: “A Revolutionary Life in a Revolutionary Era”
Saturday, August 10
Olin Hall
10am–12 noon

Program Two: “Anxieties of Influence: Models, Teachers, and Classmates”
Saturday, August 10
Olin Hall
1pm: pre-concert talk
1:30pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Le montagnard exilé (1822–23)
Other songs
Anton REICHA (1770–1836)
String Quartet in C minor, Op. 49, No. 1 (1803)
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786–1826)
Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 (1819)
Works by Jean-François LE SUEUR (1760–1837); Gaspare SPONTINI (1774–1851); Ambroise THOMAS (1811–96)

Program Three: “The Sounds of a Nation: Patriotism and Antiquity”
Saturday, August 10
Sosnoff Theater
6pm: pre-concert talk
7pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Hymne des Marseillaise (arr. 1830)
Selections from Les Troyens (1856–58)
Te Deum, Op. 22/H.118 (1849)
Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714–87)
Overture to Iphigénie en Aulide (1774; arr. R. Wagner, 1847)
Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782–1871)
Overture to Fra Diavolo (1830)

Program Four: “Chansons, romances, et mélodies: Vocal Music from Cosmopolitan Paris”
Sunday, August 11
Olin Hall
11 am: performance with commentary

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Irlande, Op. 2 (1830)
Songs and arias by Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791–1864); Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868); Franz LISZT (1811–86); Richard WAGNER (1813–83); Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921); Georges BIZET (1838–75); Gabriel FAURÉ (1845–1924); and others

Program Five: “Women in Berlioz’s Circle”
Sunday, August 11
Sosnoff Theater
2:30pm: preconcert talk
3 pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Le mort d’Ophélie, Op. 18, No. 2 (1842)
Pauline VIARDOT (1821–1910)
Le dernier sorcier, operetta (1869)
Works by Louise FARRENC (1804–75); Louise BERTIN (1805–77); Marie de GRANDVAL (1828–1907); and others

Weekend Two: “Music and the Literary Imagination”

Program Six: “Sacred Music in France”
Thursday, August 15 at 7pm
Friday, August 16 at 3pm
Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Rhinebeck

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
La fuite en Égypte: Mystère en style ancien (1850)
Works by Luigi CHERUBINI (1760–1842); Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868); Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921); Gabriel FAURÉ (1845–1924); and others

Program Seven: “Berlioz: The Composer as Writer”
Friday, August 16
Sosnoff Theater
6:30pm: preconcert talk
7pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Harold en Italie, Op. 16 (1834; arr. Liszt)
Works by Niccolò PAGANINI (1782–1840); Fromental HALÉVY (1799–1862); Adolphe ADAM (1803–56); Johann STRAUSS Sr. (1804–49); Heinrich Wilhelm ERNST (1812–65); and others

Panel Two: “Romanticism and Literature”
Saturday, August 17
Olin Hall

Program Eight: “Literary Romanticisms”
Saturday, August 17
Olin Hall
1pm: pre-concert talk
1:30pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
Rêverie et caprice, Op. 8 (1841)
Works by Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809–47); Robert SCHUMANN (1810–56); Franz LISZT (1811–86); Ferdinand HILLER (1811–85); Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829–69)

Program Nine: “An Evening with the Orchestra”
Saturday, August 17
Sosnoff Theater
6pm: pre-concert talk
7pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
“Waverley” Overture, Op. 1 (1827)
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Overture to William Tell (1829)
Louise FARRENC (1804–75)
Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 36 (1847)
Joachim RAFF (1822–82)
Symphony No. 10 in F minor, “In Autumn,” Op. 213 (1879)

Program Ten: “Berlioz’s Transformation of the World of Sound”
Sunday, August 18
Olin Hall
11am: pre-concert talk
11:30am: performance

Works by Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844–1908); Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918); Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949); Edgard VARÉSE (1883–1965); Olivier MESSIAEN (1908–92)

* Program Eleven: “Faust and the Spirit of the 19th Century”
Sunday, August 18
Sosnoff Theater
2pm: pre-concert talk
3pm: performance

Hector BERLIOZ (1803–69)
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24 (1846)

* Round-trip transportation from NYC is available for Program 11 on Sunday, August 18

Book launch on Saturday, August 10 at 4:30pm (location TBA)


Live Music – Performance – Dancing
June 28–August 17

The magnificent Spiegeltent returns to SummerScape for its 17th season. This year’s Spiegeltent programs are curated by Caleb Hammons, who previously served as the Fisher Center’s Director of Artistic Planning & Producing from 2020–2023 and Senior Producer from 2013–2020.

Sumptuous evenings of performances, drinks, and dancing await! Sign up for the Fisher Center’s e-news to be the first to hear about the programming.

Special events

This summer, three special celebrations offer unique opportunities to socialize with world-class SummerScape artists and fellow arts enthusiasts in wholly unique settings on the Bard campus.

Sunday, June 30
4:30–6:30pm: ticketed party ($90)

With this celebration of the official start of summer in Annandale, the Fisher Center kicks off its annual festival. Join us in the iconic Spiegeltent for a light meal, and raise a glass with the world-class Urban Bush Women and Elevator Repair Service companies.

Friday, July 26
5–6pm: ticketed party ($90)

Before the curtain rises on the much-anticipated new production of Le prophète, join like-minded opera aficionados for a sip with some savories and sweets, and insights from the creative team behind the grand spectacle.

Saturday, August 17
3:30–6:30pm: ticketed party ($100)

As SummerScape ends and the Bard Music Festival draws to a close, there is one more chance to come together and celebrate. Nestled perfectly between Bard Music Festival Program Eight: “Literary Romantics” and Program Nine: “An Evening with the Orchestra” or just before the final night in the Spiegeltent, this annual affair includes performances, signature cocktails, light fare, and a guaranteed good time.

SummerScape Tickets

Early ticket access to Fisher Center patrons begins February 20. Fisher Center Member access begins February 27. Tickets go on sale to the general public on March 6.

For complete information regarding tickets, series discounts, and more, visit or call Bard’s box office at (845) 758-7900.

Funding credits

Lead commissioning support for the development and creation of SCAT! is provided by Brown Arts Institute at Brown University. Additional commissioning support is generously provided by The Perelman Performing Arts Center, The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, and the American Dance Festival with support from the Doris Duke/SHS Foundations Award for New Works.

Ulysses is co-commissioned by and was developed, in part, at Symphony Space. This performance is made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State

Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Elevator Repair Service is also supported with funds from The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Howard Gilman Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Jockey Hollow Foundation, Lucille Lortel Foundation, The O’Grady Foundation, Scherman Foundation, Select Equity Group Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation. Elevator Repair Service is a member of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York.

The Fisher Center is generously supported by Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin & Toni Sosnoff Foundation, Felicitas S. Thorne, the Advisory Boards of the Fisher Center at Bard and Bard Music Festival, Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members, the Educational Foundation of America, the Ettinger Foundation, the Thendara Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Projects developed through Fisher Center LAB receive funding from members of the Live Arts Bard Creative Council, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, and the Fisher Center’s Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold and additional funding from The William and Lia G. Poorvu Foundation.

About the Fisher Center at Bard

The Fisher Center develops, produces, and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs that challenge and inspire. As a premier professional performing arts center and a hub for research and education, the Fisher Center supports artists, students, and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present as well as visions of the future. The Fisher Center demonstrates Bard’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. Home is the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and located on the campus of Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley, soon to be complemented by the Maya Lin-designed Performing Arts LAB (opening 2026). The Fisher Center offers outstanding programs to many communities, including the students and faculty of Bard College and audiences in the Hudson Valley, New York City, across the country, and around the world. Building on a 164-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders.

The Fisher Center presents more than 200 world-class events and welcomes 50,000 visitors each year. It also supports artists at all stages of their careers, employs more than 300 professional artists annually, and is a powerful catalyst for art-making regionally, nationally, and worldwide. Every year, it produces eight to ten major new works in various disciplines. Over the past five years, its commissioned productions have been seen in more than 100 communities around the world. During the 2018–2019 season, six Fisher Center productions toured nationally and internationally. In 2019, the Fisher Center won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for Daniel Fish’s production of Oklahoma!, which began its life in 2007 as an undergraduate production at Bard and was produced professionally in the Fisher Center’s SummerScape festival in 2015 before transferring to New York City.

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