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March 21, 2017

New Season of the History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik Launches on April 3

David Rubenstein Atrium

Press Contact: Marian Skokan








Free event takes place at 7:30 pm at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center


NEW YORK, NY (March 21, 2017) — A new season of The History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik begins on Monday, April 3, at the David Rubenstein Atrium, with a look at the triumphant 1966 performance by Leontyne Price in the title role in the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra, the opera by Samuel Barber commissioned for the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s new home at Lincoln Center. Joining Gopnik is internationally renowned soprano Renée Fleming.  Interspersed with audio and video clips, she and Gopnik will discuss Ms. Price’s extraordinary career and the significance of the pioneering African-American soprano’s starring role at a momentous time in the history of opera and the world. The entire evening will be streamed on Facebook Live on Lincoln Center’s Facebook Page.


“The spring 2017 season of The History of the World in 100 Performances will once again try to open up, analyze, celebrate, and even recreate a few of the moments in which a human being, or handful of human beings stepped out onto a stage to act or sing or speak, and left the world a different place,” said Gopnik. Each evening is introduced by Gopnik, who also employs film and audio clips, insights from guest artists and experts about the event, and live performance to illustrate “the historical vectors that led to it and away from it, and why it still matters.”


The beloved American soprano Leontyne Price recently celebrated her 90th birthday.  NPR marked the occasion in a program in which highlights of her career were recalled by several current opera stars.  Jessye Norman remembered it was as a middle-schooler that she first heard Price—on an opera recording her brother brought home. “Hearing this voice—this vibrant, beautiful, soaring, amazing voice….was overwhelming.  I used to sit just wondering…what it must be like to carry such an instrument around in one’s body.”


This season’s celebration of world-changing performances includes an evening devoted to the first night of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 1600.  For the May 22 event, eminent Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt will provide analysis, and actors newly trained in reproducing the precise sounds of Elizabethan speech will allow the audience to experience what the play’s original audience would have heard.  The June 5 program explores the moment in 1961 when a young, double-talking Woody Guthrie devotee from Minnesota named Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan, sang for the first time in a Greenwich Village coffee house, and began a new form of poetic songwriting and pointed the path towards an unexampled Nobel Prize.  New Yorker editor David Remnick and the Swedish singer known as The Tallest Man on Earth will contribute to the evening.  Additional participants in these programs, and a fourth event in the series, will be announced at a later date.  All four events will be streamed on Facebook Live on Lincoln Center’s Facebook page.


The History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik was launched in 2016 at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Gopnik, celebrated New Yorker critic and reporter and best-selling author, whose most recent work includes musical theater projects as a librettist and lyricist, leads guests on multimedia investigations into great artistic triumphs in the theater, the concert hall, on the dance stage, and the movie screen.  Highlights of the first season included Jake Gyllenhaal performing a song on an evening devoted to Leonard Bernstein and Alec Baldwin discussing his experience acting the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire for a program on Marlon Brando.


All events take place at the David Rubenstein Atrium, Frieda and Roy Furman Stage (Broadway between 62nd & 63rd Streets). Admission is FREE; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information about these and all of the free events at the Atrium, visit


History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik

Spring 2017 Schedule


Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Leontyne Price Opens the Metropolitan Opera House

The year is 1966. An American soprano is given the ultimate honor: the inaugural performance at the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center singing a role written especially for her—Samuel Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra.  Using music clips and archival footage, Gopnik and guests—including acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming—delve into this historic cultural moment. 


Monday, May 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm

The Premiere of Hamlet

In Elizabethan England, in the early 1600s, the playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare completed a new work which would go on to become one of the most famous plays of all time.  Adam Gopnik investigates the landmark premiere of Hamlet with guests who include American literary critic and scholar Stephen Greenblatt and an Elizabethan dialect expert.


Monday, June 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Bob Dylan at Gerde’s Folk City

Before he was a Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan was Robert Zimmerman, a young, double-talking Woody Guthrie devotee from Minnesota. A 1961 show at a Greenwich Village café and a positive review in The New York Times would change everything.  In the final installment of the series this season, Adam Gopnik is joined by singer-songwriter The Tallest Man on Earth (a.k.a. Kristian Matsson) and New Yorker critic David Remnick to examine this pivotal performance in Dylan’s career and the history of American music.




In the past five years, Adam Gopnik has engaged in many musical projects, working both as a lyricist and libretto writer. With the composer David Shire he wrote both book and lyrics for the musical comedy TABLE, produced in 2016 by the Long Wharf Theatre under the direction of Gordon Edelstein.  He wrote the libretto for Nico Muhly’s oratorio Sentences, which premiered in London at the Barbican in June of 2015.  Other projects include collaborating on a one-woman show for the soprano Melissa Errico and Sing The Silence, which debuted in November of 2015 at the Public Theater in New York and included new songs co-written with David Shire, Scott Frankel, and Peter Mills. Future projects include a new musical with Scott Frankel.


Gopnik has been a contributing staff writer at The New Yorker since 1986. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction, humor, book reviews, profiles, and reported pieces from abroad.  He was the magazine’s art critic from 1987 to 1995 and the Paris correspondent from 1995 to 2000. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote a journal about New York life. His books, ranging from essay collections about Paris and food to children’s novels, include Paris to the Moon, The King in the Window, Through the Children’s Gate: A Home in New York, Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food, and Winter: Five Windows on the Season.  Gopnik received three National Magazine Awards, for essays and for criticism, and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March of 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lectures widely and, in 2011, delivered the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Massey Lectures.


Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts.  Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award (her fourth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.  An earlier distinction came in 2008 when Ms. Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.  Fleming’s many recordings include complete operas, orchestral works, classical, jazz, indie rock, and the soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings. Her 2016–2017 schedule includes concerts in San Francisco, Toronto, Boston, Budapest, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, and Tokyo.  This winter she appeared as the Marschallin in a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and she returns to the role at the Metropolitan Opera this spring.  Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.


Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.  He is the author of 12 books, including The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize) and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.  He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, has edited seven collections of criticism, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations.  He was named the 2016 Holberg Prize Laureate.  His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation.  Greenblatt was president of the Modern Language Association of America and has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Philosophical Society.


Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson performs under the stage name The Tallest Man on Earth. He began his solo career in 2006 and in 2008 recorded a breakthrough album, Shallow Grave, which brought him international attention and critical acclaim.  Following its release, he toured with Bon Iver, leading to solo touring in the U.S., Australia, and Europe.  His second album, The Wild Hunt, was released in 2010 on the American Dead Oceans label, and his third—his first as TTMOE—There’s No Leaving Now came out in early 2012, launching a two-year worldwide tour.  His 2015 album Dark Bird is Home, with a full-band sound, rich sonic panorama, and deeply personal lyrics, is the Swedish artist’s most ambitious to date.  Reviewing the recording, Paste Magazine wrote, “One thing is for sure, as charismatic as Matsson's The Tallest Man on Earth has become over the last decade, he's showing even more signs of timelessness as the fruits of his craft ripen.”  Recent performances have taken TTMOE to Massey Hall in Toronto, New York’s Beacon Theatre, Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Sydney Opera House.


Editor of The New Yorker since 1998 and a staff writer since 1992, David Remnick has written reports from Russia, the Middle East, and Europe, and profiles of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Katharine Graham, Mike Tyson, Ralph Ellison, Philip Roth, and Benjamin Netanyahu.  He began his reporting career as a staff writer at the Washington Post in 1982.  In 1988, he started a four-year tenure as a Washington Post Moscow correspondent, an experience that formed the basis of his 1993 book on the former Soviet Union, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, which received both the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and a George Polk Award for excellence in journalism in 1994.  Remnick is the author of five other books:  Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia  King of the World (a biography of Muhammad Ali), The Bridge (a biography of Barack Obama), and The Devil Problem and Reporting, which are collections of his pieces from the magazine.  Remnick has contributed to The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and The New Republic.  He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and has taught at Princeton, where he received his BA, in 1981, and at Columbia.


Opened in 2009, David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center is a vibrant public visitor space on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets, open daily with an array of programs and services for local residents and the thousands of people who visit Lincoln Center and the surrounding community every day. It is home to amenities such as a ‘wichcraft café, a staffed Information Desk, the Zucker Box Office TKTS booth offering discount tickets to Broadway and Lincoln Center performances, and free Wi-Fi, and serves as the starting point for Lincoln Center tours. The Atrium hosts year-round free performances presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, including a weekly Thursday evening concert series (Atrium 360°), monthly LC Kids Saturday morning family programs, and on-going series, such as VICE Media: Watch & Learn, and ¡VAYA! 63, a Latin music dance party.


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, The Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 40 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are physically and digitally has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. The reimagination of David Geffen Hall will play an important part in these efforts.


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375.



Programming at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center is made possible by Alice and David Rubenstein. Generous endowment support is provided by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Oak Foundation


Bank of America is Lead Supporter of Free Thursdays during Atrium 360°


The discount ticket facility is made possible by Donald and Barbara Zucker


American Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center


Programs and artists are subject to change.

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