Lincoln Center emerges from pandemic with summer festival

Lincoln Center will hold a series of more than 300 Summer for the City events both indoors and outdoors following two years of programing sharply curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The performing arts institution first emerged from the pandemic last spring and summer with Restart Stages in outdoor areas at Lincoln Center, ending a 13-month period with no performances for an audience at its campus on Manhattan's west side.

The Summer for the City festival announced Wednesday starts May 14 and runs to Aug. 14 and will include 10 outdoor venues and three indoors.

"It's focused on getting people back together again, having people feel safe together again," said Shanta Thake, who was hired last August as Lincoln Center's chief artistic officer. "And then the return of things like social dance, doing rituals together, the sing-along, all of these ways that really address the question of what does New York need that only live performance can provide."

Indoor events at Rose Theater and Alice Tully Hall will be on a choose-what-you-pay basis.

The festival starts with a sing-a-long on Lincoln Center Plaza with the Young People’s Chorus of New York and a speakeasy for the audience under the entrance driveway.

The Mostly Mozart Festival has not been held since 2019, but the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra will have six pairs of concerts, including Mozart's Requiem. In addition, choreographer Kyle Abraham and composer Jlin will present an electronic version of the Mozart composition transformed into "Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth."

Thake had been associate artistic director at the Public Theater before replacing Jane Moss.

"The hope is that we’ll find that balance of what is indoor and outdoor programing as we go into next summer," Thake said. "How do we really recognize that this has been an incredibly traumatic time for the world, but certainly our city? And what is our role as a cultural institution to step into that and and address it, not just put on shows and pretend nothing ever happened."