The Calendar

The Best New Events in the World of the Arts in May

The Dandelion Chandelier Luxury Calendar for The Arts highlights noteworthy events around the world in May 2018 in ballet, modern dance, performance art, classical music, opera and jazz –plus notable new art museum exhibits and installations. Looking for a transporting cultural experience? Look no further. For the rest of the Luxury Calendar, click here

Not only is the month of May known for flowers, it’s also known for its Spring Galas.  At both Lincoln Center and at the Royal Opera House you will find gala worthy performances while in both London and Paris you will find Tchaikovsky.  As far as the visual arts, we are pleased to see a variety of retrospective from a variety of women including the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Amy Sherald and Tacita Dean.  If this wasn’t enough the Brooklyn Museum celebrates the release of Aruna D’Souza newest book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, & Protest in 3 Acts.

Performing Arts

The one of a kind musical super talent Audra McDonald returns to the New York Philharmonic after more than four years for Spring Gala with Audra McDonald. The six-time Tony Award winner displays her talents in beloved musical standards and songs by today’s most exciting songwriters – May 1

A fitting gift to Jerome Robbins, New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala: Tribute to Robbins at Lincoln Center will debut two world premieres animated by the master choreographer’s legacy, including a Justin Peck piece with Leonard Bernstein music.  Accompanying the festivities are two lighthearted ballets: Circus Polka features a sprightly carousel of young students as they prance at the beck and call of a dapper ringmaster and The Four Seasons translates Verdi’s vibrant melodies into frosty flirtation, springtime awakening, sultry revelry and autumnal bacchanal – May 5 – 13

Lauren Lovette, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet

The Paris Philharmonic presents Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D major, op. 29 and Symphony No. 6 in B minor during Cycle Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovski at l’Opéra national de Paris – May 15

The Royal Ballet performs a new production of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent classical ballet, Swan Lake. Production and additional choreography by Liam Scarlett and designs by John Macfarlane – May 17 – June 21

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis celebrates one of jazz’s great original geniuses: composer, Pulitzer Prize winner and alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman with Celebrating Ornette Coleman – May 18


The Glyndebourne Festival Opera season begins with a performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly – May 19

American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Gala will feature the World Premiere of AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, and excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky’s all-new production of Harlequinade – May 21

The Royal Opera House celebrates its Spring Gala with performances by The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet – May 30

Visual Arts

If you are in Ontario, be sure to catch Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors before it closes May 27th at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  The exhibit features six of her Instagram-famous infinity rooms. Each of these mirrored spaces is filled with a theme, from polka dots to lanterns, which appear to be reflected into eternity. This retrospective also encompasses more than 60 years of her work, allowing visitors to witness the evolution of her imaginative paintings, whimsical sculptures and more – Now through May 27

Celebrate the release of Aruna D’Souza’s new book Whitewalling: Art, Race, & Protest in 3 Acts, which reflects on three moments in the American art scene from 1969 to today. The event at the Brooklyn Museum features a reading by D’Souza; a conversation with artists Devin Kenny and Lorraine O’Grady on the vexed relationship between art, race, and institutions; a Q&A moderated by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art; followed by a book signing – May 3

Opening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this month is a survey of Iranian contemporary art titled In the Field of Empty Days.  The 125 piece exhibit explores various historical objects and events, from 14th-century epics to the martyrdom of Shi’ite imams. Among the works included are examples from Newsha Tavakolian’s affecting 2006 series “Mothers of Martyrs,” for which the artist photographed family matriarchs holding pictures of their sons, who died in a decades-long war between Iran and Iraq – May 6 – Sep 9

After lots of anticipation, the Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition opens this month.  Heavenly Bodies – Fashion and the Catholic Imagination will feature a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.  The exhibit includes items like papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside The Vatican – May 10 – Oct 8

Heavenly Bodies at the Met

The desire to travel is the subject of a coming exhibition at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Wanderlust features works from a range of international artists, including Paul Gauguin, Caspar David Friedrich, Auguste Renoir and Gustave Courbet – May 10 – Sep 16

Can’t make it to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. to see Amy Sherald’s portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama? Then perhaps you’ll be able to visit  her first solo museum exhibition called Amy Sherald at the Contemporary Art Museum in  St. Louis. Sherald’s paintings engage the lives of her subjects through representational likeness but also through the use of props and costumes – May 11 – Aug 19

Works By Amy Sherald

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer at the Denver Art Museum is the first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work and will chronicle a pivotal moment in Gibson’s career when his contemporary artistic practice converged with his Native American heritage – May 13 – Aug 12

The Future Starts Here at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London has gathered “100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow.” From scientific and technological innovations to explorations of urban design and sustainability, the exhibit strives to predict the near future – May 12 – Nov 4

Tacita Dean’s three part exhibition in London centers around the roles that nature and time play in modern society. Each show focuses on one aspect of Dean’s oeuvre – Landscapes, Portraits and Still Lifes.  At the Royal Academy, which will host the landscapes show, Dean will debut a new 35mm film that stars writer/poet Anne Carson and actor Stephen Dillane titled Antigone – National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery now through May 28 and Royal Academy May 19 – Aug 12

Nuit des Musées (Night of the Museums) is an all-night celebration at museums all over Europe; over 1,000 participating institutions will offer free museum entrance, special programs, and closing times in the wee small hours of the morning – May 19

The first monograph on Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman, titles Hayv Kahraman, surveys her figurative work, which mines the marginal space that pertains to diasporic peoples, collective and personal memory, and gender – May 22

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto Canada opens this month; the 55,000 square foot institution is set within a long-abandoned industrial building in Junction Triangle – May 26

See other May 2018 Events:

— Travel

— Food & Drink

— Planes, Yachts & Autos

— Fitness & Sports

— Fashion & Design

— Entertainment

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