Caramoor has had to pivot quickly from the full summer season that was originally planned to finding new ways of inspiring audiences safely in light of pandemic restrictions. The Katonah cultural arts destination, with more than 80 acres of woodlands, gardens, sound art and outdoor performance space, last week announced its revamped programming, which it calls Summer 20/2.0.
Summer 20/2.0 comprises livestreamed on-site performances, live performances for low-density audiences on Friends Field, and opening up the gardens and sound art for limited tours. This new, three-part plan “has the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of potential circumstances, as each part can be implemented independently and phased with different options depending on the circumstances at the time,” said Caramoor officials.
The program has been designed in keeping with Caramoor’s goal “to participate responsibly in New York’s reopening process,” they noted. All activities will be subject to current government health and safety guidelines, as well as reconfirmation in the days before.
“Caramoor’s purpose is to inspire a lifelong love of music in our beautiful setting,” said Caramoor CEO Jeff Haydon. “Rather than cancel our summer season entirely, Caramoor’s Summer 20/2.0 provides ways we might still be able to offer opportunities to bring much-needed inspiration to our community.” Most of the artists currently scheduled to perform during this new 20/2.0 program were also part of the original 2020 lineup.
Over the course of Summer 20/2.0, Caramoor aims to stream seven new performances from the Music Room of the Rosen House, known for its historic furnishings and intimate acoustics. These professionally produced video streams will take place from July 2 to Aug. 6. They will feature such world-class artists as Inon Barnatan, Conor Hanick, Sandbox Percussion, the Calidore String Quartet and Musicians from The Knights. The repertoire will range from Mozart and Tchaikovsky to excerpts from Shirley Graham Du Bois’s opera Tom-Tom, a children’s program, and the world premieres of new works by Christopher Cerrone and Anna Clyne. Each streamed performance will be accompanied by additional content, including talks with the artists and closer looks at Rosen House and Caramoor grounds.
Later in the summer, Caramoor plans to host four live, public, open-air concerts on Friends Field. Suitable for small, well-spaced audiences, these will feature multiple genres: American Roots, mariachi, jazz and swing. These concerts will be held Saturdays from July 1 to Aug. 8, with rain dates on the following Sundays.
In addition, Caramoor hopes to open its outdoor spaces to the public Thursdays through Sundays beginning July 16. Visitors will be able to enjoy its landscaped Italianate and woodland gardens, interacting with nature, architecture and history on socially distant picnics and walks, as well as exploring the superlative site-specific sound art installations of Sonic Innovations.
Finally, Caramoor programmers said they hope to add outdoor pop-up events to the lineup, with appearances around the grounds by artists including a brass ensemble from Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Caramoor’s orchestra-in-residence for the past 41 years.
As for the upcoming broadcasts from the Rosen House, Caramoor officials pointed out that the spacious Music Room provides a safe recording environment for soloists and small groups. In addition, they noted that many health officials consider outdoor spaces low-risk for virus transmission in summer, so, by increasing public access, Caramoor hopes to provide a valuable service to the community.
For Friends Field events, capacity will be strictly limited and performances amplified for guests to enjoy from a safe distance, sitting on their own chairs or blankets while social-distancing from each other. More details about the venue guidelines will follow in early July.
Since closing its doors to staff and public on March 13, Caramoor has produced three internet-streamed performances, provided online music education for local music students, scheduled makeup dates for the majority of live events, and set up the Caramoor Artist Fund to compensate artists whose performances were canceled and not able to be rescheduled.
Ticketholders to Caramoor’s prior planned events this summer are receiving individual emails with redemption instructions. In addition to receiving full refunds or credits for future purchases, ticketholders can choose to donate the value of their credits as a tax-deductible contribution to the Caramor Artist Fund. For more information, contact the Caramoor box office at 914-232-1252.
Full details of 20/2.0’s planned programming are available at caramoor.org.