The Met’s opening night debut, a literary film festival and more free events

The Met’s opening night debut, a literary film festival and more free events
Will Liverman as Charles in Terence Blanchard's "Fire Shut Up in My Bones." Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera.

Looking for something to do? Here is a selection of free events taking place in-person and online this week.

“The Last Stand”: An Experimental Opera for Trees
When: On view Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day
Where: The Music Pagoda in Prospect Park; Brooklyn

Artist Kamala Sankaram’s “The Last Stand” is a sound installation and experimental opera both about and for trees. Set in between the years 1750 and 2050, the 10-hour long production follows the 300-year life journey of a Northern Red Oak tree, dubbed the “Mother Tree” and rooted in New York’s Black Rock Forest. The opera is free and open to the public, with no registration required.


LitFilm 2021
When: Through Sept. 26
Where: Online via the Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library is bringing back its popular LitFilm festival with a slate of films about literary luminaries. Though the festival’s keynote event took place on Sept. 20, there are still plenty of screenings to check out, including films centering Hannah Arendt, Isabel Allende, Flannery O’Connor and more. All screenings are free, but you must register to receive a link to the film.


“Sonic Cloisters”: Conclave
When: Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. Eastern
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website and social media channels

Captured in July in front of a live audience, this set from Conclave brings the group’s dance tunes to the Met Cloisters’ Fuentidueña Chapel.


“In the Heights” Screening and Q&A
When: Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: The School of Visual Arts; Manhattan

Have you seen the summer hit “In the Heights”? The School of Visual Arts is presenting a free screening of the film, which will be followed by a Q&A with visual effects artists who worked on the feature. The panel will be moderated by SVA student Cindy Mora Hernandez and will feature Martin Boksar, Nickolas Crist, Min Hwa Jung, Esther Song and Amanda Sparso.


Metropolitan Opera: “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”
When: Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: Times Square and Marcus Garvey Park; Manhattan

The Metropolitan Opera will be transmitting a simulcast of its opening night performance of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” in two locations: Times Square and Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. Blanchard and librettist Kasi Lemmons will join audiences for a pre-show discussion at Marcus Garvey Park. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the event marks the Met’s first live outdoor broadcast of a show at the Harlem park.

The opening night performance ushers in the fall 2021 season at the Met — which is, notably, the first in-person season at the opera house since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” starring Will Liverman and adapted from Charles M. Blow’s memoir of the same name, is the Met’s first opera by a Black composer.

“We are very pleased to welcome audiences for the Met in Marcus Garvey Park for the very first time,” the Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb said in a statement. “Our Opening Night will be historic for the Met both in the opera house and in Harlem.”

Top Image: Will Liverman as Charles in Terence Blanchard's "Fire Shut Up in My Bones." Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera.