Leonard Bernstein’s hundredth birthday has proved an irresistible invitation to programmers this summer season. Tanglewood, an early haven for the composer, has gone for a more-is-more approach. The highlight may be the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “Divertimento” (Aug. 18), his gift to the ensemble on the occasion of its own centennial, in 1980. Maverick Concerts nods to the anniversary with programs that include a new arrangement of “Songfest” (on Aug. 25, Bernstein’s actual birthday), but the series focusses more on the music of Lenny’s friend and contemporary Ned Rorem, whose “Mourning Scene from Samuel” will be delivered by the Dover Quartet and the baritone Andrew Garland (July 15). In Bernstein’s adopted home town, Mostly Mozart is filled this year with spectacular evocations of the natural and the spiritual worlds, culminating in John Luther Adams’s “In the Name of the Earth,” which will be premièred at Central Park’s Harlem Meer (Aug. 11). It also features his wild, questioning, syncretic “Mass” (July 17-18), at David Geffen Hall.
Eschewing Bernstein fever, the Chelsea Music Festival honors Bach, with events including an evening of music written and inspired by the composer (at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church, on June 9) which, with “culinary interludes,” lasts three hundred and thirty-three minutes: one for each year since his birth. Elsewhere in the city, the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series of six free, outdoor concerts (two in Manhattan, with one apiece in the other boroughs) showcases a diverse selection of young and exciting singers (various dates, June 11-29). And the idea of an underground venue takes on a new realism with the première of David Hertzberg’s opera “The Rose-Elf,” in the catacombs beneath Green-Wood Cemetery (starting on June 6).
Back upstate, Glimmerglass Opera’s own Bernstein component, “West Side Story,” runs alongside operas by Rossini and Janáček. Mark Campbell and Kevin Puts’s “Silent Night,” which won the 2012 Pulitzer for its depiction of the Christmas truce of 1914, completes the lineup (July 7-Aug. 25). Meanwhile, Bard SummerScape mounts “The Demon” (July 27-Aug. 5), a supernatural melodrama by the great pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. The Russian theme continues with the Bard Music Festival’s exploration of the music of Rimsky-Korsakov (Aug. 10-19). And true history buffs can get their fix from Teatro Nuovo, newly established at SUNY Purchase by Will Crutchfield. The company presents “Tancredi Rifatto” (Aug. 5), which includes rarely heard alternative numbers that Rossini minted when