Who Matters Now: A Baker's Dozen of the Season's Rising Stars

104395301 Who Matters Now: A Baker's Dozen of the Season's Rising StarsWith warmer weather comes the heat. Here are some of the fresher faces in theater, opera, dance, the visual arts, film and television–the ones people will be talking about this spring.

David Lomeli, singer
Nemorino, The Elixir of Love
New York City Opera
March 22 to April 9
In this production of Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, the action is transported, illogically but (perhaps) inventively, from Europe to the American Southwest in the 1950s. Think soda jerks, a convertible, a roadside diner. The young Mexican tenor David Lomeli makes his debut with the company as something of the ersatz cowboy on the scene. He’ll get to sing one of opera’s great show-stoppers, “Una furtive lagrima (One furtive tear),” a soaring aria that rarely fails to bring down the house. Mr. Lomeli was born in Mexico City and won notice for taking first prize in Plácido Domingo’s 2006 Operalia competition. He’s the latest tenor–in the tradition of opera-geek idols Rolando Villazón or Juan Diego Florez, not to mention Domingo himself–to bring Latin ardor to the stage.

Holliday Grainger, actress
Lucrezia Borgia, The Borgias
Begins April 3, Showtime
Lucrezia Borgia. Beloved femme fatale of history and a strategic poisoner long before Connie Corleone, she’s played by the demure-looking Holliday Grainger in cable’s upcoming bloody historical thriller. Showtime had a hit presenting a sexed-up version of Henry VIII and his wives with The Tudors, so imagine what it will do with the infamous and even more dastardly Borgia clan of Renaissance Italy. The series chronicles the rise and corrupt papacy of Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons). But the whole family is on hand, including Rodrigo’s illegitimate daughter, played by Ms. Grainger. She stars with–and pursues in the show–Robert Pattinson, best known as brooding vampire Edward Cullen of the sadly un-killable Twilight franchise.

Seth Numrich, actor
Albert, War Horse
Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater
Opens April 14
Few actors get steady work, never mind right out of school. On that front, Seth Numrich is downright annoying. He plays Albert, the young boy who’s the owner of a battle-tested horse in the new play War Horse, at Lincoln Center Theater. He’s pretty fresh out of Juilliard, and he comes directly to War Horse from The Merchant of Venice, where he played Lorenzo, opposite Al Pacino. Heady company. War Horse, which begins previews at the Vivian Beaumont March 15, was a massive critical hit in Britain. It’s about a beloved horse sold to the cavalry and shipped to France in World War I, and the young boy (Mr. Numrich) who follows him blindly to the front. And, oh, for “Lion King” fans, the horses are played by giant puppets….

Cory Arcangel, artist
“Pro Tools”
The Whitney Museum of American Art
May 26 to Sept. 11
The generation of people who grew up on video games, where a constantly shifting landscape is the only landscape, see the world differently from ones with views shaped by movies and television. Digital artist Cory Arcangel, whose art work and performances use machines, the Internet and games, is one of the former. The popular and playful artist, who showed at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, is back at the museum again this spring, this time with a show, “Pro Tools.” Mr. Arcangel is an interactive artist–he allows people to access his code, he leaves bread crumbs of himself on the Internet–and one who’s immersed himself in an immersive game, creating art that reflects back our own obsessions. Recent sculptures include humidifiers filled with Coke Zero and an installation featuring the entire history of video bowling games, from Atari 2600 to Playstation II.