ROMEO AND JULIET in Three Incarnations, Works of Lerner & Loewe and Much More Set for Ravinia's 2014 Season
Ravinia's 2014 season, dubbed "Summer of Love/Season of Stars," was announced today by Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman. Brimming with talent and romance, the festival's 2014 schedule brings some the biggest names in the world of music as well as repertoire that explores the theme of great love in its various manifestations. No fewer than three musical incarnations of the most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet, will be featured, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's Overture-Fantasy (July 27), a suite from Prokofiev's ballet setting of the story (July 16) and the score of West Side Story as the classic film is shown (July 17-18). In other examples of love, soprano Deborah Voigt describes it as "Something Wonderful" on a Broadway evening (July 13), the legendary Broadway team of Lerner and Loewe will be celebrated (July 20), and Chanticleer even jabs at the battle of the sexes in an evening titled "She Said/He Said" (July 6). In fact, love lurks, longs and lingers across genres in most of the more than 130 events that Ravinia will present in 2014, its 110th year and its 78th as the summer residence of the CSO.
Most Pavilion tickets to all CSO concerts are only $25. Lawn tickets for most classical concerts are only $10. Children and students through college are admitted free to all classical performances. Tickets to all events go on sale to Ravinia donors on March 5 and to the general public on April 24, exclusively at Ravinia.org.
"Over the centuries love and music have always been intertwined, with that indefinable subject matter center stage in grand opera, symphonic classics, movie scores, Broadway standards and top-40 radio hits," Kauffman said. "So whether a piece has Wagner serenading his wife on her birthday or Carrie Underwood seeking revenge against a cheater's car, what's not to love?"
SEASON OF STARS
Whether in the heavens or on stage, Ravinia has a close association with stars, and this summer continues that tradition. Among the classical superstars appearing this summer are:
- Flutist James Galway performs the U.S. premiere of Riverdance composer Bill Whelan's Flute Concerto, which was written for him. Opening the CSO residency on July 8, this concert conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya also features Lady Jeanne Galway on a program with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Philip Hammond's Carolan Variations for Two Flutes and Piano.
- Violinist Joshua Bell headlines Ravinia's annual Gala, benefiting the not-for-profit festival and its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs, with the CSO on a program that features Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, conducted by James Conlon (July 26, Pavilion).
- Violinist Midori joins Ravinia's Steans Music Institute (RSMI) faculty this summer, which puts her on stage with other faculty members for a piano and strings concert that features Mozart's String Quintet No. 1, Schnittke's String Trio and Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 3 (July 9, Martin). She then performs Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the CSO conducted by Susanna Ma?lkki in her Ravinia debut (July 16, Pavilion).
- Direct from her appearance on Downton Abbey, soprano Kiri Te Kanawa celebrates her 70th birthday with a program that includes a world premiere commissioned for the occasion by Ravinia from Jake Heggie (Aug. 12, Martin).
- Perhaps the world's best-loved violinist, Itzhak Perlman joins forces with Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, chief cantor of the Park East Synagogue, to recreate their best-selling album Eternal Echoes, celebrating traditional music with the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Chicago Philharmonic (Aug. 18, Pavilion).
- Celebrated opera baritone Nathan Gunn and star of stage, screen and recordings Mandy Patinkin reunite for an evening of arias, standards and not-so-standards. (July 6, Pavilion).
- Ravinia-favorite baritone Matthias Goerne sings Selections from Eisler's Hollywood Songbook and Wolf's "Harfenspieler" I-III and Three Poems from Michelangelo (July 31, Martin).
- Soprano Dawn Upshaw showcases her Grammy-winning performance of Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks with the inventive orchestra The Knights on a program that also features Ives's Three Places in New England, two laments by Dowland and Stravinsky's "Dumbarton Oaks" (Aug. 20, Martin).
- Superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins frequent collaborators The Knights on a program that includes both Ravel's and R. Strauss's takes on Don Quixote along with works by Glass, Stockhausen and Milhaud (Aug. 21, Pavilion).
- Jazz pianist Chucho Valde?s performs Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the CSO on a program that features short, popular works such as J. Strauss Jr.'s Overture to Die Fledermaus and Chit-Chat and Thunder and Lightning polkas and Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture (July 29).
- Pianist Denis Matsuev joins Ravinia's "Tchaikovsky Spectacular" with the CSO, performing the Piano Concerto No. 1 on the annual program that famously features live cannons in the "1812" Overture (July 27, Pavilion). Matsuev returns the next day for an all- Russian evening in the Martin Theatre (July 28, Martin).
- Conductor Paavo Ja?rvi returns at the helm of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, for which he serves as artistic director, for an evening of Brahms featuring Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 (Aug. 4).
THE 150TH BIRTHDAY OF R. STRAUSS/SALOME
Love is perhaps at its darkest in the opera Salome, which quakes with Herod's misbegotten infatuation with his daughter, and her unquenchable passion for John the Baptist. Ravinia will celebrate the sesquicentennial of its composer, R. Strauss, with its first complete presentation of Salome. Patricia Racette (who thrilled Ravinia audiences in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Tosca) stars for the first time in the title role with James Conlon leading the CSO (Aug. 2). Other Strauss evenings sample the tone poems, chamber music and opera from daring to the beautiful. The CSO performs the opening of what is perhaps the composer's most famous piece, Also sprach Zarathustra (July 11), and Der Rosenkavalier Suite (Aug. 10). The inventive orchestra The Knights re-teams with Yo-Yo Ma on a program that includes Don Quixote (Aug. 21). Ravinia favorites The Lincoln Trio pays tribute with an All-Strauss evening (Aug. 21). RSMI artists will perform the Capriccio Sextet (July 14) and various songs as coached by one of the great Strauss singers of all time, Kiri Te Kanawa (Aug. 11).
MOZART OPERAS IN THE MARTIN
Strauss himself lionized Mozart, and he handpicked Don Giovanni to conduct in the work's first Salzburg Festival performance. The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni round out this year's trio of operas at Ravinia. These Mozart masterpieces will be performed in repertory in the 850-seat Martin Theatre, the size of hall in which Mozart would have led them. Conlon conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in one evening and one matine?e performance of each (Aug. 14-17) with a company that features John Relyea, Tamara Wilson, Christopher Maltman, Lisette Oropesa, Kristinn Sigmundsson and other top singers.
RAVINIA GOES TO THE MOVIES
Ravinia goes to the movies this summer with four nights of the giant LED screen on the lawn and in the Pavilion. The CSO will perform Leonard Bernstein's score to West Side Story, conducted by David Newman, during two screenings of the Academy Award-winning film with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents and choreography by Jerome Robbins (July 17-18). Ravinia will also conclude its popular presentations of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with the CSO playing the score live as The Return of the King is shown on video screens in the Pavilion and on the lawn (Aug. 7-8). The Return of the King is this year's One Score, One Chicago selection, and additional resources will be available at Ravinia.org.
On July 11 conductor Robert Moody leads the CSO in classical pieces that over the years have doubled as film scores, such as Barber's Adagio for Strings (as heard in The Elephant Man) and the opening to R. Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001), selections from Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (Somewhere in Time), along with Gershwin's An American in Paris. Acclaimed guitarist Milos? Karadaglic makes his Ravinia debut with Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. (Note: no film will be shown at this concert.)
Ravinia's non-classical acts include an array of festival favorites, debuts, classic rockers and today's chart-toppers. The lineup, chronologically, features John Legend's acoustic "All of Me" Tour, June 16; OneRepublic and The Script, June 18-19; Garrison Keillor with a live broadcast of his national radio phenomenon A Prairie Home Companion, June 21; Daryl Hall & John Oates, June 22; Ravinia's Artistic Director of Jazz Ramsey Lewis "In Performance and Conversation, June 24; Rufus Wainwright and Cat Power, June 25; James Taylor and His All-Star Band, June 26-27; 2013 country Grammy-winner Darius Rucker and Friends, June 28; Earth, Wind & Fire, July 3; Dave Koz and Friends covering big, brassy hits, July 4; Sarah McLachlan, July 5; Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, July 12; Counting Crows performing their greatest hits, July 14; Crosby, Stills & Nash, July 19; Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson, July 21; Umphrey's McGee, July 25; Bebel Gilberto and Chucho Valde?s in a Latin night, July 30; Lyle Lovett and Jake Shimabukuro, Aug. 1; Heart, Aug. 3; Tony Bennett, Aug.16; the music of ABBA performed by Arrival from Sweden, Aug. 17; Buddy Guy, Aug. 19; Train, Aug. 22-23; The Beach Boys and The Temptations, Aug. 26; Summer '80s New Wave Tour featuring Tom Bailey from the Thompson Twins and Howard Jones, Aug. 27; Jeff Beck and ZZ Top, Aug. 28; Toto and Michael McDonald, Aug. 29; Bob Weir and RatDog and Dwight Yoakam, Aug. 31; The Moody Blues, Sept. 4-5; Carrie Underwood with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Sept. 6-7; Poi Dog Pondering, Sept. 12, Classic Albums Live performing The Beatles' Abbey Road, Sept. 13; and Five for Fighting with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Sept. 14.