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Saratoga Performing Arts Center Announces 2021 Classical Season and Summer Events


July and August to include programming from Opera Saratoga, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center Announces 2021 Classical Season and Summer Events

Saratoga Performing Arts Center is inviting audiences to the verdant SPAC grounds and nearby Pitney Farms to experience live, outdoor performances throughout the summer. The SPAC amphitheater and main lawn, nestled in the tranquil setting of the 2,400-acre Spa State Park, will be the home of performances by New York City Ballet (NYCB), The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Saratoga, as well as "A Midsummer Night's Supper." Caffe Lena @ SPAC returns to the Charles R. Wood Gazebo Stage July 24th and 25th, while summer resident company Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center continues their "CMS at the Meadows" series at Pitney Meadows Community Farm through August 29. All around the park, visitors can find themselves lost in the immersive audio experience of ELLEN REID SOUNDWALK, available year-round through June 1, 2022.

SPAC events will be presented in compliance with the current guidelines from the Governor of New York to ensure the health and safety of artists, audience members and staff. For more information, please visit


From July 14-17, 2021, the New York City Ballet will present NYCB On and Off Stage, an intimate, up-close look at selected excerpts from the Company's extraordinary repertory of ballets. Each program will be hosted by a beloved NYCB Principal Dancer who will be retiring from the company during the 2021-22 New York Season - Maria Kowroski will host the Short Stories presentation; and Gonzalo Garcia will host the All Balanchine presentation in addition to performing in both programs.

New York City Ballet dancers will perform excerpts from masterworks including Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Jewels, and Who Cares?, and beloved narrative ballets like Firebird, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Western Symphony, Fancy Free, and The Concert.

The full schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 14 @ 7:30 PM - Short Stories
Thursday, July 15 @ 2 PM - All Balanchine
Thursday, July 15 @ 7:30 PM - Short Stores
Friday, July 16 @ 7:30 PM - All Balanchine

Tickets and info available at:


Inspired by George Balanchine's ballet A Midsummer Night's Dream and ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq's The Ballet Cook Book, A Midsummer Night's Supper serves as a kick-off to the New York City Ballet's appearance at SPAC, and offers a magical dining experience Monday, July 12 and Tuesday, July 13 at 7 PM in SPAC's new, outdoor Julie Bonacio Family Pavilion. A fundraiser for SPAC, the festive summer feast will feature herb-infused spirits by Albany Distilling Company; a multi-course gourmet dinner; and appearances by New York City Ballet dancers Tyler Angle, Gonzalo Garcia, Maria Kowroski, Teresa Reichlen and legendary retired NYCB dancer Edward Villella. Between courses, Meryl Rosofsky, creator of the "Breaking Bread with Balanchine" project; Paul Kolnik, renowned NYCB photographer and Saratoga devotee; and Jeanne Fuchs, author and longtime friend of Tanaquil Le Clercq who worked with her on The Ballet Cook Book, will share stories about food, ballet, and Saratoga.

We all know that George Balanchine was a choreographic genius," says Meryl Rosofsky, who serves as Vice-Chair of the George Balanchine Foundation. "But what many ballet lovers don't know is that he was also a gifted cook. During summers in Saratoga, he'd even make his own ice cream and jams. His muse and wife Tanaquil Le Clercq wrote the wonderful The Ballet Cook Book, thanks to which we have personal stories and recipes from many of the great dancers of her day."

The exclusive menu will feature recipes by Balanchine, Le Clercq, and dance luminaries who originated roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, including d'Amboise, Hayden, Patricia McBride, Arthur Mitchell, and Violette Verdy. The multi-course feast will be prepared by Chef Kim Klopstock of The Lily and the Rose and will be accompanied by superb wines and inventive cocktails like "Puck's Potion" and "Bottom's Up" created for the occasion.

A Midsummer Night's Supper is part of the Center's CulinaryArts @ SPAC initiative, which launched in the fall of 2020 and features educational classes, workshops, gourmet experiences and more to support local chefs, farmers, and the regional culinary community.

Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.


In partnership with SPAC, Opera Saratoga presents "A Season of Impossible Dreams," opening with Tony Award-winning musical Man of La Mancha July 8-10 and featuring Broadway World Vocalist & Performer of the Decade Zachary James in the role of Cervantes / Don Quixote. Following on July 14-18, the company presents Don Quichotte at Camacho's Wedding, a one-act comic serenata taken from an episode from Cervantes' celebrated novel by Georg Philipp Telemann with a libretto by Daniel Schiebeler.

Tickets and info available at:


The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is back in Saratoga Springs for CMS at the Meadows, a series of twelve performances throughout the summer presented in Pitney Meadows Community Farm's open-air High Tunnel greenhouse. Highlighting the residency is the return of co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, the SPAC debut of the Calidore String Quartet and a World Premiere by composer Michael Brown. Each of the four remaining performances is 75 minutes long with no intermission.
The full schedule is as follows:

July 11 (3PM & 6PM): Delectable Discoveries

String players Danbi Um, Hsin-Yun Huang, Nicholas Cannelakis and Ingbal Segev perform rarities by Martinů, Glière and Arensky.

July 18 (3PM & 6PM): World Premiere

Pianists Michael Brown, Gilles Vonsattel and Orion Weiss present the US premieres of arrangements for four and six hands of beloved music by Barber, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Ravel and Michael Brown himself.

August 8 (3PM & 6PM): The Calidore Plays Beethoven

The Calidore String Quartet makes its pandemic-delayed SPAC debut playing two epic quartets by Beethoven.

August 29 (3PM & 6PM): All Schubert

Wu Han and David Finckel are joined by Benjamin Beilman, a violinist the Philadelphia Inquirer called "poised and monstrously talented" for two works by Schubert.

Tickets and info available at:


Called "An American treasure" by the Library of Congress, Caffè Lena is recognized as the longest continuously operating folk music venue in the United States. July 24 and 25, Caffè Lena again collaborates with SPAC to bring these fine folk musicians to the Charles R. Wood Gazebo Stage. All performances are free and open to the public.

The full schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 24th
12 PM - Lost Radio Rounders
1:30 PM - The Sea, The Sea
3 PM - Jean Rohe Trio
Sunday, July 25th
12 PM - Rad Trads
1:30 PM - Kruger Brothers
3 PM - Kiran Ahluwalia Trio


Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra return to their summer home at SPAC for a series of concerts August 11-14, 2021. Residency highlights include a finale with Violinist Joshua Bell and sSeven SPAC premieres including works by four female composers: Gabriela Lena Frank, Valerie Coleman, Florence Price, and Louise Farrenc.

"From the opening notes of a Mozart Piano Concerto, with Yannick himself at the piano, to a closing concert featuring Joshua Bell in Beethoven's sublime Violin Concerto - and powerful SPAC premieres by women and BIPOC composers - throughout the week, we will savor every sweet and precious note of the Orchestra's 2021 residency," says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

The full schedule is as follows (Ticketing and info can be found HERE):
*indicates SPAC Premiere


The Philadelphia Orchestra Returns!
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor and piano
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 12*
Price - Symphony 1*


Bach & Brahms
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
David Kim and Juliette Kang, violins
Coleman - Seven O'Clock Shout*
Bach - Concerto for Two Violins
Brahms - Symphony No. 1


Yannick Leads Frank & Mozart
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Ricardo Morales, clarinet
Frank - Selections from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout*
Mozart - Clarinet Concerto
Farrenc - Symphony No. 2*


Joshua Bell Returns!
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
Price - Adoration*
Beethoven - Violin Concerto
Mozart - Symphony No. 25*

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