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9.6.15

Classical Month in Washington (July/August 2015)

Precious little is going on in classical music in the months of July and August. If you are going to stay in the city, there a few good choices, and for those who want to travel, even more.

Castleton FarmsIN THE AREA:
The two opera festivals in the area both have some interesting productions. The Castleton Festival, just one year after the loss of founding spirit Lorin Maazel, has put up a season, but a reduced one. They will stage two operas, Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (July 3, 5, 10, 18) and Ravel's L'heure espagnole on a double-bill with something called Scalia/Ginsburg (July 11, 17, 19), and Fabio Luisi will conduct the Castleton Festival Orchestra in something (July 19).

Much closer and more interesting is the rest of the season from Wolf Trap Opera, beginning with a rare and highly improbable stab at John Corigliano's sprawling and rewarding The Ghosts of Versailles (July 10, 12, 15, 18) in the Barns, plus a single performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly with amplification and mosquitoes in the Filene Center (August 7).

The biggest area opera event of the summer, though, is the concert performance of Verdi's Aida (July 24), with a cast featuring Marjorie Owens, Carl Tanner, and Michelle DeYoung joining the National Symphony Orchestra. The NSO will play a couple of other concerts at Wolf Trap, as it does every summer, but none come close to this event.

If you are starved for a piano recital, we do recommend the free recital by Sara Daneshpour at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (July 12). So far the program will include Chopin’s second sonata and Prokofiev’s seventh sonata, which is already a handful or two, but Daneshpour is up for the challenge.


View of the mountains from The Ranch, Santa Fe Opera, July 2005FARTHER AFIELD:
Our favorite American summer opera destination, Santa Fe Opera, has quite a season on offer this year, on which we will have a full report in early August. Yes, there is Strauss -- Salome, with David Robertson conducting Alex Penda in the title role -- and Mozart's La finta giardiniera, starring Heidi Stober and Susanna Phillips. In the new opera slot, we have the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain, and for the more traditionally minded, Verdi's Rigoletto, starring Bryan Hymel and Georgia Jarman, and Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment, with Speranza Scappucci conducting.

A trip to Glimmerglass could be in order this year, with productions of Verdi's Macbeth (starring Eric Owens, Soloman Howard, and Melody Moore) and Vivaldi's Cato in Utica (with Opera Lafayette's Ryan Brown conducting), although the latter does not seem likely to be in the class of the staging of Lully's Armide we saw there in 2012. Then again, it seems a shame to make the long trip to Cooperstown only for two operas.

It is sad that Seattle Opera is not presenting its Ring cycle again this summer, but the cast in their production of Verdi's Nabucco (August 8 to 22) -- Mary Elizabeth Williams, Jamie Barton, and Russell Thomas -- might make it worth your while.

This could be the year for a trip to Bard Summerscape, which is presenting a rare production of Ethel Smythe's opera The Wreckers (July 24 and 26, August 2). In August, the Tanglewood Festival is offering some interesting concerts, including an all-star performance of Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand, with Andris Nelsons conducting Erin Wall, Christine Goerke, Klaus Florian Voigt, and Matthias Goerne (August 8), and some Italian opera excerpts with soprano Kristine Opolais (August 15).

See the complete calendar after the jump.


COMPLETE CALENDAR:
Last month | Next month
Classical Month in Washington is a monthly feature. If there are concerts you would like to see included on our schedule, send your suggestions by e-mail (ionarts at gmail dot com). Happy listening!

July 3, 2015 (Fri)
8 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Castleton Festival

July 5, 2015 (Sun)
11 am
Castleton Chamber Players
Castleton Festival

July 5, 2015 (Sun)
2 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Castleton Festival

July 10, 2015 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Corigliano, The Ghosts of Versailles
Wolf Trap Opera
Barns at Wolf Trap

July 10, 2015 (Fri)
8 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Castleton Festival

July 11, 2015 (Sat)
7 pm
Ravel, L'heure espagnole / Scalia/Ginsburg
Castleton Festival

July 11, 2015 (Sat)
8:15 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Sarah Chang, violin
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

July 12, 2015 (Sun)
2 pm
Beethoven, Symphony No. 9
Castleton Festival

July 12, 2015 (Sun)
3 pm
Sara Daneshpour, piano [FREE]
Smithsonian American Art Museum

July 12, 2015 (Sun)
3 pm
Corigliano, The Ghosts of Versailles
Wolf Trap Opera
Barns at Wolf Trap

July 14, 2015 (Tue)
8:30 pm
National Ballet of China
Guo Wenjing, The Peony Pavilion
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

July 15, 2015 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Corigliano, The Ghosts of Versailles
Wolf Trap Opera
Barns at Wolf Trap

July 16, 2015 (Thu)
8 pm
Young Artists, Opera scenes
Castleton Festival

July 17, 2015 (Fri)
8 pm
Ravel, L'heure espagnole / Scalia/Ginsburg
Castleton Festival

July 18, 2015 (Sat)
11 am
Castleton Chamber Players
Castleton Festival

July 18, 2015 (Sat)
7 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Castleton Festival

July 18, 2015 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Maryland Lyric Opera
Clarice Smith Center

July 18, 2015 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Corigliano, The Ghosts of Versailles
Wolf Trap Opera
Barns at Wolf Trap

July 19, 2015 (Sun)
11 am
Young Artists, Opera scenes
Castleton Festival

July 19, 2015 (Sun)
2 pm
Castleton Festival Orchestra
With Fabio Luisi, conductor
Castleton Festival

July 19, 2015 (Sun)
3 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Maryland Lyric Opera
Clarice Smith Center

July 19, 2015 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Ravel, L'heure espagnole / Scalia/Ginsburg
Castleton Festival

July 23, 2015 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Vivaldi, Four Seasons
Music Center at Strathmore

July 24, 2015 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Vivaldi, Four Seasons
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

July 24, 2015 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Maryland Lyric Opera
Clarice Smith Center

July 24, 2015 (Fri)
8:15 pm
Verdi, Aida
National Symphony Orchestra
With Marjorie Owens, Carl Tanner, Michelle DeYoung
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

July 25, 2015 (Sat)
8 pm
UMd Summer Chorus [FREE]
Vivaldi, Gloria
Clarice Smith Center

July 26, 2015 (Sun)
3 pm
Gounod, Roméo et Juliette
Maryland Lyric Opera
Clarice Smith Center

July 30, 2015 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music by Barber, Mendelssohn, Dvořák
Music Center at Strathmore

July 31, 2015 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music by Barber, Mendelssohn, Dvořák
Music Center at Strathmore

August 7, 2015 (Fri)
8:15 pm
Puccini, Madama Butterfly
Wolf Trap Opera
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

August 8, 2015 (Sat)
8:15 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music of John Williams
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

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