Opera Saratoga will return to the stage for its 60th anniversary this summer with performances inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.”
The 2021 Summer Festival will be held outdoors in partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park and Pitney Meadows Community Farm. It will include two fully staged productions and a concert. Tickets go on sale on May 10 and are expected to sell out quickly due to capacity restrictions.
One of the most notable productions on the schedule is the Tony Award-winning musical “Man of La Mancha,” featuring Broadway and opera star Zachary James in the role of Cervantes/Don Quixote, along with Kelly Glyptis as Aldonza. Presented in partnership with SPAC and directed and choreographed by Lawrence Edelson, the production celebrates the perseverance of one man who refuses to relinquish his ideals and is determined to see life not as it is but as it ought to be.
The performances are slated to take place on the SPAC Amphitheater Stage from July 8 – 10 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $30 for single lawn tickets to $250 for two-person pod tickets.
Following that, Opera Saratoga will present “Don Quichotte at Camacho’s Wedding,” a one-act comic serenata by George Philipp Telemann with a libretto by Daniel Schiebeler. Taken from Part Two of Cervantes’ novel, it follows the Knight and his squire Sancho Panza as they encounter strange wedding celebrations.
The production will be staged by Rebecca Miller Kratzer and conducted by Michelle Rofrano in and around the Columbia Pavilion in Saratoga Spa State Park. It will also feature artists from Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program. Twelve performances are scheduled from July 14-18, with performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 for a two-person pod.
A Quixotic opera concert at Pitney Meadows will kick off the festival on Thu. June 24 and Fri. June 25. Directed by Laurie Rogers, it includes scenes from Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse (Boismortier.Favart), Die Hochzeit des Camacho (Mendelssohn / Voigts), La Venta de Don Quijote (Chapí / Shaw) and others. Tickets are $50 for a two-person pod.
Leading up to the festival, Opera Saratoga will also offer an eight-week online course called “Another Age, Another Place, Another La Mancha: Don Quixote and the Birth of the Modern World.” Taught by Skidmore professor Grace Burton, the course will explore why the story of an old man’s wanderings through the dusty plains of 17th century Spain has continued to capture the imagination of philosophers, filmmakers, composers and others. Classes will be held on Zoom, on eight consecutive Wednesday evenings, from May 12 through June 30. It’s $95 to enroll or $70 for Opera Saratoga Guild Members.
For the in-person performances, attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination at least 14 days before the date of the performance or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the performance. There will also be a health screening questionnaire and mandatory temperature check before entry. Audience members must also wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
For tickets and more information visit operasaratoga.org.
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