Displaying items by tag: SPAC
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Trey Anastasio has announced he will return to the hometown of Phish collaborator Tony Markellis next month for three solo shows at SPAC. Markellis died on April 29.
Attendance will be limited to 30% of full capacity and all seating - including lawn - will be sold in “pods“ that range in size from 2 to 4 fans. Each group of seats must be purchased all together.
Concert goers will also need one of these: Proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test taken within six hours of the event start time, or Proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the day of the event, or proof of vaccination. The type of vaccination proof required was not specified. For ticket information visit: trey.com/tour
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s flagship in-school program, “Classical Kids,” is set to return in a virtual format.
Programs partnered with resident companies New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra will take place from May 10-28, and will reach more than 24,000 students and 55 elementary and middle schools in the greater Capital Region.
New for this year, two engaging video performances that were curated exclusively for Capital Region students will be presented. All 24,000 students who participate in the program will then receive a SPAC Student Lawn Pass, which grants the student and an accompanying adult free lawn admission to all ballet and orchestra performances at SPAC until their projected year of graduation from High School.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused SPAC to innovate and reimagine many of our events and performances and our Classical Kids program is no exception. While we typically partner with our incredible local musicians and dance troupes, this year we had the unique opportunity to present ballet and classical music from our very own resident companies," said Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in a statement.
The Classical Kids programs will feature excerpts from A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Steadfast Tin Soldier, performed by New York City Ballet and works by Beethoven and Dvořák, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Both the dance and orchestra programs include an accompanying study guide, developed specifically for students. Available to stream on demand from May 10-28, Classical Kids is scheduled to serve schools located in Albany, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Mongomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Rensselaer, Warren and Washington counties.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center unveils “The 2021 Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists” Online Gallery, featuring 80 inspiring student creations from the Capital Region’s brightest young dancers, musicians, singers, poets, and visual artists.
Following the success of the Festival’s first virtual exhibit, “Self-Portrait,” in 2020, the new gallery is entitled “Metamorphosis” and explores the process of transformation. The 2021 experiential website is now available online at spacfoya.org.
“Last year we completely re-configured our signature education festival into a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we look forward to celebrating these incredibly talented artists, poets, dancers, and musicians in person this June, we are delighted that our innovative online gallery will continue as an artistic home all year long,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in a statement.
Additionally, for the first time in the Festival’s four-year history, SPAC and The Adirondack Trust Company have awarded three students with the distinction of “FOYA 2021 Outstanding Artist” along with a $500 check to support the further development of their craft.
The Online Gallery will feature a curated collection of student creations in visual art, literary art, and the performing arts from middle school and high school students hailing from Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington Counties.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center has partnered with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to bring back the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for its annual Saratoga Springs residency.
Kicking off Sunday, June 13, the new “CMS at the Meadows” series marks the first live performances that SPAC has presented since the 2020 season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The performances will be held in Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s beautiful High Tunnel greenhouse, adhering to carefully mapped out, socially-distanced seating and rigorous COVID-19 protocols. The maximum capacity is 200 people.
“We are blessed to have so much outdoor space in the park and its environs that we were inspired to bring our beloved chamber musicians back in a new and innovative location -- right around the corner from the SPAC grounds,” said SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol, in a statement. “Instead of presenting CMS in their usual home in the Spa Little Theater, which presents COVID-era challenges, we are delighted to partner with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to give our community the opportunity to experience great music-making in a safe and beautiful outdoor setting surrounded by gardens and farmland.”
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s reimagined 2021 season (June 13- Aug. 29) will feature masterpieces from Beethoven’s preeminent string quartets to Schumann’s timeless Piano Quartet in E-flat major, alongside the U.S. Premiere of Twelve Blocks by pianist Michael Brown. Also highlighting the residency is the return of co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han and the SPAC debut of the Calidore String Quartet.
The series will take place rain or shine at Pitney Meadows Community Farm, under the High Tunnel greenhouse, a large outdoor event space. Performances will all be 75 minutes long with no intermission. Socially distanced pods of two will be allocated and reserved for ticket buyers. Seats will be provided.
Tickets will be available to purchase for $100-$120 per pod, and must be purchased in advance at spac.org. Subscriptions to all six programs, at either 3 p.m. or 6 p.m., will be available to purchase on April 1 for SPAC members and on April 6 for the general public. Single performance tickets will be available to purchase on April 12 for SPAC members and on April 16 for the general public. Tickets will not be available at the door.
THE “CMS AT THE MEADOWS”SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS:
Sunday, June 13 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
From Prague to Vienna. STELLA CHEN, violin, BELLA HRISTOVA, violin; MISHA AMORY, viola; SIHAO HE, cello; ANTHONY MCGILL, clarinet.
Dvořák: Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74 (1887). Mozart: Quintet in A major for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, K. 581 (1789).
Sunday, June 20 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
The German Tradition. WU HAN, piano; ARNAUD SUSSMANN, violin; PAUL NEUBAUER, viola; DAVID FINCKEL, cello.
Beethoven: Trio in G major for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 9, No. 1 (1797-98). Schumann: Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 47 (1842).
Sunday, July 11 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
Delectable Discoveries. DANBI UM, violin; HSIN-YUN HUANG, viola; NICHOLAS CANELLAKIS, cello; INBAL SEGEV, cello.
Martinů: Duo No. 1 for Violin and Viola, “Three Madrigals” (1947). Glière: Selected Duos for Two Cellos, Op. 53 (1911). Arensky: Quartet No. 2 in A minor for Violin, Viola, and Two Cellos, Op. 35 (1894).
Sunday, July 18 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
U.S. Premiere. MICHAEL BROWN, piano; GILLES VONSATTEL, piano; ORION WEISS, piano.
Barber: Souvenirs for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 28 (1951-52). Mendelssohn: Nocturne and Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 61 (1843). Debussy: “Clair de lune” from Suite Bergamasque for Piano, Six Hands (arr. Anderson) (c. 1890, rev. 1905). Brown: (US Premiere) Twelve Blocks for Piano, Four Hands (2020-21). Ravel: La Valse for Piano, Four Hands (1920).
Sunday, Aug. 8 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
The Calidore Plays Beethoven. CALIDORE STRING QUARTET; JEFFREY MYERS, violin; RYAN MEEHAN, violin; JEREMY BERRY, viola; ESTELLE CHOI, cello.
Beethoven: Quartet in F minor for Strings, Op. 95, “Serioso” (1810-11). Beethoven: Quartet in C major for Strings, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky” (1806).
Sunday, Aug. 29 @ 3 & 6 P.M.
All Schubert. WU HAN, piano; BENJAMIN BEILMAN, violin; DAVID FINCKEL, cello.
Schubert: Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, D. 574, Op. 162 (1817). Schubert: Trio No. 2 in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, D. 929, Op. 100 (1827)
All attendees will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire upon entry. Guests are required to wear a face mask at all times, regardless of proof of vaccination. Guests will be permitted to bring factory sealed water bottles and essential personal items only. Restrooms will be available with social distancing and enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols in place in accordance with recommended guidelines. Free parking will also be available onsite. Visit spac.org for additional details.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “Nothing bears any resemblance to past seasons,” says Elizabeth Sobol, president and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
The SPAC campus first opened on a July night in 1966 when it welcomed to the stage the New York City Ballet. A few hours downstate, Mickey Mantle hit a home run in each game of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators at Yankee Stadium, and all across America, The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” dueled with Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night” for a spot at the top of the charts.
In ballparks, across broadcast networks and atop performance stages, last summer was like no other, preceded by a distress of unpredictability over what could happen. Looking ahead to the upcoming summer, that still unpredictable aura has seemingly transformed into what can possibly be.
“This time last year – March, April, May – when it was clear what was going to end up happening – we started asking ourselves the question: Who and What is SPAC when you can’t use the amphitheater?” Sobol says.
Currently, there have been “regular and very fruitful conversations with all our resident companies,” she explains, referring to the New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. “There is a huge effort going across many different organizations, because we all know how important it is to have some presence by these companies up here. We’re committed to having all of them in Saratoga and they’re committed to being here in some way, shape or form.”
SPAC also plays host to the annual Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and a summerlong staging of pop concerts presented by Live Nation, as well as the annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival and an additional slate of imaginative programming. Right now, what form they will take: “Nobody knows yet,” Sobol says. Still, preparations are underway. And there have been a multitude of things learned.
“We learned so much about so many things. It gave us time and quiet to contemplate things we normally don’t have time to contemplate. The last year has honed our skills living with the jaws of uncertainty wide open, 24/7, and it’s forced us to not take anything for granted.”
Showing its merits beyond an oft-misplaced public perception as being solely a site for an amphitheater, SPAC exhibited its mettle as a holistic organization with a series of community collaborations alongside cultural agencies and the business community, as well as continuing its outreach in the world of education – where in 2019 alone it served 50,000 students around the Capital Region and worked with more than 120 local schools and non-profit organizations to present more than 400 unique classes, events, performances, and presentations.
“We started asking ourselves: How can we provide experiences that bring people together around beauty, rather than pushing them apart. That kind of informed everything we did: let’s look at our campus like a blank canvas and all the opportunities and possibilities we have here. So along with that question of who and what is SPAC when the amphitheater stage is dark, is also the question of how we can best serve art, artists and the community.”
On campus meanwhile, the organization last summer unveiled The Pines at SPAC. The new 4,000 square foot indoor/outdoor, year-round education and community events space features a pavilion and a terrace where some small gathering events may take place. While it is a structure much of the public has not yet seen, The Pines has been used to host more than 200 events since late last summer, 50 people maximum capacity at a time, and the grounds have also featured things such as dance classes, wellness classes, a teaching space for healing arts practitioners, and the launching of Culinary Arts at SPAC events.
A “Soundwalk” project was also initiated, merging performance and programming that takes audiences more into nature. “An embracing of our place in the natural world in a much more direct and celebratory way is going to be a big piece for us moving forward,” Sobol says. “Anything we could do using our rigorous COVID protocols and procedures to create a safe space for people to gather outdoors and do the things they needed to do for their soul. So, we now have a blueprint for doing things on a very small scale, for being flexible and agile. It honed a lot of skills for us.”
SPAC’s summer ballet gala will be re-imagined in 2021. “It’s not going to be a massive event with hundreds of people at the Hall of Springs on the lawn, but now that we know we can replicate these events – let’s say it’s for 50 people - maybe we’ll do 5 or 10 of them. We now have that blueprint, and we can execute that pretty nimbly,” she says. A culinary concept that has to do with ballet history is also being put together for a limited capacity gathering in 2021, and possibilities of having “rolling audiences” – that is, a few hundred people being rotated into the grounds at any one time – are being considered as a way to stage the summer Jazz Fest.
“We’re looking at every possible option so that if things are still very restrictive, we can accommodate that, and if they are looser we can accommodate that too,” Sobol says.
“‘All of these things are things we’re all working on together – how to bring companies to Saratoga, finding ways to perform that are safe for the audience and the performers and the crew, and also models that are financially viable for us and for them.”
Promoter Live Nation will have its own decisions to make regarding the summer pop season. More than one dozen scheduled shows are slated to take place from mid-July through September, featuring artists such as Rod Stewart, Hall & Oates, Maroon 5, Backstreet Boys, and Alanis Morissette, among others. A phone call to Live Nation seeking comment for this story was not returned.
As far as capacity in the amphitheater, a 10% max limit recently imposed on large venues by Gov. Cuomo would keep the audience inside the pavilion to 500 people, although those percentage numbers could fluctuate depending on vaccine roll-out and COVID-19 infection rates. SPAC being an amphitheater – a somewhat open building with an attached outdoor lawn – the stipulations specific to the venue are not clear.
“We are working on a regular basis with the governor’s office to talk about what amphitheaters look like, what that’s going to be, but imagine if we’re still at 10%,” Sobol says. “Even if we do use the lawn, we’re still limited to 500 people in the amphitheater. If they don’t give us a percentage but say we have to limit according to the six-foot rule, then that would limit us to about 1,200 people. It has enormous financial implications. And none of us knows right now. Trying to plan for July and August when we don’t even know when vaccinations are going to be widely available is tough,” she added.
SPAC is a 501(c)3 charitable organization with an annual operating budget of about $10 million. To normally meet that budget, about $5 million in revenue is generated from ticket sales, rent paid by promoter Live Nation which stages the summer pop concerts, and other miscellaneous sources. The other $5 million must largely be raised through SPAC memberships, charitable donations and corporate underwriting.
When programs were first cancelled last May and June, SPAC projected a $1.3 million shortfall, “but the community really rose up and was so generous that we ended up able to end the year in the black, so there’s tremendous gratitude around the generosity of the community,” Sobol says. “But at the same time, 2021 is going to be a lot more perilous for us, because we didn’t have the (high) costs last year. We are committed to major resident companies, so support at SPAC for this year is going to be even more important than it was last year.
“Most of our planning is done years in advance and right now what we have is about 50 plates juggling in the air waiting for a moment – which will probably be sometime in early April - to say this is our best bet of what three months is going to look like, because we’ve got to basically have 90 days between the time we pull the trigger on something, and we have our first performances. That’s an absolute minimum,” Sobol says.
“It’s also about the perception. There are more and more studies out there that ask, ‘Do I dare go out into an environment where there are hundreds or thousands of people?’ That’s the big quotient we can’t predict: behavior.”
Ultimately, SPAC is planning to actively showcase all its resident companies in 2021. “We just don’t know what that’s going to look like,” Sobol says. “Is it in the amphitheater at vastly reduced capacities? Is it in some other performance space – because if we’re seriously limited then we may have to look at some other spaces. But, we are committed to having the musicians and the dancers here in some capacity.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — In the month of February, Saratoga Performing Arts Center adds three new programs to its virtual Learning Library that further its mission to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the arts.
Created to bring free original arts educational content to students, families and educators at a time when in-school classes are often not feasible due to the pandemic, the SPAC Learning Library has collaborated with more than 25 professional regional musicians and dancers including Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and Caroga Arts Collective, as well as summer resident companies New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
SPAC’s Learning Library will offer new programming including lessons in Stepping and South African Gumboot Dancing, wheelchair-accessible dance lessons and a new series of music lessons that guide children through the beginning stages of learning an instrument.
In 2019, SPAC’s free education programs reached more than 49,000 young individuals, offered more than 400 classes, presentations, performances, and events, and partnered with more than 120 schools and non-profit organizations across the greater Capital Region.
To learn more about the programs, go to: www.spaclearninglibrary.org
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “Just over seven months ago, SPAC took the unprecedented measure of cancelling its whole Summer season in the face of the worsening coronavirus pandemic. Taking that step felt literally like walking off a cliff,” SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol explained, as the Board of Directors for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center gathered virtually Dec. 10 for its winter board meeting.
Like many cultural institutions around the world, 2020 at SPAC was remarkably different than initially planned.
As a result of the cancellation of SPAC’s classical season, the organization’s earned income dropped by $6 million, or 60% of its budget. SPAC had projected a potential shortfall of over $1 Million, “a breathtaking gap that brought our very survival into question,” said Sobol.
At the meeting, Sobol extended gratitude for the extraordinary generosity of the community, with which the potential deficit was eliminated leaving SPAC ending the year in the black.
The 2020 recalibration led to over 50 hours of online programming including: Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Stay Home Sessions in partnership with Caffè Lena; the SPAC Reimagined series of locally-shot dance videos that paid tribute to the 2020 classical season; the world premiere of Testament - a radio play about Beethoven written by Damian Lanigan and co-produced with Saratoga Shakespeare Company, as well as exclusive performances by Joshua Bell and Time for Three filmed in Saratoga and at SPAC, and a GPS-enabled work of public art in the Saratoga Spa State Park that used music to illuminate the natural environment created by Ellen Reid.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the venue was unable to celebrate the completion and opening of its transformational new construction project, The Pines @ SPAC. Nonetheless, The Pines and its various indoor/outdoor spaces allowed SPAC to open its gates for over 200 events. Over 8,000 attendees came through the doors from July to December, just 50 people at a time, abiding by strict COVID-19 protocols.
Fall of 2020 brought the launch of CulinaryArts@SPAC showcasing innovative chefs and restaurants in the region with safe, intimate dining events, and throughout the summer and fall, audiences attended wellness, art, dance and drumming classes; screenings of classic films, chamber music, orchestral music and dance; meetings and gatherings that could not have happened safely in their usual indoor locations. All proceeds from the culinary, wellness, dance, drumming and art classes went back to chefs, farmers, teachers and practitioners.
Given the uncertainties of what 2021 may bring with regard to the pandemic, SPAC is currently planning a number of potential scenarios to present a season that will be ready to meet whatever the prevailing conditions are this Spring and Summer.
“What we know is this,” said Sobol, “one way or another, there will be a SPAC season – and one way or the other, we are committed to ensuring a Saratoga presence by our beloved resident companies.”
A Socially Distanced, Interactive, Outdoor Experience Co-Commissioned by SPAC
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Monday, Sept. 21 Saratoga Performing Arts Center will present Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a GPS-enabled work of public art in the Saratoga Spa State Park that uses music to illuminate the natural environment.
Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of its SPAC REIMAGINED 2020 season, Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is an immersive audio experience tailor-made for the Saratoga Spa State Park featuring its famous natural springs, wooded areas, a geyser, a waterfall and more. The New York Philharmonic, also a co-commissioner of this work, is presented the World Premiere of Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK on Sept. 10 in New York City's Central Park.
The exhibit is free to the public and can be experienced while following social
“Bringing this project to our park is part of our vision to connect the unique beauty of our natural surroundings... the lush pines, woodland walks, geysers and natural springs...with art and music. We’re excited that Saratoga is only the second place, after NYC, to present the installation – and excited to be offering this unique art/nature experience to visitors to the Saratoga Spa State Park,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of SPAC.
Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK features a newly-written score, performed by SOUNDWALK Ensemble, as well as special musical “Easter eggs” hidden around the park for participants to discover.
After downloading the free app and putting on headphones, participants embark on a mile-long route around the Saratoga Spa State Park, featuring the Vale and Geyser Springs. Movement around the park triggers Ellen Reid’s soundscape -- musical cells which she carefully crafted to harmonize with the park’s landscape and attractions. The experience is guided by the listener: the path the participant chooses dictates the music they hear, ensuring that no two visits will be exactly the same. The installation will remain accessible in the park until Nov. 1.
Composer and sound artist Ellen Reid was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m. Along with composer Missy Mazzoli, Ellen co-founded the Luna Composition Lab. Luna Lab is a mentorship program for young, female-identifying, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers. Since 2019, she has served as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Her music is released on Decca Gold.
For more information, go to: spac.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new audio play providing a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven at a time of personal crisis will celebrate its world premiere on Aug. 22.
SPAC is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth with Beethoven 2020 and “Testament” - written by Damian Lanigan and co-produced with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center will have its World Premiere streaming on both SSC and SPACBeethoven.org from 8 p.m. Aug. 22 until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 23.
“Testament” is a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven grappling with the loss of his hearing and emerging from his suffering to write one of the greatest symphonies of all time.
Directed by Marcus Dean Fuller and featuring recordings by The Philadelphia Orchestra, “Testament” had originally been planned as a live performance at SPAC’s Spa Little Theater as part of the SSC’s 2020 summer season, but in response to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the company pivoted to an audio presentation that Fuller describes as a “musically driven audiobook.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s “Reimagined” series continues with a virtual Beethoven 2020 festival, which will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Highlighting the virtual festival are special events including an exclusive Beethoven recital with pianist Jonathan Biss on Aug. 21, the World Premiere of Testament on Aug. 22, a theatrical production in collaboration with Saratoga Shakespeare Company, and a Caffè Lena “Stay Home Sessions” concert with Philadelphia Orchestra musicians on Aug. 15.
“SPAC’s planned presentation of the complete Beethoven symphony cycle with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin was slated to be some of our most important programming of the season. Instead, we are honoring the great composer with a season long virtual festival and a completely new online platform with all nine symphonies, an exclusive concert with Jonathan Biss, a special lecture series, our gorgeous SPAC REIMAGINED ballet shorts set to his music and much more. It is our hope that this curated collection will still provide a profound and deeply moving musical experience -- just in a new format,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC President & CEO, in a statement.
The reimagined 2020 season also includes previously announced community events such as SPAC’s partnership with COESA to present the healing arts with Tai Chi and guided Meditation classes, the SPAC Reimagined ballet shorts featuring New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the virtual Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Stay Home Sessions and the on-going SPAC Learning Library. In addition, the Center has opened up its campus to various arts-related activities for children and young people.
All Beethoven festival events are free and will be accessible virtually on SPACBeethoven.org. Select events will also be screened on SPAC’s grounds to members only (limited to 50 people). Visit spac.org for additional details.
For a full schedule and more information visit spac.org.