Displaying items by tag: SPAC

Thursday, 09 December 2021 13:24

John Mulaney at SPAC in June

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Writer, actor, and comedian, John Mulaney will appear at Saratoga Performing Arts Center June 10 as part of 33-city tour in 2022. 

In 2018, Mulaney traveled the U.S. with sold out Kid Gorgeous tour, which was later released as a Netflix stand-up special and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special; in 2015, he released The Comeback Kid, and in 2012, his Comedy Central special New In Town. 

Solidifying himself as a fan favorite, John Mulaney has been invited to host Saturday Night Live four times. He began writing for SNL in 2008 and created memorable characters such as ‘Stefon’ with Bill Hader and appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent. He has written for IFC’s Documentary Now! and Netflix’s Big Mouth, on which he voices the character of Andrew.

In December 2019, the critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated musical variety special John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch debuted on Netflix. It was recently announced that festivities will continue with a pair of holiday themed Sack Lunch Bunch specials coming to Comedy Central in the near future.

Tickets on sale via Ticketmaster.com.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dispatch and O.A.R will hit the road together this summer for a 37-stop North American co-headline tour, which is scheduled to kick off on July 15 in Arizona and conclude Sept. 10 in Texas. 

The bands will stage a show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center Aug. 21, when they will be joined by G. Love. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 10. 

“Dispatch has always been a name on our white-board wish-list for bands we wanted to tour with,” said O.A.R.’s sax player Jerry DePizzo, in a prepared statement. “It’s almost as if we’ve existed in parallel universes. We both came up through the ranks and cut our teeth playing colleges and small clubs throughout the Northeast and Midwest. It’s taken a few years, but the stars have finally aligned. We’re looking forward to this because we feel both audiences will be excited as well. We should have done this a long time ago.”

Dispatch was formed by Chadwick Stokes and Brad Corrigan while in college in Vermont. The band has gone on to become one of biggest success stories in independent music history, selling out three nights at Madison Square Garden and drawing over 100,000 fans to a massive outdoor show in their adopted hometown of Boston without any traditional radio or major label support. The band recently released their eighth studio album, “Break Our Fall.”

O.A.R, who hail from Rockville, Maryland, has sold out Madison Square Garden multiple times, filled Red Rocks Amphitheater on countless nights, earned platinum and gold plaques across 11-full-length albums and lit up the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced Dec. 9 that it has once again partnered with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to bring back the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for its annual Saratoga Springs residency in 2022. 

Slated for Sunday, June 12, through Sunday, Aug. 21, the popular “CMS at the Meadows” series will return for six programs and twelve performances in Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s beautiful, open-air High Tunnel greenhouse. 

“One of the highlights of this past summer’s programming was the glorious confluence of stunning music-making in a magnificent natural setting as CMS took the stage in the High Tunnel at Pitney Farm. Thanks to our partners at The Farm, we are excited to be going back there for the summer 2022 season,” SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol said, in a prepared statement. 

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 2022 season at SPAC (June 12- Aug. 21) will feature masterpieces from Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio to Dvořák’s “American” Quintet, to lesser known gems of the chamber repertoire by an international cast of composers such as Reicha, Schoenfield, Poulenc, and Dohnányi. In addition, a special Juneteenth concert will feature SPAC debuts by BIPOC composers Jessie Montgomery, Florence Price, and William Grant Still. 

Artists appearing include Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, and the acclaimed Escher String Quartet. 

Subscriptions to all six programs, at either 3 p.m. or 7 p.m., will be available to purchase at spac.org beginning on Dec. 10 for SPAC members. Member presales are tiered by level, and members will receive their presale start time via email. Subscriptions will be available to the general public beginning December 17. Subscription packages will be $300-$360 depending on seating location. Single performance tickets will be available to purchase in early March, and will be $55-$65 each.

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 90 minutes long with no intermission. Visit spac.org for additional show details. 

Published in Entertainment
Thursday, 09 December 2021 13:18

Styx at SPAC with REO Speedwagon

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Styx and REO Speedwagon co-headlining U.S. summer tour with Loverboy will stage their show Aug. 17 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  Tickets for the “Live & Unzoomed" show go on sale Friday, Dec. 10 at Livenation.Com

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nestled between performances at Citi Field in Queens, and the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Foo Fighters’ 2022 North American Tour will stage a show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on July 19.

The show will mark the 30th anniversary summer since Nirvana – with Grohl as its drummer – famously topped the bill at the 1992 Reading Festival, which Grohl later described as a “genuinely magical moment.”  The band’s major label debut, ‘Nevermind’ had been released the previous September and along with it their single “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which brought so-called “alternative” music to mainstream America and played a role in fellow tour-mates Sonic Youth to title their tour film “1991: The Year Punk Broke.”   

The Reading Festival show would be the last time Nirvana performed in England. “The memory is somewhat triumphant but melancholy, because we never came back,” Grohl – who joined Nirvana in 1990 - recently told Sam Moore of the New Musical Express. 

Nirvana ceased to exist following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Grohl subsequently formed the Foo Fighters, whose debut album was released in 1995.

The 2022 dates will mark Foo Fighters’ most extensive North American run since the February release of the band’s 10th album, “Medicine at Midnight.”   

Tickets on sale Friday, Dec. 3 at www.livenation.com.

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Thursday, 06 May 2021 14:26

Trey Anastasio at 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 

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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. 

To learn more on how to enroll your school, contact the SPAC Education Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit spac.org for details. Classical Kids was made possible by CAP COM and Stewart's Holiday Match Program. 

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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. 

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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.   


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. 

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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.”

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