The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) excitedly announces its first full classical season in two years, with a spectacular and diverse program starring world-renowned soloists Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York City Ballet (NYCB).
The return of these resident companies to their summer home is highly anticipated; 2020’s season was completely cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, and last year warmly welcomed an abbreviated program due to the pandemic’s lingering effects. This year’s full season features SPAC premieres and debuts by women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) composers, choreographers, performers and conductors, alongside iconic masterworks of the classical repertoire. The ballet company’s full roster of 90 dancers will hit the stage July 12-16 under the direction of Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, accompanied by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, led by Music Director Andrew Litton. The orchestra’s three-week residency runs July 27–August 13 and will feature Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin August 10–13.
NYCB’s summer residency runs the gamut from a collection of contemporary works (by Jamar Roberts, Pam Tanowitz and Justin Peck) to George Balanchine’s fanciful comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which NYCB performed at SPAC during its very first year 56 years ago. The company hinted at its triumphant return with its A Midsummer Night’s Supper fundraiser last summer. The company will also perform a program dedicated to the 20th century masters, including Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace, and a special “NYCB On and Off Stage” presentation.
“After two long years without the full New York City Ballet in residence at SPAC, it is tremendously exciting to be announcing the return of the full Company in July 2022,” says SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol.
The Philadelphia Orchestra residency features the return of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in four programs, including a finale featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Plus, a diverse roster of artists will be making their debut on the SPAC stage, including 14-time GRAMMY nominee Ledisi singing the music of Nina Simone, pianist Lara Downes, soprano Angel Blue, violinist Randall Goosby, and contemporary ballet company BALLETX performing a new work choreographed by NYCB’s Tiler Peck. The popular, family-friendly film nights also return, with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Princess Bride.
“SPAC’s ambitious and artistically inspiring programming continues our effort to bring significant contemporary works and iconic classics that have never been performed at SPAC to our stage,” says Sobol, “while also presenting a record number of works by BIPOC and female composers throughout the season.”
Tickets will be available beginning on March 7 for members (tiered by level) and on March 16 for the general public. New for this season, evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. The 2022 season also brings the return of SPAC’s print program, published by Saratoga Living, for both the ballet and orchestra performances.