You probably know Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for its sold-out Live Nation shows, world-class New York City Ballet performances and as the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. But this winter, Saratoga’s premier concert and performance venue is taking a huge step toward its vision of providing year-round programming. Enter SPAC’s first-ever holiday series, which runs from December 4-19.
“Over the past three years, we’ve been expanding SPAC’s programming beyond the traditional summer season both on our campus and in venues throughout the region,” says SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol. “This December that vision will be realized with four diverse, holiday programs by world-class companies that will delight families, classical lovers and curious newcomers alike. We anticipate that this new holiday series will mark the start of many new traditions, bringing together our community to revel in the magic of the season.”
First on the list is the Vienna Boys Choir, a centuries-old institution making its Saratoga debut at Bethesda Episcopal Church on Wednesday, December 4 at 7pm. The children’s choral group is known worldwide, and will present a special holiday program of Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, Christmas hymns and holiday carols. (Tickets to the performance are already sold out.)
The following weekend, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre will take the Saratoga Springs High School stage to present two performances of The Nutcracker. (For more on the Tchaikovsky classic, check out SPAC’s always-popular Nutcracker Tea on November 17.) The original production by the legendary Austrian theater company will feature live actors and their marionette “friends” bringing the story of Clara to life. Performances are Friday, December 6 at 7pm and Saturday, December 7 at 2pm and are $25 for adults and $15 for children ad teens 15 and under.
A week later, on Saturday, December 14, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s will return for the third time to Bethesda Episcopal Church to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. The New York City-based group regularly performs at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the New York City Center, and has won four Grammy Awards for its dedication to the craft. The orchestra will take the stage at 7pm on Saturday, and tickets cost $25.
Rounding out the holiday series will be a performance by VOCES8, a British choral group that has stunned crowds throughout Europe and Asia with a cappella performances in addition to collaborations with leading orchestras. The ensemble will perform at Bethesda Episcopal Church on Thursday, December 19 at 7pm. Tickets are $25.