Hello, Saratogians! While many of you are off at the races, we here at saratoga living are going to take a short breather from the mountain of horse and racing-related events to hat-tip the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s opening weekend at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). For two weeks each summer, the orchestra, led by the Canadian-born conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, makes SPAC its temporary home. In fact, this relationship between the orchestra and SPAC goes all the way back to 1968, just two years after the entertainment venue officially opened in Saratoga Springs. As horses roar around the track on the other end of town, the Philadelphia Orchestra offers Saratoga a diverse and splendid program of music: everything from the captivating classics by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff to film scores by leading composers such as John Williams (Star Wars: A New Hope) and modern classics by the indelible Leonard Bernstein (celebrating, posthumously, his 100th birthday on August 25). Aside from its incredible programming, the orchestra always finds new and inventive ways to present music that is decades, if not sometimes centuries old.
Case in point: This year’s summer season kicked off Wednesday, August 1, with live cannon fire and a fireworks extravaganza all in time with Tchaikovsky’s chest-beatingly patriotic 1812 Overture. Today at 2pm, the Philadelphia Orchestra offered up Symphonic Shakespeare, a concert of four works that paid homage to the Bard, with guest actors performing popular excerpts from the very plays referenced in the music, including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. This Friday at 8pm, the Orchestra will present The Planets—An HD Odyssey, a multimedia event that will feature images taken by NASA of our solar system, accompanied by Holst’s celestial suite of music, The Planets. And on Saturday, the orchestra is offering a Harry Potter night, featuring the complete film score from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
And that’s just the opening weekend. The Philadelphia Orchestra will be in town until August 18. Of course, there are many other ways to enjoy this coming weekend, too. Gotta love a Saratoga summer.
Friday, August 3
REVEAL Art Fair – Saratoga’s first major contemporary, international art fair is going on all weekend at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
The Whitney Cup Tournament – 5:30 PM, Friday and Sunday at Whitney Field, 2 Bloomfield Road Greenfield Center.
Here Lies Saratoga’s Past: Greenridge Cemetery – 10:30am, join leader Jan Klassovity at Greenridge Cemetery, Saratoga.
Saturday, August 4
Saratoga’s 2018 Summer Mall Expo – All day Saturday and Sunday at the Wilton Mall.
Washington County Antique Fair and Flea Market – Saturday and Sunday at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich.
7th Annual Banjo Revelry – 8pm at Caffè Lena.
Whitney Day and Fasig Tipton Festival of Racing – All day at the Saratoga Race Course.
Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.
Sunday, August 5
“After the Race” – 6:30pm, the 9th annual fundraiser for Old Friends at Cabin Creek – Saratoga National Golf Club, 458 Union Avenue.
Jockey Legends Day – Special autographing session from noon to 1pm at the Saratoga Race Course.
Dierks Bentley – 7pm, the country music superstar is coming to SPAC.