Saratoga is the summer place to be, but let’s be honest: You might need a break from all the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re a full-time Saratogian or here for the racing season and need a vacation from your vacation, The Sembrich in Bolton Landing is a stop you definitely need to add to your summer itinerary.
Formerly owned by internationally renowned Polish soprano Marcella Sembrich, who starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s first season in 1883, The Sembrich is a museum and cultural destination located right on the shore of Lake George. The museum is housed in what used to be the soprano’s teaching studio, and contains art, photographs, furniture and more, including letters from Brahms, Puccini, and Rachmaninoff. The building once hosted students from the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, where Sembrich was the founding director of the voice programs.
The museum is open Memorial Day Weekend through mid-October, a season highlighted by The Sembrich’s summer festival, which this year is presenting themed programming through the end of August. “This year’s theme is Trailblazers and celebrates singular achievements of outstanding individuals in arts and culture from David Smith and Marin Alsop to Alma Mahler and Philip Glass,” says Caleb Eick, The Sembrich’s Director of Institutional Advancement. “To accompany musical programs, the exhibition Trailblazing Trends displays Gilded Age fashion accessories drawn from Marcella Sembrich’s personal collection and includes a stunning assortment of fans, Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, handbags and more.”
Some other can’t miss events? Performances by the Canadian trio Grosse Isle, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the all-female horn ensemble Genghis Barbie, and Mexican tenor Leonardo Sanchez, plus a presentation on the celebrated musical Hamilton by New York’s acclaimed theater historian John Kenrick and an immersive program called SOUNDTRAILS that allows visitors to listen to soundscapes while exploring the lakeside property.
Not only does The Sembrich boast something for everyone from seasoned opera aficionados to casual visitors, but the museum is located just outside downtown Bolton Landing, where popular restaurants, quirky gift shops and waterside fun await. “It’s less than an hour from Saratoga and offers visitors a truly unique experience,” Eick says. “Though the building seems small, there’s more to explore than a single day can hold.”