More than ‘a little night music’

On Saturday, June 16, Caramoor opens its 73rd season with Audra McDonald headlining a gala evening. The Broadway star recently celebrated the release of her first live album with full orchestra – the New York Philharmonic, no less. As she told WAG music critic Gregg Shapiro:

“Just the fact that I got the opportunity to sing with the New York Philharmonic and that it’s been recorded for posterity – that for me is a dream come true. These are a lot of classic Broadway tunes that I’m doing. A lot of times they were orchestrated for larger orchestras than what we have on Broadway now. But I don’t think they were ever orchestrated for as huge an orchestra as we had with the New York Phil. It was a dream come true to do an album with the incredible institution that is the New York Philharmonic.”

At 8 p.m. Saturday, McDonald will join another fabulous ensemble – Caramoor’s resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s – to kick off the season, which runs through July 29 and will include Baroque and Classical operas, new music from 22 living composers that features two world premieres, orchestral concerts, chamber music, day-long Jazz and American Roots festivals, world music, increased family programming and an ongoing commitment to sound artwork dispersed throughout Caramoor’s 90-acre, Mediterranean-style estate.

While the opening night gala concert is sold out, there will be plenty of stars shining under the Caramoor firmament. Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard gives an intimate recital with guitarist Sharon Isbin, both of them in Caramoor debuts; San Francisco’s peerless vocal ensemble Chanticleer offers a centuries-spanning performance in celebration of its 40th anniversary. (If you’re a fan of pure singing, you must hear this a capella group.)

Another San Francisco favorite, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, presents Handel’s “Atalanta,” while Classical opera gets its due with a special Sunken Garden performance of Mozart’s “The Secret Gardener.”

The Cleveland orchestra Apollo’s Fire will also be going for Baroque at the festival while Met mezzo Susan Graham closes things out with a concert of Handel and Mozart arias.

And that’s just for classical music buffs. There’s a “Bernstein’s Broadway” concert with Broadway music director Ted Sperling, the annual “Pops, Patriots and Fireworks” concert on July 4 and the 10th anniversary of family-friendly “Dancing at Dusk” series.

For more – and there’s plenty of it – visit caramoor.org.

Georgette Gouveia

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