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Summer in Saratoga Springs

Posted: 06/22/2012

Saratoga Springs is a four-season town, steeped in charm year round. But summer in Saratoga is something else again. Is there any other community in the world that, per capita, has this much going on?

The Jazz Institute, the New York State Summer Writers Institute and new exhibits at the Tang Museum are among the major offerings that Skidmore is offering to the community in July and August; we shared those highlights in our Summer Arts Preview.  But cultural opportunities abound throughout this great city. Here’s a brief look at what you’ll find when you venture off-campus.

  • The New York City Ballet – which has made the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) its summer home since 1966 -- will perform a dazzling, diverse repertory of 16 stunning ballets during its 12-day run July 10 – 21. Highlights will include the July 14 World Premiere of a new ballet by NYCB dancer Justin Peck at the annual Ballet Gala; the Saratoga premieres of new ballets by Christopher Wheeldon and Benjamin Millepied; Peter Martins’ dramatic, full-length production of Romeo + Juliet; Balanchine classics including Firebird, Symphony in C and Kammermusik No. 2 and first-ever Saratoga performances of Peter Martins’ The Waltz Project and Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra will return to SPAC for its 47th annual residency from August 1 to August 18. Highlights of the 12-concert series include debut SPAC conducting appearances by Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin, three performances led by Stéphane Denève, guest appearances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Lang Lang, performers of Cirque de la Symphonie, and a multi-media performance of the film The Wizard of Oz.
  • LiveNation – the largest live entertainment company in the world, connecting 200 million fans to 100,000 events in more than 40 countries – will bring to SPAC 17 major concerts between now and September 16. Among them: Phish, Nickelback, Santana and The Allman Brothers Band, Toby Keith, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, and Def Leppard.
  • Opera Saratoga, which has been producing professional opera since 1962 (when it began as the Lake George Opera in Diamond Point, NY), will perform four mainstage productions in the Spa Little Theater July 6 through 15. Featured operas include Verdi's classic "Rigoletto," William Schuman's all-American baseball opera "The Mighty Casey," and a comical double bill of operetta: Gilbert & Sullivan's "Trial by Jury" paired with Offenbach's "Le 66."
  • Caffe Lena -- the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the United States – will maintain a full schedule of performances through July and August. Their summer line-up includes Bill Staines, Aztec Two-Step, John Gorka, and Michael Eck’s 100th Birthday Tribute to Woody Guthrie.
  • The National Museum of Dance will offer throughout the summer “Tails and Terpsichore,” an exhibit that investigates the numerous ways animals can dance, as well as the many ways people can dance about or with their furry friends. Other exhibits explore the history, myths, and reality behind pointe shoes and ballet; the career of Colombian-American choreographer, Eleo Pomare; and the American Ballet Theater’s illustrious past and present.
  • The Saratoga Automobile Museum will offer throughout the summer “Moonshine to Millionaires,” an exhibit focused on NASCAR history, heroes and technology. A dozen historic race cars are featured, ranging from Herb Thomas’ 1952 Hudson Hornet to the black Goodwrench Chevrolet that carried NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt to a Brickyard 400 win.  Also on display:  a Home Depot Pontiac and an IRL Dallara/Olds driven by defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, a 1959 Thunderbird “zippertop,”  a cutaway Penske Miller Lite Dodge, and a ’39 Ford “moonshine car.”
  • The National Museum of Racing will offer daily tours of the Oklahoma Training Track throughout the summer.  Steven Crist, one of the most prominent Thoroughbred racing journalists in the world, will deliver the keynote address at the National Museum of Racing’s 2012 Hall of Fame inductions on Friday, August 10 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. The induction ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public free of charge.

No summer in Saratoga Springs is complete without at least one day at the races.  The Saratoga Race Track will begin its 149th season July 20 and run through September 3. The Travers Stakes is set for August 25.