The fabulous Philadelphians will be bringing a lot of star power to the 2009 residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, with such acclaimed soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gil Shahm, Andre Watts and Emanual Ax -- and Alec Baldwin?
Yes, that Alex Baldwin of movie and television fame, most recently the NBC show "30 Rock." Baldwin will be making his first appearance at SPAC for the Aug. 5 season opener, in which he will narrate Aaron Copland's 1942 work "Lincoln's Portrait." 2009 also marks the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
In addition to the acclaimed guests listed above, a highlight of the season also is a first for SPAC: three pop performances with three different coductors -- Jeff Tyzik (Aug. 7), Erich Kunzel (Aug. 14) and Marvin Hamlisch (Aug. 20).
A new feature this season is a collaboration between the Hyde Collection, in Glens Falls, and SPAC, for an Aug. 15 performance called "An Evening with Degas."
The performance of works by Bizet, Chabrier, Debussy, Sarasate, Massenet, Saint-Sa ns and Offenbach will be accompanied by images of Degas' famous works projected on SPAC's cinema screens.
Meanwhile, the Hyde will be showing a special exhibit, "Degas & Music" from July 12 to Oct. 18, which will feature Degas' paintings of musician friends, cabaret singers and ballet dancers. Other special events include Thursday Date Nights (Aug. 6, 13, 20) that feature upscale beer and wine tastings; and Friday Family Nights (Aug. 7, 14, 21) with free Stewart's ice cream, magicians and face painting.
In a move sure to please budget-conscious music-lovers, SPAC is keeping this year's tickets at last year's prices. Tickets begin at $18 for lawn admission and $31 for inside seating. The "Free Children on the Lawn" promotion gives children 12 and younger free lawn admission.