SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has announced the return of its resident companies -- New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra -- to their summer home in Saratoga Springs for a celebratory season that will feature masterworks from the classical cannon, alongside SPAC premieres and debuts.
New York City Ballet returns with the full company from July 18 – 22, with its roster of more than 90 dancers under the direction of Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, accompanied by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, led by Music Director Andrew Litton.
The Company will present four programs including “NYCB On and Off Stage,” hosted by NYCB dancers for a unique “behind the curtain” experience featuring excerpts from the week’s ballets.
Highlighting the season are contemporary new works including Play Time by Gianna Reisen set to music by Solange Knowles; Love Letter (on shuffle) by Kyle Abraham, featuring the music of James Blake; and Liturgy by Christopher Wheeldon with music by Arvo Pärt, in addition to two works by Justin Peck including the SPAC premiere of his first full-evening ballet, Copland Dance Episodes, set to four of Aaron Copland’s most acclaimed musical scores: Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, Fanfare for the Common Man, and Rodeo, as well as Scherzo Fantastique set to music by Igor Stravinsky, which had its World Premiere at SPAC in 2016.
Also featured is a program dedicated to three story ballets including Balanchine’s Swan Lake, Robbins’ Fancy Free and Firebird by both choreographers.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week residency (Aug. 2 – Aug. 19) will feature Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Aug. 11–12) leading two programs including a Rachmaninoff 150th birthday celebration, and appearances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Aug. 17) and violinist Gil Shaham (Aug. 16), returning for the first time in a decade in a special SPAC premiere leading Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
Making their 2023 SPAC debuts is a diverse roster of artists including Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony Award-winning icon Audra McDonald (Aug. 10) for a Broadway program, and global “little orchestra” Pink Martini, featuring China Forbes (Aug. 4), in addition to pianists Isata Kanneh-Mason (Aug. 3) and Bruce Liu (Aug. 11). The 2023 season also includes a diverse line-up of conductors making their SPAC debuts, including Fabio Luisi (Aug. 2-3) for the opening two nights including the popular Festive Fireworks program, Enrico Lopez-Yañez (Aug. 4) to lead Pink Martini alongside the Orchestra, Roderick Cox (Aug. 9) in a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, and Xian Zhang (Aug. 17) for Yo-Yo Ma Plays Dvořák.
SPAC also revealed its 2023 festival theme of EARTH would be integrated throughout the Orchestra’s residency, highlighted by Earth: An HD Odyssey (Aug. 18), featuring ravishing images of the planet on a large LED screen accompanied by Richard Strauss’ epic tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey and John ¬Adams’ exhilarating Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Continuing the theme, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the Orchestra in the SPAC premiere of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer John Luther Adams’ Vespers of the Blessed Earth, alongside Stravinsky’s famed The Rite of Spring (Aug.12).
The popular film nights will also return to delight audiences of all ages as the Orchestra accompanies, live to picture, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert (Aug. 5) and Jurassic Park in Concert (Aug. 19), celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film.
Tickets will be available beginning on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. for members (tiered by level) and on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. for the general public. For specific program dates and performances, visit spac.org for details.