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Classical 101

Columbus' Fall 2018 Arts Highlights

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CATCO performs Eubie! through Sept. 15 in the Lincoln Theatre.

It's a torrid late-summer day as I type these lines. I equate the cooler weather and the longer evenings with opening nights!

Columbus looks forward to plenty of first nights in the next several weeks, as the new arts season begins.

There's really no one "arts season" anymore.

In the old days, of clear memory (mine), a lack of air conditioning kept theaters and indoor venues closed up tightly from June to September. Today we can keep cool indoors all summer.

For those loath to be inside, there were and are plenty of outdoor concerts and performances to enjoy.

From the Columbus Symphony at the Columbus Commons, ProMusica at Franklin Park and Actors' Theatre in Schiller Park, especially in shady areas, a good time was had by all.

Here are a few upcoming dates to circle on your calendar:

Columbus Symphony

The Columbus Symphony opens the 2018-19 season on Sept. 21 and 22 in the Ohio Theatre.

Remember Fantasia? Leopold Stokowski conducting Mickey Mouse. In 2018, Stokowski is in heaven, and Mickey Mouse is part of video history.

Rossen Milanov conducts music from Fantasia: "Ride of the Valkyries," The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Stokowski's arrangement for orchestra of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Bring your helmets. Bring the kids, too. Show them the movie first, then watch as they light up while hearing the music played by a fine symphony orchestra, right in front of them.


The Columbus Symphony celebrates Leonard Bernstein's birthday centennial on Oct. 12 and 13.

It's an all-Bernstein program, with the Columbus Symphony Chorus. There will be music from Candide, West Side Story and On the Town.

This is Bernstein, the populist composer. Everything he did became popular, from leaping into the air while conducting Mahler or Haydn to challenging us not to dance through his driven, sexy rhythms.

Go ahead, dance.

Too early for Christmas, perhaps, and too late for Easter, there's never a bad time to hear Messiah.

Milanov conducts George Frideric Handel's sacred oratorio in the Ohio Theatre, with the Columbus Symphony Chorus conducted by Ron Jenkins, Nov. 9 and 10.

It's not a sing-along. But if you want to sing along, go ahead.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary during the 2018-19 season.

ProMusica presents the Beethoven symphonies in the Southern Theatre, conducted by David Danzmayr.

After opening the season with Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D on Oct. 14, ProMusica is set to perform more Beethoven works this season: Symphony No. 8 in F on Nov. 10 and 11, followed by Symphony No. 9 in d with the Lancaster Chorale on May 11 and 12 in the Southern Theatre.

ProMusica is also presenting Messiah (Dec. 7 in the Southern Theatre), and this is a sing-along! Don't forget, there'll be premieres and the usual exploration of beloved music with ProMusica, all season long.

New Albany Symphony

Too much of a good thing is wonderful. The New Albany Symphony performs Beethoven's Ninth with the choir of Capital University at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at the McCoy Center for the Arts in New Albany.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and Opera Columbus

ProMusica collaborates with Opera Columbus on a new opera — the first local premiere in many years. The Flood features music by the wonderful Korine Fujiwara. It's based on the flood that decimated Columbus in 1913.

I heard a preview last year and look forward to the premiere, Feb. 8 to 10 in the Southern Theatre.


Opera Columbus

There's no flood in Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Floods of tears, maybe.

Opera Columbus' production of Puccini's favorite plays in the Southern Theatre, Sept. 28 and 30. (I always want to tell Butterfly to get over it, kick this naval lieutenant in the butt, get a lawyer and move on.)

And yes, I cry at the end of Puccini's opera.

Opera Project Columbus

Columbus has two major orchestras and two opera companies. Opera Project Columbus presents The Myth of Faust in the Lincoln Theatre, Oct. 26 and 28The Merry Widow (with soprano Kathrin Danzmayr), Jan. 11 and 13; and Rigoletto in June 2019.

These people aren't fooling around. Alessandro Siciliani conducts all performances.

Chamber Music Columbus

Chamber Music Columbus opens their 2018-19 season with the Dover Quartet and bass superstar Edgar Meyer at the Southern Theatre on Oct. 13. The St. Lawrence String Quartet appears Nov. 17.

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with an exhibition: I, Too, Sing America, on view Oct. 19 through Jan. 20, 2019.


Complementing the exhibition is CATCO's production Eubie!, the Broadway musical review of the songs of Eubie Blake, through Sept. 15 at the Lincoln Theatre.

Columbus Jazz Orchestra

Columbus Jazz Orchestra presents Songs and Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance, Jan. 18 at the Lincoln Theatre.

Don't miss the Columbus Jazz Orchestra's Tenor Titans of Jazz, "a saxsational evening honoring Columbus' own sax greats, Rusty Bryant, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Gene Walker," Sept. 22 at the Lincoln.


Early Music in Columbus

Early Music in Columbus welcomes the ensemble Les Délices for its season opener, Mozart in Paris, on Friday, Oct. 5. Then Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's baroque orchestra, takes the stage at Capital University on Nov. 11.

What's happening Columbus? We have jazz. We have the Harlem Renaissance. We have Mozart in Paris. Fantasia at the Symphony, Eubie Blake at the Lincoln, ProMusica's Beethoven and two chances to hear Messiah.

And that's just for the first few months of season 2018-19. Stay tuned for more!

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.
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