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It's August, and even though the temperature is still hovering around 100 degrees, the season of sweating it out at outdoor festivals and buying $5 beers is over. Imagine the cushioned seats, the cool quiet auditoriums, and the hush before the curtain goes up. It sounds pretty good to me. Plus, the lines will probably be shorter for your $5 chardonnay.

There are some exciting things in store for music fans, including the 74th Season of the Louisville Orchestra, which already kicked off in fine style with the release of the documentary Music Makes a City, paying tribute to its history and its important place in contemporary classical music. Continuing that theme, the new season celebrates the great cities of classical music, both the birthplaces of some of the most revered composers and the sites of famous world premieres.

In addition, Kentucky Opera's Brown-Forman Series features a program of some of the most beloved operas ever performed, and Louisville Ballet opens with the classic Giselle. Don't overlook upcoming events at both the University of Louisville's School of Music, the Paul W. Ogle Center at Indiana University Southeast, the Louisville Bach Society, and the Louisville Chorus.

See the list of events below (August-November) and check out each organization's web sites for more details and subscriber information.

Louisville Orchestra with Conductor Jorge Mester

Friday, September 3 - Fanfara – Leipzig (Whitney Hall, 8:30PM)

The Opening Gala highlights the city of Leipzig, Germany, where Felix Mendelssohn premiered his Violin Concerto in 1845. Renowned violinist Sarah Chang is the featured artist. Also on the program are works by Wagner, Puccini, De Falla, and Dukas.

Friday, October 1 – Louisville (Brown Theater, 8:00PM)

As documented in the film, Louisville, KY became known around the world for its orchestra, which commissioned and performed works from an international roster of modern composers. One of those composers, Elliott Carter, will be featured in this celebration of our own city's place in music history. Witold Lutoslawski and Beethoven are also on the program. *Coffee Classics

Friday, October 28 – Vienna (Whitney Hall, 8:00PM)
Gustav Mahler was the principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. His Symphony No. 4 highlights the program, along with works by his mentor Brahms. *Coffee Classics

Single ticket prices are $25-$75. See web site for additional options.

*Note: Performances in the Coffee Classics series are at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings before the Friday evening shows.

Kentucky Opera

Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Puccini's I Pagliacci
Friday, September 24 at 8:00PM
Sunday, September 26 at 2:00PM

Jilted lovers and crazy clowns make for classic Italian opera, including the famous tenor aria, “Vesti la giubba.”

Donizetti's The Elixir of Love
Friday, October 22 at 8:00PM
Sunday, October 24 at 2:00PM

This is a lovely comic opera, especially if you don't particularly enjoy the high body counts of the tragedies. Two of my favorite tenor arias are in this one: “Quanto è bella, quanto è cara” and “Una furtiva lagrima.” If you don't know this one, you'll love it.

Puccini's Madame Butterfly

Friday, November 19 at 8:00PM
Sunday, November 21 at 2:00PM

The story of a Japanese geisha and an American naval officer. It doesn't end well, but the music is gorgeous.

Note: Single ticket sales go on sale August 23. Call 502-584-4500. See web site for more information.

Louisville Ballet

Giselle (Whitney Hall)
Friday, September 10 at 8:00PM
Saturday, September 11 at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

Giselle is a beautiful peasant girl in this romantic ballet, choreographed by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli and with music by Adolphe Adam.

Director's Choice (Whitney Hall)
Friday, October 22 at 8:00PM
Saturday, October 23 at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

The program includes a group of ballets including Val Caniparoli's The Seasons and two other contemporary works.

Single ticket prices are $25-$75. See the web site for details.

Louisville Bach Society

Music of Bach, Handel, Mozart
Sunday, August 22 at 3:00PM

St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
639 South Shelby Street

Handel: Joshua
Sunday, October 10, 2010 3:00 p.m.

St. Boniface Catholic Church
531 East Liberty Street

Individual concert tickets $18 (senior, student, group discounts available). See the web site for details.

Congregation Adath Jeshurun

Dr. Michael White Quartet of New Orleans
Saturday, September 4 at 8:45PM

This quartet of jazz musicians, led by clarinet player, Dr. White, comes to Louisville to help raise money for Gulf Oil Spill relief efforts in a series of concerts around town. The September 4 concert at the synagogue is free.

The Louisville Chorus

Voices of Hope and Joy
Sunday, October 10 at 4:00PM
Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church
311 Browns Lane

With special guests: South Oldham Middle School Concert Choir, Haley A. Reed, Director and Organist Timothy Baker

Tickets are $18 with senior and student pricing available. See web site for details.

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Selena Frye's picture

About Selena Frye

I'm a writer and editor living in Louisville since 1996. I'm originally from the Blue Ridge of Virginia.

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