Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly

Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The promise is being fulfilled.  Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has got the goods and a new era is truly at hand for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was more than two years ago that the French Canadian conductor, now 37, was named music director of the orchestra, a post that he’ll finally and officially assume in October.  What a coup for SPAC to present him on...
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Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in “On the Town”

Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in “On the Town”
Alexander in 2009 (Luanne M. Ferris / Times Union) Cris Alexander, a Broadway actor and portrait photographer, died on March 7 in Saratoga Springs, where he lived full-time since 1991.  His death at age 92 came just two weeks after that of Shaun O’Brien, the New York City Ballet character dancer and Alexander’s companion of 61 years. Alexander starred in the 1944 premiere of “On the Town,” creating...
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City Ballet’s Shaun O’Brien (1925-2012)

City Ballet’s Shaun O’Brien (1925-2012)
Shaun O’Brien made his name on the stage as a New York City Ballet dancer and adopted the troupe’s summer home as his own until his death last week. O’Brien, a member of New York City Ballet for about 40 years, died in Saratoga Springs on Feb. 23 at age 86. He will be remembered for his unusually long career portraying character roles, especially Drosselmeier in “The Nutcracker” and Dr. Coppelius in “Coppelia.” O’Brien...
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Marin Alsop opens the Saratoga season of the Philadelphia Orchestra (concert review)

Marin Alsop opens the Saratoga season of the Philadelphia Orchestra (concert review)
It was good to actually hear the Philadelphia Orchestra, rather than hear about the Philadelphia Orchestra. When it filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, the venerable institution became a sad symbol for the fragile state of the economy and the arts in general. Only the near demise of the New York City Opera — once an annual visitor to Saratoga — has been bigger news. Meanwhile the orchestra keeps playing and...
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Saratoga overview: Farewell season for Dutoit and Juillet

Saratoga overview: Farewell season for Dutoit and Juillet
Philadelphia Orchestra Saratoga Performing Arts Center August 4-21, 2010 After the Philadelphia Orchestra abruptly parted ways in 2008 with its seventh music director, Christopher Eschenbach, it turned to Charles Dutoit to fill in as chief conductor.  It’s a mighty long interim status for Dutoit, who will depart in 2012 with the arrival of Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The connection that made the Dutoit-Philly alliance a natural...
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Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Gershwin

Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Gershwin
All Gershwin. All good. That pretty much describes the line-up as well as the outcome of Wednesday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It was Charles Dutoit’s penultimate program as artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual summer season and also a rare immersion into all-American terrain. Opening the program was “An American in Paris.” The honking...
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Dance reviews: More of City Ballet at Saratoga

Dance reviews: More of City Ballet at Saratoga
NEW YORK CITY BALLET SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER WEDNESDAY JULY 14, 2010 The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Balanchine/Bizet) Walpurgisnacht BAllet (Balanchine/Gounod) Namouna (Ratmansky/Lalo) “Ballet’s hip,” said one busy staffer of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That remark was less a hope than an observation, since healthy sized crowds are turning out for the second week of the New York City Ballet’s Saratoga...
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Dance reviews: New York City Ballet in Saratoga

Dance reviews: New York City Ballet in Saratoga
NEW YORK CITY BALLET SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TUESDAY JULY 6, 2010 “All American” Fancy Free (Robbins/Bernstein) Red Angels (Dove/Einhorn) Barber Violin Concerto (Martins/Barber) Who Cares (Balanchine/Gershwin) With a roll of the snare drum and a cartwheel by a dancer, the New York City Ballet’s summer season got off to a fast start.  Tuesday night’s program at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center opened...
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Christopher Wheeldon: Back in the saddle at New York City Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon: Back in the saddle at New York City Ballet
Get ready for more horses in Saratoga Springs. This time on the ballet stage. In his latest piece, “Estancia,” choreographer Christopher Wheeldon directs members of the New York City Ballet to buck and bray like wild colts. The piece opens Saturday’s annual gala at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “It’s a cowboy ballet, set on a ranch in Argentina,” says Wheeldon, who will be on hand for the performance. ...
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Shaun O’Brien, Balanchine’s original Coppelius

In the vast repertoire of dances created by George Balanchine, the ballerinas always have priority. They’re beautiful, refined and showcased in the brightest spotlights. Next come the men, or danseurs, who are sometimes given opportunities for flashy display, yet often as not are consigned to extensive partnering work. But in the popular story ballets, there are also the character roles, like the sad old Drosselmeyer...
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