"Little Women" the Opera and Five More Classical Music Events to Hit This Week

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If you liked Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, you’ll love Mark Adamo’s opera adaptation, which hits the stage on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 and Sunday, July 17 at 2:30 at Hudson’s Barlow Community Center. Nightingale Opera Theatre fields a local, all-star cast with stage direction by Marla Berg and musical direction by John Simmons. The composer even wrote the libretto to the opera himself, effortlessly blending the words and experimental music together. Dubbed by one critic as “destined to become an American masterpiece,” this recent work is unique, and the intimate setting at this venue should make for a nice, community-oriented performance. At two hours in length, this opera is also a choice fit for newcomers to the genre. Tickets available online.

Stars in the Classics presents its next Classical Cabaret at Orange Village Hall on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 pm. This special concert is quite the treat, serving up not only great music but great food and beverages, too. The eclectic program offers a wide variety of repertoire which should please any musical appetite, from Schubert’s and Dvořák’s catchy tunes to Debussy’s mystical-sounding trio. The casual venue of the concert also welcomes those unfamiliar with classical music into an inviting atmosphere. All of the performers are rising stars in their field, so there will be much to catch your eye — and especially your ear. Tickets can be reserved online.

Apollo’s Fire brings the beauty of Appalachia to Northeast Ohio with the revival of their hit concert (and now bestselling CD) “Sugarloaf Mountain.” Performances take place on July 16, 17, 22, and 23 (consult our concert listings page for specific times and locations). This concert sounds as if sprung fresh out of the roots of countryside America, mixing southern-style fiddle playing with African-American spirituals and even early settlers’ ballads. Nothing quite compares to this live music experience, mixed with rural atmosphere and outstanding musicianship. You can grab your tickets online.

The successful first season of ENCORE Chamber Music continues with a solo recital by world-renowned Brazilian pianist Arnaldo Cohen at Our Lady Chapel at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills on Saturday, July 16 at 8 pm. Busoni’s reworking of a Bach violin masterpiece for piano must be one of the most successful transfers from one instrument to another in music history, and should prove to be a thrilling ride. Cohen follows with a set of variations by Brahms — one of the most charming pieces in the piano literature. To witness any pianist perform all four Chopin Scherzos in a row is a spiritual experience. To hear Cohen do it will be transfiguring. Tickets can be purchased online.

The Cleveland Orchestra offers two fun-filled concerts at Blossom this weekend, the first on Saturday, July 16 at 8 pm, the second on Sunday, July 17 at 7 pm. Both feature superb programming and pianists. The first opens with a gorgeous string piece by British composer Edward Elgar, followed by what is possibly Mozart’s most popular piano concerto — with the famous Andante used in the movie Elvira Madigan. The pièce de résistance, however, is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony, which paints a musical portrait of this great and bustling city. If you can’t make that, the Sunday evening concert packs just as much of a punch, featuring two riveting masterpieces by American composers George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. In addition, Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G has an undeniably fun jazz vibe, especially when put on the same program as his wild Spanish Rhapsody. Tickets can be bought online. 18 and under are free on the lawn.

On a previous trip to Cleveland, cellist Steuart Pincombe played in a tavern. This time he’ll perform in a coffee house — on Sunday, July 17 at 5 pm at Oberlin’s Slow Train Café. Pincombe has been lauded as one of the leading early and new music performers of today, and this solo concert will show off that talent. The low-key venue should provide a comfortable setting for any listener. What more could you want than to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry while listening to music by an outstanding artist? This one is free!

For details of these and many other events, visit the ClevelandClassical.com Concert Listings page.
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