Whether you are climbing into the Power Tower, the Millennium Force, or some other Cedar Point ride, the effect of launching Toledo's 2012-2013 classical arts season is much the same: a few moments of tummy-clenching anticipation followed by a thrilling sequence of moves up, down, and around, all of which leave you breathless at the end.
(Or, as American composer John Adams titled one of his most popular orchestral works, the season just opening is "A Short Ride in a Fast Machine.")
Symphonic music in a wild array of styles, sizes, and configurations; more live and local opera than ever, and ballet and other dance forms are on tap for both seasoned arts lover and first-time concert-goer.
The invitation is out from hard-working and creative presenters such as the Toledo Symphony and community orchestras; the Valentine Theatre, Musica Antigua, Toledo Opera, Masterworks Chorale, Ballet Theatre of Toledo, the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ballet, Bowling Green State University, Lourdes College, and other area learning institutions, Trinity Episcopal, Rosary Cathedral, and select churches.
The invite reads: come and enjoy the riches for eye, ear, and mind waiting to beguile you. Try something new. Experiment. Push out of your pop culture comfort zone and discover the heart and soul of creativity, live and unmixed.
Is this the year to finally venture into the Peristyle or to make the trip downtown to the historic Valentine? To enter a church for a musical program that, in itself, is an act of worship, nondenominational yet profound?
What classical performers of every stripe -- from early music to cutting edge -- want to do is rock you and your world. All you need to do is grab any of the myriad opportunities.
Highlights of the coming season include the Toledo Opera's luscious productions of Puccini's La Boheme, one of the world's most beloved tales set to glorious music, and Don Giovanni, Mozart's dark portrayal of uncontrolled lust.
But, thanks to both UT and BGSU, opera options have doubled, with UT presenting Menotti's stunning modernist work, The Medium, and Monteverdi's seminal early opera, Orfeo, (in the Toledo Museum of Art Cloister) plus BGSU presenting Purcell's tragedy, Dido et Aeneas in the new Wolfe Center.
The circus in two versions will spin into town through the agency of the symphony and the Valentine, and the wonderful '70s crooner, Gary Puckett, will perform on the Keybank Pops schedule at the Stranahan.
Toledo's fave resident pianist, Frances Renzi, will be everywhere: performing with the symphony in the Peristyle and the Toledo Club and starring in UT's newly expanded Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series.
Although Owens Community College had to close its edgy performing arts series -- budget woes, of course -- there will be plenty going on in its spiffy new theater, between the resident ensembles and the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, with new music director Robert Mirakian.
Collaborations among area ensembles and groups are spreading. The Glacity Theatre Troupe led by Cornel Gabara will rekindle its relationship with the symphony to perform Stravinsky's masterpiece, A Soldier's Tale. Ballet Theatre of Toledo will continue its ongoing partnerships with SonoNovo Ensemble for original dance productions while the Toledo Ballet will work with the symphony for a Family Concert.
The Kronos String Quartet will make its Valentine debut, as will Sweet Honey in the Rock -- great ways to warm up January -- and Rosary Cathedral will help launch this big, rich season with the Toledo debut of the Liszt Chamber Choir from Germany next Sunday.
The beauty of attending these local productions comes in manifold ways: you spend less for high quality, locally produced shows than for traveling bands; the money stays in the area and supports more fine productions, and the variety is endless.
Climb aboard and savor the 2012-2013 ride.
Contact Sally Vallongo at: email@example.com.
All Saints Church, 628 Lime City Rd., Rossford, 419-666-1393.
Ballet Theatre of Toledo, 1124 Corporate Dr., Holland, 419-861-0895, ballettheatreoftoledo.org.
Blessed John XXII Church, 24250 Dixie Hwy., Perrysburg, 419-874-6502, blessedjohn.org.
Bowling Green State University Moore Musical Arts Center, Ridge Street. Festival Series Box Office: 419-372-8171, bgsu.edu.
BGSU Wolfe Performing Arts Center. Ridge Street. Opera and theater productions. 419-372-8171, bgsu.edu.
Cassandra Ballet, 3157 West Sylvania Ave., 419-475-0458, cassandraballet.com.
Clazel Theatre, 127 North Main St. Bowling Green. 419-353-5000.
Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. 313-961-3500, motopera.org.
Doermann Theater, University Hall, 2801 West Bancroft St., University of Toledo.
Epworth United Methodist Church, 3077 Valley View Dr., Ottawa Hills. 419-531-4296, epworth.com.
First Presbyterian Church of Maumee, 200 East Broadway, Maumee. 419-893-0223.
Franciscan Center, Lourdes College, Sylvania. 419-824-3999, franciscancenter.org.
Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave., Ann Arbor.
Masterworks Chorale ticket information: 419-246-8000, masterworkschorale.us.
Maumee Performing Arts Center, 1124 Saco St. at Maumee High School.
Michigan Opera Theatre, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. 313-961-3500, motopera.org.
Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor. 734-668-8463.
Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets: 419-246-8000 or 419-244-9575.
Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. 567-261-2787.
Power Center for the Arts, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor.
Rackham Auditorium, 915 East Washington St., Ann Arbor.
River Raisin Center for the Arts, 114 South Main St., Monroe. 734-242-7722, riverraisincentre.org.
St. Francis of Assisi Church, 2250 East Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor.
Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Box Office: 419-381-8851, stranahantheater.com.
Tecumseh Performing Arts Center, 400 North Maumee St., Tecumseh, Mich. 517-423-6617.
Toledo Ballet, Westfield Franklin Park, 5001 Monroe St. 419-472-0049, toledoballet.net.
Toledo Opera, 425 Jefferson Ave., 419-255-7464, toledoopera.org.
Toledo Symphony, One Symphony Space, 1838 Parkwood Ave. 419-246-8000, toledosymphony.com.
Trinity Episcopal Church, One Trinity Plaza, Adams and St. Clair streets. 419-243-1231, trinitytoledo.org.
University Musical Society, Ann Arbor. Box office/information: 734-764-2538, ums.org.
University of Toledo Center for the Performing Arts Recital Hall, West Towerview Boulevard and West Rocket Drive, Parking, Lot 12. utoledo.edu.
Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St. 419-242-2787, valentinetheatre.com.