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Happy New Year! May 2013 bring to you and yours wonderful live performing arts experiences to edify, stimulate, and inspire. Northwest Ohio is rich with classical performances, from solo and ensemble recitals to big operas, original ballet, and the broadest spectrum of orchestral options.
Two fine opportunities to have a first-hand experience with dance are happening next week.
First, the Valentine Theatre will present the Russian National Ballet Theatre, a traveling troupe of highly trained performers, in a one-night-only production of one of the most beloved dances in the world — Swan Lake. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10.
Performed to original music by Piotr Tchaikovsky, this dark fairy tale about a young man pitted against a wicked sorcerer spins on a case of mistaken identity.
Prince Siegfried, coming of age, must choose a bride to enhance his power. Walking through the royal woods, he encounters a flock of enchanted swans and learns that only his love can break the curse and return the birds to the beautiful maidens they once were.
He meets the lovely Odette and vows to restore her humanity and marry her. Of course, true love meets impediments cast by the sorcerer, Von Rothbart, who beguiles Siegfried with his evil agent, Odile, nearly thwarting the prince’s return to his love.
The visiting company was born in Moscow during Perestroika, when dancers from world famous ballet schools and companies were seeking career growth outside the Soviet Union.
Never watched live ballet before? Prepare to be thrilled by the seemingly impossible grace and flexibility of these Russian dancers.
And here’s a tip for first-timers: While front section seats may seem like the best place to view the dancers close-up, many seasoned ballet-goers prefer to sit farther back on the floor or in the loge, the better to see the whole performance more clearly.
Tickets are $39-$50 at www.valentinetheatre.com or 419-242-2787.
A very different kind of dance experience is offered by the Toledo Symphony with its ProMedica Family Series at 3 p.m. Jan. 13 in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. This second concert of the season is titled On Pointe because it focuses on ballet.
Like all concerts in this series, it flourishes through partnerships, this time with the Toledo Ballet.
Resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock will lead the musicians in a program of music written for the ballet. Appearing with the orchestra in some of the numbers will be dancers from the city’s oldest school and company.
The famous can-can from Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach will open the afternoon. Dancers will perform to a movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 (Haffner) and to the beloved "Waltz of the Flowers" from the Nutcracker.
Starting one hour early for ticket holders will be all sorts of dance-related activities for kids and grownups in the Peristyle lobby.
Tickets for this charming concert are $20-$25 at www.toledosymphony.com or 419-246-8000.
The Metropolitan Opera will launch the 2013 half of its season at noon Saturday with a Live in HD broadcast of Hector Berlioz’s masterwork, Les Troyens (The Trojans).
With a superstar cast including mezzo soprano Susan Graham, soprano Deborah Voigt, and tenor Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, this revival of a 2003 production by Francesca Zambello is a must-see.
Toledoans can watch the high drama and outstanding singing at either Franklin Park Mall or Fallen Timbers cinemas, where tickets start at $22.
There also are venues in Ann Arbor and Sandusky, where ticket prices and times are the same.
Lourdes University Chorus is welcoming new members to its 2013 season, which includes a Celebration of Black History Month concert at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 and the Spring Choral Concert at 7 p.m. May 5, both in the Franciscan Center.
Rehearsals are at 6 p.m. Wednesdays starting Jan. 16 in lower level room 7 of the center, on the Sylvania campus.
All voices are welcome. Karen T. Biscay is conductor. Information: Contact Biscay at email@example.com or at 419-824-3772
Concerts gain extra impact because they are performed in the area’s most exceptional halls: the historic Valentine, stately Peristyle, serene Franciscan Center, capacious Stranahan, and elegant Toledo Club, plus stylish Kobacker Hall at Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo’s charming Doermann Theater.
Many regular concertgoers have a favorite hall and we’d like to know about it. We’d also like to know about your overall experiences attending concerts — both good and bad. Send your thoughts, opinions, criticisms, and praise to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for News of Music should be sent to svallongo@theblade at least two weeks ahead of the event date.