The Toledo Symphony may just have found the antidote to the dark-and-gloomy post-holiday daze that is January.
The tonic is Mozart.
That’s as in, take a healthy serving of Wolfgang Amadeus and his astonishing music, and you will make it to spring.
Part of the symphony’s ongoing collaboration with the University of Toledo College of Visual and Performing Arts — plus an event at the Valentine Theatre — this year’s program, Amadeus, the Genius of Mozart, will kick off Saturday with the lightest and simplest event of the month-long series.
That’s the screening of the award-winning 1984 film, Amadeus, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the downtown’s historic hall, the Valentine.
Tickets are $5 at the box office.
With the manic Tom Hulce in the title role, this film is based on the Peter Shaffer play of the same name. Bursting with high art, low humor, and the lavish trappings of 18th century Europe, the film garnered eight Academy Awards and continues to rank as one of the most beloved movies in Hollywood history.
At the other end of this innovative series of lectures, discussions, and orchestral performances awaits the Toledo Symphony’s own production of the original Shaffer play.
Directed by UT’s Cornel Gabara and featuring a cast from his professional company, Glacity Collective, this live theater performance will benefit from equally live musical accompaniment by the symphony, with principal conductor Stefan Sanderling on the podium.
Slated for 8 p.m. performances Feb. 7 and 8 in the Peristyle, part of the Classics Series, this event will further the drama-plus-music productions which helped propel the Toledo Symphony to Carnegie Hall in a 2011 invitational performance.
Concert tickets are $22-$55 at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com.
As a coda to this series, the UT Orchestra and Chorus, led by Robert Mirakian, will perform an all-Mozart program at 3 p.m. Feb. 15 in Doermann Theater, UT’s recently refurbished hall in University Hall. This concert will be free.
Also free are a quartet of 7 p.m. Tuesday programs featuring UT faculty and symphony musicians, beginning Tuesday in Libbey Hall. Located just west of University Hall on the Bancroft Street campus, Libbey is now a restaurant and social center. Lectures will be in the beautiful timbered dining room. Free refreshments will be served following each lecture.
Speaking Tuesday will be Edmund Lingan, acting chairman of the UT theater department and a specialist in the intersection of theater and spirituality.
The title of his talk is Mozart’s Mysterious Demise: Freemasonic Revenge legends and Schaffer's Amadeus.
On Jan. 14, musicologist Ashley Mirakian will discuss Mozart, Genius, and the Popular Imagination. Designers Erica Frank and Daniel Thobias will share the podium for a Jan. 21 talk titled Under Mozart’s Petticoat: Period Costuming. Closing the lecture series will be Maestro Mirakian and violinist Merwin Siu, principal second violin for the symphony, sharing thoughts on Mozart from a Performer's Perspective.
● Cinderella, that quintessential rages-to-riches fairy tale, is to be brought to life by one of this city’s favorite traveling dance troupes, the Moscow Festival Ballet. The performance is at 8 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Valentine Theatre.
Founded in 1989 by Sergei Radchenko, the touring company comprises dancers trained in the famed Russian ballet schools including the Bolshoi and Kirov companies.
The troupe presents traditional performances of historic ballets and has performed Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake in previous years in Toledo.
Music for this performance is by Sergei Prokofiev.
Tickets for the show are $36-$56 at www.valentinetheatre.com/ticket or 419-242-2787.
● The Toledo Symphony is focusing on characters this month as it kick-starts the rest of its 2013-2014 season with Family Concert III, What a Character!
Set for 3 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, the program will comprise music from popular children’s stories, including The Smurfs, Peter Rabbit, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, The Little Mermaid, and The Little Engine That Could.
Resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock will be on the podium to conduct. Also appearing will be professional actress Jennifer Lake to narrate some of the stories.
This program will wind up with classics by Ravel — Conversations of Beauty and the Beast — and Tchaikovsky, the Sleeping Beauty Waltz.
Tickets are $25, no matter where you sit, at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com.
As a fine and free introduction to the program, pre-concert activities organized by symphony program collaborator the Valentine Theatre will be available in the Peristyle lobby starting at 2.
● UT’s annual Concerto and Aria Competition is to begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Talent and practice will yield an evening of fine performances. The evening is open to the public, and free.
● Kerrytown Concert House will present much-lauded young German-Japanese pianist Kimiko Ishizaka in a very distinctive program, Twelve Tones of Bach Tour, at 4 p.m. Jan. 12 in the historic hall, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor.
An internationally renowned specialist in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ishizaka has focused her talent and performance skills on making accessible to all Bach’s major keyboard works through what she calls her Open Goldberg Project.
The 2012 project made available for free download — thanks to successful crowd-sourcing via the Internet — is her performance of Bach’s entire Goldberg Variations on the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial Grand piano.
This year, Ishizaka is working on a similar project focusing on Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. This and the Goldberg project were recorded at Teldex Studios in Berlin. Her Jan. 12 performance will be based on her current project.
Tickets are $5-$25 at www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com or 734-769-2999.
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