"So You Think You Can Sing Opera" gives amateur aria-artists an opportunity to spread their lungs and take flight in front of a live audience. These open auditions for future productions by the Baltimore Concert Opera showcase the area's untapped operatic ability, with performers (hopefully) soaring their way through seminal pieces from the operatic canon—think American Idol, except with fewer power ballads and more Puccini. Dress code for the event is business casual, so dust off your opera glasses and opera Foam-Dome and enjoy an evening of high notes and high pressure with today's Groupon.
One of the nation's largest volunteer orchestras, the Hershey Symphony Orchestra brims with the talents of more than 80 musicians and award-winning conductor Sandra Dackow. Instead of treating their sweetheart to a romantic ride in a horse-drawn go-cart, Groupon holders can whisk them to the symphony's "Evening Serenade" program, which highlights amatory works by classical composers such as Brahms and Dvorak. The evening commences with Mozart's elegant Overture to Cosi Fan Tutti, welcoming visitors to the comforting confines of Evangelical Free Church of Hershey. After the performance, the scent of fresh coffee lures guests to a free Q & A, where Dackow answers questions about the orchestra, the music, and what size of turkey baster makes the best conducting baton.
When the Rolling Stones wanted a chorus to sing with them during their last gig on their "50 and Counting" tour, they knew who to call: The Washington Chorus. That unexpected melding of talent is a testament to the group's stellar reputation—the Grammy-winning ensemble is noted for its ability to engage a wide range of audiences. And they've done just that for more than 50 seasons, delighting ears with a repertoire of classical masterpieces and modern compositions. Equally committed to enriching their community, the chorus performs free concerts throughout the greater D.C. area, sponsors a junior choir, and gently corrects anyone who misspells "requiem."
Concertante spreads the up-close thrill of chamber music throughout the country with accessible arrangements of classic and modern works. As listeners settle into the Rose Lehrmen Arts Center's intimate concert space with no seat farther than 45 feet from the stage, the program kicks off with Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff's String Sextet, lacing modernist moves with rapidly changing rhythms and off-kilter melodies inflected at various points by jazz and dance modes. A spooky andante makes listeners check for under-seat monsters before spidery pizzicato punctuates a return to up-tempo fireworks. Commissioned by Concertante, Gabriela Lena Frank's Hypnagogia for String Sextet re-regulates pulses as it evokes the experience of falling asleep with an aural atmosphere noted by the New York Times for its "laconic, easy-to-follow simplicity."
One of the oldest symphonic choruses in DC, Choral Arts has sung alongside the National Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra (among others), before 100,000 people in Red Square after the fall of communism and as carolers on The West Wing.