"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.
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."
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.
With Puppet Strings, the McLean Orchestra will perform Stravinsky's century-old ballet Petrouchka, which narrates the tale of a lovesick puppet who comes to life. Under the direction of the baton-wielding conductor Emil de Cou, more than 80 professional and hobbyist musicians weave together Petrouchka's solemn ode to unrequited love and bean burritos through gripping crescendos and emotive string playing. Supertitles will elucidate characters' thoughts in writing over the stage. Then the orchestra switches from puppet strings to cello strings with Antonin Dvorak's Concerto for Cello featuring cello soloist Amy Ward Butler. Derrieres can park themselves in any seat in the general-admission section with first-come, first-served seating.
For 57 years, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra has regaled audiences with reenergized performances of classical masterpieces and innovative modern compositions. In the ethereal “Altered States,” two members of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet combine forces with the acclaimed orchestra to perform Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The show also treats audiences to the world premiere of David Balakrishnan's Force of Nature, which showcases cellist Mark Summer as his music evokes visions of lightning, thunder, and tidal waves of Mountain Dew. As bows dance with strings in “Solitary Journey,” a furious pianist attempts to cut in during Schubert and Liszt's Wanderer Fantasy before the majestic organ steals the show in Saint-Saens Symphony no. 3. Acoustically engineered by Artec, the intimate Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert hall facilitates clear, powerful sound and a stellar view of the orchestra and a dusty theremin sitting offstage by itself.