For 53 years, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has engaged eardrums with a vast repertoire of classical masterpieces and 128 newly commissioned works, earning 15 ASCAP awards for its adventurous programming. This season, the distinguished troupe hosts a quintet of internationally acclaimed artistic partners, a group that consists of visiting conductors, singers, fog horns, and musicians whose varied styles diversify the orchestra's huge selection of performances. During a marathon concert season, the orchestra's nimble bows and lusty horns leap and dash through the notes of Mendelssohn, Schubert, Haydn, and Mozart in dozens of concert dates. Awe strikes audiences during a rousing performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 (November 25–27), and Dawn Upshaw—recipient of a rare MacArthur Genius Award—sings sweetly in "Upshaw Sings Ravel and Debussy" (February 16 and 18). Many Friday and Saturday performances also include free preconcert discussions, which bring scholars, guest artists, conductors, and musicians to chat with audiences about the upcoming performance and their favorite mac 'n' cheese recipes.
Named as an homage to one of the four historic theaters that once operated near what is now City Center, the New Century Theatre carries on the best of the stage. Whereas the original venue—which burned down in 1964—seated 2,000 and focused on vaudeville, the modern-day jewel creates an intimate space for theatrical performances with seating for 300. Since 2011, it has hosted local and touring performers as well as educational initiatives such as the Broadway Confidential series and an acting demonstration on how to cry your way out of a parking ticket.
After 13 years as a skydiver, Joseph Johnson leapt into a new mission: to become the first franchised skydiving operation in the country. With two locations in two states under his belt so far, he aims to rise above his competitors by offering distinctive features such as a choice of altitudes (13,000, 18,000, or 24,000 feet) and pre-jump training that equips skydivers with the ability to deploy, steer, and land their own chute, even when they’re flying tandem with a licensed instructor. Planes can carry as many as 17 people in one trip, making it ideal for group outings and airborne performances by jazz orchestras, and helmet cams capture the audio and visuals of the entire flight.
BayView Event Center takes on the gustatory burden of planning parties, bridal events, or holiday gatherings with an expansive catering menu of gourmet appetizers and intricately arranged party platters. Soirees start on a bite-size note with starters that include an assortment of toasted and seasoned baguette canapés ($58 for 25 pieces), such as roasted pork dolloped with a savory jalapeño-and-blackberry marmalade. Salads and veggie, fruit, meat, cheese, and bread platters serve 12–18 people or 300–400 famished pixies. Deadliest catch the chilled Atlantic salmon plate ($75), a piscatorial trencher that dresses the eponymous fish as cold smoked lox with a dill-mustard sauce and capers, plank-grilled with mango salsa, and sous vide with a basil garlic-butter infusion. International dishes, such as the mediterranean platter ($90), inspire guests to pen odes to Grecian urns while munching on morsels such as spanakopita (miniature spinach pies), stuffed roma greek salad with an ouzo aioli, and beef and chicken gyro roulades with tzatziki sauce.