The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra's St. Patrick's Day Celebration regales ears with classic Celtic tunes commemorating the feast of Ireland's patron saint. Visiting from his usual perch at the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gerald Steichen leads an army of instruments as it elevates the shimmering tenor of veteran singer Robert White, who has been nourishing auditory synapses since his radio debut in 1948. White fills listeners with Irish pride until they burst with clover leaves by belting out such distinctly Hibernian tunes as "Danny Boy," a slow, anthemic composition that resonates in the hearts of Irish emigrants. Renowned Irish fiddler Jeanne Freeman also fuels high-octane jigs with skills gleaned from County Donegal native P.V. O'Donnell.
Having recorded for such esteemed labels as Columbia Masterworks and Koch International Classics, Orchestra New England showcases masterful musicianship through performances of works by classical, romantic, and modern composers throughout the year. A yearly celebration of the sounds and sages of the baroque era, Baroquefest 2011 will feature guest harpsichordist Linda Skernick and selections such as Bach's Concerto in A Minor and Telemann's Tafelmusik III. "Soiree" explores the music of Vienna in the 1920s, as the orchestra will perform Schoenberg's arrangements of Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun, Mahler's Symphony no. 4, and excerpts from Thomas Edison's short-lived heavy metal band, The Draconian Lightbülbs. The premiere of a new work by composer-in-residence Mark Kuss, "Sounds. Distant." explores community displacement in China and features native Chinese musicians. The "Sounds. Distant." concert will also feature performances of works by Ives, Elgar, Bartok, Schubert, and more.
Touted as a top music festival by Rolling Stone magazine, Mountain Jam packs more than 50 bands on four stages and 15,000 music spectators in a lush, natural amphitheater nestled in the Catskill Mountains. The ear-pleasing lineup for the 7th-annual festival boasts headliners My Morning Jacket, Southern-rock jam band Gov't Mule, and the eclectic sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead. While this Groupon is not valid for camping or lodging costs, out-of-towners can camp or sleep in the great indoors in a dizzying array of nearby hotels, lodges, and ski chalets. The health-conscious festival, partially produced by guitar legend Warren Haynes, distracts unruly mouths from asking fellow concert-goers uncomfortable personal questions with a jellybean jar of organic and vegan eats.