9th to the Nth is the final concert in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's 2009–2010 classical series. Led by acclaimed conductor Larry Rachleff, the longtime music director for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the orchestra will allegro and adagio its way through the "Stairway to Heaven" of classical music—Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring the acclaimed "Ode to Joy" choral theme and performed with the assistance of the Providence Singers. The Ninth Symphony was Beethoven's final complete symphony, and, at over an hour, it is his longest. In the 186 years since its original premiere, it has gone on to be one of the world's most recognizable non-Ohio Players pieces of music. Also appearing on the "9th to the Nth" program is Decoration Day, written by American composer Charles Ives.
New Bedford Festival Theatre is devoted to musicals. Since 1990, they have entertained over 200,000 audience members with Broadway-style shows that span the genre's past and present. Staples such as Cats and The Producers balance lesser-known works such as La Cage aux Folles and The Producers 2: Playbill of Revenge to enrich the cultural knowledge of the public. And their efforts have not gone in vain. The New England Theatre Conference awarded New Bedford Festival Theatre the Moss Hart Award for its performances of Les Misérables and Hairspray.
• "The Passion of the Italian Baroque: La Seconda Prattica from Monteverdi to Vivaldi" on Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. • "The Dark Lady" on Monday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. • "Rose of the Compass: Travels from West to East" on Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. • "The Light of Spain in Music" on Friday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m.
As part of the 152nd Worcester Music Festival, the National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China challenge audience belief with gravity-defying stunts that blend traditional Chinese acrobatics with modern moves. The 16-act program includes such dazzling pieces as the Grand Pagoda of Bowls—winner of the prestigious Circus Festival of Monte Carlo Golden Clown Award—with performers catching bowls of exploding Froot Loops with their feet and flinging one another onto three-person towers. Marvel at the elaborate tumbling and onstage asteroid dodging of Flying Meteors or the human pretzelry of contortionist act Crystal of White Snow. The performers execute their stunning physical feats within the Renaissance Revival–style confines of Mechanics Hall. Adorned with ornate details such as Corinthian columns and three-tiered chandeliers, the theater's architecture gives audiences something to gaze at during intermission besides their own Sharpie-drawn wristwatches.
Drawing on a background that includes 27 years as a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, music director Max Hobart leads the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra through carefully curated programs with verve. The Valentine's Love Fest concert stars operatic husband-wife duo Brian Landry and contralto Ana Maria Ugarte as they essay songs from Carmen, Tosca, and Rigoletto, melting hearts and shattering brittle emotion processors with their voices' romantic resonance. The orchestra's musicians enhance the euphony with pieces by Wagner, Saint-Saëns, and Puccini. A preconcert lecture given by Wellesley Symphony Orchestra president Leslie Holmes educates listeners with info about the music and its interpreters.