Philharmonic's 20th season: Broadway, opera, Swingerhead and the circus

Next season, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will offer two operas, welcome back Andrew Lane and Michael Andrew, collaborate with Orlando Shakespeare Theater and turn its attention to Broadway.

And hang on to your programs: The Phil will also feature circus acts for one show.


Such are the varied highlights of the Orlando Philharmonic's upcoming 20th season, announced Wednesday at an event for season subscribers at Full Sail University.

The Philharmonic assumed responsibility for opera production after Orlando Opera's demise in 2009 and presents them with the orchestra on stage, putting an emphasis on the music. An opera task force convened by the Philharmonic recommended increasing opera productions to a minimum of two per season.


The two on tap for 2012-13 are Mozart's comedic "The Marriage of Figaro" and Puccini's classic drama "Madame Butterfly."

Lane, a cofounder of the Philharmonic and longtime principal pops conductor, will lead a program titled "Wicked Divas," featuring singers Alli Mauzey and Nicole Parker, who have performed the leading roles in the Broadway hit "Wicked."

Broadway is also represented by a concert staging of the musical comedy "How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying."

Other concerts in the Pops Series include a Valentine's Day-themed performance featuring Andrew and his band Swingerhead, and the annual holiday concert.


And those circus acts?

"Cirque de la Symphonie" will spotlight aerialists, acrobats and other circus acts in eye-popping routines set to classical works.

In the Classics Series, the Phil will collaborate with Orlando Shakespeare Theater on its first major joint production. A presentation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will showcase Mendelssohn's music — including the now-famous "Wedding March" — along with an adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy developed by the Shakes' artistic director, Jim Helsinger.

Guests at the various Classics Series concerts include leading soprano Deborah Voigt, performing works by Wagner and Strauss; pianist Yefim Bronfman, playing Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto; and violinist Sarah Chang, a Central Florida favorite who will perform Barber's Violin Concerto.

As an experiment, the Philharmonic will offer Chang's concert twice — once at the traditional Saturday-night time, and once as a Sunday-afternoon matinee. If the matinee proves popular, more Classics Series concerts could be offered in the afternoon, said executive director David Schillhammer.

The season-opening concert will feature Mahler's Symphony No. 3, a powerful ode to nature.

Also announced Wednesday was the theme for the popular "Springs" outdoor concert, which takes place each spring at The Springs Community in Longwood. This year's concert will be a tribute to the music of John Denver. Titled "Rocky Mountain High at the Springs," it will take place May 5.

Here's a more detailed look at the 20th season of the Orlando Philharmonic:


These concerts are performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando

OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, Sept. 29 • 8:30 p.m. Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the University of Central Florida Women's Chorus, Florida Opera Theatre Women's Chorus and Florida Opera Theatre Youth Program.

BRONFMAN & BEETHOVEN: Nov. 17 • 8 p.m. Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto with pianist Yefim Bronfman. A new commissioned work by Stella Sung in honor of Lynn and Chuck Steinmetz. Elgar's "Enigma Variations.

CHANG & TCHAIKOVSKY: Jan. 26 & 27 • 8 p.m. Saturday or 3 p.m. Sunday. Rossini's Semiramide Overture. Barber's Violin Concerto featuring Sarah Chang. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5

VOIGT SINGS WAGNER & STRAUSS: March 16 • 8 p.m. Featuring soprano Deborah Voigt. Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture. Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" (excerpts). Strauss songs: Morgen, Ständchen, Frühlingsfeier, Befreit, Zueignung. Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan and Isolde."

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: April 27 • 8 p.m. Mendelssohn's music presented with staging of Shakespeare's comedy by Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Jim Helsinger, artistic director.


These concerts are performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando

WICKED DIVAS: Oct. 13 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Andrew Lane, conductor. Starring Alli Mauzey & Nicole Parker, performing selections from the Tony Award-winning musical "Wicked," along with favorites from "Gypsy," "Chicago," "Ragtime," and "Phantom of the Opera."

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Nov. 24 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Albert-George Schram, conductor. With the Holiday Singers and Florida Opera Youth Program Singers.

MY FUNNY VALENTINE: Feb. 9 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Albert-George Schram, conductor. Michael Andrew & Swingerhead perform romantic music from the Great American Songbook.

CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE: March 30 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Circus meets Symphony in this program featuring music by Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Dvo¿ák and others. Acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, jugglers and strongmen perform to the classics soundtrack.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING: May 11 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Frank McClain directs the story of window washer J. Pierrepont Finch as he schemes his way to the top at the World Wide Wicket Company in Frank Loesser's Tony Award andPulitzer Prize-winning musical about coffee breaks, workplace romance and corporate ladder-climbing.


Operas are performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando

MOZART: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO: Nov. 9 & 11 • 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Joel Revzen, conductor • Frank McClain, director. The sequel to "The Barber of Seville," this comic opera recounts a "day of madness" in the palace of Count Almaviva. The Count, now married to the lovely Rosina, is distracted by servant Figaro's young fiancée Susanna. Dr. Bartolo schemes revenge, having hoped to marry Rosina himself. Initially banned because of its subversive politics, this comic opera has become a cornerstone of the operatic literature.

PUCCINI: MADAME BUTTERFLY: April 5 & 7 • 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Christopher Wilkins, conductor • Frank McClain, director. Butterfly, a beautiful young geisha, sacrifices her family, her religion, and ultimately her life for an American World War II naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton. He takes her as his bride for convenience, with no intention of bringing her home to America.


These concerts take place at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BRASS GAMES: 7 p.m. Monday, June 11. Sovereign Brass performs some musical tailgating.


SUMMER SERENADES: 7 p.m. Monday, June 25. Classic serenades and masterworks for wind ensemble, including a serenade thought to have been chosen by Mozart for his own wedding, the magnificent 'Gran Partita.'

TANGLISIMO: 7 p.m. Monday, July 9. Classical Argentinean tangos from the golden age of 1920s, '30s, '40s and other assorted European tangos, including Piazzolla's "Tango Nuevo."

A MUSICAL OFFERING: 7 p.m. Monday, July 23. Program includes Bach's incomparable "Musical Offering" and Shostakovich's towering String Quartet No. 8.

ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC JAZZ ORCHESTRA: 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Musicians of the Orlando Philharmonic are joined by Central Florida's leading jazz musicians, including music by of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and charts by contemporary big-band arrangers.


These concerts take place at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando.

JOSEPH HAYDN: MAD SCIENTIST: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. Program includes excerpts from Haydn's greatest symphonies, including the 'Farewell' symphony, Symphony No. 49, 'La Passione,' and Symphony No. 102.

BACH'S COFFEE HOUSE: 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10. Zimmerman's Coffee House was Bach's musical home for secular music. There he performed his Brandenburg concertos, orchestral suites, secular cantatas and music by others he admired, including Vivaldi and Telemann. Program includes Bach's Brandenburg Concertos No. 1 and 5, and an excerpt from his 'Coffee Cantata,' as well as music Bach might have led at Zimmermann's by Telemann, Locatelli and Vivaldi.

THE SLAVIC SOUL: 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18. Slavic music has a unique warmth and depth of feeling. It is often inspired by folk music, and has been made famous by generations of great string virtuosi who have championed it. Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Dvo¿ák lead the way.

PHILHARMONIC VIRTUOSI: 7 p.m. Monday, April 22. The spotlight shines on Philharmonic musicians in a kaleidoscopic mix of solo repertoire. Concertos include a Bach masterpiece, a favorite double concerto of Stamitz, and the samba-infused sounds of a dazzling new trombone concerto.