Cleveland Orchestra plans "Nutcracker" with Joffrey Ballet,
announces several new community initiatives
by Daniel Hathaway
On Saturday, August 18, as Cleveland Orchestra members were packing for their upcoming, two week tour of music festivals in Scotland, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, Severance Hall announced plans for major new collaborations and community activities for the 2012-2013 season.
Dance fans who lamented the absence of Chicago's Joffrey Ballet from the Blossom Schedule this summer after two successive years of distinguished performances will be delighted to learn that the company will join the orchestra for five performances of The Nutcracker at the State Theater in PlayhouseSquare Center. Designed by founder Robert Joffrey in 1987, the production includes 40 professional dancers, 60 young Northeast Ohio dancers to be selected by audition, and the 50 voices of the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus. The performances, which run from November 29 through December 2 (evenings and matinees) will be conducted by Tito Muñoz.
The first of an annual series of Cleveland Orchestra Neighborhood Residencies will bring the orchestra to the Gordon Square Arts District on the West Side from May 13-19. The full orchestra will play free concerts at St. Colman Church for residents and students, and individual musicians and ensembles will perform in schools and neighborhood venues like The Happy Dog, where orchestra members performing as the HD Ensemble have already established a regular presence.
A new fund endowed by Mrs. Norma Lerner and The Lerner Foundation will support annual Cleveland Orchestra concerts in area high schools, a program the orchestra resumed in 2009 after a hiatus of more than thirty years. The first Alfred Lerner In-School Performance concert will be given on October 11 at Shaker Heights High School, with subsequent performances planned for Cleveland Metropolitan School District High Schools in the following two years.
A new educational partnership with four of the nine free Breakthrough Charter Schools that operate in cooperation with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will launch in October. All students at participating schools will have the opportunity to attend an orchestra performance at Severance Hall. Pre-concert preparation will be provided to teachers through workshops.
Beginning this season, the "Under 18s Free" ticket policy which has been a signal success at Blossom will be extended to the Fridays@7, Friday matinee and Sunday afternoon concerts at Severance Hall. The offer is available to young people aged 7-17 (one admission with each adult ticket purchase and the Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). The program is supported by the orchestra's Center for Future Audiences. Under 18s who come to the Fridays@7 performances will experience a new blend of classical, world and American roots music, including Stewart Copeland's Gamelan D'Drum with the Dallas world percussion group D'Drum, and Béla Fleck's Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra with the composer as soloist. As in past seasons, each Fridays@7 performance will be followed by world music performances in the lobbies.
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Published on ClevelandClassical.com August 21, 2012