Riding a wave of critical enthusiasm for its dance, theater and opera offerings, the 2012 Bard SummerScape Festival continues with the opening this Friday, August 10 of the 23rd Annual Bard Music Festival, an intensive and far-ranging exploration of "Saint-Saëns and His World" that will take place over the next two weekends. Weekend One: Paris and the Culture of Cosmopolitanism, takes place August 10 -- 12 and features a wide variety of chamber music by Saint-Saëns and his contemporaries, as well as an orchestral program featuring one of the composer's best-known works, the "Organ" Symphony (Program Three, Saturday, August 11 at 8:00 pm), and a program offering a radical reconsideration of his popular Carnival of the Animals, a work he tried hard to suppress (Program Six, Sunday August 12 at 5:30 pm). Weekend Two: Confronting Modernism takes place August 17 -- 19, bringing the seven-week SummerScape festival to a close. Highlights of Weekend Two include "Proust and Music", an evening of chamber music and readings from works by novelist Marcel Proust (Program Seven, Friday, August 17; free panel discussion at 7 PM, concert at 8:30 PM) and a rare concert performance of Saint-Saëns's grand opera Henry VIII (Program Twelve, Sunday, August 19 at 4:30 pm). Detailed listings for all Bard Music Festival programs can be found here: http://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/2012/.
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