This week, we offer the second in our series of mini-previews of important summer series in the Triangle, conveniently designed for clipping for refrigerator display! The N.C. Symphony‘s al fresco Summerfest programs begin on June 3 in Cary’s Regency Park, a reasonably convenient drive from anywhere in the area that offers decent enough parking and many felicitous amenities. The big catch is rain, since these things go on come what may–so check in with Greg or your favorite weather-guesser, pack an umbrella with your picnic, and enjoy. You can get tickets ahead of time at discount rates or ante up at the gate at the last minute.

Summerfest Music Director William Henry Curry (who conducts June 10 and 17 and July 8) is a master at compiling appealing programs that include some unusual repertoire–when, for example, was the last time you heard anything from Puccini’s first opera Le Villi? But the Maestro shares the stage with other maestri, too: NCS Music Director Grant Llewellyn leads two programs (June 3 and July 1), NCS Assistant Conductor Carolyn Kuan (who leaves us this summer for Seattle) presides over two (June 24 and the July 4 freebie), and guest conductor Scott Dunn directs the series’ grand finale (July 15), devoted to the six-part Lord of the Rings Symphony of Howard Shore.

All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. VIP table (seating 6) for 8 concerts $960, 12 flex tickets $198, 8 flex tickets $146; single tickets in advance $25 (for June 17 and 24 and July 15), $20 (for other concerts); tickets purchased at the gate are $30 (for evenings with guest artists) and $22. The July 4 program is free. For more information including complete programs, visit or call 733-2750.

Saturday, June 3

Stefani Collins, violin. Copland: An Outdoor Overture; Ravel: Tzigane; John Williams: Schindler’s List: Theme; Roussel: Bacchus et Ariane, Op. 43: Suite No. 2; and Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.

Saturday, June 10

Elizabeth Racheva, soprano, and Dorrie Casey, mezzo-soprano. Music by Williams and Delibes, plus Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and excerpts from Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel.

Saturday, June 17

Ben Vereen, vocalist. Music by Tchaikovsky, Ellington, Strayhorn, and Hermann, and Vereen sings Sammy Davis Jr.

Saturday, June 24

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Music by Tchaikovsky, J. Strauss II, Barber, Ellington, Strayhorn; and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Saturday, July 1

Paul Randall, trumpet. Tall Ships: Berlioz: Le Corsaire: Overture; Jean Baptiste Arban: Fantasy, Theme, and Variations on Carnival of Venice; Khachaturian: Spartacus: Adagio; Britten: Peter Grimes: Storm; Terry Mizesko: Last Voyage of the Currituck (premiere); Rodgers/Bennett: South Pacific: Symphonic Scenario; Jobim/Matthews: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim; Henry Wood: Fantasia on British Sea Songs: Jack’s the Lad; and Wagner: The Flying Dutchman: Overture.

Tuesday, July 4

William Henry Curry, speaker. Patriotic and holiday favorites arranged or composed by Hayman, Williams, Gould and Sousa, plus Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, the finale of Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, and excerpts from Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

Saturday, July 8

Jason McKinney, baritone. Fright Night: Music by Berlioz, Rossini, Offenbach, Gounod, Puccini, Schubert and Mussorgsky.

Saturday, July 15

North Carolina Master Chorale (Alfred E. Sturgis, director). Howard Shore: The Lord of the Rings.

Recommended Reviews

Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle’s Season Finale, by William Thomas Walker

Chapel Hill Community Chorus’ Silver Jubilee, by Ken Hoover

At you can find…
Complete classical music and dance calendar listings for North Carolina
Complete series information • Concert and dance reviews
Links to classical music and dance organizations • Feature articles
Reviews of CDs, DVDs and books on classical music
Comprehensive theater coverage–reviews, openings and links