Just up the Hudson River settled in the awe-inspiring Hudson Valley, Bard's annual SummerScape festival will kick off on July 6. SummerScape takes up a large chunk of the summer -- seven weeks of opera, music, theater, dance, films, and cabaret, as well as the acclaimed Bard Music Festival which celebrates French composer Camille Saint-Saëns this year.
The festival, hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the "most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently... one of the most musically satisfying," is not to miss this year -- the perfect blend of academia and live performance. One of the most buzzworthy events this year is Erica Schmidt's production of 'The Imaginary Invalid,' which will be her fourth production at SummerScape. The production features "Game of Thrones" favorite Peter Dinklage, who is also returning for his second production at SummerScape. Also of note is the Bard Music Festival, featuring composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The festival will celebrate the composer's life, through lectures as well as performances of many of his masterpieces. Lastly, the Spiegeltent (which is always featured at Bard SummerScape) returns yet again to house a rich array of cabaret style performances and afterwards turns into a burgeoning dance floor open to the public.
Peep the slideshow below to see more in the lineup for the festival and go here for ticket information.
The Imaginary Invalid
Famed 'Game of Thrones' actor Peter Dinklage returns to SummerScape in Erica Schmidt's production of Molière's 'The Imaginary Invalid.' He was last seen in <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/119315-Dinklage-is-Uncle-Vanya-For-Bard-Summerscape-Beginning-July-9" target="_hplink">Schmidt's production of 'Uncle Vanya'</a> at Bard SummerScape in 2008. This production looks no less promising. Runs July 13-15 and July 18-22 at Theater Two at the Fisher Center. (Pictured: director Erica Schmidt and actor Peter Dinklage arrive at HBO's Annual Emmy Awards Post Award Reception.)
'Let My Joy Remain'
<a href="http://www.fetes-galantes.com/" target="_hplink">Compagnie Fêtes Galantes</a> "elaborates on the many aspects of Baroque dance, wedding them to contemporary choreography. By avoiding any attempt at reconstitution, Fêtes Galantes brings forward, in our time, a kind of Baroque dancing that engages and appeals to a contemporary sensibility." 'Let My Joy Remain' opens the festival and runs from July 6-8 at the Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater.
'The King In Spite Of Himself'
<a href="http://www.tstrassberger.com/" target="_hplink">Thaddeus Strassberger</a>, who also directed 'Les Huguenots' and 'The Distant Sound' at Bard SummerScape returns to the festival with 'The King In Spite of Himself,' composed by Emmanuel Chabrier. Staged in coproduction with Ireland's Wexford Festival Opera, the opera tells the story of "Henri de Valois, a 16th-century French noble elected by the people of Poland to be their king, despite his great reluctance to be away from France." The opera runs in the Sosnoff Theater July 27 and 29, August 1, 3 and 5.
Once again, "Bard's glittering 'Mirror Tent' is the stage for a rich array of performers, from dauntless acrobats to bawdy cabaret acts to musicians without boundaries." Come to the Spiegeltent for performances, meals, drinks and dancing after the shows each night. Runs weekends July 6-August 19.
Bard Music Festival
This year Bard's Music Festival celebrates the life and work of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921). Bard Music Festival includes "orchestral concerts by the American Symphony Orchestra, chamber and choral music performances, panel discussions and lectures by noted scholars," all the while taking a fresh look at modernism and the avant-garde. Weekend One: Paris and the Culture of Cosmopolitan runs August 10-12. Weekend Two: Confronting Modernism runs August 17-19. The associated photo is composer Camille Saint-Saëns. c. 1875.
France and the Colonial Imagination
This year's film festival features "10 highly celebrated films, made on an international scale across several decades, which offer marvelously diverse perspectives on how French colonialism and its aftermath have been cinematically depicted by major artists." Some notable films that will be screened are 'Casablanca,' 'The Battle of Algiers,' 'Caché' as well as two films by Senegal's Ousmane Sembene. The film festival runs Thursday and Sundays, July 12-August 12 at the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center. (Photo is a still from Josef Von Sternberg's 1930 film 'Morocco.')