07/03/2012 08:31 am ET

Bard SummerScape Festival 2012: A Highbrow Hot Bed Of Culture

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.

Bard SummerScape 2012