CHAUTAUQUA - Summertime fun is still a few months away, but the time to make plans for live performances at Chautauqua Institution is finally here.
Tickets for Chautauqua's Amphitheater concerts and renowned theater and opera productions went on sale Monday at www.chqtickets.com. Registration also opened Monday for the Institution's Special Studies course offerings, with more than 400 one-day and weeklong workshops covering such topics as painting, dance, fitness, writing and finance.
Join Straight No Chaser, Steve Martin, The Beach Boys, Amy Grant and many other top performers in country, bluegrass, R&B and rock 'n' roll in Chautauqua's open-air amphitheater this summer. The Institution's popular entertainment lineup also features special evening programs with Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion Radio Romance Tour 2013 and a conversation between legendary musician Paul Simon and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
The 2013 Season opens with the return of a capella sensation Straight No Chaser on June 22. The concert marks the group's third consecutive season performing at Chautauqua. Straight No Chaser releases its new album, "Under the Influence," on May 7.
Following their sold-out Amphitheater show in 2011, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will return to Chautauqua on June 28, joined by Edie Brickell, to perform songs from their new album, "Love Has Come for You," set for an April 23 release.
The music of the 1970s and 1980s comes alive on July 5, with "Sailing Rock 2013," an evening featuring nothing but hit songs by Christopher Cross ("Sailing"), Orleans ("Still the One"), Gary Wright ("Dream Weaver"), Firefall, John Ford Coley ("I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"), Robbie Dupree and Player ("Baby Come Back").
Chautauqua's summer concert series also welcomes five-time Grammy Award-winning artist Michael McDonald, who brings his distinctive, soulful voice to the Amp on July 12, and American country music singer, songwriter and actor Travis Tritt on July 19.
Dust off those poodle skirts, bobby socks and 45 rpm records for July 26, when Dick Fox's "Golden Boys" starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell take Chautauqua for a walk down memory lane. And a favorite for music lovers young and young at heart, The Beach Boys, return to Chautauqua on Aug. 9, for another evening of classic songs that epitomize the spirit of the California lifestyle in the 1960s.
The legendary Garrison Keillor brings more tales of Lake Wobegon to Chautauqua's amphitheater on Aug. 2, as part of the Prairie Home Companion Radio Romance Tour 2013. And on Aug. 16, musician Paul Simon and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins sit together on the Amp stage with microphones and a guitar for a special evening conversation about the art of writing from the vantage point of their life's work.
What happens when the "Founder of the Dance Revolution" and the "Kings of Disco" share the stage? You get an evening of singing and dancing for the entire family, featuring KC & The Sunshine Band and Village People on Aug. 23.
And to close Chautauqua's 2013 Season, American music icon Amy Grant brings her talents to the stage on Aug. 24.
To purchase tickets, which go on sale April 1, please visit chqtickets.com or call 357-6250. Amphitheater performances fill on a first-come basis. Guaranteed floor seating is available at an additional cost for Friday-night concerts.
Chautauqua Theater Company opens its 30th anniversary season with a yet-to-be-announced American classic by Tennessee Williams, June 29 through July 7. The play will be revealed April 1 (the current Broadway production requires the secrecy until then). The company's two other mainstage productions this summer include the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play Clybourne Park July 20 through July 28 and Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors Aug. 10 through Aug. 16. Continuing to build on its success of new play development, Chautauqua Theater Company also presents two New Play Workshop productions of fresh plays by important new voices in American theater July 11-13 and Aug. 1-3.
For more information about Chautauqua Theater Company's 2013 Season, please visit ctcompany.org.
Chautauqua Opera Company's season celebrates the birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi (born 1813), Richard Wagner (1813) and Benjamin Britten (1913).
The company presents Britten's Peter Grimes in the Amphitheater on July 6, for a one-night-only event with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Verdi's Falstaff will be performed July 26 and July 29, in Norton Hall. Chautauqua Opera's Young Artists will join the CSO for a 200th Birthday Celebration of Wagner and Verdi on July 13, in the Amphitheater.
For more information about Chautauqua Opera Company's 2013 Season, please visit opera.ciweb.org.
Chautauqua Opera Company and Chautauqua Theater Company join forces with Chautauqua's other arts programs for the Institution's production of The Romeo and Juliet Project on July 27. The original retelling of Shakespeare's timeless love story is the first in a three-year series of projects featuring the collaborative efforts, both off- and onstage, of Chautauqua's opera, theater, symphony, dance and music school programs.
Chautauqua's Special Studies program continues to create distinct new learning opportunities for the 10,000 lifelong learners who enroll in courses each summer. More than 300 teachers, experienced in subjects they love, arrive each summer to create a diverse assortment of courses for youth and adults offering a cross-generational learning experience.
Special Studies courses, whether one-day or weeklong, are popular with Chautauqua County residents of all ages. A free commuter pass to access the grounds is issued for those taking classes.
To register for a Special Studies course, visit chqtickets.com. To learn more about courses offered this summer, view the 2013 Special Studies catalog at www.ciweb.org/education-special-studies/.
The 2013 Chautauqua Season begins June 22. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages - all within the beautiful setting of the historic lakeside village. For more information, visit www.ciweb.org.