Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Infobox Venue
name = Saratoga Performing Arts Center

image_caption =
nickname = "SPAC"
location = Saratoga Springs, New York
coordinates =
type = Outdoor amphitheatre
broke_ground =
built =
opened = 1966
renovated =
expanded =
closed =
demolished =
owner =
former_names =
seating_type = reserved, lawn
seating_capacity = 25,100
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is an amphitheater in Saratoga Springs, New York, which presents summer festivals of all kinds of music (including classical concerts, jazz, and popular), dance, and opera, as well as a Wine & Food Festival. SPPAC also serves as the common grounds for high school graduations, particularly for Saratoga Springs City High School and Ballston Spa High School. It opened on July 9, 1966, with a presentation of Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the New York City Ballet.coord|43.0553|N|73.8058|W|type:landmark|display=title


In early February 1961, Albany newspaperman Duane La Fleche noted a wire service report about a group hoping to entice the New York Philharmonic to make Stowe, Vermont its summer residence. La Fleche proposed that the group stay in New York State and perform in Saratoga Springs. Local civic, cultural, and legislative leaders, who had previously considered a Saratoga Arts Center an interesting possibility, began to design the facility. Within a week, they held their first meeting; within a month they were focusing on Saratoga Spa State Park as the site, had won the support of State Conservation Commissioner Harold Wilm, and begun discussions with both the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet.

By summer 1963, generous contributions from Rockefeller Brothers Fund and New York State supplemented community support to create Saratoga Performing Arts Center. In June 1964, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller mounted a bulldozer to break the first yard of ground. More than 410 workdays followed: 300 workers clocked 136,000 hours to complete the 5,100-seat, 10-story amphitheatre (original layout of the venue did not include a festival lawn; the lawn, which holds 20,000, was added later).

Past presidents of SPAC include Margaretta "Happy" Rockefeller and Lillian Bostwick Phipps.

Present day performances

Today, SPAC hosts the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra every summer. This season, some of the world's finest classical music soloists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Yuja Wang, [Geraldine Freeman, "Yuja Wang, 21, SPAC's new pianist star, is a sensation", "Schectady Gazette", August 23, 2008, p. D4.] [Geraldine Freedman, "Pianist Wang enjoys unpredictable schedule", August 14, 2008, found at [ dailygazette website] ] and Sarah Chang, are performing major concertos at this venue. The "Philly"'s most well-attended performance is its annual "Tchaikovsky Spectacular", which includes the 1812 Overture and one or two well-known concertos.

A feature of each summer is the Freihofer Jazz Festival, co-produced with George Wein, which presents major and emerging jazz artists on two stages. Also, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, under the direction of Canadian violinist, Chantal Juillet, presents programs in the Spa Little Theatre. In 2006, the Composer-In-Residence was Bright Sheng. Opera performances are given by the Lake George Opera in the Spa Little Theatre. The Martha Graham Dance Company performed at SPAC during its 2008 residency at Skidmore College.

SPAC is also a venue for popular music concerts, like John Mayer, Tom Petty, Rush, Dave Matthews Band and others, which are booked exclusively by Live Nation, a leading concert promotion company.

For at least two decades, SPAC has played host to the School of Orchestral Studies (SOS) for the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) program. Under the baton of artistic director Russell Stanger and overseen by administrator Dr. Edward Marschilok, and accompanied by string orchestra conductors Patricia Koppeis and Philip Preddice as well as wind ensemble conductor Conrad Kuchay, the approximately 115 high school age students of NYSSSA's SOS attend concert performances during their summer weeks as part of an intensive study of music performance, study with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and ultimately give a culminating performance in the amphitheater.

SPAC is headed by Marcia White, who replaced president Herb Chesborough in 2005. Over 200 seasonal employees keep the venue running smoothly over the summer.SPAC's largest performance in its history was by the Grateful Dead in 1985, where a total of 40,231 fans showed up to see the band. Since the show, SPAC limits its capacity to 25,100.

External links

* [ SPAC website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ulster Performing Arts Center — Front portico of theater, viewed from west, 2008 Address 601 Broadway City Kingston, NY …   Wikipedia

  • Performing arts presenters — A performing arts presenting organization is an organization, or department or program of a larger organization, that works to facilitate exchanges between artists and audiences through creative, educational, and performance opportunities. The… …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • Saratoga Arms — (Саратога Спрингс,США) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес: 497 Broadway, Сарато …   Каталог отелей

  • Saratoga Spa State Park — Infobox nrhp | name =Saratoga Spa State Park nrhp type = nhl caption = The Hall of Springs, catered by Glen Sanders Mansion, 2008 location= Saratoga Springs, New York area = lat degrees = 43 | lat minutes = 3 | lat seconds = 4 | lat direction = N …   Wikipedia

  • Saratoga Springs, New York — Infobox Settlement name = Saratoga Springs official name = City of Saratoga Springs settlement type = City nickname = The Spa City motto = Health, History, Horses imagesize = 200px image caption = Downtown Saratoga Springs image |pushpin pushpin… …   Wikipedia

  • Saratoga County, New York — Infobox U.S. County county = Saratoga County state = New York map size = 250 founded = 1791 seat = Ballston Spa | area total sq mi =844 area land sq mi =812 area water sq mi =32 area percentage = 3.78% census yr = 2000 pop = 200635 density km2… …   Wikipedia

  • Saratoga Springs — a city in E New York: health resort; horse races. 23,906. * * * ▪ New York, United States       city, Saratoga county, east central New York, U.S. It lies in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, west of the Hudson River, 30 miles (48 km)… …   Universalium

  • Saratoga High School — Infobox School name = Saratoga High School established = 1959 type = Public high school district = Los Gatos Saratoga Joint Union High School District principal = Jeff Anderson enrollment = Approximately 1350 as of 2006 2007 colors = Scarlet… …   Wikipedia

  • New York State Summer School of the Arts — NYSSSA Logo The New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) is a series of summer residential programs for New York State high school students. It provides intensive pre professional training with internationally acclaimed artists and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.