The Cleveland Orchestra's Star-Spangled Spectacular and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Month


  • Photo by Emanuel Wallace

Classical music events begin spiraling down into the Dog Days of August this week, beginning with Ohio Light Opera, which will present final performances of Perchance to Dream and Girl Crazy on Wednesday the 7th at 2:00 and 7:30 pm, The Devil’s Rider and Music in the Air on Thursday the 8th at 2:00 and 7:30 pm, South Pacific and Into the Woods on Friday the 9th at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and Pirates of Penzance on Saturday the 10th at 2:00. Hurry to Freedlander Theater on the campus of The College of Wooster before the company packs it in for 2019. Tickets here.

The Cleveland Orchestra will be busy in several modes through the end of the month. Its Star-Spangled Spectacular — postponed from Independence Day because of the All-Star Game — takes place on Mall B downtown on Wednesday the 7th at 9:00 pm (catch it, if not in person, on the stream at

At Blossom, the Orchestra plays Liszt, Barber, and Brahms with Asher Fisch and its own Jung-Min Amy Lee (the Barber Violin Concerto) on Saturday the 10th at 8:00 pm, Ives, Bernstein and Rachmaninoff with Vinay Parameswaran and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano on Saturday the 17th at 8:00 pm, and features Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater majors directed by Victoria Bussert in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific on Saturday the 24th at 8:00 pm.

The Orchestra has one Summers@Severance concert left, on Friday the 16th at 7:00 pm, when guest conductor Osmo Vänskä leads Barber and Mendelssohn (with drinks and food before and after).

They will still have more to do at Severance before they turn the lights off for the summer: they’ll join conductor Ludwig Wick and the Blossom Festival Chorus to provide Elfman’s live score for the 1989 Batman film on Friday the 23rd at 8:00 pm and Sunday the 25th at 3:00 pm.

Mother Nature herself will douse the lights for the Orchestra’s final concerts of the Blossom Season on Friday the 30th, Saturday the 31st, and Sunday, September 1 at 8:00 pm, as they play John Williams’ score to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back under Sarah Hicks during a screening of the classic film. Tickets to all Cleveland Orchestra events are available online.

Take note also of the following free events in August.

Opera al Fresco is the order of the month for Cleveland Opera Theater under Scott Skiba, who will perform outdoors at BAYarts on Sunday the 11th at 7:00 pm, Arts Van Aken Shaker Stages on Friday the 16th at 6:30 pm, on the steps of Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy on Saturday the 17th at 7:00 pm, and finally at Dunham Tavern on Sunday the 25th at 6:30 pm.

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and vocalist Evelyn Wright will also perform in the great outdoors — of Tremont’s Lincoln Park — on Saturday the 24th at 7:00 pm, in partnership with Arts Renaissance Tremont.

One indoor event you might overlook because of its unusual timing is the dedication of an important new pipe organ built by Tacoma, WA organbuilder Paul Fritts & Company at First Lutheran in Lorain on Sunday the 25th at 3:00 pm. Recent Oberlin grad Katelyn Emerson, now making a splash on the international scene, will inaugurate the new instrument that replaces an important Brombaugh organ destroyed by arson five years ago.

For details of these and other performances, visit our Concert Listings page.

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