SPAC Comes Back:

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Announces 2022 Classical Amphitheater Season Featuring

New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra

Cover Photo: Francesco D’Amico. All photos provided by SPAC

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) announces the return of its resident companies — New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra — to their summer home in Saratoga for a diverse season featuring SPAC premieres and debuts by women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) composers, choreographers, performers and conductors, alongside iconic masterworks of the classical repertoire.

Chaconne Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust New York City Ballet Credit Photo: Paul Kolnik

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (NYCB) returns with the full company from July 12 – 16, with its roster of more than 90 dancers under the direction of Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, accompanied by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, led by Music Director Andrew Litton. The Company will present four programs including the full-length story ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream; an evening dedicated to 20th Century Masters highlighted by Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace, returning for the first time since 1967; and a program showcasing works by contemporary choreographers including new pieces by Jamar Roberts and Pam Tanowitz, and the return of Justin Peck’s In Creases, gracing the SPAC stage for the first time since its World Premiere at SPAC in 2012. Back by popular demand is also a special “NYCB On and Off Stage” presentation designed to introduce the season with an intimate, up-close look at selected excerpts from the Company’s repertory of ballets that will be featured during the residency.

“After two long years without the full New York City Ballet in residence at SPAC, it is tremendously exciting to be announcing the return of the full Company in July 2022. It will be a perfect celebration of their return with timeless works of Balanchine and Robbins, SPAC debuts by Jamar Roberts and Pam Tanowitz, the return of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace, beloved story ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and NYCB On and Off Stage. The latter, born from the need to conform to COVID guidelines in 2021, was a format that was immensely popular with audiences. It will be a perfect kick off to the residency – as both an intimate behind the scenes look at NYCB as well as a poignant reminder as to how far we will have come since March of 2020,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Photo: Dave Bigler

THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA’s three-week residency (July 27 – August 13) will feature Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin (AUG 10–13) leading four programs including a finale featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Highlighting the residency is the return of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (AUG 5) and violinist Joshua Bell alongside star soprano Larisa Martinez (JUL 29). Making their 2022 SPAC debuts is a diverse roster of artists including fourteen-time GRAMMY nominee Ledisi singing the music of Nina Simone (AUG 3),pianist and NPRhost Lara Downes (AUG 4), soprano Angel Blue (AUG 12-13), 26-year-old superstar violinist Randall Goosby (AUG 11), and Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, BalletX (JUL 27), performing a new workchoreographed by NYCB’s Tiler Peck.  

Also featured will be more than a dozen SPAC premieres including the East Coast Premiere of Contact by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts composed for the genre-crossing ensemble Time for Three (JUL 28). SPAC’spopularfilm nights will also return to delight audiences of all ages as the Orchestra accompanies, live to picture, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert (JUL 30) and The Princess Bride in Concert (AUG 6).

“SPAC’s ambitious and artistically inspiring programming continues our effort to bring significant contemporary works and iconic classics that have never been performed at SPAC to our stage, while also presenting a record number of works by BIPOC and female composers throughout the season,” said Sobol.

Tickets will be available beginning on March 7 for members (tiered by level) and on March 16 for the general public. New for this season, evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m.

SPAC will continue to monitor health and safety guidelines mandated by New York State and the CDC and will adjust ticketing and safety policies accordingly. Full guidelines will be published in advance of the ticket on sale and may be found at   



NYCB On and Off Stage


20th Century Masters


Glass Pieces New York City Ballet SPAC July 6, 2005 Credit Photo ©Paul Kolnik


Chaconne                                                       (von Gluck/Balanchine)

Summerspace                                               (Feldman/Cunningham)

Glass Pieces                                                  (Glass/Robbins)

In Creases Choreography by Justin Peck New York City Ballet Credit Photo: Paul Kolnik




New Roberts                                                (Shorter/Roberts)

Gustave le Gray No. 1                                 (Shaw/Tanowitz)

In Creases                                                     (Glass/Peck)

The Four Temperaments                            (Hindemith/Balanchine)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust New York City Ballet Credit Photo: ©Paul Kolnik nyc 212-362-7778

FRIDAY, JULY 15 @ 7:30PM


A Midsummer Night’s Dream                    (Mendelssohn/Balanchine)



WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 @ 7:30PM: Festive Fireworks File Photo

Erina Yashima, conductor


Tchaikovsky                     Symphony No. 4

Coleman                          Umoja, Anthem for Unity *

Tchaikovsky                     1812 Overture

THURSDAY, JULY 28 @ 7:30PM: New Worlds

Erina Yashima- Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Erina Yashima, conductor

Time for Three

Mazzoli                                            Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) *

Puts                                                  Contact, for string trio and orchestra*

Dvořák                                             Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)

FRIDAY, JULY 29 @ 7:30PM: Voice and the Violin

Michael Stern, conductor

Joshua Bell, violin

Larisa Martinez, soprano

Violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Larisa Martinez come together with The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Michael Stern to present “Voice and the Violin,” an evening of beloved romantic arias and modern classics from Mendelssohn’s Infelice to Bernstein’s West Side Story.

SATURDAY, JULY 30 @ 7:30PM: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ In Concert  

Justin Freer, conductor

Albany Pro Musica, chorus

Williams             Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ (complete with film)*

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3 @ 7:30PM: Ledisi Sings Nina   
Ledisi, vocals

2021 GRAMMY winner and fourteen-time GRAMMY-nominated powerhouse vocalist Ledisiwill capture the spirit of singer, pianist and activist Nina Simone in this special program. Performing alongside The Philadelphia Orchestra, Ledisi will take on the legendary musician’s emotionally searing and socially conscious songs.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4 @ 7:30PMLara Downes Plays Price

Lara Downes-Photo: Christine DiPasquale

William Eddins, conductor

Lara Downes, piano

Strayhorn/Walden                        The Strayhorn Concerto*                           

Price                                             Piano Concerto in One Movement*

Brahms                                         Symphony No. 2

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 @ 7:30PM: Yo-Yo Ma Returns

Yo Yo Ma. Photo: Jason Bell

William Eddins, conductor

Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Villa-Lobos                                    “Ária (Cantilena),” from Bachianas brasileiras No. 5*                

Saint-Saëns                                    Cello Concerto No. 1  

Rimsky-Korsakov                           Sheherazade

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6 @ 7:30PM: The Princess Bride in Concert

Constantine Kitsopoulos, conductor

Knopfler                                  The Princess Bride (complete with film)*

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10 @ 7:30PM: Beethoven’s Fifth   

Photos: Dave Bigler

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Rachmaninoff                                The Isle of the Dead
Habibi                                            Jeder Baum spricht* 

Beethoven                                     Symphony No. 5

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11 @ 7:30PM: Beethoven’s Eroica

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Randall Goosby, violin

Bruch                                               Violin Concerto No.1

Hunt                                                Climb*

Beethoven                                      Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12 @ 7:30PM: Angel Blue Sings Coleman & Barber

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Angel Blue, soprano

Rossini                                             Overture to The Thieving Magpie

Barber                                              Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Coleman                                          New Work for Voice and Orchestra*

Dvořák                                             Symphony No. 7

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 @ 7:30PM: Beethoven’s Ninth

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Angel Blue, soprano

Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo soprano

Russell Thomas, tenor

Ryan McKinny, bass-baritone

Albany Pro Musica, chorus

Frank                 Pachamama Meets an Ode*
Beethoven         Symphony No. 9(“Choral”)

*indicates SPAC premiere

2 Replies to “SPAC Comes Back:”

    1. Hi there, thanks for reading…. my understanding is that lawn seats can be purchased anytime up to the day of show, if space is available… At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any concrete plans to do the ‘pod’ seating on the lawn like last year – but, of course, that can change, so it would be best to monitor the situation. I would imagine that lawn seats will be generally available at any time for the classical programs. If someone from SPAC official want to comment further, I’ll approve their comment verbatim


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