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August 6, 2014
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Lake Tahoe SummerFest returns with Metropolitan Opera tenor

Late Tahoe SummerFest returns this weekend with performances from a tenor whose résumé includes acclaimed performances with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera.

Matthew Polenzani opens this year’s SummerFest with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Incline Village.

Additional classical music performances continue weekends through Aug. 17 as part of SummerFest.

The New York Times has described Polenzani as having “a ringing, clarion tenor that he can push to heroic heights,” according to a press release from Weidinger Public Relations.

“Polenzani, familiar to audiences the world over for his gripping performances, joins Maestro Joel Revzen and the SummerFest Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s mystical ‘Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings,’ which showcases the soloists in tour-de-force performances,” according to the release. “Joined by Erik Ralske, principal French horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, audiences will be transported by the stirring sounds and sights of Scotland with Mendelssohn’s ‘Hebrides Overture;’ music describing the drama and awe of Scotland’s Fingal’s Cave. Drawing the concert to a close will be Beethoven’s sunny and cheerful ‘Symphony No. 4,’ filled with the joy of nature.”

Second orchestra concerts will be heard on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. as part of SummerFest. This Saturday, Aug. 2, Polenzani will sing his signature arias, “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot” and the heart-wrenching “Pourquoi me reveiller” from Massenet’s “Werther,” according to the release. The concert opens with a work from Italian composer Ottorino Respighi — Suite No. 3 from “Ancient Airs and Dances” — before moving to “Dumbarton Oaks” by Igor Stravinsky after intermission. The concert closes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 38.

“This symphony, with the title ‘Prague,’ has thrilled audiences and won rave reviews since it was premiered in 1786,” according to the release. “The pieces combined evoke a musical description of natural wonder: a mystical interpretation of night, dream and sleep, openness and warmth of nature.”

Sundays at this year’s SummerFest include new “Meet the Music, Meet the Musicians” performances.

“Designed as an artistic immersion experience, these performances feature the virtuoso SummerFest Orchestra musicians playing in intimate ensembles, while capturing the essence of a musically famous city through concert chats and visual images,” according to the release. “The musicians are available for questions and conversation after the concert as the audience enjoys European treats.”

The first in the series of “Meet the Music, Meet the Musicians” performances will take place starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, and will include Vienna as its featured city. The performance features selections from Schubert, Mozart and Brahms. Matthew Polenzani also appears at this performance.

All SummerFest performances take place at a 500-seat tent on the campus of Sierra Nevada College at 999 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village.

Ticket prices vary. For more information visit

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Sierra Sun Updated Jul 30, 2014 12:43PM Published Aug 6, 2014 03:27PM Copyright 2014 Sierra Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.