The highly anticipated upcoming Music Academy of the West season just got even better. Soprano Renée Fleming will be joining the academy as a guest artist, offering a masterclass on Wednesday, August 2, and a concert with the Academy Festival Orchestra at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, August 5. Alan Gilbert will conduct, and Fleming will sing the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss. Right now, Fleming is in the middle of a historic run at the Metropolitan Opera as the Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. It’s her avowed farewell to a role that has brought her great glory.
By coincidence, Gilbert will also be saying an important farewell this summer, in his case to the role of director at the New York Philharmonic. He will do so on July 31 in Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium, in the Music Academy’s 70th Anniversary Community Concert. When he joins forces with Fleming less than a week later, for nothing less than the crowning achievement of Strauss, it is sure to be spectacular. This confluence of genius is just one of the reasons Santa Barbara will be a classical Valhalla from June 12 through August 5. Subscriptions are already on sale, and the box office will begin accepting mail-in order forms for individual concerts beginning on Friday, April 21. Walk-up, online, and phone single-ticket sales begin on May 13, and special $10 community seats will be available beginning on June 10. For more information, visit musicacademy.org or call 969-8787.