AN AFTERNOON BREAK. As the name suggests, the four Intermezzi concerts provide a nice interlude between the larger offerings of the festival. Back at Grace Episcopal Church after a hiatus of several years, this dependable classical series will offer an incredible variety of music ranging from a vocal recital to meaty chamber works and smaller-scale orchestral plums. It's often the day's central event for hardcore Spoletians, sandwiched between the earlier Chamber series and whatever major evening event they've chosen.
FROM TCHAIKOVSKY TO STRAVINSKY. The opening orchestral program will be built around Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings, with returning conductor Sergei Pavlov on the podium. Intermezzo II will feature the lead singers from The Magic Flute, this year's headline opera production, in a winning program of choice art-songs and arias. The third concert — led by festival Resident Conductor John Kennedy — will give us the rare chance to hear Martin Bresnick's orchestral arrangement of On an Overgrown Path, a masterpiece for piano by Czech master Leoš Janácek. The series finale — under the baton of British maestro Harry Curtis — will present a thrilling threesome of well-known orchestral gems by Handel, Haydn, and Stravinsky.
HOT PERFORMERS, HOT TICKETS. You'll hear up-and-coming singers, and instrumental duties will be done by members of the festival's "orchestra of virtuosos," the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, populated by a crop of recent conservatory grads. Book early, to avoid disappointment when you arrive to find Grace Church packed to the rafters.