September 12, 2019 at 6:54 pm EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
FALL ARTS 2019 CLASSICAL: Hands and feet
Classical, gay news, Washington Blade
Openly gay organist Christopher Houlihan returns to Washington for a recital Oct. 1. He doesn’t play in bare feet, but his recitals always feature tons of fancy footwork on the organ pedals. (Photo by Aleks Karjaka)

Washington National Opera presents Verdi’s “Otello” Oct. 26-Nov. 16 in the Kennedy Center Opera House (2700 F St., N.W.) in a production the company hasn’t performed in nearly 20 years. Libretto by Arrigo Bolto, based on Shakespeare’s “Othello” in Italian with English titles. Adapted from an English National Opera production. Tickets range from $45-299. The WNO performs Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (Nov. 2-23).

The NSO Pops performs with R&B singer Maxwell Sept. 18-21 and “Nat King Cole at 100” Oct. 17-19.

The National Symphony’s season-opening gala concert is Sept. 28 with Gianandrea Noseda offering a jazz-influenced program. Tickets are $65-199.

Among other NSO fall highlights are “Carmina Burana” (Oct. 3-5), Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 (Oct. 10-12) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (Oct. 31-Nov. 2).

Full details at

Washington Performing Arts presents Pink Martini with Meow Meow Sunday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Pianist Drew Petersen performs Saturday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Kennedy Center and the Spektral Quartet performs “Looking Skyward” Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m., also at the Kennedy Center. 

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis performs Oct. 16 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The String Queens play Saturday, Nov. 2 at Republic Restoratives (1369 New York Ave., N.E.), the Taipei S.O. Chamber Ensemble performs Nov. 14 at the Freer Gallery Meyer Auditorium (1050 Independence Ave., S.W.), the Taipei Symphony Orchestra performs Friday, Nov. 15 at The Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, N. Bethesda, Md.) and pianist Zoltan Fejervari performs Nov. 17 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Kian Soltani (cello). The WPA season continues into the new year. Full details at

Vocal Arts D.C. presents Brenda Rae (soprano) and Jonathan Ware (piano) Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Christian Gerhaher (baritone) and Gerold Huber (piano) will perform Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Details at

Openly gay organist Christopher Houlihan returns to Washington for a recital on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at St. Ann Roman Catholic Church (4001 Yuma St., N.W.). He’ll be joined by orchestra for a performance of Jongen’s “Symphonie Concertante.” Details at

South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s Lakota Music Project is in residence in Washington Oct. 16-21 culminating with a performance at Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) on Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. as part of PostClassical Ensemble’s Native American Festival. This is the first time they’ve performed outside their home state. Details at Tickets for the Oct. 21 concert at

Washington Concert Opera opens its fall season with Ambroise Thomas’ “Hamlet” on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. at The G.W. Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St., N.W.) with Jacques Imbrailo, Lisette Oropesa and Eve Gigliotti singing the leads. Tickets are $15-110. 

Its “Opera Outside” event is Saturday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. Various singers will perform. It’s free. 

Festejo de Dia de los Muertos” is Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th St., N.W.) featuring the performance of a Brahms requiem by Laura Choi Stuart, Brian Mextorf and the Choral Arts Society Chamber Singers. Tickets are $95. Details at

The New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) presents “Chiaroscuro” on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. at Live! at 10th & G (945 G St., N.W.). On the program are Grieg’s “Holberg Suite,” Bacewicz’s “Concerto for String Ochestra,” film composer Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho: a Suite for Strings” from the classic Hitchcock thriller, and Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto. Details at

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 37th season Saturday night (Sept. 14) at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore). The program includes works by Mozart, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Beethoven and more. It’s free — just show up, no tickets required.

The BSO performs the score of “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” Sept. 19-21, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 Sept. 27-29, “Symphonic Fairy Tales” Oct. 3-5, “Music Box: Autumn Colors” Oct. 5, “The Nat King Cole Songbook” Oct. 10-13, Brahms “Symphony No. 4” Oct. 17-20, a Mozart violin concerto Oct. 26-27, Leslie Odom Jr. with the BSO Nov. 1 and more. The orchestra splits its time between the Meyerhoff (1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore) and the Strathmore. Details at

Baltimore Concert Opera, founded in 2009, opens its season with Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” (Sept. 20/22) and continues with Menotti’s “The Consul” (Nov. 22/24) at the Engineers Club Grand Ballroom (11 W. Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore). Tickets are $21.50-71.50 at

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents a cabaret show “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” Sept. 21 at 5 and 8 p.m. City Winery (1350 Okie St., N.E.), its small ensembles showcase night Oct. 26 at 5 and 8 p.m. at Live! at 10th and G and its annual holiday extravaganza Dec. 7-15 at Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). Details at

The Washington Bach Consort presents “A Royal Occasion” with works by Handel and Bach on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at National Presbyterian Church (4101 Nebraska Ave., N.W.). The concert will feature soprano Margot Rood, alto Sarah Davis Issaelkhoury, tenor Aaron Sheehan and bass Jonathan Woody. Tickets are $10-69. Artistic Director Dana Marsh is gay. 

The Consort’s Chamber Series will continue with “At Home With Bach” Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at Live! at 10th & G. The Noontime Cantata Series continues Sept. 30 (BWV 109 at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill), Oct. 1 (BWV 109 at Church of the Epiphany), Nov. 4 (BWV 26 at St. Peter’s) and Nov. 5 (BWV 26 at Church of the Epiphany). Noontime performances are free. Details at

The Hylton Performing Arts Center at George Mason University in Manassas, Va., (10960 George Mason Circle) has several classical music offerings for fall including “Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Spellbinding Bach” (Oct. 5), Matt Haimovitz with Simone Dinnerstein on cello and piano (Oct. 13), Terra Voce (flute/cello) featuring Maria Yefimova (Oct. 22), the Manassas Chorale: Broadway’s Best (Oct. 12) and the Manassas Syphony Orchestra: Innovative Brilliance (Oct. 26). Tickets, times and prices at

The Washington Sinfonietta will perform “A New Voice for Our Time” on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at The Falls Church Episcopal Church (115 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church, Va.). The program will feature works by Busconi, Elgar and Mozart. Cellist Eddie Adams will perform. Tickets are $20. Details at

LGBT-affirming First Baptist Church of Washington (1328 16th St., N.W.) continues its First Sunday Virtuoso Organist Concert Series with Eileen Guenther (Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.) and Marvin Mills (Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.). Recitals are free. Details at

The Kennedy Center’s REACH Opening Festival continues through Sunday, Sept. 22 with a bounty of events in all disciplines. All are free. Details at  

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs “Imaginary Symphony,” a program featuring works by Wagner, Beethoven, Walton et. al. Oct. 5-6 and “Autumn Cello and Dvorak” Nov. 16-17. Performances are held at various venues. Tickets range from $5-85. Details at

The D.C. Different Drummers Capitol Pride Symphonic Band has its fall concert “For the Children!” on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., N.W.). Its holiday concert will be Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., N.E.). The Marching Band will perform at the AIDS Walk (Oct. 26) and High Heel Race (Oct. 29). Details at

Virginia Opera performs Puccini’s “Tosca” Oct. 4-8 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax). Tickets are $54-110. The company returns with “Il Postino” Nov. 8-12. Ticket prices vary and packages are available. Details at

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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