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One Score, Lots of Parties

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 29, 2005 3:37PM

Strauss Quixote.jpgIf you like holiday celebrations but can do without your neighbors’ steady stream of homemade firecrackers, head up to Ravinia this Saturday to celebrate “Don Quixote Day.” Professor Anne Cruz of the University of Miami will be on hand to discuss Cervantes’ seminal novel followed by a discussion of Richard Strauss’ own Don Quixote, the focus of Ravinia’s “One Score, One Chicago” initiative. That night, Chicago favorite bass-baritone Samuel Ramey returns to Highland Park for “Sam of La Mancha,” paying tribute to other tributes to Cervantes’ hero.

Through "One Score," Ravinia is presenting Strauss’ masterwork many different ways, aiming to capture the same excitement surrounding the Chicago Public Library’s “One Book, One Chicago.” You can pick up a free Don Quixote CD and booklet at any CPL branch and hear Musical Director James Conlon explain why Strauss would have loved to be honored so thoroughly by a suburban music festival. Or you can hear the music and words from the comfort of your desk chair. The programming is impressive, providing something for everyone even if it lacks One Book’s discussion clubs and free coffee. The summer kicked off with Muntu Dance Theatre's interpretation of the work and a Straussian matinee by the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra, with more to come through late August.

Can’t fit Strauss into your busy holiday weekend? Don’t worry; you still have one more chance to hear the Don in song at Ravinia’s birthday party (also not a real holiday, but we’ll let that one slide). Mark your calendar for Sunday afternoon, August 21, when everyone’s in for a quarter. Treat your friends and still have plenty of beer (wine?) money left over.