Opera, symphonic music in Astoria

Coastal town’s music festival runs June 14-30

By Jenny Wasson / The Bulletin

Mark 2013 as a banner year in classical music. Not only is it the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner — two of the most influential composers of opera music — it’s also the centennial anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s seminal work, “The Rite of Spring.”

These milestones will be highlighted at the Astoria Music Festival, June 14-30, in Astoria. Now in its 11th season, the festival features more than 22 performances of opera, symphonic and chamber music as well as educational events over the course of 17 days.

“We are excited to present the biggest and most challenging festival in our short history,” Diane Tiedeman, president of the festival’s board of directors, said in a news release. “We invite music lovers to visit our scenic town to experience our motto: Big City Music — Small Town Prices — Victorian Charm.”

“Festival Orchestra: Wagner @ 200” kicks off festivities June 15 with Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll” and “Die Walkure: Act 1.” “Festival Orchestra: Verdi @ 200” on June 22 features selections from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and “Otello.” The festival will also present a fully staged production of “The Rite of Spring,” featuring a Portland-based modern dance company, Agnieszka Laska Dancers.

Other highlights include music by Antonin Dvorak and Aaron Copland and a screening of F.W. Murnau’s 1930 silent film, “City Girl.” Set in Minnesota, the film was shot in eastern Oregon, according to the news release. The screening features a new musical score by Portland composer John Paul.

All of the major events take place at Astoria’s Liberty Theatre.

Single tickets range from $15 to $65 depending on the event and seat location. Summer and weekend passes are also available. For more ticket and festival information, visit www .astoriamusicfestival.org or call 503-325-9896.