Smooth, cool grass, a shady spot to chill and a delightful array of music to listen to - that's the vibe at the Boise Philharmonic's Picnic at the Pops summer series.
Last year's inaugural Picnic at the Pops was held at the Eagle River Pavilion, a venue that no longer exists. This year, you'll find the philharmonic in residence at Woodriver Cellars, a winery and popular spot for weddings and events in Eagle.
"We saw it and fell in love with it immediately," says the philharmonic's music director, Robert Franz. "It's almost perfectly bowl-shaped, so the music will sound great and you get a better view of the Foothills. We live in such a beautiful place here, it would be a shame not to do this type of concert."
Pops concerts - the name comes from "popular" - open up the classical repertoire to include zippy Hollywood scores, Broadway show tunes and favorites from the American Songbook. Plus it allows for some new collaborations, Franz says.
LATIN FEVER: AUG. 17
The opening show will be a fiesta extravaganza of music and dance.
You want to arrive early for this one because it includes a "Greenshow" featuring Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo performing with Mariachi Tleyotltzin.
The new Mexican consul Guillermo Ordorica will be on hand for the celebration.
Once the philharmonic takes the stage, Franz and the musicians will perform a mix of Spanish and Latin classical and popular music, including Mozart's Requiem Salsa, Suites from Bizet's "Carmen" and Fuentes' "Que Bonita es mi Tierra" arranged for orchestra and mariachi.
Ballet Idaho dancers Daniel Ojeda and Lauren Menger will join the orchestra for Marquez's "Conga del Fuego Nuevo." And the event will finish up with Brazilian composer Zequinha de Abreu's lively "Tico-Tico," arranged by Carmen Dragon. (Yes, it's also the song Carmen Miranda popularized in the 1947 film "Copacabana.")
SPACE: AUG 24
Picnic at the Pops takes you to the musical frontier with selections composed for "Star Trek" (including the original Jerry Goldsmith theme), "Star Wars" and "E.T." - sort of a John Williams tribute.
That's the part Franz, who might still actually own a light saber, is geeking out about, he says.
The program will open with Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra," otherwise known as the theme to "2001: A Space Odyssey," and finish with the Williams spectacular.
During the program, you'll hear local rising stars Katherine (cello) and Jacquline (violin) Audas, twin sisters who will play the Brahms Double Concerto.
AMERICANA: AUG. 30
The philharmonic will continue the tradition it started last year with the final concert of classical and patriotic music on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30.
This year, you'll hear the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale and guest baritone Derrick Parker perform a variety of hymns and songs.
The program opens with the "Star Spangled Banner" and goes through a selection of classical pieces, including "Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Parker.
"This is going to be the most riveting and moving performance of 'Lincoln,' " Franz says. "Derrick went over the top to prepare. He studied 19th century oration tradition. It's just really incredible."
Expect a salute to the armed forces and a spectacular finish - Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" (with cannon) and Souza's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
You can bring a blanket, low-back lawn chairs and your own picnic (without glass or alcohol). A selection of sandwiches and salads also will be available for purchase from Woodriver Cellars.
Woodriver Cellars will sell a special label in collaboration with the philharmonic at the concerts. They will be pouring "Cabernet Franz," "May the Chard Be With You," "Heritage Meritage" and "Rose Ole," along with other Woodriver wines and local brews.
The concert time was set so that the audience will in shade during the concert.
Dana Oland: 377-6442, Twitter: @IDS_DanaOland