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Suggestions for the classical music-inclined Artscape-goer

Artscape is not best known for its classical music component, but there's always something going on to entertain folks seeking a hcnage from the festival's prominent pop beat.

This year, the Baltimore Symphony once again offers a free concert at Meyerhoff Hall (and a chance to find a breath of air-conditioning after roaming the fair in the heat).

Christian Colberg, a longtime and, alas, soon to depart violist in the BSO, will conduct his colleagues in a program that includes two colorful travelogues-in-music: Tchaikovsky's "Capriccio Italien" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol." Popular arias from Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann" and Bernstein's "Candide" will also be performed, featuring soprano Rachele Gilmore (she had a big success last year in the Metropolitan Opera's "Hoffmann" production.) The BSO concert is at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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Speaking of operatic voices, they'll be heard during several other Artscape doings. Baltimore Concert Opera will focus on one composer and one voice type. The singing in the company's presentation of "The Verdi Baritone" will be done by

Suggestions for the classical music-inclined Artscape-goer

Jonathan Carle, accompanied by James Harp on the piano. There will be narration by Victor DeRenzi, the longtime artistic director of the Sarasota Opera who has made a speciality of Verdi's works -- by 2013, the company will have staged every one of them, an enviable record (I'm glad I got to attend several of them during the "Florida Years" chapter of my breathtaking life). "The Verdi Baritone" will be performed at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in MICA's Brown Center.

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Opera Vivente will present a program of favorite operas scenes covering a wide ranging of repertoire. from Moneteverdi to Britten, and performed by students. This event is at 1 p.m. Sunday at MICA's Brown Center, where, at 4 p.m. that day, members of the Lyric Opera of Baltimore (a group associated with the Lyric Opera House and a potential successor to the lamented Baltimore Opera Company) will perform works addressing the theme of "Women in Love."

Corpus Christi Church will be the site of at least nine classical mini-concerts over the weekend, starting at 4 p.m. Friday with the Dahlia Flute Duo and wrapping up at 4 p.m. Sunday, when the Bach Concert Series presents a performance of Bach's motet "Jesu Meine Freude," led by T. Herbert Dimmock.

Remember, all of these events are free, so it will be easy and painless to class up your Artscape adventure.

PHOTO OF RACHELE GILMORE (by Kristen Hoebermann) AND VICTOR DeRENZI (Salvatore Brancifort)

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