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Summer Arts Preview

Classical picks: Helen of Troy, happy endings, and a horn sonata

Amanda Forsythe will star in a staged production of “Orlando generoso” during the Boston Early Music Festival.
Amanda Forsythe will star in a staged production of “Orlando generoso” during the Boston Early Music Festival.Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff/file/Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/file

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL Boston’s biennial early music extravaganza offers entertainment from morning until the wee hours most days of the festival. Agostino Steffani’s “Orlando generoso” receives its North American premiere with a lavish staged production starring BEMF favorites Aaron Sheehan and Amanda Forsythe at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, and festival concerts bring some of the world’s finest period-instrument ensembles to Jordan Hall and Emmanuel Church. Don’t forget to wander through the trade show downtown and maybe try out a viola da gamba. June 9-16, various venues. 617-661-1812, www.bemf.org

ODYSSEY OPERA The company ends its Helen of Troy-themed triptych with Offenbach’s “La belle Hélène,” an uproarious 19th-century sendup of the legendary beauty’s story. Frank Kelley directs a fully staged production starring Ginger Costa-Jackson, with artistic director Gil Rose conducting. June 14 and 16. Huntington Avenue Theatre. 617-826-1626, www.odysseyopera.org


ROCKPORT CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL This year’s theme is “Source and Inspiration,” and there’s a lot this season that might inspire one to make a trip to Cape Ann. The festival opens with a Roaring ’20s-themed evening and closes with a program including Lembit Beecher’s soaring “Conference of the Birds” by Boston’s own A Far Cry. In between, watch pianist Piers Lane perform Chopin’s nocturnes by candlelight (June 21), take in classic and contemporary chamber music from the Aizuri Quartet (June 27) and JCT Trio (June 30), explore the last 150 years of waltzes with the Art of Time ensemble (June 28), and more. June 14-July 14. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391, www.rockportmusic.org

SICPP The annual Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP, pronounced “Sick Puppy”) promises a full week of free concerts of adventurous contemporary music, performed by a crew of local musicians, guests, and rising professionals. As always, it culminates in the marathon “Iditarod” concert, which often stretches to the small hours of the next morning. June 14-22. New England Conservatory. www.sicpp.org


TANGLEWOOD Catch symphonies, concertos, and opera in concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a starry slate of guests at the Shed; enjoy chamber music by an assortment of world-renowned visitors at Ozawa Hall; take a sneak peek at the rising generation of professional musicians at a Tanglewood Music Center fellows’ concert; spread a blanket on the lawn and hope it doesn’t rain. And with the addition of the Tanglewood Learning Institute’s interdisciplinary educational programs, offerings for entertainment and education have broadened even further. June 15-Sept. 1. Lenox. 617-266-1492, www.tanglewood.org

HALCYON MUSIC FESTIVAL A slew of chamber musicians descends on Portsmouth, N.H., for two long weekends of concerts, artistic directed by Boston Trio founding member Heng-Jin Park. Performers include members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, A Far Cry, and the National Symphony Orchestra. June 19-29. St. John’s Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, N.H. 617-651-1387, www.halcyonmusicfestival.org

ASTON MAGNA The nation’s longest-running festival of music for period instruments presents repertoire from three centuries, from the birth of the string quartet (June 27) and the world of Henry Purcell (July 18) to Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin” and Beethoven’s Horn Sonata with fortepiano and natural horn (Aug. 1). June 27-Aug. 8. Local performances at Slosberg Music Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, and Emmanuel Church. Further performances in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley. 413-528-3595, www.astonmagna.org

BOSTON LANDMARKS ORCHESTRA The Landmarks Orchestra celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with music by Adams, Strauss, and Glass; collaborates with the New England Aquarium for an environmentally inclined concert; joins the One City Choir for a program centered on African American composers; and makes the stage shake on a multicultural Dance Night alongside special guests such as Boston Ballet II and Castle of our Skins. Performances by the Longwood Symphony and the Mercury Orchestra are also in the offing. Pack a picnic for an evening on the Esplanade, and stake out your spot. July 10-Aug. 23. Hatch Memorial Shell. www.landmarksorchestra.org


BOSTON MIDSUMMER OPERA Kids getting bored in the house? Want to bring them to their first opera? You typically can’t go wrong with a fairy tale and a happy ending, and Boston Midsummer Opera is doing Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” an operatic Cinderella in which our heroine gets to the ball without any fairy help. July 24-28, Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-0100, www.bostonmidsummeropera.org

CAPE COD CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL Want to hit the beach by day and take in a concert by night? This festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer, presenting concerts all over Cape Cod with ensembles including the Miró Quartet (in a weeklong residency), the Emerson String Quartet, the Hermitage Piano Trio, and the Borromeo String Quartet. Aug. 1-23. Various locations. 508-247-9400, www.capecodchambermusic.org

Zoë Madonna can be reached at zoe.madonna@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten. Madonna’s work is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.