THE VILLAGES — The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra will dive into the serious side of their season at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, with "A Columbus Day Celebration."
After a pops concert in September — another pops concert will be presented Feb. 18 and 19 — fall weather brings out the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn with special guest Giuseppe Mentuccia.
"Everyone in The Villages loves him," board member Fran Pagliarulo said. "He won all the awards in Italy and then went to Juilliard, where he is now studying for his Ph.D."
Mentuccia will play the piano Beethoven's Concerto No. 2, a role Beethoven took for himself after his move to Vienna.
The concert will open with the Overture from "Cosi fan Tutte" or "Women Are Like That" by Mozart, an opera buffa, or comedic opera. The overture hints at the opera's plot, suggesting the women's objections, interjections and whispers.
The concert ends with a symphony that was inspired by the atmosphere of Italy, where Mendelssohn traveled in 1828 to 1831, the Symphony No. 4, commonly known as "The Italian."
When the symphony was finished, Mendelssohn traveled to London to conduct it himself, at the invitation of the London Philharmonic Society.
The symphony was a huge success, Mendelssohn became popular in England and would influence music in the British Isles for the rest of the century.
The orchestra is conducted by co-founder and musical director Pasquale Valerio, who was born in Naples, Italy.
The season will continue with Handel's "Messiah," which will include the orchestra's chorale on Nov. 26 and 27, Dvorak's "New World Symphony" Jan. 21 and 22 and "Over the Top with the Pops" Feb. 18 and 19.
Brahms' "Symphony No. 1" is scheduled for March 25 and 26, Puccini's "Messa di Gloria" for April 15 and 16 and the season ends with "An Opera Gala" May 13.
Because the Church on the Square is closed, performances have moved to the Savannah Center, 1545 Lake Buena Vista Blvd.
Tickets are $28 for residents and $33 for non-residents. Check thevillages.net/boxoffice for availability. Reservations are strongly advised.
For more information, call 352-753-2488.