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Surely you’ve had enough reality tv—it’s time for a cleansing dose of high culture. Nearly all the big Northeast music festivals take place in July and August, and any one of them is a splendid way to feed the soul in bucolic surroundings. As to feeding the body, lend an ear to our restaurant recommendations.

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Festival
Bard SummerScape, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. July 23–August 17; 845-758-7900; summerscape.bard.edu

The Draw
Even Steely Dan might be lured back to Annandale by Bard College’s spectacular new Fisher Center auditorium, designed by Frank Gehry, who also did sets for Leos Janácek’s opera Osud (“Fate”). Janácek is the focus of this year’s Bard Music Festival, and a new series of film and theater kicks off with Czech films and puppetry.

Hungry?
Le Petit Bistro in Rhinebeck serves classic French dishes like smoked trout and frogs’ legs in a warm country dining room (845-876-7400; lepetitbistro.com).

Festival
Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Bridgehampton, N.Y. July 30–August 23; 212-741-9403 (631-537-6368 after July 25); bcmf.org

The Draw
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the festival has commissioned premieres by Mark O’Connor, Paul Moravec, and Ned Rorem, with Piazzolla, Brahms, and Beethoven also in the mix. The season kicks off with a free outdoor all-Vivaldi program. An August 14 family concert features Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Hungry?
Jean-Luc East, a satellite of the West 84th Street bistro of the same name, is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated Hamptons opening of the year (631-324-1100).

Festival
Caramoor International Music Festival, Katonah, N.Y. June 21–August 9; 914-232-1252; caramoor.org

The Draw
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s marks its twenty-fifth anniversary as a resident ensemble. Will Crutchfield leads the premiere of Donizetti’s long-lost opera Elisabeth in French. Violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Garrick Ohlsson stop by. New York City Ballet principals dance Balanchine and Robbins. Joe Lovano directs this year’s jazz festival.

Hungry?
Order a gourmet picnic basket—grilled chicken, shrimp-and-apple salad—from Le Potager in nearby Stamford (203-975-2546; call a week in advance).

Festival
Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown, N.Y. July 3– August 26; 607-547-2255; glimmerglass.org

The Draw
Catch new productions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Offenbach’s Bluebeard (in English), and Handel’s Orlando before they arrive at the New York City Opera in the next few seasons. Don’t miss Robert Kurka’s jazz-inflected tragicomic military satire, The Good Soldier Schweik.

Hungry?
The Blue Mingo Grill, a former hot-dog stand in Otsego Lake, fuses Far East flavors with New American cuisine (607-547-7496).

Festival
Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, Mass. June 18–August 24; 403-243-0745; jacobspillow.org

The Draw
The country’s best-known dance festival presents institutions like Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Twyla Tharp Dance, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. You can also see keepers of the Graham flame, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, chamber works by Doug Varone, and Rennie Harris’s Facing Mekka, an exploration of hip-hop’s spiritual side.

Hungry?
The Candlelight Inn, also in Lenox, specializes in local produce, and this year has a new barbecue menu (800-428-0580).

Festival
Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass. June 24–August 31; 888-266-1200; tanglewood.org

The Draw
Bring on the apples and brie, and dine to the sounds of the Boston Symphony with Dawn Upshaw, pianist Peter Serkin, and violinist Midori. The Brooklyn Phil’s Robert Spano conducts the premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s opera La Pasión Según San Marcos. Mark Morris collaborates with Yo-Yo Ma (costumes by Isaac Mizrahi).

Hungry?
The Morgan House, in Lee, which has hosted the likes of Ulysses S. Grant, serves New England classics like roast turkey and potato-wrapped halibut (413-243-3661).

Festival
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Saratoga Springs, New York June 27-September 4; 518-587-3330; spac.org.

The Draw
Catch the extraordinary, if elusive, pianist Martha Argerich playing Prokofiev (if she shows). Other highlights include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Lake George Opera’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival’s salute to the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, Russia, and the annual Freihofer’s jazz festival featuring Chick Corea and India.Arie.

Hungry?
Though one doesn’t associate Southern home cooking and the Hudson Valley, Hattie’s——is a must. (518-584-4790).

See also:
Weekly Classical Music Listings
Free Summer Music


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