Opening Night of the 2019 Boston Pops spring season—Wednesday, May 8—heralds the much-anticipated Boston Pops return of Bernadette Peters, dynamic star of stage and screen, and is the first of ten eclectic programs that Keith Lockhart will lead from the Symphony Hall stage. The upcoming season, which runs through June 15, also boasts an impressive lineup of Boston Pops debuts, including special appearances by actress and comedian Jane Lynch, travel guru Rick Steves, and Grammy and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Rhiannon Giddens who will curate and perform in an electrifying four-concert survey of American Roots music (5/22-25). These special debuts take place alongside concerts showcasing returning popular artists and classic Boston Pops programming, including appearances by Arlo Guthrie (5/15 & 16), Leslie Odom, Jr. (6/5 & 6), Cirque de la Symphonie (6/8), Star Wars: A New Hope accompanied by the Pops (5/10, 11 & 14), and the return of the Boston Pops’ Gospel Night spectacular featuring gospel legend Dottie Peoples (6/15).
In addition to the family-friendly Cirque de la Symphonie program and John Williams Film Night Tributes (5/29 & 30), families with young children can attend Once Upon a Time… , which takes listeners on a variety of odysseys; both Saturday matinees (5/25 and 6/1) include selections by musical storytellers John Williams and Aaron Copland, as well as The Composer Is Dead, music by Nathaniel Stookey with text by Lemony Snicket, a contemporary whodunit that has quickly become a children’s classic. The performance on June 1 is a Boston Pops first: a sensory-friendly concert designed for patrons with autism-spectrum disorders or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. For this 70-minute Once Upon a Time… program, Symphony Hall will be a welcoming space offering lower volume and lighting levels, relaxed house rules, minimal crowds to allow for movement, available noise-reduction headphones, designated quiet room and support spaces, modified food concessions, and staff and credentialed autism therapist volunteers trained to be responsive to families’ needs.
The 134th Boston Pops season—encompassing a wide spectrum of concerts that showcase a remarkable breadth and versatility of musical genres for which “America’s Orchestra” is universally recognized—takes place in the festive atmosphere of world-famous Symphony Hall, where patrons can sit at cabaret-style tables and order food and drink with family and friends during performances. Tickets to the 2019 Boston Pops season are available at 888-266-1200 or www.bostonpops.org.