What better way to start the new year than by joining the four resident companies at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in a festival celebrating the 250th birthday of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The festival also celebrates local performing groups - the Annapolis Symphony, the Ballet Theatre of Maryland, the Annapolis Chorale and the Annapolis Opera - with each offering programs this month through March.
"The Maryland Hall Mozart Festival is as much a celebration of Mozart's genius as it is a celebration of the arts in our community," Annapolis Symphony Orchestra President R. Lee Streby wrote in an e-mail response.
"This is the first time all of our resident companies have united in such a project. The festival allows our resident companies to shine in their various disciplines but along a common path. I hope the community not only enjoys the pleasure of Mozart's music but expands their awareness and enjoyment of the arts scene at Maryland Hall in general," Streby wrote.
Annapolis Symphony kicks off the festival Jan. 27, Mozart's birthday. Led by music director Jose-Luis Novo, "Happy Birthday, Mozart" on Jan. 27 and 28 will feature the ballet music from Idomeneo, the overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No. 41, Jupiter.
The concert soloist will be flute virtuoso Marina Piccinini performing Mozart's Flute Concerto No 1.
"It's extraordinary that so many resident companies are housed under one roof and are working together to bring art to the community," Ballet Theatre of Maryland Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto said in a statement.
She has choreographed works for Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4 and The Wedding of Figaro.
While the other three companies have to interpret Mozart's music as originally conceived, the ballet must create a new work to accompany his music, she said. The dances will be enriched by guests from the Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.
The program will also include Act 2 of Swan Lake, Stephen Greenston's Gnossiene and a surprise dance set to the music of Three Doors Down.
On March 3 and 4, the Annapolis Chorale will offer "Go Wild for Wolfie" - Mozart's nickname throughout his life - with a concert that features works from three distinct stages of his prolific career.
"Mozart's genius is inescapable," said a spokeswoman for Music Director J. Ernest Green. "He is truly one of the bright beacons of Western culture. We want to celebrate his birthday by showing the breadth of his work from his childhood through his early death at 35."
Green will open the concert conducting the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra in Mozart's Symphony No. 1, written when he was 8 years old.
The chorale and guest soloists follow with the riotous short comic opera The Impresario from the middle period of his life.
The tribute to Mozart concludes with his majestic and moving Requiem, which will be sung by the 200-voice chorus.
On March 17 and 19, Annapolis Opera will present Mozart's beloved last opera, The Magic Flute, which combines beautiful melodies, mystery, romance and coming of age with a happy ending.
Flute will feature Alison Trainer in the role of Pamina, with Colleen Daly, who was recently heard in the "Mozart by Candlelight" program, in the role of Queen of the Night.
Members of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will join Music Director Ronald Gretz in the pit for both Flute performances.
For information, reach Maryland Hall at 410-263-5544 or online at marylandhall.org
Tickets to the ASO concert kicking off the Mozart festival are available through the ASO box office at 410-263-0907. Or a two-, three- or four-performance series may be ordered from Maryland Hall at a discount with a subscription to all four concerts. For information on a discounted series, call the Maryland Hall box office at 410-263-5544.