You could also travel to the Staunton Music Festival in Virginia, which is opening its season with a semi-staged production of Handel’s “Hercules” (Aug. 10), written in 1744, when Thomas Jefferson was a year old. The season closes Aug. 19 with Mozart’s Requiem, written in 1791, the year the Bill of Rights was ratified.
Capriccio Baroque: July 15 at Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. Staunton Music Festival: Aug. 10-19 at venues in and around Staunton, Va.
Vocal music: If what drew you to Hamilton was the prospect of song, you can hear the talents of tomorrow at and on a range of stages thanks to the renowned, and ever-ambitious, Wolf Trap Opera. Opera comes alive in the company’s diminutive home in the Wolf Trap Barns, where operatically trained voices have a visceral impact: “Idomeneo” (June 22-30) and “Romeo and Juliet” (July 15-21) are this summer’s titles. For a larger-scale experience, you can lounge on the lawn and hear “Rigoletto” at the Filene Center (Aug. 3). Or, go to Union Market, where Wolf Trap singers, in partnership with Halcyon’s By the People, will star in a Septime Webre production of Kurt Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins,” complete with dancers from the Hong Kong Ballet (June 23 and 24).
Various dates, Wolf Trap’s Filene Center and Wolf Trap Barns, Vienna, Va.
Americana: If you’re looking for music that evokes America, look no further than Leonard Bernstein, who would have been 100 on Aug. 25 and whose centennial is being celebrated abundantly all around the world. The National Symphony Orchestra and Wolf Trap will offer yet another large-scale concert devoted to Bernstein’s music July 27, with Misty Copeland dancing “On the Town,” George Takei as “Candide’s” Doctor Pangloss, and Paquito D’Rivera in “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs,” as well as the standard classical forces in one of Bernstein’s most beloved works, “The Chichester Psalms.”
And of course, it doesn’t get more American than a military band. The elite military bands in Washington boast some of the country’s finest musicians, and all their concerts are free. Check out the Army Band’s “Sunsets with a Soundtrack” summer series at the U.S. Capitol; the Navy Band’s “Concerts on the Avenue” summer series at the Navy Memorial; the Air Force Band’s summer series at the Air Force Memorial and the Capitol steps; and “The President’s Own” Marine Band’s range of summer offerings.
July 27 at Wolf Trap, Vienna, Va. Armed Forces bands perform through the summer; see individual websites for details.
Diversity: One of “Hamilton’s” distinctions is the way it breaks a white, male tradition wide open to everybody — something that many in the classical music field are trying to do as well. Now in its eighth season, the “Serenade” festival (June 25-July 2) presents free concerts by choruses from around the world, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Millennium Stage and other venues around the region. With choruses from the Tuva Republic and Madagascar, Canada, Venezuela and many others, the festival this year commemorates another centennial, that of Nelson Mandela (who was born July 18). One featured ensemble is the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir; the group will tack on an extra concert of German sacred music at Castleton, in Virginia, on July 2.
June 25-July 2, the Kennedy Center and other venues (see website at classical
movements.com/festival/serenade-washington-d-c-choral-festival/ for details).