Atlanta opens a new concert venue

A new outdoor venue, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, begins its inaugural season on May 10.

The amphitheatre seats 12,000, and is owned by the Woodruff Arts Center. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be the only orchestra in the United States to play in two outdoor venues — Chastain Park Amphitheatre and the Amphitheatre at Encore Park.

The first concert, 8 p.m. May 10, will feature music Gershwin, Bernstein, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Beethoven, performed by the orchestra, the Marcus Roberts Trio, Christine Brewer, Elizabeth Bishop, Vinson Cole, Gordon Hawkins and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. The ASO is led by conductor and music director Robert Spano.

The ASO will perform eight more concerts this summer, including an all-Beethoven evening at 8 p.m. June 28. The Fourth of July concert will feature works by Copland, Bernstein, Christopher Theofanidis, Tchaikovsky and Sousa at 8 p.m. An all Tchaikovsky concert with violinist Robert McDuffie begins at 8 p.m. July 12. A semi-staged version of Puccini's "La Boheme" is scheduled for 8 p.m. July 22. It features sopranos Norah Amsellem and Georgia Jarman, tenor Marcus Haddock, baritones Fabio Capitanucci and Christopher Schaldenbrand and basses Denis Sendov and Kevin Glavin. Garrick Ohlsson will play Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 3" at 8 p.m. Aug. 8. At 8 p.m. Aug. 2, there will be an evening with Julie Andrews, followed at 8 p.m. Aug. 16 with a musical evening featuring themes from Turner Classic Movies.

The venue will feature concerts as well as community events like high school graduations, fund-raising events, high school concerts and competitions.

Other concerts include the Eagles at 8 p.m. May 14, May 16-17 and May 20. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will perform at 8 p.m. July 9, followed by Rush at 8 p.m. July 22 and Rod Stewart at 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

Single tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 10 for the ASO concerts. Concert tickets range from $21-$75.

Call 404-249-6400 or go to www.ticketmaster.com or go to area Publix grocery stores. In Columbus, go to the Columbus Civic Center box office.