Baritone Zachary Gordin to open 30th summer of musical series.

Baritone Zachary Gordin to open 30th summer of musical series.

WEEKEND: Down on the farm for Concerts in the Barn

QUILCENE — To open its 30th season of “Concerts in the Barn,” the Olympic Music Festival is bringing a “barihunk.”

Yes, Zachary Gordin, a San Francisco Bay Area baritone, will sing in a program titled “Songs and Dances of Love” this Saturday and Sunday at what may be the most casual of all classical music venues.

On the farm at 7360 Center Road in rural Jefferson County, the Olympic Music Festival is marking its third decade of presenting chamber-style concerts with musicians from across the continent. These performances, at 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday now through Sept. 1, feature hay-bale seating inside the barn, picnicking on the lawn outside, and a dress code calling for jeans and T-shirts.

And Gordin “is something a bit different from regular festival fare,” said event spokeswoman Kristin Mineah.

An opera singer who has appeared in “Carmina Burana,” “Pagliacci,” “Rigoletto” and the 2013 “Barihunks” charity calendar, Gordin will offer Robert Schumann’s “Dichterliebe,” Franz Liszt’s “Liebestraume” and the lesser-known “Chansons Grises” by Reynaldo Hahn.

“Even if you don’t understand every word of the French and German,” Gordin said, “you’ll feel what is happening.

“It’ll be an honest and touching performance of some incredible music,” he added. “You don’t have to dress up, and there’s no pretense.

“It’s all about coming together for the music and the poetry.”

Beside the singer will be an Olympic Music Festival veteran: pianist Paul Hersh of San Francisco.

“His exquisite playing is so vital to these performances, where both singer and pianist are storytellers,” Gordin said.

In coming weekends, Concerts in the Barn will bring players from across the West. Pianist Julio Elizalde, violinist and violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, cellists Jennifer Culp and Matthew Zalkind, clarinetist Teddy Abrams, violinists Korine Fujiwara and Ilana Setapen and Olympic Music Festival founder and violist Alan Iglitzin are among those who will offer the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, Schubert and many other classical masters.

Gordin, for his part, said he’s both excited and nervous about singing in a barn. It’ll be a first for him.

“In a theater, you have the surety of the four walls and ceiling, giving you a reasonably stable acoustic environment,” he said. “I hear the barn has great acoustics, which I can’t wait to experience.”

He encouraged those who don’t go to classical concerts to join him in this new venture. The music, after all, is what matters.

“If you come with an open mind, you’ll leave with a full heart.”

Advance tickets to the Olympic Music Festival are $30 for adults for barn seating; $28 for seniors 62 and older and $18 for youth age 7 to 17. At the gate on concert day, those prices go up $3. For lawn seating, there are no advance sales; tickets at the gate are $20 for adults, $14 for youth and free for children 6 and younger.

Patrons are invited to come early to picnic, walk around the 55-acre farm and browse in the Milking Shed souvenir and snack shop. Complete information — program listings, directions and more — is at www.OlympicMusicFestival.org. Tickets and details are also available by phoning 360-732-4800.

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