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Albany Symphony Orchestra

All across the land, orchestras large and ensembles small have been celebrating Mozart’s birthday. This weekend, the Albany Symphony Orchestra celebrates the vocal side of old Wolfie with the program Mozart at the Opera.

There will be guest soloists—Alison Trainer, Katherine Pracht, Scott Ramsa, Matthew Burns—for the scenes from Idomeneo, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte. For those not familiar with every opera, fear not: David Alan Miller will narrate and provide commentary on the words and music.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra will present Mozart at the Opera tonight (Thursday, Dec. 7) at 7:30 PM at the Canfield Casino (Congress Park, Saratoga Springs); tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 8) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Second and State streets, Troy); and Saturday (Dec. 9) at 7:30 PM at the First United Methodist Church (55 Fenn St., Pittsfield, Mass.). Tickets are $42-$21. To purchase tickets for the Saratoga Springs and Pittsfield concerts, call 465-4663; for the Troy Music Hall performance, call 273-0038.

Words of My Perfect Teacher

We like everything we’ve heard about renowned Buddhist teacher Dzongsar Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, who is, apparently, third in the hierarchy to the Dalai Lama. One, he doesn’t have time for A-listers like Richard Gere; this sports enthusiast hangs with Steven Seagal. Two, he has a Yoda-like reputation, and is known for sending his students on “confusing and nonsensical missions.” Third, he turned the tables on filmmaker Lesley Ann Patten, transforming this documentary about him—which will be shown this weekend at Time & Space Limited—into part of the director’s own “quest for spiritual growth.”

They’re wily, those Buddhists.

Words of My Perfect Teacher will be screened Sunday (Dec. 10) at 5 PM at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $7 and $5. There will be additional screenings on Dec. 16 at 7:30 PM and Dec. 17 at 5 PM. For more information, call TSL at 822-8448.

PHOTO: D.G. Strong

Farmer Jason/Jason Ringenberg

When choosing to take his act to the children, did former Jason and the Scorchers frontman Jason Ringenberg take a cue from a fellow ex-leader of a pioneering Americana act? Of course we’re referring to Dan Zanes, the ex-Del Fuego who, in recent years, has made quite the racket singing tunes for the little ones. But Ringenberg’s thing is a bit different—Zanes has all but turned in his adult muse in favor of the rugrat-friendly alternative, but Ringenberg continues to perform his heartstring-tugging solo ditties in barrooms around the nation in the nighttime, while his alter ego since 2003, Farmer Jason, entertains the kids of all sizes (but mostly small) during the day. And here’s where we suspect Zanes and Ringenberg might have had themselves a pow-wow: Playing cute has turned out to be the most commercially successful venture for both artists. This week, Ringenberg will pull double duty: He’ll don his straw hat and overalls to perform as Farmer Jason at the Linda Friday afternoon, then he’ll head across the park to rock the beer-swilling folks at Valentine’s.

Farmer Jason will perform a free show at WAMC Performing Arts Center (339 Central Ave., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 8) at 11:30 AM. For information, call 465-5233. Jason Ringenberg plays Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) Friday evening at 9 PM, along with Doojh and Slim Pickins. For information, call 432-6572.

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